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Another of the "no" votes from the previous vote has changed her mind and will now vote yes.  Give our kudos, thanks and money to Betsy Markey (who also has the honor of being the one who defeated Marilyn Musgrave).

Here is the text of her e-mail which I just received!!

Dear C____________,

We have weathered a lot of storms together over the last three years.  No one ever said that the journey from the campaign to Congress would be easy, but I have been sustained through so many difficult decisions by your support and kindness.

I thought it was important that you hear the news from me first.

I am writing you personally to announce my decision to vote yes on the final compromise healthcare bill.

I know that many of you disagreed with my decision to vote no on the original House healthcare bill.  My original objection was never about the need for health care reform.  I have always felt that the status quo could not be sustained.  Even though I know it may be an unpopular stand to take in Democratic politics, the cost of the original legislation was an important consideration for me.  During the campaign, I promised to count pennies and aggressively pursue a reduction in the national debt.

I felt that I owed it to my constituents to bring those cost concerns to congressional leadership and the White House.

This morning the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released estimates that the compromise health care measure we will vote on in the coming days costs $940 billion, over $100 billion less than the House passed bill.  It reduces the deficit by more than $1.3 trillion in the next two decades.  This bill will be the single largest deficit reduction bill in 27 years.   It will most likely be the single largest deficit reduction measure I vote for as a Member of Congress.

That's why I'm voting for this bill.  There are things that this bill does immediately that I could not, in good conscience, oppose: it ends denial of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and prevents health insurance companies from dropping people from coverage when they get sick.

Some of the other hightlights of what this bill will do are:

* It allows people who are 26 and younger to stay on their parents health care plans.  As a mother of three children under the age of 26, that is an important issue for me. * It closes the donut hole in Medicare Part D, which will lead to lower drug costs for seniors and guarantees that Medicare benefits will not be cut, all by saving money from withing the Medicare program by weeding out waste, fraud and abuse. * It eliminates annual and lifetime limits on all insurance coverage and guarantees that insurers cover preventitive care for afflictions like cander and diabetes. * Additionally, more than 30 million new people will benefit from health insurance coverage withing the next ten years.  Out of pocket costs for premiums and medical expenses will finally be made affordable for individuals and families.  There are strong private health insurance options covered by this bill, with state exchanges and more benefit plan options.

Quite simply, this is a better bill than the legislation I opposed last fall and it does more to contain costs while providing increased health insurance coverage.

This may come as a shock to some people, particularly some of the folks running against me in November, but not every decision you make as a Member of Congress should be guided by a political compass. If you are too busy worrying about how to climb the political ladder and don't have enough time to evaluate legislation on its merits, you may end up a great politician, but you will be a lousy representative.

I’d rather be a good representative and leave the politicking to others.

Thanks again for all of your support.  It has meant so much to me over the last 3 years.  I hope you will continue to stand with me this November and in the years to come.


Betsy Markey
Member of Congress

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Originally posted to MMColo on Thu Mar 18, 2010 at 04:15 PM PDT.

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