Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Health bill clears hurdle with support from Snowe | General News | Comcast.net


Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)


With a 14-9 vote the Senate Finance Committee passed the Democratic sponsored version of a health insurance reform bill, chaired by Montana's Max Baucus. Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine joined the committee's Democrats in voting the pass the measure, which will go on to be debated in the full Senate, tentatively beginning on October 26, as per Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

Almost immediately labor unions and large business organizations protested and wanted major changes to the legislation. Baucus's version does not include the "public option" and instead offers insurance co-ops where, it is theorized, Americans can buy affordable health insurance.

My opinion....this bill is better than no bill. But without the public option the insurance companies won the Mega Billions Pick 6; the American people won 500 bucks in the scratch off game.

As for the usual wonks in the GOP who keep talking about the "slippery slope" of government run health care (see Charles "Don't Step On The" Grassley)...did they ever hear about the Veteran's Administration? Or Army hospitals? Navy hospitals? And the Air Force- I know about them- I served in Air Force hospitals during the last stages of the Vietnam War. The government does run reasonably efficient and good health care for the majority of our veterans and service personnel, and have been doing so for well over 100 years. The argument about the "disaster" of government health care is bogus. If the will and the political courage was there all Americans could have health care at least as good, efficient, and accessible as the British, the Swedish.... and the French.

I just had to get that line about the French in. Anything French drives conservative Republicans bananas.



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2 comments:

Sue said...

I'm really tired of Snowe having all the attention in this voting! I listened to Chuck Schumer tonight, he is convinced the public option will be in the final bill, BUT he also says Reid must put it in and has high hopes he will.

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Sue- a couple of things...

First, the clause about financial penalties for people who don't comply will be challenged by both the left and the right, and could end up as a court case. How can the government compel an individual to buy something they don't want?.... and the analogy about mandatory auto insurance doesn't wash, because a person can choose not to drive.

(2) The medical corps of the United States Armed forces could provide some health care service to some areas of the population, particularly in rural areas where doctors and nurses are few and far between. One huge problem we see on The Hill is that too many legislators in both houses do not think outside the box. There are dozens of ways to expand medical services, but there's too much tunnel vision at a time when we can afford it.

(3) There will be some form of public option before the final vote, because if there isn't many House Dems will merely sit out the vote. Even if it involves a modified co-pay of some sort, we'll probably see "public option" under another less threatening name.

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