House Democrats clap for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a press conference after a vote on health care. The House passed the health care reform bill 220 to 215 after a late night vote. (PHOTO CREDIT: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Don't cancel your existing health insurance just yet. Health care reform narrowly passed the House late Saturday night; but it's a long, long way from a done deal in the Senate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is comparing this legislation, which passed by a scant five votes, to the passage of Social Security and Medicare; and President Obama says he looks forward to signing it into law by the end of the year.
Not so fast...
One top Senate Republican, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, is already declaring the bill "dead in the water."
Here's why: What happens to the so-called public option? Harry Reid still doesn't have the votes to pass that. And Republicans along with Independent Joe Lieberman are promising a filibuster if the public option stays.
The House bill costs hundreds of billions of dollars more than the latest Senate version; which means the Senate could wind up cutting expensive parts of the bill - like a requirement for employers to provide coverage. Another huge difference between the bills is how to pay for reform.
And what about abortion funding? At the last minute, the House passed an amendment that prohibits federal funds from going to insurance plans that offer abortion coverage. For millions of women - this could mean the house bill breaks the promise that "if you like your current health care you can keep it."
This much you can count on. Anytime the House votes late on a Saturday night after last minute changes were made and the promise by Pelosi is broken to post the bill online for 72 hours before a final vote, it ain't good.
Here’s my question to you: How much does the House health care bill even matter?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
As one of the uninsured, it matters a lot that they have at least gotten something done. But it doesn't matter unless the Senate gets its head screwed on straight and passes something. For those like me (unemployed, uninsured and not with the greatest of health) don't give a flying flip of where, who, what, when, or how a plan comes up, just as long as it comes and our suffering is stopped.
Claudia from Wesley Chapel, Florida writes:
It only matters if you have any sense of history at all. We haven't even gotten this far in over 100 years. Yes, it does matter and Senators better think about their constituents instead of the insurance companies when they vote. They better hope the millions they receive from insurance lobbies will keep them in office.
David from Las Vegas writes:
Jack, Your question should have been: How much did it cost the taxpayers in time, printing, etc. to barely pass a bill that has no chance on becoming law?
I'll say this: they've gotten a lot farther than they did in 1994. Back then it didn't even get out of committee. Most in my family just got notices that their health insurance premiums are going up at least 10-percent. Something has got to be done about cost and something is better than nothing.
Larry in Georgetown, Texas writes:
It means nothing. These people are so proud of themselves and for what? If the vote was 400 in favor and 35 against, then it would be something that is for the people not just to pass something that won't ever get through the Senate. We know it and what it is sad is, they know it but still claim victory.
Jack, It matters a great deal. It’s hard enough to survive on unemployment benefits, try paying a COBRA payment on top of everything else. It can’t be done. Of course, all that matters to politicians is that they get re-elected.