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Senate Health Bill Debate-Bad, Good, Not So Bad December 9, 2009

Posted by Admin in Healthonymous.
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The Senate has been debating other amendments this week, including one on the popular Medicare Advantage plans and also the Nelson amendment on abortion services.

NOT SO BAD: Despite the Hyde Amendment, which is now over 30 years old, that prevents federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services, a minority (so far)  of various Senate members want to include even more restrictive language. As Senator Boxer characterized it, the Nelson amendment would have prevented women from using their private funds to pay for an abortion, asked them to purchase an insurance rider in advance to cover the possibility of needing an abortion, and as the Senator stated on the floor:

The men who have brought us this don’t single out a procedure that’s used by a man, or a drug that is used by a man, that involves his reproductive health care and say they have to get a special rider. There’s nothing in this amendment that says if a man some days wants to buy Viagra, for example, that his pharmaceutical coverage cannot cover it, that he has to buy a rider. I wouldn’t support that. And they shouldn’t support going after a woman using her own private funds for her reproductive health care. Is it fair to say to a man you’re going to have to buy a rider to buy Viagra and this will be public information that could be accessed? No, I don’t support that. I support a man’s privacy, just as I support a woman’s privacy.”

The Nelson amendment failed last night (Tuesday) 54-45 on a motion to table.

Another question I had was–who didn’t vote? So I went to Senate.gov to find out  it was Senator Byrd-who has a reasonable excuse at least. He is ill and very frail. Senator Byrd became the longest serving Senator ever on November 18th, 2009.

GOOD: News on the Mikulski Amendment-it passed by a 61-39 vote. this will guarantee that women, especially those under age 50, will have access to preventative screenings without co-pays.

BAD: Wednesday  morning, I woke up to the rumor that the public option again, might be deemed optional. This time it is the Gang of Ten in the Senate (Liberals plus moderates) Note to self-could the R’s even find 5 moderates?

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