Saturday, 26 December 2009

Health Care in the US.

As one who has experienced health care in the United States I have been following the debate of greater health care coverage with some interest. The vote in the Senate on Christmas Eve was in fact an historical event of considerable proportion. Barack Obama is to be congratulated on his success in getting the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass these health care bills. It is 44 years since a Democratic President, Lyndon Johnson passed his Medicare and Medicaid bills to extend coverage to the old and unemployed, but this left many millions of uninsured low paid Americans still without coverage. Obama and Johnson succeeded where Harry Truman, John F Kennedy and Bill Clinton failed. Clinton tried to pass a comprehensive health care bill in his first year as President in 1992 but failed to get it through a Democratic controlled Congress in 1993.

The bill passed by the House of Representative is more comprehensive than that passed by the Senate, the House bill costs of $1 trillion over 10 years and extends coverage to 96% of the population whilst the Senate bill costs $871 billion over 10 years and extends coverage to 94% of the population. The hard task now is to reconcile both bills but the final bill will look more like the Senate than the House bill.

The vote in the Senate was along party lines with 60 in favour and 39 against anything less than 60 votes would have resulted in the Democrats not having sufficient votes to stop a Republican filibuster (delaying tactics). The Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had to compromise to the end especially on abortion to get two wavering senators, Independant and ex Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman and Nebraska's conservative Democratic Senator Ben Nelson, on board.

It will be a historical day when Obama signs this bill into law and perhaps to mark the occasion he should sign it at the Johnson family ranch in Texas's Hill Country with Lady Bird Johnson, the widow of LBJ. Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare and Medicaid bills at the home of President Harry S Truman in Independence, Missouri in 1965, even though Johnson had voted against Truman's health care bills in 1948.

6 comments:

Earl said...

Copied from Facebook

You fail to seE HOW POLITICAL IT IS. If you look at the polls no one wants what has gotten passed!!!!

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Oh I think I do see how political it is why else vote 60 - 39 along partisan lines, it may be that the polls show that some people don't want and some people don't feel its not going far enough, but the fact is that Obama was elected with health care reform as the main issue he was to address. It may be that he will suffer the same backlash in 2010... See More that Clinton suffered in 1994, following his attempts at health care reform and the passage of the Brady Bill to control automatic weapons. How on earth can you oppose universal health care of your citizens? It is a sign of a civilised country.
You spend 16% of GDP on health but leaving millions without access to health services whilst we in Europe spend half that and provide universal health care. Obama should be congratulated for resurrecting LBJ's Great Society. A great many Democratic Senators and Congressmen should also be congratulated for putting the interests of society before their own, some of them will suffer defeat at the 2010 mid terms. The activities of the AMA, Insurance Companies and Pharmaceuticals in putting profit before health should stop now, hopefully these reforms will result in health care costs coming down.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Been to a hospital in Miami got a bill for $700 having been seen by 2 nurses for an insect bite whom we had to ask to clean and dress. Most of our time there was spent filling in forms for payments. But $700 for 10 minute consultation with 2 nurses is an absolute rip off and clearly shows why you have to spend so much on health care.

Earl said...

I have seen what you health care DOES NOT DO WITH SPOINA BIFIDA which I have. I am not saying I am against Heath Care I am agaist the Health care bill that the Democrats are proposing as OLDER people are going to get hit hard! It also does nothing to stop the increase in Drug costs and break up the heath insurance compaies that make Billions. You ... See Morefail to see what it does noit do. We have a do nothing President that got the Nobel pease Prise for doing NOTHING it was a sham. He will now get praise for a Heath Care package that is involving features that NO American wants. You are hearing Health Care, but at what cost to us and what hands have they given money into!

Earl said...

MOST AMERICANS if you look at the polls poor and rich do not want the Heath Care package that has been elected by Democrats that will not listen to the aMERFICAN pUBLIC. hEATH CARE will not COME DOWN AND THERE IS NOTHING IN IT TO STOP the profit making of Drug companies!!!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.