The bill before the Senate is a sellout to the insurance companies - their control over the industry will widen and millions of taxpayer dollars will flow into their coffers. Companies will be able to charge older Americans two, even three, times the rates charged to younger ones... age is a preexisting condition! Americans won't get any more choices, but they will get a fine if they don't sign-up with an insurance company. Neither competition nor other steps are taken to end the excessive CEO salaries and administrative waste in the private companies.
There are some good things in the Senate bill - more emphasis on preventative programs, some expansion of Medicare, help for small businesses struggling with health costs and for parents with adult children continuing their education well into their 20s, and more. But, the good doesn't come close to outweighing the bad.
There is lots of blame to go around: Republicans who have never offered any meaningful reform, just obstacles; the insurance companies and their front groups like 60Plus who have spent millions every day and deployed hundreds of lobbyists and slick ad agencies to spread lies and fear; and a media obsessed with headlines promoting conflict rather than consensus. But the real blame falls on Senate Democrats themselves - when given the opportunity to lead they descended into a family feud characterized by fights over side issues, over-sized egos, turf wars, and cowardice.
Senator Jim Webb and Senator Mark Warner.... vote NO! A bad bill that fails to offer real reform should be killed - in this case, any bill is not better than no bill.