Sunday, December 20, 2009

Biden: "Why The Senate Should Vote Yes On Health Care"

Every progressive is disappointed that the Senate's health care bill does not include a public option or Medicare expansion. Howard Dean's original call to "kill the bill," however, was irresponsible. It has been torturous enough to get where we are–and now that we're there, the legislation, however imperfect, has the potential to help millions. Fortunately, Dean has softened his position, stating, "I would let this thing go to conference committee and let's see if we can fix it some more."

In a commentary, Vice President Joe Biden makes a convincing case as to why the Senate should pass the bill:

While it is not perfect, the bill pending in the Senate today is not just good enough — it is very good. Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions or drop coverage when people get sick. Charging exorbitant premiums based on sex, age or health status will be outlawed. Annual and lifetime caps on benefits will be history. Those who already have insurance will be able to keep it, and will gain peace of mind knowing they won’t be priced out of the market by skyrocketing premiums. And more than 30 million uninsured Americans will gain access to affordable health care coverage.

That is not all. President Obama and I know we have to put our fiscal house in order. This is why those who claim they oppose reform because they fear for our country’s fiscal stability should finally acknowledge what the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office makes crystal clear: not only is the Senate bill paid for, it is this country’s single largest deficit-reduction measure in a dozen years.

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