It looked dicey, but last night it happened. The House passed the health care bill with a public option. I’m not sure the Senate will keep the public option–regarless of 60% approval ratings for it in the public. But, we’ll see.
According to the Huffington Post:
The Congressional Progressive Caucus had pushed hard for a “robust” public option that would have reimbursed providers using Medicare rates. Blue Dog Democrats beat back that effort, costing taxpayers $85 billion over ten years — money that will go to hospitals, doctors and drug makers, increasing the cost of health care.
The bill also prevents insurers from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions, caps the financial responsibility that insured individuals will face when medical emergencies strike, bans insurers for dropping folks because they get sick, and proposes a host of other insurance industry reforms.
It passed with only 220 to 215 votes. All of them were Democrats except for one, Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao, R-New Orleans.
“Twenty percent of the people in my district are uninsured and we have tremendous health care issues in the district, and I believe this is good for the people of my district,” Cao said minutes after the vote.
“I feel both courageous and lonely,” he said.
You can read the entire bill here.