Things are looking bleak for the healthcare bill following the recent Massachusetts vote. Some political experts believe a large part of Americans in Massachusetts were voting against the health legislation led by President Obama. But other analysts believe voters are confused about the health bill, and President Obama agrees. He says once voters see the details of the health bill they will jump on board in support of it. “The American people will suddenly learn that this bill does things they like and doesn’t do things that people have been trying to say it does,” said President Obama. The President has been working without success to provide affordable student health insurance, family health coverage, so that every American will have the opportunity to invest in good health insurance plans within their financial reach. However, the President’s health bill has had a significant amount of congressional and now public resistance.
There are many misconceptions from voters about the health bill. For example, many insured Americans believe health reform will take away their freedom and force them to change their current health insurance plans even if they are happy with it. To date their is nothing in the health proposal that requires anyone to give up their existing health plan. So if an insured individual has a Blue Cross Blue Shield or United Health Care policy which they are completely happy with, they can keep it. Medicare shows how public-private partnerships can result in individuals choosing their own plans and their own physicians.
None of the proposed plans involve socializing medicine, creating a single payer system, or government run or owned hospitals. Many voters are under the impression that Obama’s health bill is heading in that direction. The bill intends to involve the government so the health insurance industry will have additional laws to follow. For example, under the bill it will be against the law for health insurance companies to deny anyone coverage even if they have pre-existing conditions. There will also be a limit on the amount of money insured individuals can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses.
Another confusing part of the bill is whether tax dollars would be used for abortions. Federal dollars for abortions are currently quite restricted, and would continue to be. Coverage for abortion services would remain only for rape, incest and to protect the mother’s life.
President Obama and other democratic allies have had a difficult time getting the bill to this point. The process was not handled well and the president has taken responsibility for not explaining the bill to voters. Regardless of who is to blame for the health bill confusion, the fact is, time is running out to make the bill clear to voters and pass it through legislation. With that said there is still no clear indication of opposition to health coverage from the public. President Obama was elected, after all, with the promise of change to the healthcare system.