Michaud to take calls tonight on health reform

Posted July 20, 2009, at 12:52 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud invites constituents in Maine’s 2nd District to call him directly Monday evening to discuss national health care reform legislation pending in the House of Representatives. The call-in will begin at 7:10 p.m. and last for about an hour.

“This is a way for us to hear directly from Mainers — their personal experiences and their positions on the [health reform] bill,” said Michaud spokesman Ed Gilman. Callers should try to limit their conversation with Michaud to two or three minutes, Gilman said, so as many people as possible will be able to speak with him.

Michaud is one of a handful of House Democrats who have expressed reservations about supporting the sweeping reform legislation currently being fine-tuned in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“He is concerned about the cost,” Gilman said. “And he is concerned about the impact in rural areas like Maine.” A measure that would change Medicare reimbursements to doctors and hospitals could have the unintended consequence of driving health care providers — especially primary care providers — out of Maine, Gilman said.

Michaud supports the inclusion of the so-called “public option,” a controversial government run insurance program for Americans who choose not to use a private insurance company.

President Obama has requested a full House vote before Congress adjourns for its August recess.

Michaud will be taking calls this evening from his office in Washington, D.C. The event will not be broadcast.

Mainers who wish to speak with the congressman should call toll-free (877) 269-7289. The personal identification number for the call is 14635.

On the Web: www.michaud.house.gov

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