Healthcare bill approved by House, moves to Senate

us-healthcare-billNew York, November 8 2009 US House of Representatives Saturday approved the healthcare bill by a vote of 220-215 which is Mostly regarded as the landmark bill.

After the discussions in the house, which lasted throughout the day, the measures of the proposed healthcare bill were rejected by the Republicans. But the Democrats managed a narrow victory, with only one Republican vote, which actually further highlighted  the ideological divide between the two parties over healthcare.

The Democrats had long waited for the bill and the House cheered aloud when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to the speaker’s chair and announced, “The bill is passed.”

Although the bill will still requires Senate nod, the approval by the House has certainly given a boost to US President Obama’s campaign to extend healthcare to all citizens of USA.

About the healthcare bill
The 2000 page legislation is designed to provide health insurance to all Americans. The basic idea is to preserve the health care system under which majority of the employees are provided health insurance through work.

The bill is expected to cover 36 million citizens, leaving out 4 percent, compared to 17 percent who do not have insurance currently The insurance companies will be required to provide insurance for all pre-existing medical conditions. Further, it is mandatory for them to provide minimum set of benefits like maternity care, mental health services etc.

Americans would be required to get insurance either through the employer, government, or by buying it themselves.

The government would provide subsidies to offset the high cost of insurance for those who otherwise cannot afford healthcare costs.

The bill also covers tax subsidies of about $25 billion to small businesses to defray the cost of proving insurance to their employees.

To pay for the bill, the administration is expected to increase taxes. The democrats have already approved 5.4 percent surtax on individuals who earn more than $500,000 a year and couples who earn more than $1 million.

Bill draws opposition from Republicans and industry
Though the democrats are upbeat about the bill, many have opposed the healthcare measures.

Republicans have raised concerns saying that the bill will only add to the government’s deficit, which is skyrocketing.

Candice Miller, a Michigan Republican, was quoted by as saying, “We are going to have a complete government takeover of our health care… This is making me sick.”

Many insurance companies and businesses have also actively opposed the bill.

“The healthcare reform bill just passed by the House of Representatives fails the crucial test of reducing the soaring cost of health coverage for businesses or individuals,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Bruce Josten said after the vote.