Saturday, November 7, 2009

U.S. House Pases Heath Care Bill; One Republican Votes "Yea"

I was watching live on CSPAN just a few minutes ago when the U.S. House of Representatives passed the heathcare reform bill, HR 3962. The Affordable Healthcare for America bill passed by a vote of 220-215. Only one Republican, Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana was willing to put ordinary Americans ahead of the big insurance companies and their lobbyists. Rep. Cao is a freshman Comgressman and he is to be congratulated for standing up to his own party and voting his conscious. 39 Democrats voted against the bill.

The bill, as passed, is far from perfect but it is definitely a step in the right direction. It does not provide universal health insurance but does make insurance obtainable and/or more affordable for millions of Americans. It ends the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage for "preexisting conditions", which has been grossly abused up until now. It does have a public option but it is very weak in that it does not resemble Medicare but rather forces the government to negotiate rates with health providers. Still, it is a huge step forward.

I'll have more on healthcare later, particularly as the Senate debate moves forward.


KeithCu said...

Sigh. It is a terrible bill.

It costs trillions of dollars, money we don't have. It doesn't apply free market principles to lower costs. It gets the government more involved, yet it is the free market that made America what it is. It doesn't fix the medical malpractice problem. It will lead to government rationing and death panels. It outlaws health savings accounts. It doesn't enable buying insurance across state lines. It doesn't encourage association health plans.

There are good aspects to it, but they are a very small part of this 2,000 page monstrosity. It is a poop sunday, perhaps with a cherry on top.

I recommend you read Milton Friedman's Free to Choose at some point in your life. It is one of the best books explaining the free market. It is easy to be a liberal -- when you don't understand the free market. On Amazon, a number of reviewers have written that the book changed their life!

Caitlyn Martin said...

I'm going to paraphrase your final comment: it's easy to be a conservative when you can parrot right wing talking points and only accept conservative sources as authoritative.

The bill has problems: it doesn't go far enough. The United States is the only Western industrialized nation that doesn't guarantee health care to its citizens. That is a national disgrace; something that every American should be ashamed of.

The free market, in and of itself, is not what "made America great." Every successful economy in the world is a blend of free market capitalism and socialism, including the United States. The fact that you fail to recognize that betrays how much you don't understand of the American economy.

Yes, the bill costs hundred of billions of dollars (not trillions) over the next decade. It also reduces the deficit by over 100 billion dollars over the same period due to cost savings. Source: the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Stop being a know-nothing conservative for a minute and look it up for yourself.

Government rationing? You mean instead of insurance company rationing? Don't be ridiculous. Death panels? What nonsense! There's no such thing in the bill. We do have death panels now, run by insurance company bean counters.

I'd have preferred a better, more socialist, single payor plan but I realize people like you are so brainwashed than there was no hope for that as of yet.

What makes you think I haven't read Friedman? What makes you think I haven't rejected his theories after proper consideration?

Anonymous said...

"It is easy to be a liberal -- when you don't understand the free market"??? This kind of right-wing/Libertarian conceit drives me crazy. The unchecked free market is what got us into the financial disaster that we are wallowing in at the moment. How many jobs have been lost because some Republican banker and blind worshiper of Adam Smith thought he knew better than the rest of us.
Hey Keif, when you can pilot something besides the Titanic into an iceberg, come talk to me