A new health care bill proposed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, has some Republican opposition, but many Arizona residents are in support.If passed, the bill would require individuals to obtain insurance, offer a wider selection of affordable policies, and prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
The cost would come to $856 billion over 10 years and would require mandatory coverage for all Americans by 2013.
The plan is funded by more than $500 billion in different spending reductions, adding almost $350 billion in new taxes and fees, but increasing the deficet. In a speech given to Congress earlier this month, President Obama said he would not sign any bill that would add “one dime” to the current deficit.
“To prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize,” stated Obama in his speech.
Similar to Obama, the release of the health care bill has a number of residents considering its potential.
Student Makenzie Burris, 17, trusts that the health care bill is a good option, but for those who do not use insurance, it might not be beneficial.
“I think that all in all, I’m in favor of the bill,” Burris said. “But I do have sympathy for those who wouldn’t benefit from it, such as people who can’t afford health care or those who don’t need it. They are dishing out all this money for insurance, but they never use it.”
While Burris has concerns for requiring coverage, Francesca Hinojosa, 23, thinks requiring insurance is a necessity.
“A legal requirement to make insurance mandatory it great,” Hinojosa said. “Lawfully mandating it and enabling people to get health care regardless of their status, needs to happen.”
Like Hinojosa, many said the bill’s passing would be ideal if insurance costs lowered, but it would not change their decision to purchase.
“If [insurance] were cheaper, definitely, but I feel like I’m one of the people who uses health insurance, so regardless of this bill, I will be buying coverage,” Burris said.
Hinojosa receives insurance through her work, and she favors the possibility of what this bill can do to change current laws.
“So far, from what I know, I think it’s a pretty solid movement towards betterment of our healthcare system,” Hinojosa said.
While in agreement with the bill, she does not want there to be a government run system.
“I feel it needs to be more in the hands of the people, the government needs to regulate, but not be in complete control,” Hinojosa said.
Insurance is important to her, but her attention lies with her 2-year-old daughter having coverage.
“She’s the one I’m mainly concerned about, I’m not so concerned for myself, I just want to make sure she’s taken care of,” Hinojosa said.
Similar to Burris and Hinojosa, Mary Kirkpatrick, 55, is self-employed and believes the new bill has potential.
“If the mission is just to make sure insurance is more available, then I don’t see the harm in it at all,” Kirkpatrick said.
She’s anxious about her future if the current health care laws do not change.
“My insurance keeps going up as I age, so I am worried about the future,” Kirkpatrick said. “If I’m paying $400 a month in my ’50s, what am I going to be paying in my ’60s and ’70s?”
While many citizens are in favor of Senator Baucus’ health bill, there is one major issue: republican support.
“It is common sense. It is a balanced bill. It certainly is a bill that can pass,” Baucus said. “The choice now is up to those on the other side of the aisle, if they want to vote for it or not.”
Despite critics, in his interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” the president was confident that Congress would pass a “good health care bill.”
“I believe that we will have enough votes to pass not just any health care bill, but a good health care bill that helps the American people,” Obama said.