TODAY'S QUESTION: What do you think of the health care bill?

Monday, March 22, 2010 | 9:12 a.m. CDT; updated 8:09 p.m. CDT, Monday, March 22, 2010

Health care coverage was extended to tens of millions of uninsured Americans on Sunday night after the Senate-passed bill cleared the House on a 219-212 vote. President Barack Obama made health care reform one of his top priorities after taking office last year.

Some key points of the bill:

  • Most Americans are required to purchase insurance and face penalties if they refuse.
  • Medicaid coverage would be required for incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. That would be $29,327 for a family of four.
  • Under federal regulation, insurance companies are forbidden from placing lifetime dollar limits on policies, denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and canceling policies when a policyholder becomes ill.
  • Parents can keep their children under their insurance until age 26.
  • A high-risk pool would offer coverage to the uninsured with medical problems until 2014, when coverage expansion starts.
  • More than $400 billion in higher taxes over the decade to fund changes; half of the taxes will come from a new Medicare payroll tax on individuals making over $200,000 and couples incomes over $250,000.
  • Total cost is estimated to be $940 billion over ten years and extend coverage to around 32 million uninsured people.

Also included in the bill is student loan reform; all student loans would originate from the government.

If the Senate votes to approve reconciliation, it can work to reconcile differences between this bill and another bill approved by the House in November after a 220-211 vote by the House approved the action.

How do you feel about the health care bill?

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Derrick Fogle March 22, 2010 | 9:32 a.m.

I'm all for some kind of basic universal heathcare, but I'm against this legislation because it will do nothing but continue to feed the huge bubble of out-of-control healthcare costs. This bill was written by the Medical Industrial Complex lobbyists, for the medical industrial complex. The current system is responsible for cost spirals at 2 times the rate of general inflation. All this legislation does is say, "Well, that's not working, we must need more of it!" Brilliant. Not.

(Report Comment)
Kirsten Williams March 22, 2010 | 12:25 p.m.

people apparently don't realize that there is a difference between "health care reform" and "insurance reform"

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield March 22, 2010 | 1:02 p.m.

It's naïve to assume that the new Medicare payroll tax will raise $200 billion. If you're smart enough to make $200,000, you're smart enough to cut back on your workload to avoid the additional tax.

(Report Comment)
charles humm March 23, 2010 | 10:18 p.m.

We are about to lose our democracy. When 17,000 IRS agents will be used to enforce the program it doesn't sound like medical care it sounds like the gestapo will be managing your health care. When 65% of people do not want it, and it is rammed down our throats, it is clear that the voice of Pelosi trumps the voice of the people. The real cost is over $2.5 trillion, not $1 trillion when honest accounting is used. When costs balloon, (as they will, witness what happened with Medicare, Social Security etc.) health care will be rationed beyond any doubt.

The next step is it will be extended to illegal aliens, to create future voters indebted to the Democrat party.

This President is bankrupting the country, will enslave the people and create dependency on the Democrat party. The country is in grave danger of becoming a totalitarian country run by Democrat despots. Believe it, because it is true.

(Report Comment)

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