Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The US Healthcare Bill

Well, the House of Representatives eventually passed the bill, and estimates are that over thirty million Americans currently without health insurance will get it and that only 15000, rather than 30000, will die each year because they don't have it.

In all honesty, the bill is still pretty damn weak and is nowhere near the universal coverage enjoyed by people in this country and in fact every other developed country other than the United States. But, considering how horrendously painful its passage has been, as well as the lives it will save (it will also save money, but that isn't enough to persuade the repuglicans that it's an acceptable idea, because insurance companies will make slightly less obscene profits as a result of it), it is a vital first step. Most Americans wanted the bill passed, indeed the majority wanted a better, stronger version, despite repuglican outright lies claiming the opposite-- and more will come around when the apocalyptic consequences disgracefully, disingenuously and dishonestly put forward by opponents don't come to pass and when their friends and neighbours as well as themselves find life just a little bit easier because it has passed. Fewer Americans will lose their homes or their lives as a result of having no health insurance, maybe it will even stop being the number one cause of bankruptcy in the country-- a simply unimaginable fact in the rest of the world, in what I call the civilised world, where countries take care of their citizens.

It's a start. For the American people and for President Obama. It gives his administration, which was born among so much hope and optimism, a chance to come good after more than a year of mostly disappointing events.

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