Check out the full bill (all 615 pages).
Womenstake.org makes a series of statements about the Kennedy-led bill and how it affects women:
“This is a momentous day for our country, and for the millions of Americans who can’t afford to wait any longer for meaningful reform that will guarantee quality, affordable comprehensive health care for all…This bill reflects years of work, expertise, and careful consideration of options. The critical headway it makes towards women’s ability to secure access to quality, affordable health care throughout their lives reflects this extensive work and expertise…Senator Kennedy’s bill underscores that quality, affordable and comprehensive health care for women and their families is attainable now…One of the exciting aspects of the bill is that it confronts many of the particular obstacles faced by women in our current health care system, and eliminates many insurance industry practices that are especially harmful to women. For example, it bans the discriminatory insurance practice of gender rating…The bill would also ban the insurance industry practice of rejecting applicants based on health status or history – a harmful practice that has, for example, prevented survivors of domestic violence and women who have had caesarean sections from getting health coverage.”
President Barack Obama announced today that his administration would be sending legislation to the U.S. House and Senate that would re-enact the 1990s-era “pay as you go” rule. This rule is an over-arching commitment on the part of policy makers and representatives to not allow new spending or tax changes to increase the federal deficit. In the President’s words: “Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere”. This is an attempt by the administration to make sure the national deficit doesn’t get any larger, but it doesn’t offer any plans on cutting down on that deficit. With a $1.8 trillion dollar expected deficit at the end of the year, fiscal responsibility is a big conversation right now. PAYGO is one effort toward this. Check out the briefing with Peter Orszag (Office of Management and Budget director) on C-Span, and the article about this proposal from the Times.
An update on the bill proposals from the Wall Street Journal:
“House leaders outlined a health-care overhaul plan that would create a national health-insurance “exchange” for consumers and include a government-run plan as one option, while Sen. Edward Kennedy introduced a similar bill in the Senate…The draft House plan, presented to House Democrats at a meeting Tuesday, would require almost all Americans to have health insurance and provide subsidies to those with annual incomes as high as four times the poverty level. People without insurance could find a plan on an insurance exchange that would be set up by the government.”
Yesterday the New York Times’ Robert Pear wrote an article describing recent updates in the health reform debate. It seems that Democrats are talking more and compromising more on things like the public option and taxed benefits. Check out the full article.