Answering the Call to History
Dems Pass Healthcare
(c) Walt Handelsman
After 14 brutal months, House Democrats, led by their redoubtable Speaker
The debate was fierce, with a hostile crowd insulting legislators outside
"Totalitarianism." "Socialism." "The path of government tyranny." A fiscal Frankenstein." Anti abortion Democrat
The bill went to the president's desk for signature and the "reconciliation" measure that fixes parts of the bill to the
Within 90 days, people denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions will have access to high risk pools that will give them the chance to buy health insurance.
Within six months, insurance companies will be barred from revoking people's coverage once they get sick.
Insurance companies will be barred from denying coverage to children who have pre-existing conditions. They will be barred from imposing any lifetime cap on coverage. Millions of Americans frozen into their current jobs because they can't afford to lose their health insurance can now move without fear.
Starting this year, young people can stay on their parents' policies until age 26. This is particularly important for a young generation headed into a wretched job market.
Over the next years, insurance companies will be required to spend 80 percent of premium dollars on medical services -- an effort to limit the amount they spend trying only to insure those who won't get sick.
Then subsidies will kick in for families making less than about
It isn't a single payer plan like
It isn't a "government takeover" of health care. It does only what every other industrial country and most poorer nations in the world already do: guarantee insurance for all citizens.
Americans have been terrorized with absurd claims about "death panels," granny killing, images of concentration camps. They've seen a Republican legislator shout "You lie!" to the president during a State of the Union address, watched tea parties and fierce lobbying and deal making.
But Sunday night, due significantly to the stalwart leadership of Speaker Pelosi, who has been demonized across the country, and the
commitment of President Obama, who has been criticized for staying the course, the
And as a bonus, in the reconciliation bill that fixed the worst parts of the
Democrats took this vote -- although many were warned they would pay a harsh political price in the fall.
Republicans have already vowed to "run on repeal." But I believe they got it wrong. They have cursed at a bill not nearly as bold as
Democrats will have to do more to strengthen this bill -- pass a public option, expand
But they have taken a bold and necessary step. And they should be rewarded, not punished for their courage. Now is the time for the vast majority of Americans to make their voices heard.
Read the latest health care reform news.
- What Is and Isn't in Healthcare Bill
- Obama Must Now Sell Healthcare to Skeptical Public
- After Months of Debate, No Bipartisanship on Healthcare
- Reactions to Historic Healthcare Reform
- DeMint Launches Healthcare Repeal Effort
- Healthcare Reform Only Partial Victory for Women
- Healthcare Passage Helps Democrats in November
- The Reality of ObamaCare
- Answering the Call to History
- Health Care Post-Mortem
Healthcare Reform - Answering the Call to History | Jesse Jackson
(c) 2010 Jesse Jackson