Strong opposition for Health Care reform blockades final decisions to pass legislation

By: Treasure White

The final stretch is here. The Democratic Party’s last attempt to pass Healthcare reform through the House of Representatives has nearly reached the final decision process. In order for this bill to pass in the House, a total of 216 members must vote “yea” to satisfy constitutional requirements. Democrats pushing for the bill have one more fighting chance before the proposal is discarded and rebuilt from scratch. Beginning this week a series of House sequential committee meetings will take place that hopefully will push the reform bill to the House floor. This morning Obama postponed planned trips to Asia in order to do last minute campaigning in Ohio. With so much opposition to the 1 trillion dollar price tag, if passed, this bill will be historic in reconstructing an ailing health system not fulfilling public need.

In summary, Obama’s Healthcare Plan pledges to execute the following:

For US Resident’s having health insurance:

• Ends discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.
• Prevents insurance companies from dropping coverage when people are
sick and need it most.
• Caps out-of pocket expenses so people don’t go broke when they get sick.
• Eliminates extra charges for preventive care like mammograms, flu shots
and diabetes tests to improve health and save money.
• Protects Medicare for seniors and eliminates the “donut-hole” gap in
coverage for prescription drugs.

For US Resident’s not having health insurance:

Creates a new insurance marketplace – the Exchange – that allows
people without insurance and small businesses to compare plans and buy
insurance at competitive prices.
• Provides new tax credits to help people buy insurance and to help small
businesses cover their employees.
• Offers a public health insurance option to provide the uninsured who
can’t find affordable coverage with a real choice.
• Offers new, low-cost coverage through a national “high risk” pool to
protect people with preexisting conditions from financial ruin until the
new Exchange is created.

The United States as a whole:

Won’t add a dime to the deficit and is paid for upfront.
• Creates an independent commission of doctors and medical experts to
identify waste, fraud and abuse in the health care system.
• Orders immediate medical malpractice reform projects that could help doctors
focus on putting their patients first, not on practicing defensive medicine.
• Requires large employers to cover their employees and individuals who can
afford it to buy insurance so everyone shares in the responsibility of reform.

The main issue sparking controversy behind the Healthcare Reform Bill is policy handling government-funded abortion. The plan proposes a ban on taxpayer money that will “pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion.” This clause is vexing to Pro-life democrats whose votes will be needed to push this legislation into law.

Even if the new healthcare legislation is passed on the House floor, ho will this reform effect Obama’s next re-election? With an approval rate treading nearly 40% for the past year, having an unpopular bill of this magnitude pushed through Congress can strongly impact how voters will decided next presidential election.

The full scope of healthcare change will not take place immediately and compliance amongst consumers and doctors, employers and insurance companies won’t be fully adopted until 2017.