"More than three-quarters of adult Americans who have health insurance say they still worry about paying more for their medical care, and almost 50 percent say they're "very" or "extremely" worried about the issue."
Harris Interactive/Health Day poll, reported by USNews March 18, 2009
The bottom line on health care is clear - and it's not pretty: the cost of health insurance has doubled since 2000, leaving more Americans to join the uninsured; while even those with health insurance worry about costs and coverage. Rising health care costs endanger our families' wellbeing; burden state budgets; and make it even harder for American manufacturers to compete.
That's why it's good news that we are starting to hear about a vote on health care as early as this fall. According to the Washington Post, House Democrats, in consultation with the White House, "will give Republicans until September to reach a compromise" on a health care reform bill.
The House leadership plans to include health care reform in their budget proposal, or budget reconciliation. According to congressional rules that means it requires a majority vote, but cannot be filibustered. The Senate will probably use a different procedure; whatever they decide, the goal of this strategy is to ensure that health care reform does get a vote this year.
So watch for the discussion of health care in the budget next week (and beyond!) And if you hear some talking heads on television complain that putting health care reform in the - budget reconciliation is somehow unfair - remind them that it will still require a majority vote. Isn't that what democracy is about?
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