First, the CBO numbers are out (h/t DKos):
1. CUTS THE DEFICIT Cuts the deficit by $130 billion in the first ten years (2010 – 2019). Cuts the deficit by $1.2 trillion in the second ten years.
2. REINS IN WASTEFUL MEDICARE COSTS AND EXTENDS THE SOLVENCY OF MEDICARE; CLOSES THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG DONUT HOLE Reduces annual growth in Medicare expenditures by 1.4 percentage points per year—while improving benefits and lowering costs for seniors. Extends Medicare’s solvency by at least 9 years.
3. EXPANDS AND IMPROVES HEALTH COVERAGE FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES Expands health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans Helps guarantee that 95 percent of Americans will be covered.
4. IS FULLY PAID FOR Is fully paid for – costs $940 billion over a decade. (Americans spend nearly $2.5 trillion each year on health care now and nearly two-thirds of the bill’s cost is paid for by reducing health care costs).
Sounds great. And yesterday, the US House sent out a district-by-district breakdown for the entire state. Since right-wing groups, particularly Citizens United, have been dumping thousands of dollars into the advertising market in my area attacking Mark Schauer (they have been on all the time for the past few weeks, and they plan to run more after the vote), let's use CD-07 as an example.
In Rep. Schauer’s district, the health care reform bill will:
• Improve coverage for 442,000 residents with health insurance.
• Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 167,000 families and 12,100 small businesses to help them afford coverage.
• Improve Medicare for 109,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.
• Extend coverage to 30,000 uninsured residents.
• Guarantee that 8,600 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
• Protect 1,600 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
• Allow 51,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans.
• Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 12 community health centers.
• Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $52 million annually.
That's just one example, check the link above for your district.
You've read the arguments for months. This legislation is not perfect, not by a long shot. But, it is a step down the road towards a sane health care policy for this nation, and chances are, it will get better with time. The system, as it stands, cannot continue as it is. It is heading for collapse. Getting this in place will be the start of addressing the problem.
And since the wealthy wingnuts are so vehemently against it, you know there has to be something good about it.
Get it done, Congress.