|By Roger Brown, Bristol Herald Courier, Va.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"I think it's good that everyone should be on health insurance," Roe added, during a meeting Thursday with the
In April, the
"I hope the ruling is 6-3, either way," Roe, a
Roe, 66, was first elected to
The current health care law, Roe said, is cumbersome and has largely worked to keep driving up health costs.
"When you write a 2,700-page bill, there are unintended consequences to it," he said.
The two-term congressman said the health care law -- which has been labeled "ObamaCare" by critics of the Democratic president -- has also had a chilling effect on the private sector.
Roe noted a recent business survey that suggested 75 percent of firms aren't adding new jobs or expanding because of concerns about future health care costs.
"They are not hiring because of the uncertainty over the Affordable Care Act," he said.
If the law is overturned, the congressman said he and other Republican lawmakers would move to produce new health-care legislation aimed at giving Americans more freedom to choose their coverage -- while encouraging market competition and reducing the current law's red tape.
"We're proposing to go back and make it more patient-oriented and market-driven," Roe said. "Give people more freedom to make their own choices. The market needs to work."
Roe's criticism drew a sharp response Thursday from
"Congressman Roe, like many Republicans, are better at complaining than they are at offering realistic, workable solutions on health care," Puttbrese said.
He added that since becoming law two years ago, the Affordable Care Act has given millions of Americans health insurance that they previously lacked -- including huge numbers of seniors in
'What is Congressman Roe planning to tell those people who didn't have health insurance before [ACA] and do now, because of it?," Puttbrese said. 'That they don't deserve it? He and other Republicans are clearly guilty of playing politics on this issue."
In other comments during his interview with the
--Praised the deep level of cooperation between congressional Republicans and Democrats in addressing veterans issues. A former Army medic, Roe is a member of the House's Veterans Affairs Committee.
"We ask [veterans] to preserve our freedoms -- the least we can do is take care of them," Roe said. "And I believe there's a bipartisan understanding of that."
Roe noted that while federal spending has been cut dramatically in numerous areas, funding for veterans-related programs has increased.
--Said jobs and the economy remain the major concerns of
"The president's idea is that we can expand the public sector and expand the economy [that way]," Roe said. "He's got it backwards. What you want is a growing private sector. Get the boot off of the private sector."
--Admitted to some frustration that many believe Republican lawmakers -- particularly the
"We've sent [numerous] appropriations bills to the
--Said that during the first three months of 2012, his area congressional staffers handled some 1,000 cases on behalf of
"This is probably one of the most fulfilling things we do," Roe said regarding his office's local outreach efforts.
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