Artur Davis gives his thoughts on healthcare

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Representative Artur Davis found himself facing criticism last week when Jessie Jackson made the comment "You can't vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man."

Davis released a statement saying "One of the reasons that I like and admire Rev. Jesse Jackson is that 21 years ago he inspired the idea that a black politician would not be judged simply as a black leader. The best way to honor Rev. Jackson's legacy is to decline to engage in an argument with him that begins and ends with race."

By the end of the week, Jackson had pulled back on his initial comment and both men were displaying a mutual respect for the other.

In an interview on Good Day Alabama, Davis further explained his stance on healthcare and the healthcare bill. "Healthcare is not about race," says Davis. "It is about coming up with a bill that is going to work for the American people. We've got to do 2 things. We've got to open up healthcare for those who can't afford it and we've got to make sure for people who have got healthcare to keep the coverage they've got and their costs and coverage don't get out of control."

Representative Davis also noted that he would like to see many changes to the current healthcare bill. "Rules of the Senate are very different from the rules of the House," says Davis. "Not a single House member was allowed to make an amendment to the bill on the floor. Not a single one of the 39 of us Democrats that want to fix the bill, we couldn't do it in the House of Representatives."

In closing, Davis says he is excited about the progress being made on the healthcare bill. "I've said for four months that I would like to vote on a healthcare bill,"says Davis. "What I want to see is a bill that opens up coverage and contains cost. If we fail on either one of those fronts, then we will end up worse off than before."