News / USA

Amid Turmoil, US House Votes to Alter Health Care Law

Amid Turmoil, House Votes to Alter Health Care Lawi
X
November 16, 2013 1:52 AM
Polls show that President Barack Obama’s credibility has taken a hit because of promises he made concerning his landmark health care reform act. The president had assured Americans, “if you like your plan, you can keep it.” But now, millions of people are seeing their health care insurance plans cancelled because they do not meet the higher standards under the law. Some of the president’s Democratic allies in Congress are distancing themselves from him. As VOA’s Congressional Correspondent Cindy Saine reports, Republicans in Congress are seeking to take advantage of the turmoil.
Amid Turmoil, House Votes to Alter Health Care Law
Cindy Saine
Polls show that President Barack Obama’s credibility has taken a hit because of promises he made concerning his landmark health care reform act. The president had assured Americans, “if you like your plan, you can keep it.” But now, millions of people are seeing their health care insurance plans cancelled because they do not meet the higher standards under the law. Some of the president’s Democratic allies in Congress are distancing themselves from him, and Republicans in Congress are seeking to take advantage of the turmoil.

In a raucous session, the Republican-controlled House passed a bill to extend certain insurance plans.

Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn said, “We have heard from Americans from coast to coast that they do not want the president’s health care law.”

Some Democrats said the House bill was just the latest of many Republican attempts to undermine the president and his health care law. Democratic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said, “This is a cynical, transparently political bill, oppose it.”

But 39 Democrats voted with Republicans to change the law.

On Thursday, Obama admitted “Obamacare” is in trouble. "'We did fumble the ball on it. And what I'm going to do is make sure that we get it fixed.''

The president announced his decision to extend some insurance plans for one year.

Andrew Leonard is one of those who lost his health insurance. He said a new plan would cost him three times as much, and would cover the cost of medical care for children, something he does not need. “I don’t have any kids, and when I do have kids, I would probably get their own insurance plan or change it at that point. Why do I have to change it now?”

Technical glitches with the government’s health care website have caused headaches for millions of Americans. Elayne Burke said she spent hours trying to sign up for a plan on the website. She finally succeeded, but it was not what she hoped for. She said she wants to avoid a repeat of last year when she had big medical bills after almost losing a finger. “...if I had the finger happen again, I would still not be in great financial shape paying for that. So it’s really not universal health coverage.”

The president's credibility has suffered serious damage, according to analyst Stu Rothenberg. He said that will have an impact on Democratic candidates in next year's mid-term elections.

“Every Democrat from a swing state or a Republican district or state is looking to say 'it’s not my fault, I was misled, the President lied to me, here’s a fix for healthcare that we need to adopt,' " said Rothenberg.

If the website is fixed, however, and millions of Americans sign up for health plans, Rothenberg said public opinion could shift again.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 16, 2013 2:24 PM
Please thread softly with Obama, after all it was not all his fault. In the first place he was not prepared to take up the presidency thing, but one of you out there persuaded him. Again he is a young man, though he's greying now; next time find those who understand what it takes to be there and not those who are aspiring with audacity of hope. Yeah it paid off for him, but I don't know if its paying off for the country. Check it out and say for yourselves whether you're still standing, unless you have completely failed.

by: Marina Farina from: USA
November 15, 2013 11:15 PM
We’ve got a serious problem on our hands and it’s one that many Obamacare apologists refuse to admit.




The Patient Affordable Care Act is an unprecedented catastrophe in the making.

While millions of Americans are losing their health care coverage within weeks, the health care exchanges advocated by Obamacare supporters are in shambles. So far, a little over 100,000 people have signed up. Moreover, what’s important to understand is that none of these people have yet paid a premium, so in essence, those are preliminary numbers. When the monthly bill comes due, we’ll see how many people actually have the money to pay the exorbitant new rates.

The key problem is one of basic arithmetic.

Remember, what this legislation does is it robs from Paul to pay Peter. This means that the whole system is essentially a pyramid scheme that depends on one group of people paying the premium for those who are the beneficiaries of this “free” and “affordable” insurance.

As we know all too well, the new rates for those who have to pay into the system are double or triple their previous insurance premiums – and those newly minted rates actually stand to double again because there is not enough money in the system to provide coverage for everyone.

We can sum this up in two words: Unmitigated Disaster.

And just so we’re clear, we’re not talking about these issues rearing their head a decade or so down the road.

We’re talking about mere months before the whole thing falls apart.

The scary thing? When it crumbles, the broader economy goes with it.


The reality? This number sucks irrespective of so-called “technological” problems. The system needs 100 times that number to be “stable.”

It won’t be.

by: Lady Creamburp from: San Diego
November 15, 2013 11:12 PM

If they manage to get ten times this number in the next six weeks (the cut-off), which is looking to be a fantasy-land impossibility, the entire system will detonate within the first year and provided they force it to “survive” premiums will see huge increases, likely double or more, a year from now.

Let me remind everyone that nobody in the lower and middle class has the money to pay not only for the so-called “insurance” under these plans which are running roughly twice what everyone is spending now but in addition if you use the so-called “insurance” the deductibles are frequently double to ten times what you had before.

There’s no fix for this folks.

The stock market is ignoring a passed law that will cause these impacts starting January 1st and it’s utterly amusing to watch the S&P up 10 and the Naz skyrocketing today (not to mention the retailers) when you look at what this is going to do to people’s budgets coming into the new year with the holidays coming up.

The numbers are even worse than I had expected they might be…. especially on the federal exchange side.



Americans have lost trillions of dollars in wealth in since the crash of 2008. We’ve seen jobs wiped out to such an extent that nearly one in four Americans can’t find a job. Over 100 million people are living in poverty or right on the edge.

And now, on top of all that, those who are fortunate enough to have jobs just got hammered with a doubling and trebling of their insurance rates, which for many American families have risen as high as an entire month’s mortgage payment.

If you think this isn’t happening, you’re living in a dream world. Your politics are irrelevant to the outcome. What your savior in the White House says makes absolutely no difference. If you want to close your eyes and pretend like it’s not happening, then reality will hit you square in the face at a high rate of speed in the very near future.

The collapse is dead ahead. It cannot be stopped.

Expect 2014 to be a rough year for America.

by: BGB from: San Diego
November 15, 2013 10:04 PM
We had to go through a government shutdown for this! I had my doubts about Senator Cruz, but now he looks like a hero that was that we should have paid closer attention to.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs