President signs health care bill
Mar. 24, 2010 - Congress has finally done something re health insurance -- even if not anything like what it should be doing (single payer). U.S. Senate is presumably poised to follow.
Maybe the President and Congress can now get on with other issues of immediate and long term importance to us, e.g. reauthorization of workable ESEA, adoption of a real Employee Free Choice Act, and whatever it takes to provoke faster, greater job creation all over America.
We can hope can't we?
MEA-MFT President Eric Feaver
MEA-MFT's two national affiliates have hailed passage of the bill:
AFT Applauds Passage of Historic Healthcare Legislation
The American Federation of Teachers applauds the action by Congress that brings us to the cusp of affordable and accessible healthcare and prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to millions of Americans. AFT President Randi Weingarten says:
"Like the Social Security and Medicare legislation of earlier generations, healthcare reform helps create a safety net for the uninsured and curbs insurance company abuses affecting those with coverage.
"The package will allow 32 million more Americans to receive healthcare coverage. Seniors will be able to purchase affordable medications because the legislation eliminates the 'doughnut hole' in coverage under the Medicare prescription drug program. And insurance companies will not be able to deny benefits because of pre-existing conditions or cancel policies because of illness.
"While this is not a perfect bill—we were able to mitigate, but not permanently eliminate, the excise tax for all Americans and delay its start until 2018—it makes a significant start at getting costs under control and moves the nation toward the goal of affordable, high-quality healthcare for all Americans."
[AFT press release]
NEA applauds Congress for doing the right thing
The health care bill will make quality affordable health care available to millions and provide greater security for seniors. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the bill also will reduce the federal deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade, the largest reduction in the federal deficit since the 1990s.
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel stated:
"This is a proud and historic moment for America. This vote puts quality health care within reach for the more than 8 million uninsured children, making it possible for them to come to school healthy and ready to learn.
"This legislation will improve health care coverage for many who already have health insurance; extend coverage to millions of uninsured; guarantee people with pre-existing conditions that they will not lose their health insurance; improve Medicare for seniors; protect families from bankruptcy, due to spiraling health care costs and allow hundreds of young adults to maintain coverage on their parents' insurance plans.
"It takes leadership and compassion to stand up and do what is right. Sufficient members of Congress held true to the courage of their convictions and offered a ray of hope for ordinary Americans.
"Health care reform has been pursued for more than 50 years, by seven presidents. Today's vote brings us closer than ever to realizing the goal of quality affordable health care for our people, regardless of age, background, income, or where you live.
We hope the day will soon come when millions of children in this country will be able to do something they've never done before -- see a doctor without an ER visit."