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U.S. House passes historic health-care reform

Discussion in 'Health Forum' started by Zorro, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Zorro

    Zorro TRIBE Member

    Wow, have to say I am surprised and relieved all that same time.
    Now if the right job opportunity came up again this would make it easier for me.

  2. artemis

    artemis TRIBE Member

    This is pretty unbelievable - very surprising indeed!
  3. coleridge

    coleridge TRIBE Member

    Yeah this is a historic accomplishment for Obama but there are problems..

    At the end of the day this forces more Americans to buy health insurance. So the health insurance companies are still set to rake in huge profits, their stocks have been rising ever since the bill has been slowly eaten away by the Republicans. Yeah there might be a bit of reduction in health insurance costs ... but really I think it will just be collusive price fixing like the way auto insurance works here. If you want to reduce the cost of health care in the States you need to curb the insurance industry and this bill completely fails to do this.

    I've also heard that most of the changes don't come into effect until 2114. With every Republican voting against this bill and promising to make it a mid-term election priority there's a good chance Obama is going to weaken his position. Add to that a good Republican candidate to run against Obama in the next election and Palin comes to her senses and doesn't try to run (either as the Republican nomination or an independent) and this bill will never fully see the light of day.
  4. PAUZE

    PAUZE TRIBE Promoter

    It's funny I was watching the Sicko documentary over the weekend and thinking just how bad Americans have it....

    If it takes to 2014 a fair bit of people are still going to pass sans coverage....
  5. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    Certain things start right away - like letting your kids stay on your health insurance til age 26, and protections against being dropped for pre-existing conditions...

    Neither of those things are insignificant.
  6. MoFo

    MoFo TRIBE Member

    So not one GOP voted for the reform?
  7. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    Nope - people keep comparing this to previous entitlements, at least they did on Fox news all day yesterday, showing how much more bipartisan votes on medicare and social security were...

    Only problem with that is it divorces the votes from the political context of the day. They didn't call the 50s the "Age of Consensus" for nothing...;)

    So obviously the fox people seem to be drawing the inference that this means the bill is SO goddamned liberal that no conservative would for it - when the real inference should be that American politics has descended into a maelstrom of vicious partisanship and winner take all political brinksmanship.
  8. KickIT

    KickIT TRIBE Member

    Why didn't the GOP filibuster the bill? They had the votes to do it.
  9. MoFo

    MoFo TRIBE Member

  10. possibledj

    possibledj TRIBE Promoter

    "The bill immediately bars insurance companies from denying coverage to sick children and — by 2014 — will make it illegal to withhold insurance from anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. It also includes provisions to prevent massive premium hikes and to eliminate the practice of setting lifetime limits on coverage."

    forcing insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions and
    then limiting how much they can charge to do so? sounds like a pretty significant curb on the insurance companies if you ask me.

    I agree with what you are saying about 2014 though. I don't think it's quite time to hang up the old motorcycle helmet just yet.
  11. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

  12. Bass-Invader

    Bass-Invader TRIBE Member

    Filibusters happen in the Senate. This vote was in the House.
  13. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member


    Conservatives and Republicans today suffered their most crushing legislative defeat since the 1960s.

    It’s hard to exaggerate the magnitude of the disaster. Conservatives may cheer themselves that they’ll compensate for today’s expected vote with a big win in the November 2010 elections. But:

    (1) It’s a good bet that conservatives are over-optimistic about November – by then the economy will have improved and the immediate goodies in the healthcare bill will be reaching key voting blocs.

    (2) So what? Legislative majorities come and go. This healthcare bill is forever. A win in November is very poor compensation for this debacle now.

    So far, I think a lot of conservatives will agree with me. Now comes the hard lesson:

    A huge part of the blame for today’s disaster attaches to conservatives and Republicans ourselves.

    At the beginning of this process we made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama’s Waterloo – just as healthcare was Clinton’s in 1994.

    Only, the hardliners overlooked a few key facts: Obama was elected with 53% of the vote, not Clinton’s 42%. The liberal block within the Democratic congressional caucus is bigger and stronger than it was in 1993-94. And of course the Democrats also remember their history, and also remember the consequences of their 1994 failure.

    This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none.

    Could a deal have been reached? Who knows? But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.

    Barack Obama badly wanted Republican votes for his plan. Could we have leveraged his desire to align the plan more closely with conservative views? To finance it without redistributive taxes on productive enterprise – without weighing so heavily on small business – without expanding Medicaid? Too late now. They are all the law.

    No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

    We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

    There were leaders who knew better, who would have liked to deal. But they were trapped. Conservative talkers on Fox and talk radio had whipped the Republican voting base into such a frenzy that deal-making was rendered impossible. How do you negotiate with somebody who wants to murder your grandmother? Or – more exactly – with somebody whom your voters have been persuaded to believe wants to murder their grandmother?

    I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes supporters – but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead. The real leaders are on TV and radio, and they have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination. When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted President Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say – but what is equally true – is that he also wants Republicans to fail. If Republicans succeed – if they govern successfully in office and negotiate attractive compromises out of office – Rush’s listeners get less angry. And if they are less angry, they listen to the radio less, and hear fewer ads for Sleepnumber beds.

    So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

  14. acheron

    acheron TRIBE Member

    people have to keep in mind that this is the first time a government has managed to change health care in the US in a very long time. It's such a contentious subject for them it was a miracle they were able to get done what they did in just over a year, with the economy in the shitter and two wars going on, etc etc. These reforms are a good start, and the road is open from here on out, they know it's possible to make changes. Eventually things will even out and the reforms will continue as people begin to see benefit from the reforms. Look, people 'being forced' to buy health insurance - well, the ones who can't really afford to are getting aid to do so, etc etc and look at it this way - the ones complaining about having to buy health insurance at all are probably the ones who would complain when no hospital would take them or their uncle died 'because we couldn't afford the right care for him...'. This is going to change a lot of people's lives for the better. And it's just a start. People should give their heads a shake if they think this bill was going to solve all the US's ills at once. No, both parties made sure of that. More work to be done. But at least they've got a good start.
  15. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

    Chomsky: Health bill sustains the system’s core ills
    Despite its flaws, I'd 'hold my nose and vote for' reform, intellectual tells Raw Story.

    By Sahil Kapur
    Monday, March 22nd, 2010 -- 10:17 am | Raw Story

    He’s a hero of many progressives, but his enthusiasm for the passage of health care reform legislation this weekend was fairly muted.

    In an interview with Raw Story, world-renowned scholar and political critic Noam Chomsky reluctantly called the bill a mildly positive step, but cautioned that it wouldn’t fix the fundamental problems with the nation's troubled system.

    "The United States’ health care system is so dysfunctional it has about twice the costs of comparable countries and some of the worst outcomes," Chomsky told Raw Story. "This bill continues with that."

    The decades-long critic of corporate power alleged that premiums won't stop rising as the package is designed in no small part to funnel money into the pockets of the health care industry. "The bill gives away a lot to insurance companies and big pharmaceutical corporations," he said.

    The legislation forbids government from negotiating prices with pharmaceutical companies or permitting the importation of drugs. Nor does it provide competition to private insurers, an oligopolistic industry that will maintain its impunity from antitrust laws. But despite this, Chomsky, an advocate for a single-payer system, said killing the bill wasn't a better solution.

    "If I were in Congress," he said, "I’d probably hold my nose and vote for it, because the alternative of not passing it is worse, bad as this bill is. Unfortunately, that’s the reality."

    "If it fails, it wouldn’t put even limited constraints on insurance companies," he explained, noting that the bill takes "at least has some steps towards barring the withholding of policies from people with prior disabilities." The consumer protections from dodgy insurance practices are among the bill's most popular components.

    The mandate to purchase insurance has been a central qualm of progressives and conservatives opposed to the effort. Chomsky, while admitting it’s a boon to insurance companies, called it a "step toward universality," asserting that "without some kind of mandatory coverage, nothing is going to work at all."

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor added that it’s a damning referendum on American democracy that one of the most highly supported components of the effort nationally, the public insurance option, was jettisoned. He partly blamed the media for refusing to stress how favorably it’s viewed by the populace.

    "It didn't have 'political support,' just the support of the majority of the population," Chomsky quipped, "which apparently is not political support in our dysfunctional democracy."

    The provision has consistently polled well, garnering the support of sixty percent of Americans across the nation in a CBS/New York Times poll released in December, days after it was eliminated from the reform package. Democratic leaders deemed it politically untenable.

    "There should be headlines explaining why, for decades, what's been called politically impossible is what most of the public has wanted," Chomsky said. "There should be headlines explaining what that means about the political system and the media."
  16. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

  17. Sal De Ban

    Sal De Ban TRIBE Member

    private health care is the way of the future. why are they moving backwards?
  18. miguel

    miguel TRIBE Member

    for us canadians it's extremely difficult to relate to why this was "such a big deal" and "so hard to do".

    one thing we don't think about too much (unless we've spent extended periods of time in the US) is how ingrained two things are in the american psyche - 1) individual freedom and 2) mistrust in the government. they had a revolution, a tea party, civil war.. americans think that canada got their independence by being "nice"... lol (and they don't even think we're free cause the queen is still the head of our state)

    many americans think: the government needs to get out of our lives, the government already does too much, a bigger government is a bad thing, the government can't run any programs right. taxes are horrible. it's very hard to convince people otherwise.. very hard (people are already mumbling about how 17,000 new IRS agents are going to be hired to "oppress" people).

    so the fact that the president was able to navigate through all that and get something done (even though it's not perfect, it's still the biggest social change here since medicare).. is pretty incredible.
  19. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

  20. praktik

    praktik TRIBE Member

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