KNAU and Arizona News
12:14 pm
Wed March 17, 2010

Kirkpatrick decides to vote yes on reform bill

Flagstaff, AZ – After lots of waivering Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick has decided to vote in favor of the health care reform bill. Arizona Public Radio's Laurel Morales reports.

Fred Solop is head of the Politics and International Affairs department at Northern Arizona University. Solop says as Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick decides which way to vote on health care reform she isn't thinking simply about health care.

SOLOP: She's trying to balance the future of her party. She's trying to balance the needs of the President of the United States who is the standard bearer of the party and she recognizes that she was elected with support and money from her party. And she's trying to weigh versus the interests of her district and what she thinks she needs to be re-elected.

And those interests don't coincide. While there may be more registered democrats in the district, more republicans turn out to vote.

But Kirkpatrick says health insurance reform is critical to ending denials of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, making sure children get insurance and protecting seniors from unaffordable prescription drug costs. She plans to work to improve the bill moving forward, including addressing the potential costs for AHCCCS.

For Arizona Public Radio I'm Laurel Morales in Flagstaff.