Valdosta Daily Times

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August 11, 2009

Senator speaks

Isakson: Obama’s health care bill would ‘destroy this economy’

NASHVILLE — Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said President Barack Obama’s health care bill would “destroy this economy” during an afternoon town hall meeting in Nashville Tuesday.

“The President’s bill will cost $1 trillion, 300 billion, which they will pay for, in large part, by reducing accessibility and affordability to seniors,” he said.

Isakson said he does not think Obama can get enough votes on the House floor to pass it.

Isakson prefers a health care plan run by the private sector over the single-payer, government-run plan espoused by the president.

Isakson named Safeway and IBM as two companies that are doing health care the right way.

“In general, the private sector does a much better job than the government of managing things,” he said.

Isakson fielded numerous questions from Georgia citizens attending the Town Hall meeting at 102 N. Jefferson St. The questions centered around five topics: health care, the economy, the 2010 census, illegal immigration, and cap and trade.

“We have a train wreck coming in about two years when the stimulus money runs out and the states have to raise that money internally,” he said.

One citizen, referring to the pending health care legislation, asked, “Why can’t legislation be written so the average person can understand it?”

Isakson said health care legislation contains medical terminology, which is based on ancient Latin, and the legal terminology common to such bills, making it rough sledding for the average reader. He said there are 25 people on his staff in Washington whose job it is to explain to him what a bill says and what effect it will have.

Responding to questions about illegal immigration, Isakson said the American public hasn’t heard much about the issue lately because “we, as a country, have done some incredible things to make it harder to enter the country illegally.” He praised Mexican President Felipe Calderon for enforcing the laws to stop the flow of illegal immigrants from the Mexican side of the border. He also said U.S. border enforcement is 10 times better than it was three years ago. The poor economy has also deterred illegal immigration.

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