Federal Health Care Reform Bill
On March 21st 2010, the House passed the Senate Health Insurance reform bill and then a reconciliation bill. The House vote on the Senate Bill: 219-212. The House vote on the reconciliation bill: 220-211.
President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 on March 30, 2010.
About the Bill:
Summary of Provisions by Kaiser Family Foundation
Implementation Timeline by Kaiser Family Foundation
MUHCC Statement on the Federal Reform
Comparison of the Federal Reform Bill and the Minnesota Health Plan
The Path To Single-Payer in the Federal Reform Bill
For a sampling of responses:
Physicians for a National Health Program: " As much as we would like to join the celebration of the House's passage of the health bill last night, in good conscience we cannot. We take no comfort in seeing aspirin dispensed for the treatment of cancer. Instead of eliminating the root of the problem - the profit-driven, private health insurance industry - this costly new legislation will enrich and further entrench these firms. The bill would require millions of Americans to buy private insurers' defective products, and turn over to them vast amounts of public money..." Read in Full
Paul Krugman: "...The Democrats have done it. The House has passed the Senate version of health reform, and an improved version will be achieved through reconciliation. This is, of course, a political victory for President Obama, and a triumph for Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker. But it is also a victory for America's soul. In the end, a vicious, unprincipled fear offensive failed to block reform. This time, fear struck out..." Read in Full
Michael Moore: ..."But the reality is that these health insurance companies have only one mission: To take as much money from you as they can -- and then work like demons to deny you whatever coverage and help they can should you get sick. So, when you find yourself suddenly broadsided by a life-threatening illness someday, perhaps you'll thank those pinko-socialist, Canadian-loving Democrats and independents for what they did Sunday evening"... Read in Full
Jon Walker, FireDogLake: ..."This health care reform bill passed late last night and soon to be signed into law is a seriously flawed piece of legislation, for it fails to achieve the goals of real health care reform. Now that it is essentially the law of the land, the country needs to work diligently at the federal and state levels to correct many of the most egregious problems with the legislation before the reform package fully goes into effect in 2014"... Read in Full
David Frum: ..."At the beginning of this process we (Republicans) made a strategic decision: unlike, say, Democrats in 2001 when President Bush proposed his first tax cut, we would make no deal with the administration. No negotiations, no compromise, nothing. We were going for all the marbles. This would be Obama's Waterloo - just as healthcare was Clinton's in 1994...This time, when we went for all the marbles, we ended with none"... Read in Full
Open Letter to Single Payer Community
Senator Bernie Sanders, Representatives Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers write of the path forward for single-payer
It reads in part:
"Now that a new health care bill has been signed into law, it has never been more important to have a strong movement behind Medicare for All... We are encouraged by the progress already garnered in multiple states toward guaranteed health care and we will continue to work hard in Congress to clear any obstacles in the way... We believe that Medicare for All is inevitable in the United States. It is up to all of us to determine when the inevitable becomes the reality."
Download the letter
Other Reform Efforts
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bill, S898 entitled States Right to Innovate in Health Care Act of 2009. This bill would amend the Social Security Act to provide grants to states for both planning and demonstration of Universal Health Care programs that meet specified criteria including simplified administration, comprehenisve benefits, focus on primary care and cost containment. The bill specifies that at least one of the five states to receive a demonstration grant must enact single-payer system. The Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition endorses S. 898.
Amendments to Enable State Single-Payer
Section 1332 of the federal bill, entitled waiver for state innovation would allow a state to apply for a waiver to the insurance exchange mandate if a state plan covered at least as many people, had a comparable or better benefit package, was as affordable to individuals and was neutral to the federal deficit. However under Section 1332, a state is prohibited from applying for a waiver until 2017. On November 18, 2010 Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) introduced a bill to allow for state innovation and waivers to the federal mandate as early as 2014. Read the bill here.