Pass the buck! The Health Care Bill, now signed into law as of March 23, 2010, is currently passing through our government like a hot potato, buck, or whatever other “pass the responsbility” metaphor you’d like to use. On Sunday it was approved by the House of Representatives and had previously been approved, in December, by the Senate. What now? Well, it was signed into law, but Republicans (GOP) have vowed to use every parliamentary rule to have the legistlation amended or killed. According to the CNN article, they have succeeded in sending it back to the House after an incredibly late session that run until the “wee hours of Thursday morning.” What does this mean for you? I’m going to tell you.
This is a column, so I am opinionated, but I think on something this big, it’s important to be. It is also important to get the facts. Facts are such a commodity in today’s media world, particularly for our generation (because everyone is throwing every kind of idea, tweet or status at us), and I’m here to try to help you navigate the muddy waters of this particular hot button issue.
Open Congress.org is a Web site dedicated to having an “open” congress. It posts all the texts of the Bills currently in debate and also shows you which ones have been updated, are obsolete and what sections have the most comments. It’s kind of a social networking watchdog for congress, and it’s the MOST true source for this debate. Read the text of the Health care bill here.
The short name for this bill, H.R. 3590, is “Patient Protection and Afforable Care Act.” Patient protection– that’s important. Afforable care– heck yea I want some of that! This bill focuses on so many things (it’s 406,887 words) that it’s quite hard to understand what exactly it is all about.
Here’s some of the things that one newspaper has debunked according to their Top 5 lies about health care article.
For college students, I think the most important thing to remember is that thanks to this bill we are now covered under our parents until we are 26– how wonderful is that? Those on medicare, the retired, elderly, aka our grandparents are now covered for one check-up per year instead of one check-up for the lifetime of their medicare coverage. These sound like great things right? The tacked on legislation is what worries me.
One of the tacked on stipulations in the fixed bill currently being proposed to the House, deals with the Student Loan program. You know, those wonderful slips of paper we are obligated to pay back in 20-30 years? Well thanks to our economy being, quite literally, in the toilet, the government has pulled the private sector out of the Federal Student Loan program and taken it over themselves. They will be lending money out at 6.4 percent and borrowing it at 2.6 percent– and the 4 percent in the middle? That’s going to pay off the monumental debts that hang around this government like a noose.
Financial aid is not the only thing that the government will take over–they will take over all loans, according to a Fox interview with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and it will cost students $1,700-$1,800 extra over the life of their loan. ALL OF THAT MONEY WILL BE GOING TO THE GOVERNMENT. Is this fair? We will be paying the raised tax rate, that has become inevitable, but is this to tax us while in school, is that fair? It’s really a personal decision and you need to learn more about it first, so check out all resources and become involved.
Rock the Vote also has some great information on the Health care bill so you can be more involved and more educated.
What can you? Read the bill, call/email your congresspeople. GET INVOLVED! Speak up and OUT! It’s time for the generation whose responsibility all of these legislations will be, to understand, to interact and to get involved.
Have your voice heard, whether it’s the last word or not!