Thompson asks Congress to stay, work out health care solution

Congressman Glenn Thompson urged his colleagues on Friday to continue working toward a health care bill.
Congressman Glenn Thompson urged his colleagues on Friday to continue working toward a health care bill. Centre Daily Times, file

Glenn Thompson wants the House of Representatives to finish the job that has everyone’s eyes on Washington.

On Friday, the Republican congressman from Howard stood in front of his colleagues and urged them to stay at work.

“I rise to call upon the House leadership to not adjourn until we have a health care bill. Respective committees need to meet and walk a new product through regular order,” he said. “We know what will and will not work, given the voting prerogatives of the members of this body and the Senate. We understand the needs of our constituents, regardless of their voter registration.”

Thompson’s request came a day after the Senate’s bill faltered when Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Susan Collins, R-Maine and Lisa Murkowski, R-Ark., refused to pass the “skinny” Obamacare repeal.

“We understand it is our job to navigate the complexities of this issue on behalf of the American people and come up with a product that makes good on promises that have been made to improve our health care system,” he said. “This will take Republicans and Democrats. Later this morning, I will be proud to once again gather with my colleagues — Republicans and Democrats alike — to continue our work in seeking a bipartisan solution to what has unfortunately become a partisan issue.”

Thompson, whose career was in health care before he was elected, has been on the fence in some of the debate. In March, he said he would not vote for the Republican bill as it stood at that time. That bill never came to the floor for a vote amid much wrangling, but he explained that the ups and downs pushed him back and forth on support and opposition.

In May, he voted for the bill.

Now, he says he wants to finish the job and pushed his fellow legislators to “remain in Washington until this work is complete.”

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey did not specifically call for hunkering down at the negotiation table, but did support continuing work on the issue.

“I am disappointed with this setback on efforts to fix our broken health care system,” he said in a statement. “For the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians suffering from the higher costs and fewer choices caused by Obamacare’s collapse, Congress must not give up on repealing and replacing the failed health care law.”

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce