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Dennis Kucinich Explains Why He Voted No On Affordable Health Care for America Act
November 8, 2009
Cleveland area Congressman Dennis Kucinich has long been one of the strongest voices for health care for all but was one of 36 Democrats who voted no on H.R. 3962 the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Kucinich explained his “no” vote on his website that read: <!– [more] –>
After voting against H.R. 3962—Affordable Health Care for America Act, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement:
“We have been led to believe that we must make our health care choices only within the current structure of a predatory, for-profit insurance system which makes money not providing health care. We cannot fault the insurance companies for being what they are. But we can fault legislation in which the government incentivizes the perpetuation, indeed the strengthening, of the for-profit health insurance industry, the very source of the problem. When health insurance companies deny care or raise premiums, co-pays and deductibles they are simply trying to make a profit. That is our system.
“Clearly, the insurance companies are the problem, not the solution. They are driving up the cost of health care. Because their massive bureaucracy avoids paying bills so effectively, they force hospitals and doctors to hire their own bureaucracy to fight the insurance companies to avoid getting stuck with an unfair share of the bills. The result is that since 1970, the number of physicians has increased by less than 200% while the number of administrators has increased by 3000%. It is no wonder that 31 cents of every health care dollar goes to administrative costs, not toward providing care. Even those with insurance are at risk. The single biggest cause of bankruptcies in the U.S. is health insurance policies that do not cover you when you get sick.
Parsing the House Health Bill
By Janet Adamy
November 8, 2009
With the House health bill passed, Congress moves a step closer to making the biggest changes to the health system in more than four decades. Here’s a look at what the bill would mean for various groups:
The uninsured: They’re the biggest winners under the bill. Starting in 2013, it gives government subsidies to a chunk of low- and middle-income Americans and expands Medicaid to cover a greater swath of the poor. At the lowest income level, the subsidy would keep a family of four earning just over $29,000 a year from paying more than 1.5% of their income on insurance premiums. It reaches as far up as a family of four earning about $88,000 a year, so they would pay no more than 12% of their income toward insurance. <!– [more] –>
Shopping for insurance would probably get easier since the bill creates new exchanges designed to allow consumers who buy their own policies to compare plans side by side. One of those plans would be a government-run insurance plan, also known as the “public option.”
Obtaining coverage would get easier because the bill prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to people over pre-existing health conditions.
But for those who don’t want insurance, there’s a downside. Once these changes take effect, people who choose to go uncovered would generally have to pay a penalty equal to as much as 2.5% of their income.