Here are the FDL Action health care reform highlights for Thursday, October 29.
1. Jon Walker writes that by stopping the "robust public option tied to modified Medicare rates," Blue Dog Democrats handed "a huge victory [to] the health insurance industry, hospitals, and PhRMA." Walker adds, "If I were an insurance company CEO, I would be writing each of them a very large thank you note (i.e. a campaign contribution)." I'd say "don't give them any ideas," but unfortunately it's probably way too late for that!
2. Walker reports on the unveiling of the House’s health care reform bill. The bill will cost "$894 billion over the next ten years," will be "fully paid for," "will expand coverage to an additional 36 million Americans and eventually close the Medicare Part D doughnut hole." The full text (PDF) of the bill - all 1,990 pages - is now available. Happy reading! :)
3. Walker discusses the health insurance "exchange." Walker concludes that "by 2015 all employers, and therefore all Americans not on Medicare or Medicaid, could start using the new health insurance exchange for health care." At least in theory, that is. We'll see what happens.
4. Michael Whitney reports that "in just 24 hours, the FDL community has raised more than $15,000 from more than 400 people" to put pressure on Sen. Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas. If you'd like to contribute, please click here. Thanks.
5. Jane Hamsher writes that, despite "much celebration on Capitol Hill today with the announcement of the new House health care bill," she feels "tremendous sadness and disappointment...with regard to the lifesaving biologic drugs I took when I was in chemotherapy that will cost many of my fellow breast cancer survivors everything they own, and quite possibly their lives." It's an issue I don't know much about, but obviously Jane Hamsher does. Click here to read more.
6. Given that "most of the planned health care reforms will not kick in until 2013." Jon Walker asks, "What Will Health Care Reform Do Right Away?" The answer is a list of the 14 reforms that would take effect in 2010. The big question is whether "the voting public will think it is sufficient." We'll find out, one way or the other, in a little over a year. Let's hope the Democratic leadership knows what it's doing politically.
7. Walker lists "11 Ways The House Bill Is Much Better Than The Baucus Bill" as well as "How The House’s Public Option Might Differ From The Senate’s". I'll tell you, it's going to be fascinating to see how the House Bill and whatever comes out of the Senate are merged in conference committee. Ah, the making of sausage...
8. Finally, Walker reports that the "CBO has concluded" "that the House bill will reduce the deficit over the next ten years, and will also reduce the federal deficit over the next twenty years." So much for that Republican talking point?