Words by Lauren McEwen
After months of heated debates, the House of Representatives finally passed HR 3200, or America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 on Saturday, November 7, 2009.
Healthcare reform has been on the agenda of every President since most of us can remember. However, bipartisanship and hefty campaign contributions from healthcare insurance companies stamped out any hopes of change for a while.
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, President Obama made healthcare reform a major tier of his campaign. It was only trumped by the ongoing wars in the Middle East and the struggling economy.
To put those campaign promises into action, HR 3200 was introduced to the House on July 14, 2009 by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI15). It was to “provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes.”
Although that summary of the bill sounds perfectly understandable, altruistic and just plain decent, discussion of the act morphed into a die-hard political debate that consumed the news for months. Controversial topics such as providing healthcare for illegal immigrants and coverage of abortion were thrown into the works to complicate matters.
Finally, on Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 11:12 p.m. Democrats cheers were heard as the bill passed with a vote of 220 to 215. The only Republican to vote in favor of the bill was Rep. Joseph Cao of Louisiana.
Although an amendment that restricts coverage of abortion was thrown into the bill to appease pro-life politicians, any progress in the area of healthcare reform is welcomed.