Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Obama's health care plan, health care reform bill gets an abortion jolt

health care reform

November 10: Obama's health care plan, health care reform bill gets an abortion jolt. Obama’s Health care reform bill is facing stiff opposition from members who think that abortion should be part of the healthcare bill so that women are able to utilize the full healthcare benefits and are not deprived from it.

Many members have said that they will vote against it when it comes for final voting.

Health reforms bill, President Obama’s top domestic priority, has been going through a heated debate for the last several months in the United States.

The bill is learnt to have gained popularity of late, thanks to a nonpartisan analyst. The analyst had pegged the cost of the bill at $ 892 billion, below Obama’s target of $ 900 billion.

The bill has been a bone of contention since it offers insurance coverage to all US citizens irrespective of any pre-existing conditions and will end the insurance companies’ practice of denying coverage for those affected with serious illness.

Republicans have vehemently opposed the bill labeling it a heavy-handed governmental intrusion into private sector.

Insurance companies also warn of hike in insurance costs and premium in case the bill is passed.

A Los Angeles Times report says, “The Senate legislation contains looser restrictions on abortion coverage than were approved by the House. But already at least one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, has signaled that he may be willing to work with abortion rights opponents on developing language similar to the House's…"He wants to make sure the intent is the same" as the House amendment, said Jake Thompson, a spokesman for Nelson. "The final bill has to satisfy him that it doesn't support federal funding of abortions."

Since President Barack Obama took office at the White House this is being called by political pundits his first victory on domestic issues.

The bill, being opposed by the Republicans, allows the government to expand coverage to the Americans who lack it. Besides, it imposes tough new restrictions on the insurance industry.

The bill, that won by narrow margin of 220-215 vote, now goes to the Senate, who will debate on its future. There was jubilation among the Democrats. This epic legislation is being compared by Social Security in 1935 and Medicare 30 years later.

Before the voting a lot of back room maneuvering took place. The President taking initiative met those Democrats who were not sure of supporting the bill. He convinced them about the importance of such legislation. After the vote, he said: "I look forward to signing it into law by the end of the year.”

Another prominent leader to praise the passing of the bill was the 83-year-old Rep. John Dingell. The Michigan lawmaker is responsible for introducing national health insurance in every Congress since succeeding his father in 1955. He said: “It provides coverage for 96 percent of Americans. It offers everyone, regardless of health or income, the peace of mind that comes from knowing they will have access to affordable health care when they need it.”