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Hagan: Health reform in place by year's end

Posted August 25, 2009
Updated August 26, 2009

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— U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said Tuesday that she believes Congress will pass a health care reform bill that will be signed by President Barack Obama by the end of the year.

If she's right, the legislation would become one of the highlights for the freshman Democrat, who has faced a sour economy and ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during her first year in Washington, D.C.

UNC TV hosts health care town hall Health care reform Q&A

Hagan said she would support Obama's controversial "public option" plan if it wouldn't add to the federal deficit. The program, which would provide government-sponsored insurance to people with no other health coverage, has been lambasted by critics, who say it would hurt private insurers and add costs and limit access for consumers.

"How is this going to be funded and paid for? That area hasn't yet been determined, and that's what I'm anxious to see," she said. "That's what people are really concerned about right now – me being one of them."

She said she recognizes, however, that reform is necessary, and she hopes the final plan will require insurance companies to cover pre-existing illnesses and will include an emphasis on wellness and disease prevention.

"There's a projection in 2016 (that) a policy will cost $26,000 for a family of four. Our median income in North Carolina is $39,000. It's an unsustainable trajectory," she said.

Hagan's support of the pharmaceutical industry has been highlighted in television ads that have aired statewide in recent weeks.

"I didn't even know about those commercials," she said. "Some people were thinking I was running those commercials. I didn't have any knowledge about that."

Still, she said, she would welcome provisions in the health plan that would favor biotech companies.

"North Carolina is home to a lot of biotech companies. I'm very concerned about keeping those jobs in our state," she said.

This summer, Hagan traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee from a pro-military state, she said she wanted to see firsthand how Obama's strategy to focus U.S. efforts in the region was working.

"I think we're doing it right in Afghanistan," she said. "I support the president in his mission."

Regarding the economy, Hagan said she believes more new jobs are on the horizon because more stimulus money is about to be spent.

"I wake up every morning worried about people looking for jobs that can't find them," she said. "I've been talking with county officials and mayors, and they're now seeing their grants funded," she said.

114 Comments

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  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Aug 27, 4:33 p.m.

    Hagan isn't in the Senate to do the bidding of the people of North Carolina.

    She's there to do the bidding of her financial supporters during the 2008 election including moveon.org, the DNC, and other liberal organizations. She even received money from an Atheist group. Makes you wonder what she's going to do for non-atheists in North Carolina.

    I've sent numerous e-mails to Rep. Miller, Senator Burr, and Senator Hagan. Both Rep. Miller and Senator Burr have responded to my e-mails with letters even though Rep. Miller and I usually disagree on the issues. The only response from Senator Hagan has been the auto-reply from her e-mail server acknowledging the receipt of my e-mail.

  • purplepat777 Aug 27, 3:46 p.m.

    "Hagan: Health Reform in Place by Year's End". Hagan: Replaced by Term's End.

  • prn13norm Aug 27, 3:14 p.m.

    One and Done to Kaye and Bev.

  • MakoII Aug 27, 2:23 p.m.

    The majority of those polled on the substance of the plan are for it to the tune of 86%

    Those polled on THIS bill are under 50%

    It shows how effective lying is.

    I suppose if you're a conservative opposed to this plan, getting the "right" outcome for the wrong methods is ok.

    Not so for me. I'm not religious, but I do subscribe to being the father of lies as evil.

  • timothycapwell Aug 27, 2:19 p.m.

    Hagan said of her stance on the issues, "I'll let you know when I get there!". Well, now ya know. Hagan is a liberal who's only desire is to see more government interference in our lives. I will have more respect for the Hagan voters if they admit they were duped by those nasty anti-Dole commercials.

  • TiredOleMan Aug 27, 1:12 p.m.

    If Sen. Hagan is in agreemenyt w/ the Public option plan (ughh -what a misnomer) only if it does increase the Fed deficit, she might as well vote AGAINST the plan. There is NO way to PAY for the plan w/o increasing the Federal deficit.

    Here is another viable alternative:

    Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) along with Reps. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) have all sponsored the Patients’ Choice Act which provides a path to universal coverage by redirecting current subsidies for health insurance to individuals and establishes new safety net that guarantees access to insurance for those with pre-existing conditions.

    Also, the TRUE PUBLIC OPTION is for the Government to LISTEN to 'We the People.'

  • Even Aug 27, 12:47 p.m.

    Doesn't sound like Hagen will be voting for Obama's plan because she said that she would support it if it does not add to the deficit. How can it not. Look at Medicare which is billions in the red. The Obama will get us Trillions in the RED. Let's hope that she keeps her word and not listen to those that "cook" the books. After all there is a tax cheat heading up the treasury so he should no how to do it. By the way, I am not a Republican but wrong is wrong no what party you call yours. Let's get the people that we voted for back on track.

  • affirmativediversity Aug 27, 12:47 p.m.

    rt,

    How naive. You actually think Hagan and the Democrats are interested in any kind of true reform? ahahahahah! Please its a POWER GRAB, plain and simple.

    If Hagan and the Democrats truly wished reform then they would listen to the people of this great country!!! They would HR3200 and whatever slightly morphed version the Senate is HIDING...then they should Enact legislation for

    TORT REFORM,

    TIER PRICING REFORM, (one service, one price...no more $3,000.00 MRI for individuals but the same MRI costs insurance $500.00)

    TRANSPORTABLE INSURANCE POLICY REFORM (allow it to go across State lines)

    True PRE EXISTING CONDITION REFORM...

    Personally, I don't believe I should have my RIGHTS ripped from me and GRABBED by Big Brother in order to make you feel better about YOUR bottom line.

    We shouldn't be FORCED by OUR GOVERNMENT TO CHOOSE WHOSE FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS ARE TO BE ELIMINATED!

  • NCPictures Aug 27, 12:36 p.m.

    "Health insurance reform is a good idea and much needed. Our businesses will never be competitive until we put a leash on the insurance industry and finally begin to control health care costs. I support this effort and hope that good legislation can come out of this process. Many thanks to Senator Hagan for her work on this important issue." ----rt

    This is so wrong in so many ways. Are they teaching you ANYTHING at State about economics????

    What needs to happen to to RELEASE the insurance companies to provide competition across state lines, thereby lowering costs through competition.

    We need to put the leash on the GOVERNMENT, as they have never shown fiscal restraint or the ability to manage ANYTHING.

    Controlling any business by artificially controlling fees will stifle the business.

    Also what we need to control on malpractice, making frivolous lawsuits payable by the loser, and limit the amount that can be sued.

  • rt Aug 27, 12:14 p.m.

    Health insurance reform is a good idea and much needed. Our businesses will never be competitive until we put a leash on the insurance industry and finally begin to control health care costs. I support this effort and hope that good legislation can come out of this process. Many thanks to Senator Hagan for her work on this important issue.

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