Daily Video

July 16, 2009

Health Reform Moves Forward in Senate

President Obama’s biggest legislative priority, health care reform, moved one step closer to becoming law when an important Senate Committee approved legislation that would create a public health insurance plan and force all Americans to buy health insurance.

Tens of millions of Americans do not have health insurance, and many who have lost their jobs are struggling to pay for expensive health care themselves.

Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives, the other half of Congress, also released their version of a health reform bill that contained similar provisions. President Obama has asked for a bill to sign into law by October.

Republican leaders argued that these reforms are too expensive and that more government involvement in the health care system would make the system less efficient.

In this video report, NewsHour health correspondent Betty Ann Bowser explains the proposals and the road ahead for reform efforts.


“The $600 billion Senate measure would set up a new government-run insurance program to compete with private insurers, a so-called public option, and require most Americans to get health coverage.” – Betty Ann Bowser

“Both proposals will take what’s best about our system today and make it the basis for our system tomorrow, reducing costs, raising quality, and ensuring fair treatment of consumers by the insurance industry.” – President Barack Obama

“This legislation has not one single provision that is aimed at reducing the cost of health care. We have now, again, committed another act of generational theft of laying an unsustainable fiscal burden on future generations of Americans.” – Senator John McCain

Warm Up Questions

1. When you are sick, what do or your parents do to get you treatment?

2. What is health insurance?

Discussion Questions

1. Why do Democrats want health care reform? Do you think Republicans like John McCain want reform?

2. McCain says that these bills would place a burden on future generations. Should the government make future generations pay for changes that are made now?

3. Why don’t the plans include a way to pay for the reforms? Should rich people have to pay more so that all Americans have health insurance?

4. Do you think that it is a fundamental right to have health insurance? Why or why not?

Additional Resources

Rx for Reform

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