UPDATE #3 HOUSE HEALTHCARE REFORM PASSES HOUSE 220-215 IN HISTORIC VOTE!
UPDATE #2 Anti-choice amendment passes 240-194 and Republic alternate “healthcare plan” rejected resoundingly 176-258.
UPDATE #1 based on whip counts by Democratic aids Politico reports the Dems have the votes to pass the Healthcare bill in congress. If anyone has any info on the anti-choice amendment please keep us updated.
Make no mistake the vote that may happen today on the healthcare bill is the biggest decision by Congress in our generation. The House healthcare reform bill is not perfect but it’s a quantum leap forward towards providing everyone healthcare in this country that they can afford. The House bill is particularly generous with subsidizing and minimizing premiums compared to the Senate bill. One of the best parts of the House bill is that it actually limits the amount of overhead and profits a private healthcare insurance company can have to 15% which is very under reported. The Wonk Room from Think Progress reports that the House bill will cover more than the Senate bill and cost people less in premiums. Following is a graph illustrating the difference in premium costs.
In comparison we all know the Republican bill is a complete piece of gobshite. Ezra Klein reported that the CBO actually estimates that the Republican bill will save less and cover far fewer uninsured Americans.
“Late last night, the Congressional Budget Office released its initial analysis of the health-care reform plan that Republican Minority Leader John Boehner offered as a substitute to the Democratic legislation. CBO begins with the baseline estimate that 17 percent of legal, non-elderly residents won’t have health-care insurance in 2010. In 2019, after 10 years of the Republican plan, CBO estimates that …17 percent of legal, non-elderly residents won’t have health-care insurance. The Republican alternative will have helped 3 million people secure coverage, which is barely keeping up with population growth. Compare that to the Democratic bill, which covers 36 million more people and cuts the uninsured population to 4 percent.
But maybe, you say, the Republican bill does a really good job cutting costs. According to CBO, the GOP’s alternative will shave $68 billion off the deficit in the next 10 years. The Democrats, CBO says, will slice $104 billion off the deficit.
The Democratic bill, in other words, covers 12 times as many people and saves $36 billion more than the Republican plan. And amazingly, the Democratic bill has already been through three committees and a merger process. It’s already been shown to interest groups and advocacy organizations and industry stakeholders. It’s already made its compromises with reality. It’s already been through the legislative sausage grinder. And yet it saves more money and covers more people than the blank-slate alternative proposed by John Boehner and the House Republicans. The Democrats, constrained by reality, produced a far better plan than Boehner, who was constrained solely by his political imagination and legislative skill.”
Again elections and votes are about choosing the best alternative. The Democratic bills are far better than the Republican bill and the House bill is better than the Senate bill. When I hear some purists progressives saying just start over because the House bill is not enough they are echoing the same arguments Republicans are making. The house bill is a big step towards progress, even though it’s not the step most of us want to take it’s still worth supporting.
To keep an eye on the debate tune into CSPAN. I will update the article if a vote does occur.