Nadler Sells Health Care Bill to West Siders

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Across the nation, Democratic members of Congress are defending their support for health care reform to constituents during the Easter recess. But while many Democrats in more conservative districts stuck their necks out by voting for the historic bill, Rep. Jerrold Nadler is defending the legislation to liberal Upper West Side voters who believe it didn’t go far enough.
“It’s a fundamentally conservative bill,” Nadler said to his constituents at the April 6 Community Board 7 meeting. “But from the rhetoric today, it’s a left wing, government takeover. I wish it were in some ways.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler said the abortion provisions in the health care bill almost prompted him to vote "no." Photo by Andrew Schwartz.

Nadler, a prominent House liberal and supporter of a single-payer health care system, lamented some of the bill’s provisions, such as the strict anti-abortion rights language (which he said tempted him to vote against it) and the lack of a public option, the government-run health care program that will compete with private insurers.

“We didn’t get it in the end because the president didn’t support it,” Nadler said.

Nadler spoke about fighting against other provisions included in health care reform, such as the “Cadillac” tax on high-cost insurance plans. He told the crowd that he opposed the tax that is going into effect in 2018, and that Congress has eight years to repeal it.

But after explaining his gripes and criticisms, he dove into the details of reform: how people will be covered on reform, how reform is financed and how the mandate affects businesses.
Regarding benefits, Nadler said he was pleased that coverage will no longer be dropped for pre-existing conditions, and that women will not be charged higher premiums for insurance.

“We’re solving a lot the problems,” he said.

Despite his misgivings about the bill, the most important aspect of reform is that it “saves 40,000 lives a year.”

“How can you vote against it?” Nadler asked. “Everything else is secondary.”

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  • doubleaseven

    “Despite his misgivings about the bill, the most important aspect of reform is that it saves 40,000 lives a year. How can you vote against it?” Nadler asked. Everything else is secondary.”

    Jerry, I wholeheartedly support your statement. In fact is the only reason I accepted the bill was 45,000 needless deaths per year for lack of Health Care Insurance – lamented by the President in all his speeches after the Harvard Medical School study was published. making it a moral imperative to pass the HCR legislation asap. Unfortunately, it appears that major benefits – Exchanges, Subsidies, Adult Preex Ban and even Medicaid Expansion – will only be available starting in 2014? Does the delay to 2014 mean that we have accepted 200,000 deaths as inevitable? I would have thought we would treat this situation to be a National Emergency perhaps even more serious than Katrina and 911 and Iraq war – in terms of toll taken in human lives.

  • doubleaseven

    Jerry, I wholeheartedly support your statement. In fact is the only reason I accepted the bill was 45,000 needless deaths per year for lack of Health Care Insurance – lamented by the President in all his speeches after the Harvard Medical School study was published. making it a moral imperative to pass the HCR legislation asap.

    Unfortunately, it appears that major benefits – Exchanges, Subsidies, Adult Preex Ban and even Medicaid Expansion – will only be available starting in 2014? Does the delay to 2014 mean that we have accepted 200,000 deaths as inevitable? I would have thought we would treat this situation to be a National Emergency perhaps even more serious than Katrina and 911 and Iraq war – in terms of toll taken in human lives.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405681878 Luis

    The question is a ldeniag question and assumes that the health reform bill will, in some way, cause positive change. First, they have not defined a “public option” you think it will be a government run plan, but “public” can mean exchanges, etc. Second the last time I heard anything on the public option, they were going to use the medical reimbursement of Medicare or Medicare + 5%. As Medicare only reimburses about 80% of the actual cost of care and most private insurers pay Medicare + 20% or M + 30%, there is an immediate disconnect. If this is the case, then all insurance companies should drop their networks and pay exactly the same reimbusement as the public option. That way it is a more level playing field. Remember, the elephant in the room is the cost of health care, not cost of health insurance (as insurance is only the financing of the cost). If we don’t tame the cost, then the system implodes in 5 years.A couple of thoughts to include in the reform. 1. pay doctors a salary. Most would love this. Then they can focus on medicine.2. Use Nurse Practitioners as the first line for most people. 80% of all issues can be treated by a NP.3. Have the American Medical Association come up with best practices for those issues that they have enough information to do this with. Doctors should not be able to be sued if they follow those best practices. One would be ALWAYS prescribe a generic medication first unless there is a good reason (which needs to be written into the medical record) to use a brand name drug. It still gives the doctor discretion.Next, federally tax all punitive damages at 100% above $1 million dollars. Punitive damages are NOT designed to enrich the plantiff or the attorneys and compensatory damages are designed to compensate the plaintiff. This would fundamentally alter the whole legal industry.I’d also like to see a tax on fatty/sugary foods.Just some thougths.

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