House Passes Health Care Reform Legislation

9 11 2009

On Saturday evening, the House of Representatives made history by passing the first serious attempt at broad-based health care reform in over a century, called H.R. 3962 :

The new legislation will expand Medicaid coverage to over 35 million more Americans (covering people with incomes 133% below the poverty line, or $14,404 annual income).

Many progressives, however, are extremely bitter about an amendment introduced to help get the bill passed, called the Stupak Amendment.  The Stupak Amendment, according to the New York Times, “would impose tight restrictions on abortions that could be offered through a new government-run insurance plan and through private insurance that is bought using government subsidies.”  It is seen by some as one of the biggest blows to women’s civil rights in over a generation.

Others conclude that there is much work to be done for health care reform’s future, but are content that H.R. 3962 provides a foundation to build on more comprehensive, meaningful reform including a stronger public option, which would serve as tougher competition against private insurance and bring down costs to consumers.

“A robust public option” and nothing less is what House progressives pledged to support, going so far as saying that they wouldn’t pass a bill without this.  It remains to be seen why they backed down on this pledge.

Below is a press conference held by House Democrats last night:

RMF will be following the public push back against the Stupak Amendment as the health care debate enters the Senate, and as always, feel free to check out our past work on this issue.  Stay tuned!