Thursday, October 29, 2009

House Comes Out With Good Health Bill, Considering

It seems to me that much of what I was hoping the House would do on health care, the House has done. They tax the rich to pay for services for the poor, expand health care through Government programs already available, and create a new Government insurance company to offer an alternative to the free market vultures.

The proof is in the pudding, whether it all functions as proposed, but had their been no pudding there could be no proof:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) unveiled a health-care reform bill Thursday that includes a government insurance option, as well as a historic expansion of Medicaid, and seemed to have the potential to draw support from a broad range of Democratic lawmakers.

( . . . )

House negotiators were able to lower the price tag -- in part by expanding Medicaid coverage to a broader slice of the population, the equivalent of all individuals who earn about $16,200 per year. The original House legislation had sought an increase to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $14,400 per year, the same level proposed in the Senate bill.

The adjustment reflects findings by congressional budget analysts that covering the poor through Medicaid -- which pays providers far less than Medicare -- is much more cost-effective than offering subsidies for private insurance policies, something the bill would provide to middle-class individuals who lack access to affordable coverage through their employers.

The main revenue sources in the House bill include a surcharge on wealthy taxpayers and changes to Medicaid and Medicare worth about $500 billion in cost savings over 10 years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Under the House bill, 36 million Americans who are currently uninsured would become eligible for coverage, either through Medicaid or private insurance purchased on a new national exchange. Most individuals would be required to purchase insurance, and subsidies would be available to middle-class families to help offset the cost. The legislation would require employers to provide health coverage to their workers or face a penalty, although firms with annual payrolls below $500,000 would be exempt. WaPost

Well done! Now we just need those idiotic Democratic "centrists" (Democratic Party Republicans) in the U.S. Senate to get in line. People like Senator Landrieu from Louisiana who has one of the states with the least people covered by health programs, and nonetheless speaks out against a public option.

Those bafoons should consider the likelihood that if a working public health plan isn't approved, Democrats will lose many seats in the House and Senate in 2010, because they'll go before the voters with nothing to show for a Democratic majority.

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