Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 4 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H1'ed 11/9/09

We're Not There Yet, But Health-Care Legislation Takes Giant Step Forward

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     (# of views)   30 comments, In Series: The Capitol Beat

The affordable Health Care Act, introduced into the House of Representatives by Congressman John D. DINGELL (D-MI), the longest-serving Member of Congress ever, passed in the House yesterday (Saturday!) by a vote of 220-215. Co-sponsors included House veterans Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and Henry Waxman (D-CA).

If you think that's a slender margin, think again. According to today's New York Times, a minimum of 218 votes were required for it to pass. That means that three votes made the difference.

One of them came from a surprising source, a Louisiana Republican (AnhCao, R-LA), concerned with the pathetic state of health care in New Orleans but also attracted to the prohibition of funding for abortions. This decision really throws a monkey wrench into partisan solidarity, doesn't it?

And another of the nays came from an equally surprising source, considering his alignment with 39 Blue Dogs and the other 176 Republicans, Dennis Kucinich, possibly the most liberal Member of Congress ever. I hate to compare him with Lieberman and his latest apostasy. A lot of the Blue Dogs represent Republic districts and fear they won't be reelected next year if they didn't please their constituents on this landmark legislation.

Like many of us, and most of the choir I'm preaching to, Kucinich wanted single-payer health care that encompassed abortions. And the list doesn't stop there, but those are two of the salient points.

HR 3962 is 1,931 pages long on the Internet, double-spaced and in large, legible fontTimes New Roman or Georgia, maybe. It will cost $1.1 trillion over ten years.

The benefits of the bill far exceed the provisions offered by the Clinton legislation in 1993, according to the Times.

According to the Times also, Most employers would have to provide coverage or pay a tax penalty of up to 8 percent of their payroll. The bill would significantly expand Medicaid and would offer subsidies to help moderate-income people buy insurance from private companies or from a government insurance plan. It would also set up a national insurance exchange where people could shop for coverage.

It would fill the doughnut hole in Medicare Option D, a space in that coverage that extracts a few thousand dollars from those covered before they resume Medicare coveragethe amount you pay above $2,700 in drug costs and below $4,350 out of pocket, according to

There is a penalty for those who don't sign up for any insurancecoverage is available to 96 percent of the population.A penalty for those who use emergency rooms for both routine and catastrophic health care.What of the others? I'll have to read up on that, as Eisenhower used to tell the press. Illegal immigrants would not qualify, says Wikipedia. Perhaps also the billionaires? Now that would make sense. There will be an acute shortage of doctors, warns one Manhattan physician according to the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps enough to treat only billionaires?

To briefly summarize the nearly 2,000 pages, according to

it seeks to expand health care coverage to the approximately 40 million Americans who are currently uninsured by lowering the cost of health care and making the system more efficient. To that end, it includes a new government-run insurance plan (a.k.a. a public option) to compete with the private companies, a requirement that all Americans have health insurance, a ban on denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition and, to pay for it all, a surtax on individuals with incomes above $500,000."

A list of links to subjects of the bill appears at

Here's what goes into effect immediately, according to:

1. BEGINS TO CLOSE THE MEDICARE PART D DONUT HOLE Reduces the donut hole by $500 and institutes a 50% discount on brand-name drugs, effective January 1, 2010.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3


Interesting 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Marta Steele Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Heads Up! Bernie to Be Interviewed on MSNBC 9 pm Tonight with "Exciting" News

Review: Andrew Kreig, "Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney, and Their Masters"

Ohio Heroes On Path To Deposing Rove

Smart Security or Dumb Dollar$?

There Is Life on Mars, Not Just Water

Third Annual Women's March Converges on DC; Blocked from Capitol Building