Health care reform is a big thing with me, the blogger, because I pay for my own plan on a monthly basis. And I’ve used it on a limited bases. Not so sure what will happen if something major comes up healthwise. I don’t have an empoyer paying for me, and I’m not on any government program. For the independent, self-employed creative or otherwise, health care is a must coupled with good heath. With both in check, you can go anywhere. Nuf said there. Here’s some of the updates from the Eclectique Citizen watch on health care reform.

“America’s Affordable Health Choices Act” – House Democrat’s rolled out their health care reform bill Tuesday, July 14.
Bill draft can be found here. It’s 1,018 pages.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has generously provided a summary on her website which you can read here. The summary emphasizes 97% of the currently insured and uninsured U.S. citizens would be covered under this plan.

The Congressional Budget Office analysis says the bill will cost $1 Trillion and cover 97% of Americans. Depending on what you’re reading, this dollar figure is close to what Rep. Henry Waxman and his team estimated. Talking Points Memo has posted the CBO’s report here.

On the Senate side, the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) rolled out their bill on Wednesday. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) led the Committee representing both himself and committee chair Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) who’s on medical leave. The Senate bill, passing by a 13 – 10 vote along party lines, will go from the Committee to the floor.

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post provides an outline (with commentary) here.

The Senate bill provides a new term for the “public option” – “the Community Health Insurance Option.” We’ll see if it sticks. “Single payer” seems to be long gone.

Ah, but Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has signed on to co-sponsor Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) amendment to the House bill — H.R. 676 — letting individual states create single-payer health care systems even if Congress fails to create a nationwide single-payer system. Something tells me this is a non-starter especially when states are involved. Can you imagine California putting a healthcare system in place right now. Or Louisiana? How about South Carolina? I’m a bit dubious about any state responsibility for supporting a health care system right now.

But for the MSM the story is not how many would benefit, who will be covered, or filling the gap for the uninsured. The story is the surtax to the weathy (annual incomes of $350,000 and more) to cover some of the costs.

Doublas A. McIntyre of 24/7 Wall Street blog writes.

A household with $30,000 less in after-tax income a year is likely to spend $30,000 less a year, especially during a recession in which unemployment will almost certainly pass 10%. The wealthy are not immune from job loss. They are as likely as anyone else to be frugal during a frightening economic downturn.

Uh, yeah. Folks I know who fall within this income, can tell you, they’ve been living below their means and aren’t sweating about it. And if there’s a drastic reduction in income, then the former wealthy will be eligiable for the new health care benefits, right?

Or as Toni Cade Bambara writes in her novel The Salt Eaters “Do you want to be well?”