Navigation Links
House of Representatives Approves Health-Care Reform Bill
Date:3/22/2010

$940 billion overhaul would give 32 million more Americans access to health insurance; Obama signature expected in day or so

MONDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- After a year of fierce partisan debate, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives late Sunday night passed the landmark $940 billion health-care reform bill, which would extend health insurance coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans, prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions and cut the federal deficit by an estimated $138 billion over the next decade.

The bill, the most sweeping social legislation since the Great Society programs of the 1960s and the centerpiece of the first year of President Barack Obama's administration, also represents a milestone -- near universal health insurance -- that has eluded presidents since Theodore Roosevelt more than a century ago.

The final tally, which adhered almost entirely to party lines, was 219 "yes" votes and 212 "no" votes. Not one Republican voted for the measure, which was a vote on a similar bill already approved by the Senate.

"This is what change looks like," Obama said near midnight in a televised address that evoked his 2008 presidential campaign promise of "change we can believe in," the Associated Press reported.

"We proved that this government -- a government of the people and by the people -- still works for the people."

Many Democrats who supported the bill called it a long overdue achievement that will provide quality health care to virtually all Americans.

"Health care isn't only a civil right, it's a moral issue," Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., said before the vote. He said his late father, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., had worked his whole career for nationwide health care, as had President John F. Kennedy before him, the AP reported.

Republicans criticized the bill as an unwarranted intrusion by the federal government into health care that would cut Medicare and raise taxes by nearly $1 trillion combined. Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., who was critical of the Democrats' parliamentary maneuverings before Sunday's vote, said "the greatest outrage has always been for the bill itself," the AP said.

The outcome of the vote was uncertain as late as Sunday afternoon, with some conservative Democrats withholding their support because of concerns that the bill would allow the use of federal dollars to pay for abortions. When Obama promised to issue an executive order "to ensure that federal funds are not used for abortion services," passage of the bill was all but guaranteed.

The Senate passed its version of health reform legislation in December.

Before a final bill can be sent to Obama for his signature, the Senate must sign off on a package of House-approved changes to the Senate bill. A simple majority vote in the Senate would complete the process, paving the way for Obama's signature, which is expected early this week.

In the days leading up to the vote, health-care and public policy experts said passage of the bill really boiled down to one simple tenet: More Americans should have access to health insurance.

"The big impact is the coverage of 31 million uninsured individuals, and that includes about 15 million people with incomes below 133 percent of the poverty line [through an expansion of Medicaid]," Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund in New York City, said last week. "Basically, it makes a big dent in the number of uninsured and underinsured. That's far and away the biggest impact."

Thomas R. Oliver, associate director for health policy at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, described the legislation as "a dramatic effort to really get at the core questions of accessibility and affordability of coverage."

Though stating that the legislative effort "is a sweeping change," Oliver also acknowledged that the bill, once passed, would be "disappointing to many who believe that the most constructive thing that we need to do as a nation is to bring all Americans into adequate, basic insurance coverage."

He does, however, believe the bill is a step toward that goal.

As it stands, the bill would place penalties on many businesses that don't provide coverage for their workers, according to the AP. While that could mean millions of new paying customers for hospitals, doctors, drug companies and insurers, Medicare cuts would mean that hospitals would have to operate more efficiently to stay afloat. Insurance companies would face unprecedented federal regulation, and health-care industries would be hit with new federal taxes, according to the wire service.

Implementation of the bill's provisions would be staggered over the next four years and beyond.

"Most of the insurance expansion won't happen till 2014, although there will be some changes in the rules right away," Davis said.

As the bill now stands, taking effect in 2010:

  • Insurers would no longer be able to exclude high-risk individuals from getting a policy, nor would they be able to dump people who develop medical problems. "That guarantees the availability of coverage for people with serious health problems," Davis said.
  • Young adults, up to age 26, would be eligible for coverage under their parents' policies, she said.
  • Ceilings on annual or lifetime benefits would be eliminated, Davis said.

Longer-term changes would include:

  • Setting up regional health insurance exchanges that various groups -- including self-employed people, those without employer-based health coverage, high-risk individuals and small businesses -- could tap for coverage.
  • Adopting portable health insurance, meaning people could take their coverage with them if they left a job, Davis said.
  • Stricter regulation and scrutiny of the health insurance industry.

More information

The Commonwealth Fund has more on the health-care reform bill.



SOURCES: Karen Davis, Ph.D., president, Commonwealth Fund, New York City; Thomas R. Oliver, Ph.D., professor, population health sciences, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and associate director, health policy, University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Madison, Wisc.; Associated Press


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. National Alliance for Hispanic Health President and CEO Applauds House Action, Calls on Senate to Pass Reconciliation Bill
2. Pro-Life Leader Dr. Charmaine Yoest on House Passage of Health Care Legislation
3. House Democrats Approve Health-Care Reform Bill
4. Preventive behaviors limited household transmission of H1N1 influenza during initial outbreak
5. OldHouseWeb.com Educates Homeowners on Lead Poisoning Safeguards During National Poison Prevention Week
6. Historic Agreement Reached to Transition Illinois Residents Unnecessarily Housed in Large, Impersonal Nursing Homes
7. Statement From Reverend Al Sharpton, Former Congressman J.C. Watts, and Dr. Gary A. Puckrein on the Meeting Between the Congressional Black Caucus and the White House
8. Idaho House Committee Says "Conscience" Trumps Patients Rights
9. Citizens Constitutional Congress Formed To Resist White House Takeover Of American Healthcare System 'Free Citizens Fighting To Keep America Free'
10. Dr. Catherine Ross to Participate Today in White House Clean Energy Economy Forum
11. Americas Prostate Cancer Organizations Offer Pointers to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios ... X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes ... Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , ... advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new ... the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits ... terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps ... slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher ... and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive ... provide independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), ... Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" report to ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to reach ... 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Key Pharma News Issue 52" report to their offering. ... need in influenza treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for ... and growing patient base that will serve to drive considerable ... flu vaccine would serve to cap sales considerably, but development ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: