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Archive for Friday, September 11, 2009

Democrats say health care bill to pass this year

September 11, 2009

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— Democratic congressional leaders predicted passage of health care legislation within a few months despite undimmed Republican opposition, claiming momentum Thursday from President Barack Obama’s speech and renewed commitment from lawmakers fresh from a month of meetings with constituents.

Increasingly, events in the Senate Finance Committee appeared pivotal, precursor to likely votes in both the House and the Senate by early October. “I’m confident the president will sign a bill this year,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California.

While effusively praising Obama’s speech from the night before, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada signaled separately the president may not prevail in his call for legislation that allows the federal government to sell insurance in competition with private industry.

Reid said that while he favors a strong “public option,” he could be satisfied with establishment of nonprofit cooperatives, along the lines expected to be included in the bill taking shape in the Finance Committee.

Pelosi, who has long favored a measure that allows the government to sell insurance, passed up a chance to say it was a nonnegotiable demand.

As long as legislation makes quality health care more accessible and affordable, “we will go forward with that bill,” she said.

Democrats are divided over the public option in both houses, liberals strongly in favor and many moderates against it. Critically, though, it appears that any chance for Republican support would evaporate if legislation permits immediate, direct competition between the government and insurance industry.

On the morning after his speech, Obama renewed his campaign for passage of his top domestic priority. Declaring that too many individuals are being denied coverage, he said, “It is heartbreaking and it is wrong and nobody should be treated that way in the United States of America. Nobody!”

He also cited new Census statistics showing that the number of uninsured has risen to 46.3 million from 45.7 million in 2007.

In general, the legislation would provide new protections to Americans with insurance, help the uninsured afford coverage, require most individuals to carry coverage and aim to slow the growth of medical costs overall. The measure would be paid for through reductions in planned Medicare spending and tax increases.

Obama has said his approach will not result in higher deficits, but Congressional Budget Office estimates dispute him.

Most Republicans made clear during the day that Obama’s speech had done nothing to lessen their opposition.

After months of missed deadlines caused by internal division and GOP opposition earlier in the year, neither Pelosi nor Reid was willing to outline anything more than a broad timetable for action on the legislation. But increasingly, it appeared that events in the Finance Committee would determine the pace.

There, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., has said he will convene the panel the week after next to vote on legislation that would meet Obama’s goal of expanding health care, providing consumer protection to those with coverage, and slow the growth of medical spending overall.

Baucus long ago embraced the proposed co-ops rather than direct government competition with industry, and it appears unlikely liberals have the votes to overrule him.

Comments

mr_right_wing 4 years, 7 months ago

A quote worth repeating yet again!

"Obama's health care plan will be written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it and whose members will be exempt from it, signed by a president who smokes, funded by a treasury chief who did not pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that is broke."

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i_tching 4 years, 7 months ago

It's important to remember a couple things:

Your premiums are already paying for the uninsured, as well as the exorbitant salaries of the health insurance CEO class.

A serious illness or injury can cause you to lose your job and insurance, relegating your family to bankruptcy. This occurs to hundreds of thousands of insured families every year.

Medicare For All.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

Whether a company picks up the tab,it's a partnership or individually the most expensive insurance in the world comes back to us as consumers each time we make a purchase.

For 2010 full coverage think $18,310. If not full coverage then it is under insured which is truly a waste of money. Under insured will not see anyone through a long term serious situation such as cancer at which time one could be forced into bankruptcy to be elgible for medicaid.

By the time one spends the co-pay,the deductible and the under insured premium cost how much are you spending?

Is being under insured worth the under insured premium considering what one must spend before the insurance company finally finally comes to your aid?

Consider the amount on is throwing away to be underinsured. Then consider how much is devoted to co-pays and deductibles? Add them together.

Would one have been money ahead paying out of pocket and putting the remainder in a savings account instead of GIVING it to the high profit medical insurance industry?

Read the fine prints in your policies.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

The problem is not about government insurance or that government insurance would be bad. It's about the high profit insurance business throwing tons of health care dollars at legislators who are influenced with money and plenty of it.

And it's all about legislators as shareholders....yes their personal money making portfolios. They are among those who love to make money off the misfortune of others

Medicare Insurance For All would be most attractive to small business,large business and familes/individuals. It's the only one that makes dollars and sense. It makes sense and would require much less money to operate because all of it could be done under one umbrella which saves money.

Medicare is in place ready to for all to use. Some fine tuning is all that would be necessary. HR 676 is the key to fiscally responsible medical insurance for all.

HR 676: Smart Medical Insurance Improves Our Quality of Life And Our Wallets! http://www.healthcare-now.org/

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. This is my perception of competition.

This is the only insurance program that substantially reduces the cost of medical insurance across the board: http://www.healthcare-now.org/

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 7 months ago

If the Democrats were united, they could pass this without a single Republican vote. Some Congress members on the sinister side of the aisle are hearing the ghost of mid-term elections yet to come. They are fearing a return to the private sector.

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danemary 4 years, 7 months ago

ain't going to happen D-RATS. Tahe your DE-CON AND KOOL AID NOW!

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