Deutchman Reacts to Health Bill – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
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Deutchman Reacts to Health Bill

Iva Deutchman, professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, was quoted in the Finger Lakes Times in an article about local reactions to the health care bill that passed on December 24. The article credits Deutchman with saying the final bill would be “a compromise between the House and Senate versions.”

“This should end up being good for the American people, especially those without insurance,” she is quoted.

The article goes on to note “Deutchman said she has problems with both bills, but the legislative process works by putting the two bills on the table and working out one that is best for the greatest number of people.

‘Once legislators realize the government now has this obligation to help provide this coverage, that will help shape the bill.'”

The article also says Deutchman believes health care reform will be good for President Barack Obama: “She said he has put a lot of effort into this initiative and will get credit for getting it done, often against the odds.”

Deutchman holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University in political science and economics. She is a professor of 20 plus years who has worked on two continents (Australia and North America). Deutchman has a long list of publications in major journals, the latest of which are “Fundamentalist Christians, Raunch Culture and Post-industrial Capitalism,” Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Summer 2008, and “Five Factions, Two Parties: Caucus Membership in the House of Representatives, 1994- 2002,” Congress and the Presidency, 36:62-84, 2009 (with colleague DeWayne Lucas).

The full article follows.

 


Finger Lakes Times
From irate to thrilled: Locals weigh in on health care vote
Amanda Folts • December 25, 2009

Local reaction to the health care bill passed in the U.S. Senate yesterday appeared split along party lines.

 

Perhaps predictably, given the polarizing debate of recent months, Democrats liked it or said it didn’t go far enough, while Republicans blasted it.

Based on the polls he’s seen over the last few weeks, Jay Dutcher, Ontario County GOP chair, said the American people don’t want this bill and that it’s not where the country needs to go for health care reform. He sees it as an effort to nationalize health care, and he doesn’t think it can be approved.

There are several smaller issues that do need to be addressed, Dutcher said, such as pre-existing conditions and trying to cover those who don’t have health care and aren’t eligible under programs like Medicaid and Children’s Health.

Across the aisle, Wayne County Democratic Party chair Gaye Chapman said she’s happy health care reform is moving in this direction, although she doesn’t consider it complete. She said she can see how the country ended up with employment-based health insurance but that the system needs to be revised. If people lose their jobs, she said, they lose their insurance, and it can be too expensive to buy it, even with government stipends.

Chapman was also optimistic that by the time the bill is done – the House and Senate versions must still be reconciled – some Republicans will be on board.

She also said the abortion issue needs to be addressed because it’s a constitutional right that should be protected.

Iva Deutchman, a political science professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, said the final bill would end up being a compromise between the House and Senate versions.

“This should end up being good for the American people, especially those without insurance,” she said.

Deutchman said she has problems with both bills, but the legislative process works by putting the two bills on the table and working out one that is best for the greatest number of people.

“Once legislators realize the government now has this obligation to help provide this coverage, that will help shape the bill,” Deutchman said.

She said it will take time, but health care reform will be politically good for President Barack Obama. She said he has put a lot of effort into this initiative and will get credit for getting it done, often against the odds.

But Carson Lankford of Seneca Falls opposes the bill. He cited the “shenanigans” pulled with Medicare and said the bill isn’t deficit neutral and will in fact cost the country a lot of money. When the bill is signed, the government will start collecting funds for it, but those funds won’t be spent for four years, he said, predicting that insurance bills will go up but people will see no change in coverage.

“I think it’s a total disaster, and people are going to be very sorry, especially the older people,” he said. Lankford suggested pulling the Medicare system out of the bill and possibly allowing people to buy insurance across state boundaries. He said something also has to be done about tort reform related to malpractice lawsuits.

Elizabeth Indick of Newark, secretary of the Wayne County Democratic Committee, said she’s happy the bill passed. But she wishes it had a public option.

“I feel like it’s a first step in a way, a huge first step, in health care reform in this country,” she said.

Indick hopes the joint committee will pass a reasonable health care bill with a public option or something similar. She prefers a single-payer plan to save money on administration while still providing competition for insurance companies.

Like Chapman, Indick said she’s concerned about abortion issues in the bill and doesn’t want to see the right of choice taken away from women.

Indick is also concerned about what she considers misinformation put out by insurance companies. Among that misinformation, she said, are accusations that the bill includes “death panels” and would take away people’s right to choose their own doctors.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in a press release this morning that the bill will mean savings for New Yorkers through the Medicare Advantage fix and credits for small businesses. It will also mean coverage for 31 million uninsured Americans and end “unscrupulous insurance practices” related to preexisting conditions while supporting preventative care, she said.

“While this is a good bill, it is not perfect. I believe that a public option is the best way to reduce costs. I fought hard to defeat the harmful Stupak language [on abortion] which would have put the lives of women and girls at grave risk and deny them their constitutional rights. I’m troubled by the Nelson compromise, but I believe it is still dramatically better than Stupak,” Gillibrand said.

But not all local Democratic representatives favor the bill. Rep. Eric Massa, D-29 of
Corning, voted against the House version and said in a statement this morning that he couldn’t support the Senate version, either.

“Unfortunately, the Senate health care bill falls short of anything I could support, and in fact moves away from the very goals that were set for true health care reform,” Massa said. “To begin with, this bill lacks any kind of public option whatsoever and, quite frankly, that’s a deathblow to gaining my support. Additionally, I am concerned that it still takes money out of Medicare and includes an individual mandate. I also have deep concerns over the massive concessions that were made to states like Nebraska for a vote.”

Staff writer David L. Shaw contributed to this story.