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Votes In Question on Health Care Reform

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, November 06, 2009 12:30 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Health Care Reform, Democrats, GOP, Pelosi, Tort Reform, Caps, Uninsured

This is a bad time for health care reform say dissenting Republicans in the House. Medical and senior lobbys support reform.

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IMAGE SOURCE: C-Span

Late Add*

12:30 p.m. -  Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer ( D-Md) tells Mike Soraghan, reporter for The Hill, speaking on C-Span that the vote on health care reform could slip into Sunday or early next week. He acknowledged the Democrats don't have the 218 votes they need. He is hopeful for passage Saturday night. 

Some Democrats are looking for a comfort level with the bill he says, specifically on whether federal dollars will go to fund abortion.

Medical and Senior Lobby Support 

Medical organizations are increasingly supporting health care reform before a Saturday vote on the most sweeping changes in 40 years.

The American Cancer Society on Thursday announced its support of the bill along with the American Medical Association and AARP.

The American Cancer Society’s John Seffrin, PhD, says the legislation represents an opportunity to advance the mission of reducing suffering and death related to cancer.  “If enacted, this bill could have immediate and lasting benefits for millions of people with cancer and other life-threatening chronic diseases,” said Daniel E. Smith, president of ACS CAN.

“Getting a cancer diagnosis would no longer put families at risk of being denied or getting priced out of lifesaving coverage.”

AARP says the House bill will help seniors pay for prescription drugs and strengthen Medicare, the government-run health program for the elderly.

“We can say with confidence that it meets our priorities for protecting Medicare, providing more affordable health insurance for 50 to 64-year-olds, and reforming the healthcare system,” said Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president.

The American Medical Association said it supports the principles of the House’s health care reform bill but support is not the same as an endorsement said president James Rohack. “This legislation is not perfect, but this debate isn’t over and the work isn’t done.”

He was referring to the way Medicare pays doctors, part of the reforms under consideration. Dr. Rohack said in a statement, “In less than 60 days, Medicare physician payments are scheduled to be cut by 21 percent, with more cuts in years to come. According to a recent AARP poll, nearly 90 percent of people age 50 and older are concerned that the current Medicare physician payment formula threatens their access to care.”

Rep Gary Miller (R-CA) told the House today at 11:05 a.m. that he believes this was an unauthorized vote by that the AMA board of directors should not have taken and warned there is a petition by doctors who are extremely angry. At an AMA conference beginning in Houston on Saturday the dissidents are expected to voice their opinions.

The American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association have endorsed the House bill.

Republicans Friend of Small Business? 

Opponents on the House floor today 10:50 a.m.- Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill) during a discussion of the Small Business Act said that H.R. 3962 (Affordable Health Care For America Act) will destroy jobs.

Four to five million people are out of work, said Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-Illinois) at 10:55 a.m.- “There is something wrong in this city that says it want to help the small business people and instead they’re hurting them, making them bleed with regulation after regulation, tax increase after tax increase, penalty after penalty.”

10:58 a.m. – Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) called that ironic. “Last week we passed a bill that provides $44 billion in financing and investment for small business and its quite ironic all the talk how we are impacting small business. In the last 10 years, all the other side cared about was giving tax breaks for the wealthiest business in this country, not small business.”

Health care reform represents the biggest overhaul in health delivery in the U.S. since the creation of Medicare for the elderly in 1965.

The House bill, if it passes would then move action to the Senate which is preparing its own version. President Obama wants to sign a bill by the year’s end. Senator Harry Reid has indicates that deadline might not be met. #


2 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by Rosa A. Magana-Fountain
Friday, November 06, 2009 9:47 PM EST

I have had the opportunity to live in Europe, and I ask myself the question, "How is it that we being a most advanced nation, having the best opportunities in the whole world... How is it we cannot come up with a health care plan better than the other countries that are not as advanced as we are? Why are we afraid to copy success? Every business person knows that you study the competition and you take the best from that knowledge, and you add your own. I am a senior and have good health care. I WANT health care reform because I have friends that this would benefit. I care for my country and its citizens.

Posted by Jane Akre
Saturday, November 07, 2009 9:53 AM EST

Thanks for your comments- You are right, the U.S. ranks 37th in health care delivery according to the World Health Organizatin, yet we pay the most for our care.

Rep. Jim Marshall a Democrat from Georgia, who is opposing the current bill, is addressing his concerns at the third-party payer system and its inefficiency. Many believe health care reform = insurance reform.

Thanks for your reasonable comments!

Comments for this article are closed.

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