Health Care Reform Resources

April 6, 2010

For those trying to better understand what is included in the new health care reform law, here are a couple of good resources:

Additionally, the MCC Washington Office released a statement on the passage of health care reform:

For over a year now, members of Congress and their staff and advocates all across the country have worked tirelessly for the passage of meaningful health care reform. The bill signed into law on March 23 is not perfect. But it acknowledges that we have serious problems in our health care system and takes important steps to improve access to care for the most vulnerable in our society. 

Read the full statement.

For additional resources on health care, visit washington.mcc.org/life/health.


Congress Passes Final Health Reform Bill

March 26, 2010

“Change is never easy, but it’s always possible”

Abundant Life: Economic Justice for AllThe final votes in the long, arduous health care debate came on Thursday. The Senate passed the bill of “fixes” to their health care reform package in the afternoon. Then, because two small changes were made to the legislation, it went back to the House where it passed 220-207 Thursday night.

As President Obama stated in a speech in Iowa, this marks the culmination of “a year of debate, a century of trying” to improve access to health care in a nation where 1 in 6 do not have health insurance.

[W]hat this struggle has taught us — about ourselves and about this country — is so much bigger than any one issue, because it’s reminded us … that change is never easy, but it’s always possible. It comes not from the halls of power, but from the hearts of our people. Amid setbacks, it requires perseverance. Amid calls for delay, it requires the fierce urgency of now. In the face of unrelenting cynicism, it requires unyielding hope.

Read the rest of this entry »


Health Care Reform: Final Votes Could Come Today

March 25, 2010

Abundant Life: Economic Justice for AllEarly this morning, the Senate parliamentarian upheld two Republican “points of order” on provisions of the bill relating to student loans.  Because this will change the bill, it will now need to go back to the House for approval of these changes. The Senate resumes this morning, with additional amendments and points of order objections expected before it moves to a final vote, currently expected around 2pm. The House could take up the revised bill tonight.  (Read more.)

Yesterday, President Obama signed an executive order clarifying that provisions in the health care reform package would not alter current federal law which prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother.

On Tuesday, Mennonite Mutual Aid released a statement on the reform bill.

* Action Alert: Pray and Act for Health Care Reform *

For additional resources on health care reform, visit the Abundant Life health care page.


Senate Health Bill Signed Into Law

March 24, 2010

* Action Alert: Pray and Act for Health Care Reform *

Yesterday, President Obama signed the Senate health care bill, HR 3590, into law (watch on C-Span).

At the same time, the Senate began its debate on a reconciliation package of “fixes,” HR 4872, which was passed by the House along with the Senate bill on Sunday.

Abundant Life: Economic Justice for AllRepublicans are expected to bring up numerous amendments and “points of order” (which could delete small provisions in the bill if they are deemed out of line with rules regarding what can be done under budget reconciliation). If the bill is changed at all, it will have to be sent back to the House for one more vote.

Democratic leaders may, at some point, attempt to stop the flow of amendments by ruling any further amendments “dilatory.” A final vote in the Senate could come as early as Thursday.

* Action Alert: Pray and Act for Health Care Reform *


House passes health care reform

March 22, 2010

The House passed two health care reform bills late Sunday night, sending the Senate bill (HR 3590) to president Obama’s desk and sending a reconciliation bill (HR 4872) to the Senate.

On Saturday, House leaders decided not to use the “deem and pass” method for approving the Senate bill, but instead called a straight up or down vote. For those who were still not satisfied with the Senate language on abortion, a compromise was reached involving an executive order. Read more.

Next the reconciliation bill goes to the Senate, where leaders are promising to pass it this week.

For additional resources on health care reform, visit the Abundant Life health care page.


Health Care Reform Update

March 19, 2010

** Action Alert: Pray and Act for Health Care Reform **

On Thursday, the House released the text of a budget reconciliation bill to complete their work on health care reform. This followed a report from the Congressional Budget Office estimating that the bill would reduce the deficit by $138 billion over 10 years.  House leaders have committed to giving legislators 72 hours to review the bill, so the earliest a vote of the full House could take place would be 2pm on Sunday. The vote would include passage of the Senate bill under “deem and pass” rules.  Next, the reconciliation package would go to the Senate.

The changes in the reconciliation bill look very similar to what the President proposed a few weeks ago. I have yet to see a good comparison of the House language with the President’s proposal, but will post when I do. One really good change is that Medicaid payment rates to primary care physicians would be required to be no less than 100% of Medicare (currently, payments vary from state to state but Medicaid often reimburses significantly less than Medicare). The federal government would pick up 100% of this cost.  Also, the student loan reform measure was added to the bill text.

Abortion: Abortion continues to be in the spotlight. On Wednesday, the heads of dozens of religious orders representing 59,000 Catholic nuns joined the Catholic Health Association in support of the bill:

Read the rest of this entry »


Health Care Reform: Reconciliation Bill Released

March 18, 2010

House reconciliation bill:  http://rules.house.gov/

Congressional Budget Analysis:  http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11355

Action Alert | Additional Resources


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