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Author Topic: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress  (Read 12634 times)

CraigStern

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Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« on: March 21, 2010, 08:41:53 PM »

WASHINGTON — Congress gave final approval on Sunday to legislation that would provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and remake the nation’s health care system along the lines proposed by President Obama.

By a vote of 219 to 212, the House passed the bill after a day of tumultuous debate that echoed the epic struggle of the last year. The action sent the bill to President Obama, whose crusade for such legislation has been a hallmark of his presidency.

Democrats hailed the vote as historic, comparable to the establishment of Medicare and Social Security and a long overdue step forward in social justice. “This is the civil rights act of the 21st century,” said Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 Democrat in the House.

After a year of partisan combat and weeks of legislative brinksmanship, House Democrats and the White House clinched their victory only hours before the voting started on Sunday. They agreed to a deal with opponents of abortion rights within their party to reiterate in an executive order that federal money provided by the bill could not be used for abortions, giving the Democrats the final votes. Democrats said that in expanding access to health coverage for uninsured Americans, they were creating a new program every bit as important as Social Security and Medicare, while also putting downward pressure on rising health care costs and reining in federal budget deficits.

Republicans said the plan would saddle the nation with unaffordable levels of debt, leave states with expensive new obligations, weaken Medicare and give the government a huge new role in the health care system.

The debate on the legislation has highlighted the deep partisan and ideological divides in the nation and set up a bitter midterm Congressional election campaign, with Republicans promising an effort to repeal it or block its provisions in the states.

Representative Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio, said the bill heralded “a new day in America.” Representative Doris Matsui, Democrat of California, said it would “improve the quality of life for millions of American families.”

But Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, denounced the bill as “a fiscal Frankenstein.” Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Republican of Florida, called it “a decisive step in the weakening of the United States.” Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, said it was “one of the most offensive pieces of social engineering legislation in the history of the United States.”

The passions swirling round the bill were evident Sunday on the sun-splashed lawn south of the Capitol. Hundreds of protesters chanted, “Kill the bill” and waved yellow flags declaring, “Don’t Tread on Me.” They carried signs saying, “Doctors, Not Dictators.”

The health care bill would require most Americans to have health insurance, would add 16 million people to the Medicaid rolls and would subsidize private coverage for low- and middle-income people, at a cost to the government of $938 billion over 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said.

The bill would require many employers to offer coverage to employees or pay a penalty. Each state would set up a marketplace, or exchange, where consumers without such coverage could shop for insurance meeting federal standards.

The budget office estimates that the bill would provide coverage to 32 million uninsured people, but still leave 23 million uninsured in 2019. One-third of those remaining uninsured would be illegal immigrants.

The new costs, according to the budget office, would be more than offset by savings in Medicare and by new taxes and fees, including a tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans and a tax on the investment income of the most affluent Americans.

Cost estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, showing that the bill would reduce federal budget deficits by $143 billion in the next 10 years, persuaded some fiscally conservative Democrats that they should vote for the bill.

Democrats said Americans would embrace the bill when they saw its benefits, including some provisions that take effect later this year.

Health insurers, for example, could not deny coverage to children with medical problems or suddenly drop coverage for people who become ill. Insurers must allow children to stay on their parents’ policies up to their 26th birthday. Small businesses could obtain tax credits to help them buy insurance.

Discuss!
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Presentiment

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 09:47:33 PM »

That reminds me, you're a lawyer, is your main income from law, scholarships, games, or your family?

On topic:

The Tea Partyers piss me off, but I don't have much to say, other than wondering how senators can bear to filibuster for so f'n long.

And I'm glad Congress can now focus on more pressing issues.
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Zackirus

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 09:30:08 AM »

Yesh, It toke you guys that long to get a better health care system. Canada has a free health care system and we have been doing just fine. then again, their are no socailists patries in America. God Bless Tommy Douglas and the NDP (only this one time though).
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KZ

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 10:35:27 AM »

Ha, I was about to post a thread about this topic myself!
With exactly the same purpose, hoping to hear what you folks, and Craig in particular, have to say!

For me this is interesting from historic points of view, in comparing to how the previous major healthcare bills like medicare and madicaid were passed.
It also seems like the first major hard-fought change that P. Obama managed to introduce (ie one that encountered significant opposition).
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SmartyPants

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2010, 01:23:00 PM »

Yesh, It toke you guys that long to get a better health care system. Canada has a free health care system and we have been doing just fine. then again, their are no socailists patries in America. God Bless Tommy Douglas and the NDP (only this one time though).
With America socializing health care, where will Canadians go?


Pretty much everyone agrees that the Health Care System needs Reform, but making "any" change won't make it better.  The Democrats praised Medicare and Social Security, but Social Security is bankrupted and Medicare is losing money to this loathsome bill.  Bureaucracies are inefficient and shouldn't be running one-sixth of the US economy.  The cuts in medicare shows that Obama prefers to help the guy-who-will-not-buy-health-insurance-because-he-wants-to-have-a-bigger-house rather then your and my grandparents.

Steel Ersatz Man

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 01:55:52 PM »

This is a forum for an INTERNET GAME! Why are you talking about Health Care?
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Zhampir

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 02:15:16 PM »

because we're in the General Discussion > Politics> Universal health care...
This is not the sub-forum to talk about games (unless they have an adverse effect on the political system somewhere in the world)
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Zackirus

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 02:35:20 PM »

Yesh, It toke you guys that long to get a better health care system. Canada has a free health care system and we have been doing just fine. then again, their are no socailists patries in America. God Bless Tommy Douglas and the NDP (only this one time though).
With America socializing health care, where will Canadians go?

Dangit your Right! But, it still feels good to have heart surgery and not pay a dime!
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SmartyPants

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 03:54:03 PM »

Yesh, It toke you guys that long to get a better health care system. Canada has a free health care system and we have been doing just fine. then again, their are no socailists patries in America. God Bless Tommy Douglas and the NDP (only this one time though).
With America socializing health care, where will Canadians go?

Dangit your Right! But, it still feels good to have heart surgery and not pay a dime!
Since the governement decides what and who gets covered, they can decide that certain heart surgeries are too expense and will not be covered.  Private insurers will increase insurance cost to cover new expensive treatments, while the governemt will not increase rates, so they have to ration healthcare instead.  The rationing of healthcare is the reason people from Canada need to be treated in the US.

CraigStern

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 04:58:22 PM »

Since the governement decides what and who gets covered, they can decide that certain heart surgeries are too expense and will not be covered.

Have you read the bill? Can you point to a particular provision that says this?

Let's just put it this way. Even if it is true that this bill permits the government to exclude certain high-cost procedures from coverage, that's still a fair sight better than what private insurers have been doing for the past few decades in America. I'll take a system that doesn't cover extremely expensive procedures over one where you lose all coverage for all procedures the moment you get sick.

Rationing is another issue, but it seems to me that that has more to do with available resources vs. need rather than whether the government is paying the bills vs. private insurers paying.
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Zhampir

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 05:25:42 PM »

I heard that there's a $2million limit.
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Barzul

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2010, 06:04:09 PM »

Personally I'm against government influence in many parts of economy, people, etc. So I'm against universal health care, as long as there are so many other government policies and commissions using up federal reserves. So, as I am a little biased as I have read none of the health care bill and only barely understand it, I'm pretty much against it on general principle in that the U.S. government is so stretched and so much in debt with a floundering economy.

So while health care does sound good, But right now? I don't think its the time.

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CraigStern

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2010, 06:38:04 PM »

I find it interesting that so many people oppose this bill on national debt grounds. You might be interested to know that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the bill will actually reduce the federal deficit by roughly $143 billion over the next ten years, and up to $1.2 trillion over the ten after that. :)
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Barzul

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2010, 06:59:04 PM »

Yes, but I have very republican parents who don't very much like the health care bill and they happen to be one of my major sources of news  ::)

I'm not a very political person, I'm pretty moderate on most subjects. Like how I think that as long as it works, I think health care is fine, but if not then scrap it and fix something else. But this one has me confused. I think the issue has been far over-complicated, I mean, the healthcare bill is like 1000 pages. The Constitution made it onto about 16 8 1/2 by 11's (if I remember my textbook right) and thats the country's whole basis, does healthcare really need to be that long? And then the news people are all yelling about it: "good and bad, reduce or add to debt." I'm pretty lost on what it is and isn't.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 07:08:56 PM by Barzul »
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SmartyPants

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Re: Universal health care bill passes U.S. Congress
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2010, 07:35:29 PM »

Since the governement decides what and who gets covered, they can decide that certain heart surgeries are too expense and will not be covered.
Let's just put it this way. Even if it is true that this bill permits the government to exclude certain high-cost procedures from coverage, that's still a fair sight better than what private insurers have been doing for the past few decades in America. I'll take a system that doesn't cover extremely expensive procedures over one where you lose all coverage for all procedures the moment you get sick.
Like I said earlier, everyone agrees to health care reform.  Just because a few of the reforms are good, doesn't mean the bill as a whole is good.  Both Republicans and Democrats agreed that people can't cancel coverage based on pre existing condition.  If Obama did what he promised and what the American people want, then we would have a moderate, partisan bill that doesn't give the government bureaucracy control of one-sixth of the economy. (The reason issurance rates have been going up recently is because the issurance companies realized that they would have to cover people with pre existing conditions and they need more money to cover these people who are more likely to be sick.)

I find it interesting that so many people oppose this bill on national debt grounds. You might be interested to know that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the bill will actually reduce the federal deficit by roughly $143 billion over the next ten years, and up to $1.2 trillion over the ten after that.
The reason for that is because the bill forces the states to pay for the bill.  Instead of the federal govenment having deficit spending, the bill will force the states into deficit spending.  That is why 10 states are sueing for violating the 10th Amendment.
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