House Passes Healthcare Bill

So the House passed the healthcare reform bill.  I suppose I should be happier.  Unfortunately, as they say, the devil is in the details.  And the detail that has gotten the most coverage is the restrictions on federal money going to pay for abortions.  64 Democrats voted with the Republicans to include the amendment.  So even when we have a Democratic majority, we don’t have a “progressive” or “liberal” majority.

Of course, this is just the House version of the bill, so we will have to wait and see what passes in the Senate and what finally gets signed by Obama will likely be slightly different.

There are other provisions of the bill that I don’t like but some of those things have been in the reform bills from the beginning.  For instance, I really don’t like the idea of a mandate to have health insurance.  I know that the idea was to have “universal” healthcare and most politicians felt that this was the only way to achieve that.  Unfortunately, without cost controls, I think this is a really bad idea.

Just imagine if you were someone (or perhaps) a family that made to much money to qualify for Medicaid (or your state equivalent) but not enough money to pay for insurance.  So now you will have to buy insurance and if you don’t then you have to pay a fine.  So you don’t have enough money to buy insurance, but you have enough money to pay for the non-insurance fine?  Well, I sure hope you don’t get sick.

I know that there are provisions in the bill to raise the limits on what families and individuals make to qualify for help, but it just seems like a slap in the face to those people that are on the low end of the income divide.

I really hope that this will help those that don’t currently have insurance to be able to afford it or get it somehow, but I am not all that optimistic.  And a single-payer system would be much simpler and it really would cover everyone without having to fine people for not having insurance.  There are lots of doctors who feel the same way.

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