Saturday, December 19, 2009

Health Care!

So it looks like healthcare is going to pass, and I for one think this is a good thing. No, there's no public option or early Medicare buy-in. But it will now be illegal for insurance companies to discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions, or to cap how much they will spend on an individual over the course of his or her lifetime (55 percent of people with employer-based coverage currently suffer from these latter restrictions, writes Timothy Noah). Perhaps most intriguingly, it allocates $10 billion for community health centers, a victory for Bernie Sanders, the heroic Independent senator out of Vermont, who claims that these centers will provide primary care for an estimated 25 million Americans. There is also a complicated voucher program, the brainchild of Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, for people who live below the federal poverty line, and subsidies for moderate-income people.

In short, it ain't perfect, but it's long overdue. And it looks like it's going to pass.

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