Posts Tagged ‘ health care debate ’

Senate votes on health care bill, passes 60-40


Breaking News: The U.S. Senate voted shortly after 1:00 A.M. on the health care reform bill. This bill, which must pass through other votes, the last scheduled for 7:00 P.M. Christmas Eve, passed Monday 60-40.

The New York Times:

The 1 a.m. Monday vote was on a motion to cut off debate on Mr. Reid’s manager’s package. A simple majority vote to approve the package is scheduled for roughly 7 a.m. on Tuesday.

The middle-of-the night session had a surreal quality to it. The chaplain, Barry C. Black, who opened the contentious Sunday session of the Senate with a prayer, did so again at 12:01 a.m. to officially begin a new legislative day.

For many Democrats, the landmark vote summoned the memory of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a champion of universal health care for his entire career, but who died in August before achieving that goal.

“Health care in America ought to be a right, not a privilege,” said Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut. “Since the time of Harry Truman, every Congress, Republican and Democrat, every president, Democrat and Republican, have at least thought about doing this. Some actually tried.”

Republicans said that the bill was fatally flawed and that voters would retaliate against Democrats at the polls in November.


Senate set to vote on health care bill 1:00 A.M. Monday


The Senate will conduct the first of three votes concerning the health care bill at 1:00 A.M. Monday. The Senate continues to push for a Christmas Day deadline.

House legislation has passed and a Congress compromise is set to begin after Christmas.

From the Huffington Post:

Under Senate rules, Democrats needed 60 votes on three separate occasions to pass the measure. The first and most critical test was set for about 1 a.m. Monday. Democrats said Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s announcement Saturday that he would vote for the bill gave them the support they needed.

Nelson came in for strong criticism from Republicans in Washington, who complained that he had won favorable treatment for his home state’s Medicaid program. In a bit of political theater, they sought to open the bill up to extend it to all 50 states, but Democrats objected.

Nelson’s agreement to an abortion-related change in the bill drew criticism from Nebraska Right to Life, a longtime supporter, and the state’s Catholic bishops, who issued a statement that they were “extremely disappointed” in him.
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Asked if Republicans could prevent the bill’s passage, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said: “Probably not. But what we can do is continue winning the battle of American public opinion.”

This is what the bill entails:

The Senate legislation is predicted to extend coverage to more than 30 million Americans who lack coverage and would ban industry practices such as denial of insurance on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions. The Congressional Budget Office said it would reduce deficits by about $132 billion over a decade, and possibly much more in the 10 years that follow.

At its core, the legislation would create a new insurance exchange where consumers could shop for affordable coverage that complies with new federal guidelines. Most Americans would be required to purchase insurance, with subsidies available to help families making up to $88,000 in income afford the cost.

In a bow to Senate moderates, the measure lacks a government-run insurance option of the type that House Democrats placed in their bill. Instead, the estimated 26 million Americans purchasing coverage through new insurance exchanges would have the option of signing up for privately owned, nonprofit nationwide plans overseen by the same federal agency office that supervises the system used by federal employees and members of Congress.

How do you feel about the bill? Is it everything the Democrats that elected Obama had hoped for, or does it not measure up?

What did McCain mean by the statement, “…what we can do is continue winning the battle of American public opinion” ?

I want to hear from you.

The health care debate: what indesiciveness says about the U.S.

There is no doubt that the health care debate has been a ubiquitous topic in every newspaper across the country. Many are wondering what will happen next and are worried about what is to come and for good reason.

In the midst of a foreign entanglement, the U.S. is caught between the precarious brink between here and there. We’re involved there, yet we live and also must deal with issues here. As a collective whole, we broadcast our concern (through the people that represent us) about “national security.” To remedy the problem, we send 30,000 additional troops to foreign lands to ultimately kill in the name of peace. But it is for the good of the country, we are told, and we can do nothing else but wait and see.

Like the war, we must also wait to see what becomes of the promise for a public health care option as part of a reform of health care in the United States. To support the idea that anything other than a public option being the best choice for the U.S would be another morally unsound choice.

There are so many mothers and fathers and wives and sons and sisters that even though they’re sick and miserable, they still have to show up for work at their crappy minimum wage jobs or else they’ll be fired and feel like bad people and poor providers that can’t even put a bean can on the table after work. The children of these people do not have access to health care, either. Many of these people work really hard jobs and just feel cheated by the system.

These people are out there. It seems that many of the privileged Americans ride around in a cushy existence from day to day, selfish wanting more and more of what they already have.

No one should have to suffer without basic health care.

As Americans we like to be seen as the ultimate charity organization. We like to suggest that we’re concerned about the economic situation and political unrest in Iraq and that we have real concern for our own national securtiy, but is denying our own citizens basic health services a good display of concern for our national security?

Furthermore, do we want to broadcast that we are so singularly selfish that we’re denying many children the right to see a doctor?

We should be concerned of how others view our country on the basis of genuine moral standards, otherwise we sort of open ourselves to a stigma of questionable national security. After all, isn’t that what we’re trying to adjust right now in Iraq?

In making a big decision about the health of the nation, I ask that Congress push for what is morally sound.

What I ask from the rest of you, is would it really be so awful to have a public option included in the health reform bill, that would allow everyone to have access to what I have? Is the public deserving of a basic right to medical attention?