Indianapolis - The debate on health care reform has led to arguments across the country. Tuesday, the discussion came home and Congressman André Carson (D) added his voice to the debate.
Indiana 7th District Congressman André Carson confronted the health care issue at the Indianapolis Rotary Club Tuesday.
"I say we can't afford not to overhaul this broken system," said Carson.
Congressman Carson told the noon-time gathering at the Scottish Rite Cathedral that health care insurance premiums have gone up 114% in the last ten years while earnings have only gone up 31%.
"I'm having trouble understanding why we have to trash our health care system, potentially pull the plug on old people like me in order to save money," said Gerry Mann.
During question and answer portion of the presentation, Mann voiced his opposition to Democrats' health care reform. The debate continued after the Congressman's speech.
Republican Congressman Dan Burton is not surprised about the backlash by seniors.
"They are concerned about the rationing of health care. They're going to the back of the line when their needs to be a difficult procedure done because of their age and longevity," said Dan Burton.
"We need to eliminate the myths out there about death panels and everything else. This is an attempt backed by the powerful and wealthy insurance lobby to divert the conversation and we will fight against it," Carson said.
"They don't want socialized medicine. They don't want government control over health care. They don't want people coming in between them and their doctors and the government and making decisions on health care," said Burton.
But those arguing for reform say there is already a powerful force that sometimes interferes with patients getting care: insurance companies. Under current laws, insurance companies may refuse coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or even to those who become ill while on a policy. Part of the legislation on the table would prevent companies from refusing or dropping coverage.
While Democrats continue to push to a public option to health care, Republicans are pushing back, which means if Democrats want to pass health care reform legislation it may have to be a straight party line vote.
Rep. Steve Buyer said whatever it may take to bring Republicans and Democrats together on the issue "isn't there right now."
Congressman Carson is the second House Democrat to speak before the Indianapolis Rotary. Indiana 9th District Congressman Baron Hill spoke to the same group earlier this month.