Health care made easy

Dr. Obama--Yes, he can!

As I’m sitting on my bed flipping through today’s New York Times and watching the health care debates on CNN I can’t help but wonder if everyone really and truly understands what’s in the health care bill…?  I think everyone knows there’s drama…and everyone knows the term “socialist” has been thrown around–but I don’t think many people, especially those in my age bracket, really know how this bill will affect them.

With Republicans all set to call President Obama a communist–in fact one Republican Californian just compared the bill to a failed Soviet socialist experiment–it’s east to jump to conclusions. Try reading the bill. There’s nothing in it (in my opinion anyway) that even remotely resembles socialism.

“Socialism” and “socialized medicine” are two completely different things–based on the same principle, yes–but still totally different. Socialism is a form of government while socialized medicine is a way to ensure health resources to those who can’t afford it. Just because the U.S. adopts socialized medicine does not make President Obama the next Lenin, nor does it make Democrats a group of Bolsheviks.

READ THE BILL, people. Seriously.

If you’re a college student ready to go on to graduate school or find a job, this is the bill for you! You can stay on your parents’ insurance until you’re 26…giving you time to find a job that will offer you health care.

The bill will offer health care benefits to 32 million uninsured Americans.

Yes, it’s meeting opposition and it’s going to cost a lot ($940 billion)…but people made the same argument for Medicare when it was first introduced and now it’s insuring over 5 million people. Plus, it’s going to reduce the deficit by over $143 billion in the first 10 years. I’m not sure how this works, but that’s the figure.

The plans to pay for it include: 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning, tax on private health plans over $27,500 and a Medicare payroll tax on investment income. All I feel are viable options. They tax superfluous things–things that can afford to be taxed without much backlash from the consumer.

Most of the plan will take effect in 2014–giving time to organize and make sure it’s done right.

Of course it’s not perfect…nothing is. I wish it mandated abortion coverage (but, that’s just a wish). Yes it’s expensive. Yes it’s going to take a while to implement. Yes it may not be totally “fair” to the upper-middle and upper income brackets–but you know what? I feel like it’s a viable solution.

The point is: Health care is broken. It needs to be fixed…and you never REALLY know if something is going to work until you try it out. So, instead of sitting in a room arguing with each other (like we have been for the past year and a half) why not pass the bill and see what happens? We need reform and we need it now. We can tweak it later if need be. We need the House to pass this bill and we need them to pass it tonight. This issue is too important to put off any longer.

As of 8:41 p.m. the House is still discussing for the next 10 to 20 minutes–but early reports claim the bill will pass with over 216 votes it needs. I’ll be updating.

10:45 p.m. health care passes the House!!! 219-212

Now voting on reconciliation…

Republicans: Motion to recommit (a.k.a. trying to change abortion language)

Voting to recommit…Republican yelled “baby killer” at Bart Stupak. Democrats win (232-199) no motion to recommit.

NOW on to reconciliation…

11:30 p.m. reconciliation bill passes 220-211.

Now, the Senate will debate for 1-2 days on the reconciliation bill…and IF Republicans don’t get cranky, President Obama will sign health care reform into law. The bill is heading to Obama’s desk no matter what…the question is, will it be changed at all?

I may have a marginally restored faith in humanity and in my government.

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