It Is Passed! Health Care Reform Becomes Reality!

I just returned from the funeral of a friend’s husband. He was just about the age of The Hubby, which gave me pause. Her kids, one about Little Man’s age and the other a tiny guy still, have a long way to go before they are grown, and I cannot imagine the heartbreak she and her brood must be going through right now.

He had a severe illness. It was a terrible loss of a wonderful guy. Thankfully, my friend had health insurance, and was able to cover his treatments and meds, and not lose her home over the course of the disease. She has two beautiful kids; thankfully, they are covered, too, as they will surely have the coughs and colds, the bonks and bumps, and need the immunizations of childhood. A horrible tragedy, but there is the small blessing that it will not send her into bankruptcy or cause her to lose her home.

I am covered, too, through my work. It was one of the great reasons to join my profession, the ability to take care of my family by providing health care for them. The well-baby checkups, The Hubby’s prostate exams, the x-rays to see if Little Man broke his arm (he did…), and Tweenie’s checkup for her school trip: all covered. My two pregnancies, yearly pap/mammogram, and allergy meds, all covered, along with a myriad of other treatments, checkups and prescriptions, and will be as long as I have the job that I do. I am fortunate.

But there are so very many Americans who are not so fortunate. Women who have had to face the choice of keeping their homes or paying for treatment of their family members or themselves. Folks who face chronic disease and life-threatening illnesses and have no resources left with which to seek treatment. I cannot imagine watching The Hubby take ill and having no way to afford to make him well or get him the treatment he needs. I simply can’t fathom watching my children suffer with chronic diseases, their allergies and asthma, the broken bones, for example, with no way to pay for meds they need. That awful truth for so many is so painful to consider that I can’t bear to do so for long. 

Yet this has been the status-quo in our nation, the richest place on earth and the only industrialized country without universal health care for its people. And the Republican Party is content to keep it that way. They continue to spew their anti-health care propaganda up until the last possible moment. Lies, lies, damnedable lies, that discount the experiences of regular Americans.

But tonight, we will see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. History in the making, as they say. The Dems have actually been able to get our act together long enough to pull it off: 95% of Americans will have coverage. Affordable coverage.And so much more:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

Historic legislation? Absolutely:

  • 95% of Americans covered by this bill – that’s 32 million more Americans
  • Americans can change jobs without losing insurance
  • the self-employed able to afford insurance for their families
  • no preexisting conditions
  • improved prescription coverage for our elderly
  • no rescinding of policies when you are sick
  • more afordable insurance for the middle class
  • improved Medicare coverage and solvency
  • …and 4 million jobs created

No longer will families be driven into bankruptcy or forced to choose between groceries and prescriptions.No longer will costs go through the roof because the uninsured are stuck using the e.r. as their primary care physicians. And trillions of dollars in savings over the next two decades. We have made it through the obstructionist gauntlet, and come out on the other end with life better off for the American people.

“Being a woman is no longer a preexisting condition,” says Madam Speaker. Being human and prone to illness is no longer a preexisting condition! And, glory hallelujah, we will no longer have to listen to Stu-pid Stupak! This will most assuredly be a day that goes down in history! 

And there it is…216! Ladies and gentlemen, it has passed. 219-212. Motion to recommit and we are home free…and it’s passed! More Americans will be affected in a positive way by this Law than by anything in the past 50 years. Finally, it is done. And done by the Democrats at that!

14 Comments

  1. I, too, am rejoicing. But I'm confused by your last sentence. "And done by the Democrats at that!" Who the heck would you expect to do it? Certainly not the Republicans. My own congressman, Brian Baird, finally came down off the fence to vote yes. And he issued a statement that reminded me why I supported him early in his career. He noted: "It is worth noting that for the six years in which the Republican party held the Presidency and majorities in the House and Senate, no legislation was passed to protect people from discrimination against pre-existing conditions, nor was any legislation passed to rein in the abuses of insurance companies or limit exorbitant premium increases. What is more, the major health care legislation that did become law – the Medicare prescription drug benefit -was estimated to increase the deficit by nearly a trillion dollars over a decade, was brought to the floor with less than thirty hours to read, with only a single Democratic amendment allowed, and was written with Democrats literally locked out of the room."

  2. Yes, We Can and Yes We Did!I never lost faith in our President. What an Historic Day for the country.

  3. If you're insured and live in the right part of town, the American way of health care can look pretty good. But that's who it is restricted to.When you get right down to it, the nub of the opposing position is pretty lame: *The government takeover argument is bogus. *They're only complaining about the process now that it has worked against them. The R's didn't mind using parliamentary procedure when they dragged the debate out last fall, and they'll use it again to drag out the reconciliation bill. (I happen to think this will work against them politically.)*They don't like the cost of the bill and won't accept the CBO scoring that says the bill will reduce the deficit. And the deficit wouldn't be an issue if it weren't for the Bush tax cuts and the Iraq war. Basically, they want the uninsured and underinsured to bear the burden of those two disasters.

  4. Historic day, for sure! I want to be as excited as some people on the air waves are right now, but I just can't yet. I still think insurance coverage will be too expensive for most of us (me included). I'm saddened to see the lengths Democrats went to to get bipartisan support (starting with a compromise, then compromising more to the Rethugs), and then not receive a single R vote. Is anyone surprised? I'm happy that more Americans will be able to get coverage. I'm happy that there will be no pre-existing clauses, and no rescisions once you're sick. I guess I'm just saddened by what could have been.Thankfully, I've already heard a few Congressmen/women talking about the need to continue to shape the American healthcare system. That this is just a starting point, a framework. That makes me happy. Because, in reality, the best thing for our country would have been to allow a buy-in to Medicare. It would solve the insolvency problem everyone thinks Medicare has, and would reduce costs to the rest of us, and it wouldn't be another huge beaurocracy. Sadly, in my state, our lone Democrat will probably lose the election over this, even though he didn't even vote for the bill in the first place! He's not even really a Dem, just in name only, since he was running against a Rethug and couldn't also have that R behind his name. And, of course, I won't vote for him because he didn't vote for this bill. So basically– he's screwed!Thanks for being the cheerleader this morning, MP. You and my husband, reminding me that this truly is a historic thing, and it will get better over time.

  5. so sorry about your friends husband, Thankfully she and the kids will have assurance of HC.This point in my life I have no insurance, I have been accepted into Pfizer and friends for reduced RX prices, that has helped. Plus my Dr just charges 50.00 for routine visits. Not sure what I'll do when I need blood work but hopefully there will be a place for people like me to go.This is what every day Americans go thru, that's why they are dying left and right. Thank God for the Democratic party, the party of compassion! I hope these changes come into effect sooner than later!Take care mommaP!

  6. Great statement, FF…you know I am a staunch Dem, a yellow dog Democrat, but with my last statement, I was referring to how we always manage to get elected, but have a heckuva time actually governing. Sometimes our party has a very big tent, and it isn't always the most consensus-building situation (e.g. Conservadems challenges to health care). You can sure as hell bet that the GOP would only have pushed through more tax cuts for the rich and the insurance companies. I am delighted that we were able to be successful in our pursuit of health care reform. There is more work to be done, but this is a great step in the right direction. As always, good to have you here, FF! Thanks for the great quote.

  7. Hi Annette, How about that, Girlfriend? The day has arrived…and God bless you for your undying faith. You helped revive many of us who were wavering at times, and now here we are with HCR under our belts and more to come. Good to hear from you, Annette – thanks for stopping by, and lift a glass on this auspicious occasion! :)

  8. Amen, K., amen! Couldn't have said it better myself. Yep, they are at it again…GOP claiming now that the effort against the bill had "bipartisan support" because the 34 Conservadems didn't vote for it. This kind of statement could only be made by a party that drives folks out if they don't pass the purity test! I think you're right, K., on all points. It's all gonna come back and bite 'em on the behind in the 2010 elections. Thanks for the insightful comments – good to have you here!

  9. Hi CM, Glad to hear from you on this – I agree that there's so much more to be done, but, also like you, am happy to hear representatives discussing further steps. This will be easier to build upon now that it's in place, and with the Dems pulling it off, I think that 2010 is looking pretty good.I was with you on the "Medicare for All" bandwagon. Or even making Meidcare and Medicaid meet in the middle. Again, this is a definite step forward. But we still have much work to do, and you know first-hand, Girlfriend! Thanks for putting in your two cents (or is that a $25 copay?)and reminding us all that there is still work to be done. Thanks, CM.

  10. Hey there, Sue,Hope you will be one of the 32 million to benefit from all of this, Girlfriend. You deserve it – and so does every American without health care! How fortunate you are to have a doctor with $50 visits, but you're right – there is so much more that is involved. Now my question is, how do you access these new benefits? I will look around and keep you posted. Let us all know anything you find out, too! A good day to be an American, and a proud day in our history. Glad to hear from you, Sue. Take care and come back soon!

  11. I am happy but concerned that insurance companies will raise their rates to prove a point. Is there anything in the legislation to prevent insurers from hiking their rates? Also, when you get a chance, swing by http://www.boneheadblog.com/. He has a great post there today about the faux anger of the tea party movement.

  12. Hi Lauren, So you are worried the insurance companies will raise their rates before it all goes into effect? Aw, now where would you get an idea like that???The Hubby and I have been bombarded with letters from our credit card companies about our new interest rate hikes and such before the new laws go into effect. Yeah, I think your fears might be justified. As to the language of the bill re: health insurance rates, I'll do a little research and see. If you happen to see a good chart outlining when all the provisions go into effect, let me know. That's what most of the folks who ask me about such things need to know, and I have yet to find a good one. Will check out the link! Thanks much – you always send great stuff my way, Girlfriend! Thanks for the great comments.

  13. Lauren, thanks for the pointed — that was a good post.

  14. Hi Lauren and K., I am looking for answers to your wonderfully pointed and extremely poignant question. Check out this link: http://dpc.senate.gov/healthreformbill/healthbill53.pdfIt's a 60 page summary of the bill, and extremely readable – relatively speaking. One of the provisions that will help keep companies from raising their premiums is section 2718, which makes the insurance companies accountable for spending 80% of what they take in for your premiums on services for you. If not, the have to rebate it back to you. Also, in section 1003, it sets up state agencies to regulate what providers are allowed into the exchanges. Raised your rates? You don't get access to the pool of new customers. Their job will be to "watchdog" the cost increases by insurers. That goes into effect in 6 months. Which, of course, gives companies 6 months to pop up rates…Sec. 2701 also places limits on what factors insurers can use to base their premiums: family size, smoking/non-smoking,age, etc. This seems like a good thing, but still leaves room for rate hikes with age and other factors. I could go through all 60 pages, but hopefully you can take a look at the link and see for yourselves. Needless to say, the insurance companies will have their lawyers and accountants combing over it for loopholes…Having found this abbreviated and readable version, I feel a blogpost coming on…so thanks for the question, and I appreciate your piquing my curiosity!

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I refuse to cave to a minivan. I am still a tomboy - comfortable in Levi's, my Yankees cap and Converse. And I always have a political opinion...hell, I always have an opinion, period. The hubby, my kids and my friends think I should run for office. Maybe one day. But for now, Momma Politico blogs. Peruse, enjoy, and know that our busy lives are as significant as those in The Washington Post. Cheers, Heidi Haines AKA Perry MacNeil Momma Politico

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