COLUMBIA — A group primarily made up of insurance and health care providers asked Missouri's senior senator Friday morning about the proposed changes to health care and the effect reform would have on Missourians.
At the Chamber of Commerce, Republican Sen. Kit Bond promised to work to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's version of reform.
After the event, he stopped by the MU Bookstore to sign copies of his new book, "The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam."
Tom Atkins brought four copies of his book, one for himself and one each for his grandsons, aged 11, 14 and 16.
"They're Sen. Bond fans — big time," Atkins said.
Outside the bookstore, members of the Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition held signs, which they hoped educated people about health care bills.
"We just want to draw attention to the fact that health care reform is needed," Jane Whitesides said. One of her signs said that 77,000 people in the 9th Congressional District lack insurance, a number she found in a government report.
In his speech to the chamber, Bond echoed many Republicans' statements about health care reform and said he would try to block the Senate vote.
"The question is, can we deny them the 60 votes they need for cloture?" Bond said.
He walked to a table with the House health care bill — which he said costs $152.97 to print at Kinko's — and said that he couldn't lift it because of shoulder surgery.
He suggested changes such as allowing small businesses to pool health care, investing in preventative care and ending "junk lawsuits."
Bond asked attendees to communicate with their members of Congress about their views on the bill.
The audience also asked about the Bush tax cuts (Bond: Democrats "treat those like the devil treats holy water") and abortion.