Home > Uncategorized > Healthcare For All! Well, not quite…

Healthcare For All! Well, not quite…

Cartoon by Steve Breen-- The San Diego Union-Tribune

After months of high-profile public debate, back-room negotiations and loud pleas from the president,  yesterday Congress passed a historical health-care reform bill. Of course, this doesn’t mean the debate is over. On the contrary, the boxing gloves will stay on for a long time…

The Health-care bill has been called…

“ the civil rights act of the 21st century”

“a fiscal Frankenstein”

“one of the most offensive pieces of social engineering legislation in the history of the United States”

“protect the sanctity of life in health care reform”

“It’s liberating legislation”

Time for some BASICS:

  • requires most Americans to have health insurance
  • provides coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans
  • 1/3 of the people still uninsured will be illegal immigrants
  • adds 16 million people to the Medicaid program
  • subsidizes private coverage for low- and middle-income people
  • estimated cost to the gov’t: $938 billion over 10 years

and drumroll please…..

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill “would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010–2019 period as result of changes in direct spending and revenues”. This was key in convincing enough representatives to vote for the bill this weekend. The other major push came from the last-minute support of pro-life Democrats after President Obama issued an executive order guaranteeing federal money provided by the bill could not be used for abortions.

Democrats are gambling that American voters will support the reform once they begin to see results. The whole reform effort has been tainted by the extreme inefficiencies and ineffectiveness that too often mark our political system. But, say what you will, Obama has succeeded where Clinton and others had failed. Some say Obama spent his political capital on this bill, and maybe he has. Regardless, his strong support of health care reform has been at the least a political success and, just possibly, a courageous revamping of American health care. Only time will tell.

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