Mar 10 2010

Shelby against health care, backs Bellefonte

The state’s senior senator told a crowd of approximately 40 people in attendance at the 4 p.m. meeting at Scottsboro City Hall that, “the Obama administration wants to create socialized health care.”

“We have the best health care system in the world. Too many people come from all over the world to be treated here for it not to be the best,” Shelby said. “It’s not perfect. It’s too costly, but I don’t want to turn it upside down.”

“I’m going to do everything I can to stop it,” Shelby said of the current legislation. “The question is are they (Democratic senators and representatives) going to listen to Obama and Pelosi or the American people who don’t want what is proposed? The Democrats overall thrust is to run health care, which will only create more bureaucracy and will end up rationing health care.”

Shelby made his comments during a town-hall style meeting. After speaking on a variety of topics for approximately 30 minutes he answered questions from the audience. Several local elected officials attended the meeting including State Representative John Robinson and Scottsboro city council members Matthew Hodges, Keith Smith and Terry Thomas. The meeting was part of his annual tour of each of the state’s 67 counties.

“I like to interact with the people. I am accountable to the people,” he said. “Some (elected representatives) forget who sent them to Washington.”

Shelby held similar meetings in Marshall and DeKalb counties on Saturday. He was scheduled to meet with members of the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce at a breakfast Monday morning.

Any plan to improve the nation’s health care system should include portability of insurance policies from job to job, Shelby noted. He called for tort reform that protects health care professionals but also preserves the rights of those with legitimate malpractice claims, the inclusion of those with preexisting medical conditions in the system and the ability for individuals to buy coverage nationwide.

“I’ve castigated them at times,” Shelby said of TVA, “but I hope they build the plant at Bellefonte. TVA wasted money and made some horrible mistakes in not finishing plants years ago and we’re paying for it. Nuclear power is safe and clean. It provides us with the certainty of power.”

Shelby addressed the economy, banking, defense, NASA and the nation’s immigration policies. He briefly touched on proposed Cap and Trade policies, Card Check and environmental concerns as well.

“I’m a true conservative. I don’t believe anything is too big to fail,” he said. “If it’s too big to fail it’s too big to exist. I will continue to do what I think is best for this agenda and for the people.”

Shelby said he voted against the stimulus bill, bailouts of banks, General Motors and Chrysler because the United States is a free market economy. He said having fair tax and stronger regulating policies would help prevent the problems seen in recent years and noted that a majority of stimulus funds approved last year haven’t been spent and that many of the proposals in the plan “simply” won’t work.

“Government doesn’t create jobs. The market creates jobs,” he said. “We can’t forget the small banks. They are so important to small business and that is where the jobs are created.”

In conclusion, Shelby laughed and, when asked about the low turnout, said, “on a beautiful Saturday afternoon like this I was pleased to see anybody.”