The health care overhaul bill at a glance
From the Anchorage Daily News:
COST: $940 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
INSURANCE MANDATE: Almost everyone is required to be insured or else pay a fine. There is an exemption for low-income people. Mandate takes effect in 2014.
INSURANCE MARKET REFORMS: Starting this year, insurers would be forbidden from placing lifetime dollar limits on policies, from denying coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions, and from canceling policies because someone gets sick. Parents would be able to keep older kids on their coverage up to age 26.
Not all of Alaska’s representatives are convinced that the bill is a good thing. Nor are they convinced that the way the House intends to pass it is reasonable: Sen. Lisa Murkowski said:
“When the front page of The Washington Post says that the speaker of the House is proposing to pass a bill, a bill like health care reform, without a vote, anybody in this country can figure out, ‘Well, wait a minute. That’s not what we learned in American government. What in the world is going on here?’ “
Congressman Don Young agrees:
“Over a thousand pages of gobbledygook,” he said Friday. “I have an old saying, it should have been K-I-S-S. Keep it simple…stupid. I’ve happened to read this bill. I don’t understand it. No one else understands it. We should not pass this atrocity.”
(It’s actually over two thousand pages of gobbledygook.)
Democrat Senator Mark Begich disagrees:
… he thought there’d been plenty of debate on health care over the past year, including town hall meetings and hearings, and even individual meetings with constituents.
In other words, he’s heard lots of debate. Almost everybody thinks it’s a bad idea, but we’re going to pass it anyway.