House health bill… It’s really big!

October 29, 2009

It’s really big.

How big is it?

So big that Republican Congressman David Camp was going to take it with him to read on a flight to his Michigan home but it wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartment, an aide quipped.

What is it? The healthcare reform legislation made public on Thursday by Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The 1,990-page document comes in at more pages than an English translation of Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” which is just shy of 1,500 pages.

The health legislation may or may not be more interesting than the epic story about 19th century Russian society, but it is the center of attention on Capitol Hill at the moment.

USA-HEALTHCARE/Republican Senator Lamar Alexander says he will read it and recommends that everyone else does too. The legislative text of the “Affordable Health Care for America Act” is available on the House Rules Committee website.

“I have an important announcement to make on a subject which I believe will be of interest to the American people: the era of the 1,000-page bill is over,” Alexander said. “We have 2,000-page bill.”

Democrats argue that the weighty legislation will help millions of uninsured Americans, reduce costs and end insurance industry practices that result in loss of coverage and discriminate against people because of medical history, sex and profession.

Republicans argue that a more modest, step-by-step approach to changing the healthcare system is needed and that the cost of the proposed Democratic bill is high.

“A 2,000-page healthcare bill that costs a trillion dollars means that every page costs the American people a half-billion dollars,” says Don Steward, spokesman for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveils House Democrats’ healthcare bill)

9 comments

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Does this representative have any common sense this country cannot afford to spend one penny. We are going broke. before we spend any additional money we should cut back the total federal govt. salaries. have them go home for a year i bet we all would be better off.

Posted by peter troncale | Report as abusive

Not a damn word about lowering healthcare insurance premiums or healthcare costs. These God#$$3 politicians.
What I wouldn’t give for an asteroid to hit Washington and obliterate every damn one of them.

Posted by Mufaso | Report as abusive

Hey reuters how about an article discussing the actual bill not just some smarta** comments about how long it is.

Posted by Adam12 | Report as abusive

National Health care is a rouse.
What the government really wants is a new national tax.
Obama is just a paid spokesperson with the right amount of grass roots appeal at this time to sell it to the public.

Why not just expand Medicare. Because the government is broke with chronic tax base erosion. A new national tax is needed just to sustain our debts.

What were going to get is a new tax.
And a health care bill that provides band aids, aspirin and self exam for quality of life.

Thank you Baby Boomers for your contributions to America. What’s your favorite color again?

Posted by youdon't say | Report as abusive

Don’t kid yourself

National Health care is a rouse.
What the government really wants is a new national tax.
Obama is just a paid spokesperson with the right amount of grass roots appeal at this time to sell it to the public.

Why not just expand Medicare. Because the government is broke with chronic tax base erosion. A new national tax is needed just to sustain our debts.

What were going to get is a new tax.
And a health care bill that provides band aids, aspirin and self exam for quality of life.

Thank you Baby Boomers for your contributions to America. What’s your favorite color again?

Posted by getreal | Report as abusive

What is truly frightening is the number of people willing to believe in this health care reform with no questions asked. I’ve found no point in trying to engage in discussion as I get no thoughtful responses – just the usual stereo-types & generalizations. They don’t care about understanding their own side, let alone the oppositon.

Posted by Michelle Erickson | Report as abusive

Health Care I Can Live With (and have sent to my representatives)…maybe we all should.
STEP 1

2009-10 – Write and pass strong rules for investigating, eliminating
Medicare fraud (authorize hiring as needed) including substantial fines to
replace Medicare funds and prison sentences where warranted.

2009-10 – Write and pass a bill that will allow individuals to receive 40%
of any Medicare savings based on their proven report of fraud, including
double billing, and incorrect billing. Insurance companies that have done
this have seen considerable savings.

2009-10 – Write a bill authorizing interstate insurance purchases by
companies and individuals

2009-10 – Write and pass a bill requiring uninsured individuals (of means)
to purchase catastrophic insurance and open a health care account (absent
such purchase, the individual must show ability to pay up to $100,000 in
medical care over a 4-year period).

2009-10 – Encourage each State that hasn’t done so, to pass a tort-reform
bill.

END STEP 1

2012 – Examine savings from fraud, tort reform, interstate insurance
purchases, and if, and only if needed, write a bill (Step 2) of Health
reform.

In others words, slow this sucker down and get it right.

This American always votes.

Posted by Mega | Report as abusive

[...] STORIES: Boehner: GOP offering the right health care ideas House health bill… It’s really big! Government health care getting the blue pill Want free health care? Get the government out. [...]

So it’s voluminous. So what? That’s why we pay our representatives–to sift through complicated problems and the complexities of legislation. Is the Republican position that they are too intellectually lazy to look through the bill and actually come up with ways to improve it or flaws in the bill. Apparently if it can’t be boiled to some pithy phrase like “We’re at war” it’s too complex for these guys.

Posted by Scola | Report as abusive

There are so many aspects of this plan that the politicians keep overlooking though. The medical industry is wrought with overspending and has gone for too long without any regulation or oversight. Insurance premiums have gone up 138% for a reason and it isn’t simply corporate greed.
Private insurance companies are a part of the problem, yes. When regarding health, private insurance never should have been allowed to be profitable business in the first place. For-profit insurance means requires a need to make money and inevitably that is going to affect the quality of the insurance that people are getting from the company. Companies don’t want to spend money on an individual so they will take whatever measures necessary to ensure they don’t have to. But the medical industry has been profiting all along as well. Procedural costs, visits, even x-rays cost varying amounts state to state, city to city and practitioners are being bounced around by pharmaceutical companies to try and make money while waiting a year or more for the insurance companies to pay up.
This may be why the US was ranked #37 according to the World Health Organization. http://www.ourblook.com/component/option  ,com_sectionex/Itemid,200076/id,8/view, category/#catid107
Either health care needs to become a single unit in which there are no privatized barriers, which we may have lost since the rejection of the public option by the Senate, or we find a way to actually bring health care back to a fair free market based standing. The entire industry is wrought with greed from every angle, physicians hiking costs, pharmaceutical companies giving incentives for pushing their products, lobbyists for insurance company interests, and lobbyists for pharmaceutical interests. Where do we draw the line? Health care has had nothing to do with actual care for well beyond two decades.

Posted by maguire | Report as abusive