Former Sen. Allen weighs in: No to "Obama-Pelosi" health care
If Democrats in the Senate drop the Medicare buy-in idea from their health care bill, will they get Republican support for the rest of a bill that includes no public health care option?
Unlikely, if former Virginia Republican Sen. George Allen's views on the issue on representative of his party.
In a conference call with reporters today organized by the Republican Party of Virginia, Allen blasted the "Obama-Pelosi" health care initiative an expensive experiment that Virginians don't want.
"This is clearly not a time to gamble spending a trillion dollars we don't have on a big new experiment with a government-run health care program," he said.
But he said if the public option and its alternative, the Medicare buy-in, are dropped, his opposition will not disappear.
"Even if they do drop the so-called Medicare buy-in option, there are a ton of things wrong with this health care bill," he said, citing small business tax increases, Medicare cuts and new regulations.
Allen has been taking an increasingly vocal role in public policy issues--voicing opposition to cap-and-trade legislation and joining Paul Goldman and other Democrats to push for a federal tax credit to spur revitalization of older schools.
It all looks like a politician gearing up for another run, perhaps against Sen. Jim Webb, who defeated him in 2006 and is now thought to be the subject of intense Republican lobbying on health care.
"That's not necessarily a relevant question for this," he said with a laugh when asked about his future Tuesday. "As long as I'm breathing, I want to be advocating positive, constructive ideas for America, for our competitiveness and of course I have a very special place in my heart for the people of Virginia...So I'm standing up as a citizen for my fellow Virginians."
December 15, 2009; 12:46 PM ET
Categories: George F. Allen , James Webb , Rosalind Helderman
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