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Local doctor supports state bill to ban national health care act

By JR Ortega
Dec. 27, 2010 at 6:27 a.m.


UPCOMING HOUSE BILLSHB 114Author: McClendon

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Caption: Relating to payment for health care services and participation in a health care system.

HB 335Author: Shelton

Caption: Relating to implementation and requirements of certain health care reform laws.

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National health reform has taken on a Texas face.

A house bill filed by State Rep. Leo Berman, District 6, asks the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be null and void in Texas.

"It's a bad bill," he said. "The whole bill is absolutely ridiculous."

The act was signed by President Barack Obama in March.

Berman's push is being supported by at least one primary health care physician in Victoria, Dr. John McNeill, an internist.

"Most people would welcome everyone on insurance, but not at the cost of our constitution," McNeill said.

Berman believes the act to be unconstitutional and feels there is a high probability of it passing the house, but he isn't sure of the senate.

About 30 million people will have health insurance, meaning more doctors would be needed, but that would require producing thousands upon thousands of doctors, which isn't probably, he said.

The bill, HB 297, suggests imposing penalties to any federal employee who comes to Texas to try to implement the bill, he said.

Penalties range from incarceration of up to five years to a fine of $5,000.

"It's one of the worst bills ever passed by the United States Congress," he said.

A bill, like the one Berman filed, is liable to pass, McNeill said.

"This was a complete political farce," he said.

Politics interfered with medicine, which shouldn't have happened, he added.

Berman and McNeill's biggest problem with the bill is that members of the congress have admitted to not reading it.

The federal health care law will likely reach the U.S. Supreme Court as a Virginia Attorney General challenged the law as unconstitutional.

Berman couldn't agree more, he said.

"It's a monument to President Obama," he said.

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