Today’s blogosphere is full of posts pointing out what a huge achievement the health care bill will be, if it finally gets to the President’s desk. Jonathan Chait, Ezra Klein, Jonathan Cohen, Mark Schmitt, Matthew Holt, and Kevin Drum are all singing in harmony. Here’s Kevin:
A trillion dollars in benefit for low and middle income workers. 95% of Americans insured. Medical bankruptcies on the verge of disappearing. And for the first time ever, an acknowledgement that decent healthcare ought to be universal in the United States. This is historic.
I think they’re right. I also think that health care will be a defining issue for the 2010 elections, and that it matters enormously whether Democrats stand united and proud behind their achievement, or whether instead Blue Dog pols try to run away from it while activists dismiss it as a sell-out. Harry Reid is no one’s idea of a great orator, but his speeches in the last couple of days at focused on the key point: that the bill establishes as a principle that in the richest country in the history of the world no one should die because he can’t pay for medical treatment.
Someone needs to explain this to the folks at the DSCC. A fundraising email from Bob Menendez this morning links to Common Ground, the DSCC blog. Instead of comparisons to Social Security and the Civil Rights Acts, the Common Ground post consists mostly of technocratic blah.
On December 24, 2009, the Senate passed (60-39) the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Against a wall of Republican opposition, Senate Democrats united to pass landmark health care legislation.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is the most sweeping health care reform package this country has ever seen. It will reduce costs, increase access, and provide critical insurance reforms that will put patients first. This legislation also makes Medicare more solvent and expands prescription drug coverage, all while reducing the deficit and reining in health care costs. The PPACA provides choice and competition and invests in the small businesses of this country.
- The PPACA will reduce the federal deficit by $132 billion first ten years
- In the second years, the bill will reduce the deficit by roughly $1.3 trillion.
- This bill will result in a net tax cut for Americans.
- This legislation will cover over 94 percent of all Americans.
- It will provide coverage to 31 million of America’s uninsured.
- The bill will also expand rural and community health facilities.
- This legislation provides tax credits to small businesses, beginning in 2010.
- These tax credits will health insurance more affordable for small businesses and their employees.
- Insurance companies will be held accountable, forced to spend more on care and less on padding their bottom line.
- Insurers who excessively raise their rates will be barred from competing for your business in the Exchange.
- Patients will have the right to appeal to an independent board if an insurance company denies a coverage claim.
- Health insurers will offer national plans to Americans under the supervision of the Office of Personnel Management, the same entity that oversees health plans for Members of Congress.