A Southern-style taste of health care politics

Shopping at a home improvement store on the outskirts of Columbus, Terry Williamson said he’s gotten frustrated with trying to get his private insurance to approve an MRI scan to find out what’s causing health problems that have forced him to use a cane. But he doesn’t think the Democratic bill will help him, and he suspects it will cut into the Medicare benefits he’s earned over the years.

“I think they’re going to take the money out of Medicare and use it to cover young people who don’t want to buy insurance or people who are too lazy to work,” he said. “They’re just slinging money left and right.”

Air Force retiree Howard Jenkins said getting the government more involved in health care will only create a “big mess.”

“I don’t know of anyone who’s really for it,” he said after lunch in the city’s historic downtown.

Both men said Childers, who has frequently bucked his party, still could be in jeopardy over his party’s direction.

“As far as a Democrat, he’s done fairly well, but what’s going on in general, he might be in trouble,” Williamson said.

Childers has worked for months to make it known that he voted against the initial House bill, which passed in November with a slim five-vote margin. With Democrats scrambling for votes on final passage this week, he is keeping his options open on the latest version, although he said he probably won’t change his position.