Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Monday, March 22, 2010

History Made! House PASSES Healthcare Reform Bill!

Filed under: Health and Social Policy,Politics — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:43

The Urgent Need for Health Reform

In a historic night, the United States House of Representatives has PASSED the Healthcare Reform Bill! The vote was 219-212 with the vast majority of Democrats voting “Yes” while the Republicans voted “No.” Republicans also failed to stall the Bill by attempting to argue language in the Bill related to abortions (which will NOT be eligible for federal funding). The Bill has been largely edited since its original inception. In its original form, the Bill included a comprehensive public healthcare option which would’ve provided coverage of the uninsured through a government-subsidized insurance plan. The new plan has some provisions for subsidization of the uninsured and underinsured through a sliding scale and provides financial incentives, mostly through pooling of money (particularly among small business owners), to augment insurance coverage to those who usually fail to obtain health insurance because their employer cannot afford to help provide it or the employee cannot afford to pay for the coverage themselves. Perhaps more importantly, however, are the strong provisions placed in the Bill to protect consumers from tactics used by insurance companies to deny coverage, escalate copays and deductibles, and limit the affordability and portability of health insurance policies.

The Bill was largely supported by healthcare’s professional organizations; the American Nurses Association, American College of Nurse Practitioners, American Medical Association, America Hospital Association, American Association of Retired Persons, and National Association of Social Workers all strongly endorsed the Bill and issued supportive proposal statement encouraging members to support the Bill. Personally, as a Nurse Practitioner who has worked in the acute care arena for almost a decade, I applaud this Bill greatly! Our practice has seen the number of uninsured patients rise dramatically over the past several years. While I personally am reimbursed for my services through our practice, our practice never receives a dime of payment for the services we provide to these patients. Sometimes, the number of uninsured have approached 30% of our patient population. Ultimately, the hospital obtains tax breaks and other financial incentives for caring for these patients through tax-payer funded mechanisms; but rarely are the actual total costs ever covered and the lack of insurance leads to a perpetuation of broken care and rapid re-entrance into the healthcare system to continue to rely on tax-payer funded care that has no choice but to be substandard. The US Department of Health and Human Services provides an analysis of how the BIll will effect each state. You can access Florida here:


This is the change we need! If your Representative voted “Yes” on Healthcare Reform (Suzanne Kosmas–the representative for the UCF Area voted “Yes”), take a moment to send him or her a “Thank-You” E-Mail or letter. If your Representative did not vote in-favor for the Bill, show him or her your appreciation at the voting booth and vote him or her OUT OF OFFICE!!!

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