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Congress clears historic health care bill (Read 5351 times)

Started by Epic Winnery, March 22, 2010, 05:23:01 am
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Congress clears historic health care bill
#1  March 22, 2010, 05:23:01 am
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_health_care_overhaul

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WASHINGTON – Summoned to success by President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled Congress approved historic legislation Sunday night extending health care to tens of millions of uninsured Americans and cracking down on insurance company abuses, a climactic chapter in the century-long quest for near universal coverage.

"This is what change looks like," Obama said a few moments later in televised remarks that stirred memories of his 2008 campaign promise of "change we can believe in."

Widely viewed as dead two months ago, the Senate-passed bill cleared the House on a 219-212 vote. Republicans were unanimous in opposition, joined by 34 dissident Democrats.

A second, smaller measure — making changes in the first — cleared the House shortly before midnight and was sent to the Senate, where Democratic leaders said they had the votes necessary to pass it quickly. The vote was 220-211.

Far beyond the political ramifications — a concern the president repeatedly insisted he paid no mind — were the sweeping changes the bill held in store for nearly every American, insured or not, as well as the insurance industry and health care providers that face either smaller than anticipated payments from Medicare or higher taxes.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the legislation awaiting the president's approval would extend coverage to 32 million Americans who lack it, ban insurers from denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions and cut deficits by an estimated $138 billion over a decade. If realized, the expansion of coverage would include 95 percent of all eligible individuals under age 65.

For the first time, most Americans would be required to purchase insurance, and face penalties if they refused. Much of the money in the bill would be devoted to subsidies to help families at incomes of up to $88,000 a year pay their premiums.

For the president, the events capped an 18-day stretch in which he traveled to four states and lobbied more than 60 wavering lawmakers in person or by phone to secure passage of his signature domestic issue. According to some who met with him, he warned that the bill's demise could cripple his still-young presidency, and his aides hoped to use the victory on health care as a springboard to success on bills to tackle stubbornly high unemployment that threatens Democratic prospects in the fall.

Obama watched the vote in the White House's Roosevelt Room with Vice President Joe Biden and dozens of aides, exchanged high fives with Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, and then telephoned Speaker Nancy Pelosi with congratulations.

"We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things," he said later in the White House East Room. "We proved that this government — a government of the people and by the people — still works for the people.

Crowds of protesters outside the Capitol shouted "just vote no" in a futile attempt to stop the inevitable taking place inside a House packed with lawmakers and ringed with spectators in the galleries above.

Across hours of debate, House Democrats predicted the larger of the two bills, costing $940 billion over a decade, would rank with other great social legislation of recent decades.

"We will be joining those who established Social Security, Medicare and now, tonight, health care for all Americans, said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, partner to Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in the grueling campaign to pass the legislation.

"This is the civil rights act of the 21st century," added Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the top-ranking black member of the House.

Republicans readily agreed the bill would affect everyone in America, but warned repeatedly of the burden imposed by more than $900 billion in tax increases and Medicare cuts combined.

"We have failed to listen to America," said Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, leader of a party that has vowed to carry the fight into the fall's midterm elections for control of Congress.

The final obstacle to the bill's passage was cleared at mid-afternoon when Obama and Democratic leaders reached a compromise with anti-abortion lawmakers whose rebellion had left the outcome in doubt. The White House announced he would issue an executive order pledging that no federal funds would be used for elective abortion, satisfying Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan and a handful of like-minded lawmakers.

A spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed skepticism that the presidential order would satisfy the church's objections.

Republican abortion foes also said Obama's proposed order was insufficient, and when Stupak sought to counter them, a shout of "baby killer" could be heard coming from the Republican side of the chamber.

The measure would also usher in a significant expansion of Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor. Coverage would be required for incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, $29,327 a year for a family of four. Childless adults would be covered for the first time, starting in 2014.

The insurance industry, which spent millions on advertising trying to block the bill, would come under new federal regulation. They would be forbidden from placing lifetime dollar limits on policies, from denying coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions and from canceling policies when a policyholder becomes ill.

Parents would be able to keep children up to age 26 on their family insurance plans, three years longer than is now the case.

A new high-risk pool would offer coverage to uninsured people with medical problems until 2014, when the coverage expansion would go into high gear.

For the president, the events capped an 18-day stretch in which he traveled to four states and lobbied more than 60 wavering lawmakers in person or by phone to secure passage of his signature domestic issue. According to some who met with him, he warned that the bill's demise could cripple his still-young presidency.

After more than a year of political combat, Democrats piled superlative upon superlative across several hours of House debate.

Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York read a message President Franklin Roosevelt sent Congress in 1939 urging lawmakers to address the needs of those without health care, and said Democrat Harry Truman and Republican Richard Nixon had also sought to broaden insurance coverage.

Republicans attacked the bill without let-up, warning it would harm the economy while mandating a government takeover of the health care system.

"The American people know you can't reduce health care costs by spending $1 trillion or raising taxes by more than one-half trillion dollars. The American people know that you cannot cut Medicare by over one-half trillion dollars without hurting seniors," said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.

"And, the American people know that you can't create an entirely new government entitlement program without exploding spending and the deficit."

Obama has said often that presidents of both parties have tried without success to achieve national health insurance, beginning with Theodore Roosevelt early in the 20th century.

The 44th president's quest to succeed where others have failed seemed at a dead end two months ago, when Republicans won a special election for a Massachusetts Senate seat, and with it, the votes to prevent a final vote.

But the White House, Pelosi and Reid soon came up with a rescue plan that required the House to approve the Senate-passed measure despite opposition to many of its provisions, then have both houses pass a fix-it measure incorporating numerous changes.

To pay for the changes, the legislation includes more than $400 billion in higher taxes over a decade, roughly half of it from a new Medicare payroll tax on individuals with incomes over $200,000 and couples over $250,000. A new excise tax on high-cost insurance policies was significantly scaled back in deference to complaints from organized labor.

In addition, the bills cut more than $500 billion from planned payments to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and other providers that treat Medicare patients. An estimated $200 billion would reduce planned subsidies to insurance companies that offer a private alternative to traditional Medicare.

The insurance industry warned that seniors would face sharply higher premiums as a result, and the Congressional Budget Office said many would return to traditional Medicare as a result.

The subsidies are higher than those for seniors on traditional Medicare, a difference that critics complain is wasteful, but insurance industry officials argue goes into expanded benefits.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_health_care_overhaul

This is a big change, I don't know if it would be benefit in a long run though. Though I'am happy that my family and I get some decent Health Insurance coverage for a change.

Thoughts? Comments?
Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#2  March 22, 2010, 05:36:22 am
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Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#3  March 22, 2010, 06:32:09 am
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Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#4  March 22, 2010, 06:32:59 am
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Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#5  March 22, 2010, 07:05:27 am
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I'm with a certain congressman from Ohio. Shit isn't even close to what Nancy said it is. I mean basically they passed the bill that republicans proposed in opposition to Clinton Health care bill back in 1994.

I can't think of why democrats would like this bill. I also don't understand why republicans hate a bill that they should love.

Politics is some weird shit. I mean, a bill that republicans should like is hated by them and a bill that democrats should hate is loved by them.

In short, people are fucking dense. I don't see any change besides a possible tax savings and mandatory customers of Insurance companies.
Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#6  March 22, 2010, 07:40:18 am
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I'm with a certain congressman from Ohio. Shit isn't even close to what Nancy said it is. I mean basically they passed the bill that republicans proposed in opposition to Clinton Health care bill back in 1994.

I can't think of why democrats would like this bill. I also don't understand why republicans hate a bill that they should love.

Politics is some weird shit. I mean, a bill that republicans should like is hated by them and a bill that democrats should hate is loved by them.

In short, people are fucking dense. I don't see any change besides a possible tax savings and mandatory customers of Insurance companies.
What is in the bill is much, much less important than what it means. This is only the first step.
Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#7  March 22, 2010, 07:46:07 am
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Lolololololol

This has been the biggest lot of propaganda laden idiocy for quite some time. On the republican side that is. All the democrats did was rebut things they said.

Enjoy your fake death panels!


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Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#8  March 22, 2010, 07:48:34 am
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I don't see much of a change either but its still funny to watch them battle it out like a bunch of cats and dogs! I'm just waiting to see how fare this go's
Quote
In short, people are fucking dense. I don't see any change besides a possible tax savings and mandatory customers of Insurance companies.
Tax savings!? I hardly got shit back but like 300$ And i've been working for like a year so, what type of shit is that!? But i'm trying to get it fixed now! However they said sense its past the 15Th and that was the dead line for the tex papers this year i'm not sure if i'll be getting anything else but what i have, so... :P

I'll still be looking more into it.
Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#9  March 22, 2010, 08:24:22 am
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On taxes, I mean if the budget office has the numbers right, then that is less taxes being used to subsidize healthcare. Like right now, if a person doesn't have insurance and they don't pay our taxes pay for it. Under this new system, the poor are covered but there won't be any people who are not poor who don't have insurance. Plus we don't have to spend as much on Medicare because the poor are being covered under this bill.

Does that mean you would have more dollars in your pocket? Not really. A trillion in savings doesn't lower things enough for you to notice. Hopefully your kids notice it.

Speaking of which, the budget office said that the bush tax cuts, where you actually received money in your pocket, would have no saving and would cost us more. They were right because of inflation. You got $300 more in returns but the cost of living went up by thousands.

Economics is a bitch.
Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#10  March 22, 2010, 09:51:35 am
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john boehner is such a disingenuous piece of shit. the reason the republicans are so against this bill is not because of what it does, but what it will undoubtedly lead to. the bill, in its current form, will increase regulations over private insurance companies, including disallowing them to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions. paul krugman did a pretty good write up about the bill itself. it's a stepping stone, like almost all major legislation that changes the way the US works. look at the civil rights movement. it took over a decade for minorities to earn even the most basic of rights and freedoms guaranteed in the constitution. it's going to take probably just as long for there to be a viable single-payer health care in this country. that is the way congress and the senate work, incremental steps.
Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#11  March 22, 2010, 01:20:22 pm
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On taxes, I mean if the budget office has the numbers right, then that is less taxes being used to subsidize healthcare. Like right now, if a person doesn't have insurance and they don't pay our taxes pay for it. Under this new system, the poor are covered but there won't be any people who are not poor who don't have insurance. Plus we don't have to spend as much on Medicare because the poor are being covered under this bill.

Does that mean you would have more dollars in your pocket? Not really. A trillion in savings doesn't lower things enough for you to notice. Hopefully your kids notice it.

Speaking of which, the budget office said that the bush tax cuts, where you actually received money in your pocket, would have no saving and would cost us more. They were right because of inflation. You got $300 more in returns but the cost of living went up by thousands.

Economics is a bitch.

I've heard that there would be a 33% tax increase. So instead of taking home $9 after taxes from $10, it would be $6. But I don't remember if they used the 33% as an example.

And geeze, how many people here lives in Ohio? Including myself
Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#12  March 22, 2010, 02:25:24 pm
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I can't think of why democrats would like this bill.
Because republicans don't.

I also don't understand why republicans hate a bill that they should love.
Because democrats are the ones who proposed it this time.

If there's one thing I've learned from this whole health care clusterfuck, it's that none of the people in congress give two shits about the American people or what they want or need.  This whole thing has been about nothing but party politics.  They're willing to change their 'values', 'morals', and 'beliefs' at the drop of the hat as soon as someone in the other party agrees with them. 

I'm just glad this whole thing is over, one way or the other.  I'm tired of all the propaganda and bullshit, and I'm tired of seeing all of these uninformed 'tea-bag' protestors waving racist signboards around Washington being painted as heroes by the news media.

Mog

Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#13  March 22, 2010, 04:09:14 pm
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This is a big change, I don't know if it would be benefit in a long run though. Though I'am happy that my family and I get some decent Health Insurance coverage for a change.

Thoughts? Comments?

You have no idea if it's going to be decent Health Insurance or not until you actually have to use it.


 
I don't see much of a change either but its still funny to watch them battle it out like a bunch of cats and dogs! I'm just waiting to see how fare this go's
Quote
In short, people are fucking dense. I don't see any change besides a possible tax savings and mandatory customers of Insurance companies.
Tax savings!? I hardly got shit back but like 300$ And i've been working for like a year so, what type of shit is that!? But i'm trying to get it fixed now! However they said sense its past the 15Th and that was the dead line for the tex papers this year i'm not sure if i'll be getting anything else but what i have, so... :P

I'll still be looking more into it.


you got back $300?  How much did you pay in?  And the  15th is the deadline for what?

:bow:
Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#14  March 22, 2010, 05:24:40 pm
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Quote
And geeze, how many people here lives in Ohio? Including myself

I'm not. It is just that your congressman has fucking balls and I live in Mccain's state currently so I've got no one to look to for doing anything.
Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#15  March 22, 2010, 05:36:47 pm
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VICTORY!
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this is just great. and don't think this is the end of health care! this is just the doorway to Obamacare!
Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#16  March 22, 2010, 06:55:43 pm
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I can't think of why democrats would like this bill. I also don't understand why republicans hate a bill that they should love.

as someone else said, it's because the otehr party is pushing the bill; and yes politics is a clusterfuck, here it's pretty common that candidate from party B critices governor from party A because of some cheap/get popular fast scheme that governor uses, but once candidate B wins, he does the exact same thing A did to boost his popularity as well.
Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#17  March 22, 2010, 07:56:43 pm
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i am gonna have to fallow the colbert report very seriously...

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Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#18  March 23, 2010, 01:46:01 am
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Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#19  March 23, 2010, 02:54:18 am
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Re: Congress clears historic health care bill
#20  March 24, 2010, 05:06:35 am
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If you people think that this bill was only about health care, then you need to take a little peek at this 2700 page monstrosity of a bill and see for yourselves. You will be shocked to discover the new powers it grants the IRS. Oh, and the purchase of healthcare IS GOING TO BECOME MANDATORY if you are not on the government health plan; failure of which will result in a $5000 fine for the first time caught without your insurance card, and increasingly draconian penalties for each subsequent offense.
Oh, you people have no idea just how unconstitutional this bill is.
And for supporters of this bill...enjoy your free healthcare. If it's anything close to what you receive at the VA then, well......heh heh. You'll see.
BTW, that "free" healthcare you're so anxious to recieve won't even come into effect until 2018, after Obama's not even in office anymore.