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Local pols' stance on health care and Obama's priorities

Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton)How he would vote on Senate health care bill: no

What's next for Democrats on health care: "I would vote no on the Senate bill, for several reasons including the excise tax on so-called 'Cadillac plans' which would subject a number of my constituents to this tax, including a great many who have foregone salary increases for stronger benefits. In addition, the Senate provision relating to FMAP would represent for New York a $5 billion swing; the House provisions with respect to FMAP would save New York $4 billion over 10 years, while the Senate provisions would add $1 billion to New York's Medicare expenses."

What should Obama's priority be: "By taking decisive action on key insurance reforms and improving affordability, we can lay the groundwork to provide coverage for all Americans."

Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington)

How he would vote on Senate health care bill: "I'll decide after I study the bill."

What's next for Democrats on health care: "Health care needs reform, but the Senate bill needs reform, too. We need to end the special deal for Nebraska and restore fairness to the middle class."

What should Obama's priority be: "Jobs, jobs, jobs."

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford)

How he would vote on Senate health care bill: no

What's next for Democrats on health care: "After what happened in Massachusetts, you have 40 Democrats in districts that McCain carried, and I just can't see them voting for it."

What should Obama's priority be: "He should reach out to Republicans and try to do a few quick incremental steps."

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola)

How she would vote on Senate health care bill: no

What's next for Democrats on health care: " I want to do what is best for my constituents and New York State to make sure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care."

What should Obama's priority be: "The president also needs to talk to the American people, clearly explain the problems and how his proposed solutions with help."

Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Heights)

How he would vote on Senate health care bill: Yes, if there's a strategic fix that meets the concerns of the House bill. Undecided if it doesn't.

What's next for Democrats on health care: "We are still working on the best strategy to come up with the best we can collectively agree to, and pass."

What should Obama's priority be: "It's difficult considering the Republican strategy is to unanimously oppose every effort to improve health insurance for the American people."

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

How he voted on Senate health care bill: yes

What's next for Democrats on health care: "The Senate bill was never intended to be a final product, and passing it without the improvements for New York that we had been negotiating up until this past weekend would be inadequate."

What should Obama's priority be: "The number one focus this year of the administration and Congress should be on jobs, the economy and helping middle-class families."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

How she voted on Senate health care bill: yes

What's next for Democrats on health care: "Voters want action on health care and job creation. I am hopeful that my colleagues - Democrats and Republicans - will return to work as ready as I am to deliver."

What should Obama's priority be: "From day one, my top priority has been job creation. I am hopeful that the administration will work with me to cut taxes for businesses that create jobs and get banks lending so that small businesses can grow."

Compiled by Reid J. Epstein

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