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House Health Care Bill Basics and Key Provisions

By November 6, 2009

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After reviewing details of the revised House health care reform bill, I agree with Dr. Howard Dean's sentiment that "The House bill is actually very good."

(See Key Provisions of the House Health Care Bill for a one-page summary of the House health care reform bill.)

Commented Dean, former Democratic party chair and a longtime physician, last week on MSNBC:

"The fact is, this is real reform. That's all I really care about, is real reform. ... It's not the kind of reform that I would have loved, but this is pretty good stuff, and it really is going to make a difference."

AARP, representing senior citizens, and the AMA, representing physicians, both endorse the House's revised, post-negotiations "America's Affordable Health Choices Act," H.R.3200.

And the Congressional Budget Office states that the revised House bill would "slightly reduce federal budget deficits." President Obama hailed the House bill as " 'a historic step forward' and said it met two important criteria: 'It is fully paid for and will reduce the deficit in the long term,'" per the New York Times.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have wisely committed to a quick vote over this weekend, before the week-long Congressional break for Veterans Day. President Obama plans a rare trip to Capitol Hill tomorrow, to push moderate, pro-business Blue Dog Democrats to vote for the bill.

Democrats need at least 218 House votes to pass legislation. After the November 3, 2009 elections in which Democrats won two seats, the House currently counts 258 Democrats and 177 Republicans. No Republicans are expected to vote for health care reform under the Obama administration.

Get informed at my one-page Key Provisions of the House Health Care Bill. Then email or call your Congressman or Congresswoman TODAY to tell them to vote for "America's Affordable Health Choices Act," H.R.3200.


November 6, 2009 at 10:25 pm
(1) WWeiss_TheLonelyModerate says:

This bill looks significantly better than the previous bill. My favorite part is:

“Drug prices for Medicare recipients would be negotiated by the Health & Human Services Secretary”

That makes total sense. If the US government pays for all the seniors’ prescription drugs , then they should have the ability to negotiate prices. It’s common sense. Whenever you purchase ANYTHING the price goes down the more you buy. A keg of beer costs less per beer, than a six pack. Our government should not be bullied by pharmaceutical companies.

I like the public option idea if it is available for all working people. Employees have no choices. They receive the insurance plan provided by their employer. If there was an alternative and the employee could opt out of their company’s plan, then we would create real competition. The employee should be able to get the money that their employer spends on their health premium and use it to buy a different plan from the government. That would give us options and choices.

The real question is whether our congressional leaders will do the right thing or bow to their insurance and pharmaceutical overlords.

November 10, 2009 at 11:38 am
(2) JDM58 says:

As an American with pre-existing conditions preventing me from receiving health coverage, I have actively participated in gathering support for reform, initially for a singlepayer system, but was willing to compromise. I must say however, I met the passage of the bill late Saturday with mixed emotions.
A mandate without significant price control becomes a gift to the very insurance companies that should be reined in, not rewarded. Requiring coverage for highrisk individuals, without cost containment is no deal. And since when are womens rights less than human rights? Our founding fathers wrote into our constitution rules that clearly separated the roles of church and state. When did we abdicate to the Catholic Bishops? If women are to be prevented access to abortions, then perhaps equally, men should be prevented access to Viagra, and be forced to have vasectomies after birthing 2 children.
You called out the Congressmen that voted “no”, and with some I would agree. But Dennis Kucinich, co-sponsor of HR 676 Healthcare for All, gave a very passionate and caring speech, serving as a warning and wakeup call that this bill has enough imperfections to give rise to caution. He is no “Bluedog”, having also voted against the Iraq War, and against privatization of the electric utilities in Cleveland (costing him his position of Mayor at the time). To put him in the same catagory as some of these self-serving sellouts, I believe, is shortsighted. I hope he is proven wrong in his assessment of this bill. I fear however that it may prove otherwise, and that the nation as a whole will be sorely disappointed, and the Democratic party as a whole will suffer for it.

March 13, 2010 at 4:04 am
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