News / USA

Amid Turmoil, US House Votes to Alter Health Care Law

Amid Turmoil, House Votes to Alter Health Care Lawi
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

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs