Health Care Reform Analysis

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Over the past three decades, the United States federal government has been attempting to use legislation for health care reform in an effort to control rising costs and to expand insurance coverage for all Americans. There were several heated debates and failures along the way, with the ultimate overhaul expansion of health care that took place during the 111th Congress culminating in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), or as known to the general public as Obamacare. The ACA is a 2,400-page bill that was passed along party lines and signed in to law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. The bill encompasses several facets of various government agencies including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Health and…show more content…
Bush, the Democrats considered several issues to tackle for the election season. With the bipartisan support from previous bills and the success that Massachusetts was achieving from their legislation, the Democrats chose to campaign on a national issue of health care reform. During the 2008 Democratic primary, the two top nominees were Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. They both campaigned on an insurance plan to cover all Americans. They did have a difference in their plans: Hillary chose a plan that would require all American to acquire insurance coverage as an individual mandate. Whereas, Obama’s plan was not a mandated requirement, but there would be an offer of a subsidy to allow Americans to purchase insurance. In the end, Obama won the primary and challenged Republican John McCain in the general election. Obama declared on the campaign trail that health care reform was one of his top four priorities if he won. In November of 2008, Senator Barack Obama defeated Senator John McCain to win the presidency (Jacobs,…show more content…
In the Senate, when a bill requires a cloture vote, you need 60 votes for it to pass. At that time, Senate Democrats did not have 60 votes. They began to negotiate with Republicans trying to find the last few votes to swing the bill to passage. To gain the final votes, Al Franken (D) won a special election in Minnesota, Republican Senator Arlen Specter switched parties to become a Democrat, and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) was swayed in to voting for cloture to end the debate on the bill (Staff of the Washington Post, 2010). This now meant that the Senate passed the bill through the Finance Committee, debated it on the floor, passed the cloture vote and was now being called for a final vote in the Senate. On December 24, 2009, the Senate passed the ACA on a vote of 60-39. Every single Democrat and two Independents voted for passage, while all the Republicans except for Senator Jim Bunning voted against the bill. Now, the ACA was sent to the House for its approval. Over the next three months, there were heated debates throughout the House of Representatives. There were debates over Medicaid, abortion, and budget concerns. With the Senate passing the ACA, the House was growing worrisome by day to pass it (Jacobs, 2010). House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi gave a speech at a conference proclaiming, “We have to pass the (healthcare) bill so we can find out what is in it.”(Gruber, 2011) On March 21, 2010,
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