Bennett on health care, Iraq and Afghanistan

The House Energy and Commerce Committee was getting ready to go on summer recess while still debating sweeping health care legislation.Senator Bob Bennett, R-UT, says so far too-little attention has been given to bipartisan Bennett-Wyden health care reform bill called the Healthy Americans Act.During a radio news conference Friday, Bennett said he’s hoping that after the recess Congress will take another look at the bill. “We have something that the others do not have,” Bennett says. “The score that has been on the Healthy American Act says it’ll be revenue neutral. In other words, it’s not gonna cost anymore money than right now during the transition period.”After the transition period the score says, ‘we will start to save money,’ and that of course is very, very attractive in this present economic atmosphere.” Bennett says the Healthy Americans Bill now has several more co-sponsors, both Democrats and Republicans.During his press conference, Bennett also discussed Iraq and Afghanistan. Bennett said things are not going well at all in Afghanistan. Bennett says the way things are going we will probably need to increase troop levels in the fairly near future.On the other hand, Bennett says Iraq is beginning to look like a success story. “Iraq is still not where we would want it to be,” Bennett said. “It’s still not the kind of stable, pro-western regime we were hoping would emerge after the toppling of Saddam Hussein. But it is certainly in a much better position than it was, say, 18 even 12 months ago.”Bennett also said Iraq has significant oil revenue so it can fund a lot of the recovery that needs to be done in their own country. He says that is not the case in Afghanistan where there is no oil and no economy to speak of.

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