Updates on historic health care bill

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President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and senior staff applaud in the Roosevelt Room of the White House as the U.S. House of Representatives passed the health care reform legislation Sunday, March 21.

UPDATE: The impending passage of health insurance reform stands to affect the vast majority of people in the United States — regardless of whether they’re citizens. Patients at some Orange County clinics offered mixed reactions to the changes.

Latest | Permalink Southland reacts to health bill The impending passage of health insurance reform stands to affect the vast majority of people in the United States — regardless of whether they’re citizens. Patients at some Orange County clinics offered mixed reactions to the changes. Half a dozen patients at the Gateway Urgent Care Medical Center in Anaheim waited to see the doctor. Nearly all had heard about the passage of health insurance reform in Washington D.C. Susan Mendez of Fullerton held her nose at the political process that led to this policy. "It concerns me about the amount of control the government has." She said the government had to do something to change the system. "It is broken, and I do believe that everyone has a right to health care." Like Mendez, almost everyone at this urgent care center had medical insurance. Click here for the rest of the story. - Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, KPCC

Updated at 7:23 p.m. | Permalink Before health vote, a weekend of ugly discourse NEW YORK — Remember how shocking it was six months ago when Rep. Joe Wilson shouted "You lie!" to the president? Suddenly, that outburst seems positively genteel. From the "N-word" and anti-gay slurs being leveled at congressmen by protesters right outside the Capitol, to a shout of "baby killer!" within the chamber itself, to veiled and not-so-veiled threats online, the weekend saw an explosion of stunningly ugly discourse. What is going on? Is our political culture sinking ever lower? Actually, say political historians, not necessarily, though it surely may seem so. In reality, they say, such a descent into incivility happens periodically at times of significant political change. The difference is that now we hear about every shocking outburst again and again, on 24-hour cable news, on YouTube, on Twitter - where there were a few random threats of violence over the weekend - and on blogs too numerous to count. Click here for the rest of the story. - Jocelyn Noveck, AP

Updated at 5:50 p.m. | Permalink How The Health Bill Could Affect You The uninsured are likely the biggest beneficiaries of the health bill, and some argue everyone will benefit from tighter insurance regulations. Coverage is expected to eventually extend to more than 30 million people. After a year of wrangling, the House approved a bill that would eventually extend health care coverage to more than 30 million Americans. Some immediate changes include prohibiting insurance companies from refusing to insure children because of a pre-existing condition, and offering Medicare beneficiaries more help paying for drug coverage. Expanding Coverage: — A big chunk of the millions of American citizens who are currently uninsured will get coverage help in 2014. That's when state Medicaid programs will expand to cover people living between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Subsidies will also kick in to provide affordable plans on new insurance marketplaces. Individuals and businesses can shop around to buy insurance on these "exchanges." Click here for the rest of the story. - NPR

Updated at 5:16 p.m. | Permalink Senator Dianne Feinstein weighs in on House health care vote The U.S. House of Representatives, with a 219-to-212 vote, used a procedural measure Sunday evening and passed health care legislation previously approved by the Senate on Christmas Eve. The President intends to sign the bill into law tomorrow. Now the drama switches back to the Senate, which will consider a package of “fixes,” defined as deficit reduction measures. “The fixes all have to save money,” said California Senator Dianne Feinstein this morning on AirTalk with Larry Mantle. “So they have to be couched in a way they save money.” In this way, the fixes won’t be subject to the threat of a Senate filibuster. “And then we accept it and pass it and can do so with 51 votes.” Click here for the rest of the story. - KPCC Staff

Updated at 4:32 p.m. | Permalink Schwarzenegger responds to health care bill passage Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday issued a tepid response to Congressional passage of health care reform. Earlier this year he warned the federal plan could cost California an extra $4 billion a year to implement. Schwarzenegger said he has “always supported the need for comprehensive health reform” – but he worries that this plan could force states to spend more money on health care without the federal funds to do it. Click here for the rest of the story. - Julie Small

Updated 12:47 PM | Permalink States line up to challenge health care overhaul States are already lining up to sue the federal government over the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Officials in at least 10 states have agreed to file a lawsuit challenging the legislation. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said he planned to file the complaint "the moment Obama signs the bill." Abbott pledged to pursue the case "to protect all Texans' constitutional rights, preserve the constitutional framework intended by our nation's founders and defend our state from further infringement by the federal government." Other states planning to challenge the bill were Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said the measure "tramples on individual liberty and dumps on the states the burden of an unfunded mandate that taxpayers cannot afford." Bruning, a Republican, is president of the National Association of Attorneys General. His statement did not explain why he believes the bill is unconstitutional. But other attorneys general have said it violates state sovereignty by mandating that all Americans have some form of health insurance. The House voted 219-212 late Sunday to approve the overhaul, which would extend coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans and make a host of other changes. Obama could sign the bill as early as Tuesday. -Denise Lavoie, Associated Press © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Update 8:34 AM | Permalink House passes historic health care bill Democrats united last night and passed President Obama’s health care bill. Naturally, it’s a bill that doesn’t please everyone. Outside the Capitol, dozens of Tea Party activists carried signs reading "Kill the Bill" and chanted loud enough to be heard by members as they entered the chamber to vote. Irvine Congressman John Campbell cast one of the Republican no votes. He predicted dire financial consequences as a result of the bill. And he said people have unrealistic expectations about what the bill will do. "That's going to be a problem for the president and Democrats," he said, "because people are going to expect that tomorrow they can't be terminated for pre-existing conditions. And that's not going to be the case for four years." In remarks leading up to the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quoted civil rights activist and fellow House Democrat John Lewis, saying "We may not have chosen the time, but the time has chosen us." -Kitty Felde, KPCC

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