On November 7th, the House of Representatives passed the “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,” which is actually the amalgamation of three different health care bills. The bill passed by a vote of 240-194, which included 1 Republican. (A fact that Speaker Nancy Pelosi used to proclaim the bill to be bi-partisan.)
The bill’s purpose is to “provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending.” President Obama called the passage of the bill “courageous” while many detractors are decrying it as “fiscally irresponsible.”
At a reported 2,000 pages there is plenty in the bill to support and plenty to question. For example, I have a medical condition that I have to manage on a day-to-day basis. It is of the utmost importance to me that there is no pre-existing condition clause for my health insurance. This fact has a major effect on what job(s) I choose and God forbid if I were to lose my job and the health insurance that goes with it. So making it illegal to deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition is something that I strongly support.
As artists we may not get health insurance through our jobs. So providing health insurance that is actually affordable would be a very empowering thing for our community. It could provide the opportunity for us to cut ties with unwanted day jobs and allow us to pursue our artistic aspirations while still caring for our health.
On the other hand, there are items in the bill that don’t quite add up for me, such as requiring everyone to have health insurance and if they don’t they are fined. So what happens to the poor folks that can’t afford food, let alone health insurance? Would the government seriously add to their financial woes by levying a fine upon them?
The bill still needs to pass the Senate, where changes will undoubtedly be made. Assuming it passes the Senate, a committee will have to reconcile the bill that the House passed and the bill passed by the Senate. Then both the House and the Senate will have to vote on and pass the reconciled bill again before it will make it to Obama’s desk. So, we have a long way yet to go.
Granted I have not read the bill in detail – although I’ve downloaded it and have started reviewing it.
I am wondering, what are your health care concerns? As an independent artist, what parts of this bill work for you and your family and what parts don’t?