Okay, maybe my headline is a little melodramatic. But ever since the health care reform legislation passed the House on Saturday night, groups all over CafeMom have been buzzing with lively discussion. Some moms are happy. Some moms are scared. Some moms haven't had a chance to learn what exactly is included in the bill (and it's no wonder; the bill is almost 2,000 pages long!).
Question: Do you think the House health reform bill is a good thing or a bad thing?
None of these.
Total Votes: 48
Total Votes: 48
So what happens now with respect to this bill becoming law? First, the Senate must pass its own version of a health care bill. Then, a congressional committee will merge both bills into a consensus plan, which would then need approval from the House, the Senate, and President Obama himself. Whew.
What follows is by no means a comprehension explanation of the House plan, but rather a few highlights from the bill that are generating the most debate:
- The House bill would extend coverage to 36 million people now without insurance.
- The bill would create a federally regulated marketplace where consumers could "shop" for the best coverage.
- The bill would create a government health insurance program; in other words, the government will sell health insurance, competing against private insurance companies.
- The bill would restrict insurance company practices from not covering pre-existing conditions or dropping people when they become ill.
- It would require most Americans to obtain health insurance or face penalties.
- It would offer federal subsidies to help people who can't afford it buy insurance from private companies or from the government. Anyone earning less than $88,000 for a family of four would qualify for a subsidy.
- It would block the use of these federal subsidies for insurance (private or sold by the government) that covers elective abortions. Another way to understand this is that the bill would bar any insurance plan (even private insurance plans) that are purchased with government subsidies from covering abortions.
Do you think the House health care bill is a good thing or a bad thing?