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WWL: Chris Murphy
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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Since coming into office, health care reform has been part of Chris Murphy's agenda - and now he's in the middle of it


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49:01 minutes (23.53 MB)
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Murphy sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and it's Health Subcommittee.  Last week, the committee had hearings on the House draft of the health care reform bill.  When he returns to Washington, they will complete work on the bill, and then it is expected that the full House will vote on it before August.

Today, where we live, we'll continue our series of summer conversations with members of our congressional delegation - and bring in Chris Murphy.  Of course, we'll be talking health care, and "the public option" - but we'll also tackle the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and take your calls. 

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Listener Email from River

so much of the adjustments being discussed to address the current failings of the health care system sounds like a lot of re-jiggering the system as a means to keep the private plans in place and protect these companies. the smell test tells me we're twisting ourselves into knots to avoid a single-payer system, but it's unclear to me why we're doing that. can congressman murphy address the fundamental need to keep the private insurance market?

also, the congressman referred to a single-payer system at some point as "taking over everything". this is misleading, and is the type of language that people use to undermine any reasonable discussion of this. there are various models around the world of single-payer, and they are not all monolithic, socialized, overly bureaucratic systems. there are a lot of ways to make it work, so why are we not seriously looking at this model, and why won't politicians stand up and advocate for real change in terms of transitioning to single-payer?

 I agree completely,

 I agree completely, ctalarski. I wanted an answer to why single-payer advocates and specialists are not getting to take part in the official discussion, but Congressman Murphy avoided answering this by saying the constituents just don't want it. I disagree. I think there are a growing number of consituents who do want to hear about a single-payer system and this is despite the red-baiting on the right and the timidness on the left about single-payer. The only way to confront all of the misinformation about single-payer systems is to have legitimate discussions about single-payer systems. One of the best places to have legitimate discussions is in Congress, yet our elected officials continue to ignore it. Nancy Pelosi remarked back in april: 

"As our members came back from their recess, a great deal of what they heard out there was public options, public options, public options, public options. In our caucus, over and over again, we hear single payer, single payer, single payer. Well, it's not going to be a single payer..."

This bewilders me. We have the chance of a lifetime, a chance to enact real change and we're going to blow it because our representatives are too timid to address the best option.