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Read the Finance Committee Health Care Bill

October 22, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

We now have the full text of the 1,502-page Senate Finance Committee health care bill posted for public review and comment. Dig in:

Text of S. 1796 – America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009>>

Scroll over any section of the text to create permalinks to specific sections so that when you are talking about the bill on blogs and forums you’ll have a handy link to the exact section you’re referring to. Our bill text viewer also lets you leave comments in-line on specific sections of the bill. This lets you build a discussion about the bill that is grounded in the actual legislative text, not in lies and rumors. The best example of this can be seen on the House health care bill. If you don’t think you have the ability to understand the text of the bill, check out some of the comment threads at that link to see how well people can use the in-line comment too to work together on figuring it out.

The Finance Committee heath care bill is not the final version of the Senate’s health acre bill, but it is expected to be used as the framework for their health care reform effort going forward. At this point, it’s the most relevant health care bill in Congress, so it’s worth giving it a thorough read and learning the intricacies of the parts you care about.

What should you look for in the bill? Bloomberg reported the other day that the bill is loaded with provisions aimed at benefiting certain states and, thus, winning the votes of certain senators. These aren’t technically earmarks, but they work in the same way. Also, all of the hot-button issues that have come up over the past few months as the health care debate has been going on are covered in this bill too. Treatment of undocumented immigrants, abortion coverage, end of life care — they’re all in there in some form or another.

Let us know what you find. You can leave links to specific sections of the bill in the comments to this post, leave comments on the bill text, or email me at donny at opencongress d0t org with your blog post examining the bill text and I’ll post it to this blog.

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