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Senator Mark Warner talks healthcare reform in Salem

August 24, 2009
  • Senator Mark Warner brought the healthcare debate to Salem Monday - talking to a crowd of medical professionals.
Senator Mark Warner brought the healthcare debate to Salem Monday - talking to a crowd of medical professionals.

Senator Mark Warner brought the healthcare debate to Salem Monday - talking to a crowd of medical professionals.

Washington has floated around a number of bills but they haven't made it out of the House yet.

Senator Warner says he does not support a single-payer or government run system.

Along those same lines he says private corporations, insurance and hospitals have to stop exploiting patients.

"I firmly believe that our current healthcare system, it's costs are not sustainable," says Senator Warner.

Financial ruin for America and American families-- that was the message Senator Warner delivered if the current healthcare system isn't revamped.

"I think we need competition in our private system. I think we need competition among providers, hospitals. I think we need competition between doctors," says Warner.

The Virginia Democrat addressed more than 100 employees at Lewis Gale Medical Center during a town-hall style meeting on Monday.

It was a comment from the crowd that drew the most applause.

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"I'd like to hear what the thought would be if congress and the executive branch  would consider putting themselves under the same medical coverage as the rest of the country."

Many felt the conversation with their Senator was a good start, but doctors like Donna Maxfield aren't convinced reform won't actually change anything.

"I do not understand why we have to have a sweeping healthcare reform bill. Why do we not look at the individual problems in healthcare and try to solve those problems one by one," says Dr. Maxfield.

Warner is optimistic a new plan will be in place by the end of the year whether Republicans get on board or not, but from a CEO point of view, healthcare can't stay stagnant.

"Anything around healthcare reform legistlation needs to move forward to provide coverage that reaches 95 percent of Americans," says Victor Giovanetti, the CEO of Lewis Gale.

You can expect to see more of Mark Warner in the coming months. He says he's already planning to return to the area for a public town hall meeting as this issue only promises to generate more attention.

Sixth District Congressman Bob Goodlatte's hosting a few town halls of his own.

The first one's at Hidden Valley high school at 7 p.m. on September 3rd.

Then Goodlatte will be in Bridgewater on September 5th at Turner Ashby High School.

And on the 12th, he'll be at Holl Cross Catholic in Lynchburg at 2 p.m.

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