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Several AL-7 Candidates Say…. Reconsider

Jefferson county commissioner Sheila Smoot says Alabama’s 2 Democratic congressmen should reconsider their opposition to health care reform.

Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL7) explains why he’s voting against the current plan in this interview with FOX6 News reporter Jonathon Hardison.

Rep. Bobby Bright (D-AL2) tells the Andalusia Star-News he’s a “firm no.”

During a news conference at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital in Birmingham this morning, Smoot introduced a small group of people she says are uninsured. She says they are the reason Davis and Bright should reconsider. Watch the video at 2:57.

She described how one woman in the group was recently treated for pneumonia. Smoot says it shows why the current health care overhaul bill would actually lower cost.

“My point is it’s costing you more now by not being able to take care of this lady because someone is going to have to foot the bill. She did go to the emergency room and somebody else is footing that bill. If she had some form of health insurance that wouldn’t be passed on to the other consumers that actually do have it.”

In a district often identified for its high unemployment and poverty rates, it is no surprise that all the candidates seeking the district 7 congressional seat appear in support of health care reform.

State Rep. Earl Hilliard Jr, whose father served in that seat until his defeat by Artur Davis, admits he’s “a little disappointed Congressman Davis is not voting for the bill…. I wish he would.”

Hilliard says if he was in congress, he would be a definite “yes” on Sunday’s expected vote.

The campaign manager for Birmingham attorney Terri Sewell tells me his candidate “wholeheartedly supports the health care reform bill… and wants a public option immediately after this bill passes.”

Tuscaloosa community activist Patricia Mokolo, who worked on President Obama’s Alabama campaign in 2008, says “I feel there are some who need to reconsider this vote for the people of their district.”

Mokolo says politicians need to “make health care about what the people need right now and not their jobs as politicians.”

Birmingham attorney and consultant Martha Boseman agrees with the others that Davis and Bright should reconsider a “yes” vote, calling it “so vital, especially to the 7th district.”

Efforts to immediately contact Eddison Walters were unsuccessful.

On a related note, an October 2009 report from the Urban Institute tracks the percentage of uninsured, district by district (yes, one of many surveys out there currently). Scroll down to page 11 on the report and you see the numbers for Alabama.

When it comes to the uninsured, the Urban Institute ranks Rep. Robert Aderholt’s (R) district 4 with the highest rate at 20%, followed by Rep. Jo Bonner’s (R) district 1 with 19.4%, then the 7th district with 18.6%

Rep. Spencer Bachus’ (R) district 6 has the lowest uninsured rate in the state at 10.6%.

AL-6 also has the highest percentage of private insured (81.8%) and lowest rate of publicly insured (10%).

AL-7 has the highest rate  (26.7%) on public insurance rolls and the lowest (59%) covered by private insurance.

Read more of Rick Journey’s blogs here.

One Response to “Several AL-7 Candidates Say…. Reconsider”

  1. Why does Terri Sewell have her campaign manager speaking for her? She may not be the one. Too bad the others could not comment but that’s better than a campaign manager speaking for you.