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November 8, 2009

Health Care Reform: House Vote Brings Us One Step Closer To Success

us-congress-building  This morning, we are one step closer to achieving health care reform in the United States of America.  Can I get a “hip, hip!”

Nancy Pelosi and The House voted 220-215 on Saturday night on health care legislation that would provide way past due relief to Americans struggling to buy or hold on to health insurance.  One Republican, Representative Anh “Joseph” Cao of Louisiana voted with the Democrats.

Some Democrats said they voted for the legislation so they could seek improvements in it. “This bill will get better in the Senate,” said Representative Jim Cooper, D-Tennessee who has been outspoken in his criticism of some provisions of the bill but decided to support it. “If we kill it here, it won’t have a chance to get better.”  “Our plan is not perfect, but it is a good start toward providing affordable health care to all Americans,” said Representative Peter A. DeFazio D-Oregon.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and The Senate still have to bring their health care plan to the floor for debate. Once their decision is made then the House and Senate will bargain and hopefully reach a deal on a final bill that will go to President Obama for signing.

The health care legislature passed last night will be paid for through new fees and taxes along with strategic cuts to Medicare.  The plan will extend coverage to 36 million people now without insurance while creating a government health insurance program. It would end insurance company practices like not covering pre-existing conditions or dropping people when they become ill.  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.

“We did what we promised the American people we would do,” said Representative Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and the majority leader, but he also warned, “Much work remains.”

The successful vote came after President Obama traveled to Capitol Hill to make a personal appeal for lawmakers to “answer the call of history” and support the bill.

During the private meeting with Democrats in the Cannon Caucus Room, the President acknowledged the political difficulty of supporting major legislation in the face of unanimous Republican opposition and tough criticism from conservatives.

Lawmakers credited President Obama with converting a final few holdouts during his appearance at a closed-door meeting with Democrats just hours before the vote. Democratic officials said that the President’s conversation Saturday with Representative Michael H. Michaud, D-Maine, was crucial in winning one final vote.

After the vote, Mr. Obama issued a statement praising the House and calling on the Senate to follow suit. “I am absolutely confident it will and I look forward to signing comprehensive health insurance reform into law by the end of the year.”

But don’t forget, there’s lots of work still to be done.  We will have to make calls, send letters and send emails to our Senators in the upcoming weeks so that they will pass a health care plan.

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7 Comments »

  1. I believe Hoyer said it all. Most Americans approve of this bill, even if most bloggers think it’s the end of civilization as we know it.

    Comment by Ian — November 8, 2009 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

    • Ian – I agree. Something has to be done. Doing nothing will get us nowhere and make health care matters worst.

      I hope Harry Reid and his pirates can come up with a good plan and get it to President Obama before year end.

      Comment by Paulette — November 8, 2009 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  2. The reality is that the people who were the loudest, were the opposition, and fortunately for us, teabaggers only make up 10% of America. They’re so clueless when they say they are the new majority. The majority voted for Obama knowing his goal was to bring about health care reform and that says a lot more then the 10% of Americans yelling socialism.

    I definitely can foresee the passage of health care in the senate. I don’t think there will be much of an issue like there was in the House with blue-dogs.

    Comment by sensico — November 8, 2009 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

    • Sensico — you are so right. That’s why CNN and other news broadcasts are in trouble. Teabaggers are only 10% of the population but yet the media was subjecting the other 90% of us to this crap every day. So we stopped watching their programs. They forgot that they had great ratings during the elections when they were covering both sides of the news.

      Harry Reid is under lots of pressure now. He has to show that he still has power by getting the Senate health care plan passed.

      Obama made the right move by visiting the Capitol yesterday.

      Kudos to Representative Cao for doing what’s right for his constituents.

      I hope a good bill gets to President Obama before the Christmas break.

      Comment by Paulette — November 8, 2009 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

  3. When my Dems are in power — which, after Lyndon Johnson, has been too limited, I tend to relax into a ‘let them do their magic’ mode. Two things: 1) Our ‘left’ (here, meaning social democrats) is correct in pressing for as much as we’ve been deprived of since Reaganism and its even weirder clones set the American agenda; and 2) Our ‘left’ may or may not realize that anything the Prez manages to sign will equal victory and a better shot at further victories — a psychological momentum.

    That’s why the whacko-rightwingers, reactionary in policy, and dangerously near-fascist in tactics, clotted together from the start and waited to shoot their load with ferocity when the time suited. They know that any ‘defeat’ acts to their advantage.

    You read about politics in earlier times, and read deeply enough to see just how vicious it really was. Our time is very divided. The GOP now has at or near its leadership men and women who are today’s near-equivalents of the Dixiecrats. In this case, not a ‘racist’ program, but one with their intensity of hatred. The world-view is not comprehensible to me.

    This is very much something to worry about.

    Comment by Trulyfool — November 9, 2009 @ 1:11 am | Reply

    • Hi Truly fool: Thanks for stopping by! Please continue to participate in all the issues and policies at hand. We cannot sit back and ‘let them do their magic’. Without us participating and pushing there is no magic. Be vigilant and remain active! We are the magic that makes them victorious!

      Comment by Paulette — November 9, 2009 @ 12:10 pm | Reply

  4. I agree with the posters above as well as the quotes from some of our Congressmen and women. Nothing will ever be perfect. Anything put forth will need continual revisiting. But this House Bill is a great start because it stays true to two simple things: access and affordability. GOP is trying to complicate the issue really, but when it comes down to it, the health care system is not efficient as is. The role of the government is to correct for negative externalities to ease the burden and sacrifice on consumers and/or businesses when the market is hemorrhaging inefficiencies. The Senate will be a battle, but it is worth the fight I know.

    Comment by SpkTruth2Pwr — November 11, 2009 @ 10:37 pm | Reply


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