On Saturday night, the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, a bill that would expand healthcare coverage to U.S. citizens and legal residents. via Democracy Now:
The bill has been described as the biggest overhaul of the country’s healthcare system since the Medicare and Medicaid Act of 1965. Two hundred nineteen Democrats and one Republican, Louisiana’s Joseph Cao, voted for the bill. The no votes included thirty-nine Democrats and 176 Republicans. Among those who voted no was Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich, a leading proponent of a single-payer, Medicare-for-all healthcare system.
Below is an excerpt of Kucinich’s statement explaining why he voted agaisnt the bill:
“Clearly, the insurance companies are the problem, not the solution. They are driving up the cost of health care. Because their massive bureaucracy avoids paying bills so effectively, they force hospitals and doctors to hire their own bureaucracy to fight the insurance companies to avoid getting stuck with an unfair share of the bills. The result is that since 1970, the number of physicians has increased by less than 200% while the number of administrators has increased by 3000%. It is no wonder that 31 cents of every health care dollar goes to administrative costs, not toward providing care. Even those with insurance are at risk. The single biggest cause of bankruptcies in the U.S. is health insurance policies that do not cover you when you get sick.
“But instead of working toward the elimination of for-profit insurance, H.R. 3962 would put the government in the role of accelerating the privatization of health care. In H.R. 3962, the government is requiring at least 21 million Americans to buy private health insurance from the very industry that causes costs to be so high, which will result in at least $70 billion in new annual revenue, much of which is coming from taxpayers. This inevitably will lead to even more costs, more subsidies, and higher profits for insurance companies — a bailout under a blue cross.