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Matheson visits Utah's Capitol Hill, decries partisan squabbles over health care

Published February 11, 2010 3:36 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

While visiting Utah's Capitol Hill on Thursday, Rep. Jim Matheson called health-care reform the most difficult issue he has faced in his political career.

"It's exceptionally complex," said Matheson, a Democrat who represents Utah's sprawling 2nd District. "We have a cost-escalation dynamic going on that is completely unsustainable, but that's not how the discussion was framed in Washington."

Partisan rancor and cable TV pundits on the left and right have polarized the country on the problem, Matheson told the Senate.

"At the end of the day, I hope cooler heads prevail," Matheson said, noting the need for states to engage in the discussion because demographics vary widely from coast to coast and a one-size-fits-all health-care solution would not match up everywhere.

Matheson has voted against every health-reform bill -- either in committee or on the House floor -- that came up in the past year.

The Blue Dog Democrat also spoke of the country's need to upgrade its electric transmission lines.

"Utah has such tremendous energy potential," he said. "But if you don't have the power to move it over the wires, you can't realize that potential."

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