Monday, March 22, 2010

Obama's Health Care Reform Passes; Yes, He Could, He Did

On Sunday U.S. President Barack Obama managed to pass his much-debated and criticized health care reforms through Congress. By a 219 to 212 vote, the legislation passed the House. It received Senate approval back in December. Obama managed to accomplish this historic 'yes' vote with the help of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — despite months of attacks from Republican legislators who used every size and model of monkey wrench available to them to stop the bill from passing.

It's estimated that Obama's health care reforms will provide coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans. The President will sign the bill into law on Tuesday.

Protestors showed up in Washington over the weekend to voice their disapproval with the reforms. Many waved signs saying, "Kill the bill!" The protestors were encouraged and cheered on by Republican legislators, who unanimously voted against the Democrats health care reforms.

Personally, I wonder just how many of these protestors know what they're protesting. With many American insurance companies gouging their clients (and then denying to pay for treatment when they find pre-existing or undisclosed medical conditions) Americans buying into the plans offered by these companies are paying obscene amounts of money when it's doubtful they would ever see a penny should they be injured and need the coverage.

CBC reporter Neil Macdonald has written an excellent article on the CBC's website about U.S. insurance companies that recently raised their rates — some by as much as 40 per cent. You can read Macdonald's piece here. The article points out that in 2009 America's top five insurance companies made $12.2 billion in profits. After reading this I found it impossible to have even a microscopic amount of understanding for the American insurance industry, or the Republicans who think the industry shouldn't be legislated.

I personally hope the Democrats are able to ride on this legislation in the mid-term elections to maintain their majorities in the Senate and Congress. Obama has finally proved he's got the cojones to stand up for America's most vulnerable.

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