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- Ready, set -- take a deep breath before you start shopping (11/20/19)
Health care reform far from finished
Read the list of benefits issued by Sen. Ben Nelson's office this morning, and passing the Senate health care bill seems like a no-brainer.
No more exclusion for pre-existing conditions or lifetime limits on coverage, no more dropping you when you get sick, no premium rates based on health status or gender.
The bill will reduce the deficit by $1.3 trillion over the next 10 years, make health insurance more affordable, strengthen rural hospitals, support adoption and help take care of pregnant teens among a long list of other benefits.
Republicans are having none of it, however, saying it will increase the deficit, push the economy over the edge, and besides that, the bill is unconstitutional, because for one thing, it requiring everyone to buy health insurance.
Despite today's vote, health care reform is far from done.
For one thing, the House bill passed last month includes a "public option," a point Nelson was able to have excluded from the Senate bill, and tighter restrictions on abortion than Nelson was able to have included in the Senate.
Reportedly, House negotiators are being told they will have to accept the Senate bill's provisions, including the Nelson compromise, but whether legislative momentum be able to overcome the emotion attached to that issue is the looming question.
Health care reform is being compared to the creation of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare in 1965 -- both of which are near bankruptcy, opponents are quick to point out.
Will health care reform result in better care? Higher premiums? Either, neither or both?
Only time will tell.
Let's hope we can all get our minds off politics long enough to enjoy the next few days. Merry Christmas and safe, happy holidays to you and yours from the Gazette staff.