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Drag Me to Health Care Reform

The more you ignore health care reform, the closer it gets to happening. This weekend, the big important bill passed by a very narrow margin in...


The more you ignore health care reform, the closer it gets to happening. This weekend, the big important bill passed by a very narrow margin in the House of Representatives. Now that big important bill has moved into the Senate, where it and two other bills of equal bigness and importance will have their details hammered out before merging into one super bill-if Joe Lieberman can't filibuster it to the end of time, that is.So far, there's been quite a bit of outcry over the socialist implications of the House-approved bill, but it's not just coming from the GOP. Slate-writer William Saletan's "Semi-Private Womb: Selling out abortion rights for health care reform" has the lowdown on why Naral Pro Choice America and Planned Parenthood are up arms about the choice Pelosi made to compromise on abortion.There's something poignant about the last-minute outrage of the pro-choice groups. The complaints they're leveling-that people had more choices in the private market, that the House bill radically upsets this market, and that it violates Obama's promise not to deprive anyone of their existing coverage-are hardly novel. Republicans have issued such warnings all year. But liberals didn't pay attention until the coverage in jeopardy was abortion. ...When you throw in your lot with other people and agree to play by the same rules, you surrender some of your freedom and risk losing some of your options. Sometimes it's coverage of an MRI or a hip replacement. Sometimes it's coverage of abortion. If that's the price of health care reform, are you willing to pay it?The question is fair, and well put. I just don't know how to answer it.Meanwhile, in what seems like a kind of awesome move, the White House has posted its talking points on the subject of health care reform here. "We thought it would all be a little more open and transparent if we went ahead and published what our focus will be for the day," they explain on the site. The takeaway is that we're really close to monumental reform, and the President is urging the Senate to act swiftly to pass a health care bill.Unsurprisingly, that plea is falling the deaf ears of some senators, like South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, who says reform is totally DOA in the Senate. We, however, are neither senators nor Lindsey Graham, and remain optimistic that some type of reform will pass. What remains to be seen is what that bill will include (or exclude). For a summary of the different versions of the bill (from the House, the Senate Health Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the White House) and where they now stand, check out this infographic. Godspeed.
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