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Cong. Rangel discusses Obama's healthcare plan

Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 4:36 p.m.

Rep. Charlie Rangel outlined his view of President Barack Obama's healthcare plan on Friday during a press briefing. Before heading to Massachusetts for the funeral of Sen. Ted Kennedy, Rangel made an appearance at the Manhattan Neighborhood Network studios discussing his position on moving the healthcare plan forward.

"If you are satisfied with your insurance, don't change it," he said in response to many who are opposed to the plan that would ensure the coverage of 97 percent of Americans with affordable healthcare.

Rangel's position on healthcare reform focuses on a lower cost for consumers during the economic crisis. He also took the time to separate myths and facts about the healthcare plan, which included explaining that illegal immigrants would not be covered.

Reforming the healthcare system, Rangel said, would also help in the economic recovery and fiscal health of the nation.

"We can't deal with the economy without dealing with healthcare," he said. "No one chose to cut off the faucet from the banking business."

The congressman added that the solution his colleagues in the House of Representatives are diligently trying to develop is a plan that would put patients first, instead of profits. He also pointed out that many Americans are unable to get government healthcare because of their financial status.

He said, "50 million people can't afford health insurance. They make too much to get Medicare. Often times, they have to go to the emergency room if they have a problem, and three out of 10 people who are discharged from the hospital go back."

Rangel wants to put doctors in charge and not insurance companies in order to offer people higher quality healthcare. He says more family doctors and nurses need to enter the workforce in order to help guarantee access. Rangel is also advocating that the plan should cover mental health.

In July, President Obama applauded Rangel, along with other House leaders, for presenting the bill that would reform the healthcare system. Obama said he wants to work with all House members in reducing deficits and sustaining the nation's fiscal affairs.