This evening, the US House of Representatives may finally vote on a health care reform bill. None of the 177 House Republicans is expected to vote for the bill, so Democrats must find the 218 votes required to pass the bill from within their own caucus. At the moment, it is not at all clear whether or not the bill is going to pass, as several dozen Democrats are on record opposing the bill and a number of others are on the fence.
One of the Democrats refusing to support the bill is New Jersey Congressman John Adler. Adler concedes that the house bill is “a step in the right direction,” but plans to vote against it because it doesn’t control costs enough.
Late last month, Adler had a chance to support a bill with a public option that would reimburse health care providers at Medicare rates plus 5 percent. This plan would have saved a substantial amount of money over the current version, which will force the government to negotiate rates with providers just as private plans do. Had Adler and other Democratic opponents of the current bill had supported that plan, it may well have passed the House.
If today’s vote fails, or doesn’t happen at all, it is likely that the bill will be further weakened. There will be almost no chance of either house passing a public option that can credibly compete with private insurers, and health care costs will continute to rise at alarming rates.
Americans have been waiting for generations for universal healthcare, and tonight, the House of Representatives has a chance to make history. AFSCME is asking progressive voters around the country to call their Representative to express support for health care reform. Call John Adler today and tell him to support the Affordable Health Care for America Act.