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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Heath Care Reform, Democrats, High-Fives and Black Folks

As reported by the NY Times, the Chicago Sun Times,  and various blogs. After a daylong clash with Republicans over what has been a Democratic goal for decades, lawmakers voted 220-215 to approve a plan that would cost $1.1 trillion over 10 years. Democrats said the legislation would provide overdue relief to Americans struggling to buy or hold on to health insurance. Read More HERE Check out who voted for the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

President Obama made a personal appeal, visiting with Democrats as the House began to discuss the healthcare bill in a rare Saturday session.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press / November 7, 2009

President Obama made a personal appeal, visiting with Democrats as the House began to discuss the healthcare bill in a rare Saturday session.

 Democrats say the House measure — paid for through new fees and taxes, along with cuts in Medicare — would extend coverage to 36 million people now without insurance while creating a government health insurance program. It would end insurance company practices like not covering pre-existing conditions or dropping people when they become ill. 

Republicans condemned the vote and said they would oppose the measure as it proceeds on its legislative route. “This government takeover has got a long way to go before it gets to the president’s desk, and I’ll continue to fight it tooth and nail at every turn,” said Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas. “Health care is too important to get it wrong.” More HERE.

Only one Republican, Representative Anh Cao of Louisiana, voted for the bill, and 39 Democrats opposed it.

After the vote, Mr. Obama issued a statement praising the House and calling on the Senate to follow suit. “I am absolutely confident it will,” he said, “and I look forward to signing comprehensive health insurance reform into law by the end of the year.” Read:With victory in House, health care reform moves to Senate.

AAPP says: OK so Black lawmakers have lauded the health care vote.‎  Yet, as the Joint Center points out, "from the cradle to the grave, African-Americans have poorer health outcomes: African-American infant mortality is more than double that of whites; African-American women make up 70 percent of new HIV/AIDS infections; three times as many black Americans die from diabetes as white Americans; and the life expectancy for whites is 78 years, compared with 73 years for all African-Americans and less than 70 years for African-American males."

AAPP says: "Yes, we need health care reform, I only hope that the current bill passed by congress addresses the needs of affordable mental health care, AIDS treatment, Breast Cancer Treatment, drug/alcohol rehabilitation, stress management and the preventive care needs of our communities. Otherwise, it's nothing more than black elected officials telling black folks what a wonderful job they have done, without any substance."  we also have to ask, will black folks be left out of the newly revised system of health care delivery?

Let's hope the Republican "nut jobs" are wrong and Joseph Cao is right.

1. "House Democrats pass health-care bill," The Washington Post, November 8, 2009
2. "Abortion an obstacle to health-care bill," The Washington Post, November 9, 2009
3. "Affordable Health Care for America Act," Speaker Nancy Pelosi, November 7, 2009

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