Follow Barack Obama prior and during his tenure as the 44th President of the United States. Read about my personal observations along with every day facts as they happen. This blog will only submit factual information about the first black President, now in his 2nd term of office.


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Senate Vote Imminent - One More Hurdle to Go

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Early this morning, the Senate plans to vote on the health care plan that does not include the public option, something that many Senators promised that the bill would have. I will explain the public option a little later in this note, and why it is so important to so many Senators. Actually the bill has two more hurdles, the vote today in the Senate, and finalized by the House before reaching the President's desk for signing next year by either late January or February.  What is supposed to happen is that the bill should make quality health care available and affordable to all Americans, but the House must ratify the Senate bill next month. There still are vast differences between the two bills, but it is almost a slam dunk that the bill will be passed by Senate. It may not be as easy for the House to accept all the changes that were imposed in the bill after the House ratified its version the last time. What are the changes that the House would accept another version of the bill since they have already gave its blessing to the bill before going to the Senate? With all of the changes, the doubt is there that it may not pass as easy as it did the last time. Manipulation of the bill between the House and Senate has radically changed the face of the bill. Still, now all it will take is a simple majority in the House next year, and the Health Reform Bill will become law. This most likely will not happen until the House goes in session again after the holidays on January 12, but further preparations by the House staff will begin even before the dawn of the new year. So now even after the vote today, there will still be two versions of the bill, and the Congress must iron out the differences and get the bill in it's finality form so that the House can ratify it next month. imminent
As usual, there is severe opposition to the bill, most recently by one House Democrat named Louise M. Slaughter, who represents the 28th Congressional District of New York. She happens to be the very first woman who chaired the House Rules Committee and who has a specialty in microbiology. She sincerely believes that the Senate bill that most likely will pass today is not the same bill the House voted successfully on just one month ago. There have been too many changes since then.  It seems that some of the Senators, headed by Nancy Pelosi, will do anything to to bill to get it passed. Louise Slaughter believes that the present House version which will not be voted on today is better than the Senate bill, and better represents a step toward giving 36 million Americans decent health care coverage. She worries that "millions of Americans will be forced into private insurance company plans, which will be subsidized by taxpayers. hat alternative will do almost nothing to reform health care but will be a windfall for insurance companies. Is that any surprise that stock prices for some of those insurers are up recently?" as she has reported in a recent CNN news story.
So the bottom line here is that she "does not want to subsidize the private insurance market" as she claims, and does not want to support the bill as it stands without the public option. Without it, there would not be any competition within the health insurance industry. With it, the reform bill would truly "lower costs and improve in the deliver of health care services and force companies to offer rates and services that are reasonable," according to Slaughter.
The editor of this blog also believes that the public option is a necessity, and that without it, the President's bill may just go down in flames next month. The bill is so very crucial to President Obama's future success as President. The criticism is becoming an all out war against President Obama, but he continues to support the Congress in their actions in the efforts to create a health care reform bill. Why? because of his desire to provide a bill that Americans can afford, but also because now he will become the only President in recent history to pass a bill that contained major health care reform, or for that matter, an health care reform bill.
President Obama has been President of the United States for a little over one year now, and still has three to go in his first term. But he has already mandated his Presidency with his actions and what he as done already most likely will make or break his chances to retain the Presidency in the elections of 2012.
People like Senator Joseph Lieberman, and independent for the state of Connecticut opposes the bill supports the present bill without the public option, while others like Majority Whip Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois support the public option. The public option is the one thing that can make or break the health care reform bill.
So what is it? It is an insurance plan that would compete with private insurance plans in an internet based exchange or market place, enabling citizens and small businesses to purchase health insurance meeting the minimum federal standard. If you have other employer plans or state insurance plans such as Medicare, you would not be eligible to obtain coverage from the exchange, and ultimately would not be able to obtain this form of federal health insurance. The federal government's health insurance plan would be financed entirely by premiums without subsidy from the Federal government. It would require the repayment of "seed money" to the Treasury over a ten year period. The Senate bill today that most likely will pass today most likely will have a difficult time in passing next month in the final vote of the House.  The changes of a bill to reach President Obama's desk in the mind of the editor of this blog is very slim.
Of course I am hoping that a bill can be created that both Democrats and Republicans alike can support, but unfortunately the entire Republican base now opposes it, so only by Democratic majority will the bill pass. The President must corral a few of the opposing Democratic Congressmen who favor many of the Republican principles for it to finally pass and become law.  These conservative Democrats will make or break this health care reform bill. The changes are that if the bill becomes law and becomes unfavorable by Americans, President Obama will loose his credability and become the first President to claim a 'lame duck' status in only his 2nd year in office. But now it is too early to tell.
Many people say that President Obama is doing too much in such little time, but he argues that there are just too many changes to make. It is the opinion of the editor of this blog that he is taking his chances now in an attempt to get as much done as possible before he looses his power and support and no longer has the ability to persuade, Congress to act in his favor.  For now, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. If he is right, and things turn around with the economy and the new health reform bill is a big success, then he has a very good chance to be re-elected.
It takes a very special person to become President of the United States. No one should ever under estimate the job that a President has to do. He is responsible for the welfare of the country and in some respects of the entire world, because he is known as the leader of the free world. It is a monumental burden that one person excepts as President. We now can all hope that President Obama continues to be guided in the right direction so the country can prosper again, and this country will once again regain its status as the giant and a leader of free countries.


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