By Scott Thompson, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- One month after getting treatment for alcoholism, Congressman John Sullivan is back in Tulsa as the summer recess in Washington begins. Friday he told Tulsa County Republicans that the plan to revamp the healthcare system is going down the wrong path.
Sullivan was the guest speaker at a party luncheon, and the main topic of conversation was the healthcare plan being debated in Congress. Sullivan says it's a healthy debate, but Tulsa Democrats counter that Republicans are creating a noisy diversion to cater to the status quo.
At Friday's luncheon, Republicans made use of a diagram to show how, they believe, the Democrats' proposal would muddle the country's healthcare system more than help it.
"Right now what we're hearing is people are very upset," said Representative John Sullivan. "They're upset by this socialized medicine - this healthcare system by Obama - that he's trying to do a $1.5 trillion takeover of our healthcare system."
Representative Sullivan says he has a better way to overhaul the system than the one currently on the table.
"I think we can do it through a different approach by offering tax credits for people to get insurance, getting people insured by not socializing our healthcare system," he said.
Opponents of the Democrats' plan have not been shy about voicing their opposition, like at this town hall meeting in Florida where the Democratic Congresswoman had to be escorted out by police.
Representative Sullivan says the outbursts are a good part of the debate.
"I think it's great because it's the United States of America, and people should be able to voice their opinions," Sullivan said.
"I think his supporters and his crowd, they're all focused on money," said Jack Boyte, Chairman of the Tulsa County Democratic Party. He says the screaming and yelling is not helping the debate.
Instead, Boyte says, people who want answers are getting tons of misinformation about the proposal.
"One of the things was that they're going to euthanize seniors. Okay?" he said. "Well that's nuts; that's crazy. There's nothing in the bill about that."
On a personal note, Representative John Sullivan says he hasn't been tempted to use alcohol since finishing his rehab at the Betty Ford Center earlier this summer.