As most folks know, the House narrowly passed the heath care reform bill. Of course, it still has to face the merging process with the Senate. Here are a few points worth considering.
First, the vote was rather close. This indicates that the Democrats are not as unified as once alleged. This might be a division primarily on this issue. To be specific, many Democrats from conservative areas are no doubt thinking that there voters are against the reform bill and hence are doing what they think is needed to get re-elected. Of course, this division could also show a true split in the party between liberals and conservatives that will have ongoing implications.
Second, the bill is extremely long. It is so long that it is difficult to imagine that anyone has actually read the whole thing. Naturally, it seems reasonable to suspect that all sorts of sneaky deals are hidden in the vast forest of pages. While a vast bill does not automatically entail a bad bill, it has such a vast size that it is reasonable to be concerned about how so many new rules will impact things.
Third, the estimate is that the plan will cost $1.1 trillion over the next ten years. As it stands, it is claimed that it will be paid for by taxing wealthy Americans and by savings from Medicare. Naturally, it is sensible to be suspicious of how the actual funding will work. Years ago, when I did high school and college debate, people would always include a funding plank for their cases. The most common plank was that funding would be acquired by saving money in some other area. Even back then most folks regarded that as completely unrealistic BS and I think that still holds today. So, one wonders where the money really will come from. The answer, as always, is more taxes.
Fourth, the bill requires that everyone buys insurance. This is no doubt thrilling to the insurance companies-if the bill goes through, then everyone is legally required to buy their products. Of course, they are not so thrilled about not being able to refuse insurance based on pre-existing conditions and other related aspects of the bill. However, the profits of the insurance companies are in no danger. It also seems likely that the cost of medical care will also increase. After all, with insurance people can pay more to hospitals and it would be odd if they did not decide to make even more money by taking advantage of this.