Larson said there's a need for reform.
"These reforms are tough," he said.
He said "it would turn your stomach" to see all the money marshalled in Washington in the effort to kill health care reform.
But it's crucial.
Now he's opening it up to questions.
Q: Asking that Larson consider the rail option instead of busway...
Larson -- "The benefits are terrific," he said.
He said he wants to avoid turf wars "and then nothing gets done."
He said he talks with Rep. Murphy all the time about transporation issues. He said it's important to integrate "all of Connecticut" with air, buses and rail and more.
Larson said he saw an old Red Book for the state that showed Connecticut connected by rail in 1877.
"We were better connected by rail in 1877 than we are by highways" now, Larson said.
"I don't wan to throw the New Britain busway under the bus," Larson said.
Q: Federal employees and Congress included under new health care bill..
Larson: "If you like your insurance you can keep it," he said. He said most people will keep their own insurance.
In the program, how many of the 320 million will use government option? Maybe 10 million.
"But isn't it interesting that just the prospect of competition ... drops the cost by $100 million."
Premiums for health care "have been ratcheting up" annually, he said. With an exchange opening where the playing field is level, Larson said, is that people without insurance will pick a private insurer.
"Where' the marketing force" for the public option, Larson asked.
There is a lot of money out there to be saved, the congressman said. He said that insurers will drop prices dramatically to bring in more customers once the public option exists.
"Creating this kind of environment is the only tool that we have to wring out and squeeze out the inefficiencies that exist," Larson said.
He said that we learned last September "what happens when there is no governmental oversight," Larson said.
And now people on Wall Street are talking about doing the same thing for insurance, he said.
Q: Workforce boards... we're living on fumes of stimulus cash...
Larson: We keep imploring state and legislature to use the money that's been allocated.
"You've got to be able to get this money out the door," Larson said.
Q: Bus and rail on table. But only room for one.
Larson: "We'll do everything that we can," he said.
"You're asking a whole other region to give up something that's been in place," Larson said. "We're going to work hard to make it possible for both to come to fruition."
Possible to have rail and road in same right of way.
"The hurdle has been the federal government?"
Mike NIcastro said there is a subsid for busway.
"We'll have to continue to work on that," Larson said.
He said officials have been trying to get light rail from New Haven to Springfield.
"I don't think you can pit one constiuency against another," Larson said. It's best to row in the same direction "in the best interest of not only Bristol but also the state of Connecticut" and the entire district.
Q: from Jill FItzgerald -- how is busway going to help environmentally when fuel is so costly and congestion growing.
Larson said that fuel cells made in Connecticut may work for the buses. "That is the optimim fuel that we're going to use,"
He said he's bringing T. Boone Pickens to Goodwin College in a few weeks, a big proponent of new energy technology.
Larson said that fuel cell bus "is teh cleanest thing" possible.
He said"why not work together" and try for both busway and rail? Axing the busway doesn't necessarily mean that the money will shift to rail.
"There's a lot to be weighed," Larson said.
He said something needs to be done and he's happy to keep working with the community.
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Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org