Nadler Explains Obamacare, and Why He Almost Voted No
by Avi - April 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm -
Upper West Side Congressman Jerry Nadler made a rare appearance at the Community Board 7 meeting on Tuesday night, and he used the opportunity to talk about the new health care law and why he voted for it.
Nadler had initially signed onto a letter last year with 56 other Liberal representatives telling Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he wouldn’t vote for a bill without a public health care option. But, he said on Tuesday, President Obama did not fight for the public option and so it disappeared from the final bill.
The lack of a public option, as well as an anti-abortion amendment that made it into the bill, almost convinced Nadler to vote No, he said. But getting millions of new people onto the health insurance rolls, and keeping insurance companies from dumping people who have preexisting conditions, was too important to let the bill fail.
Nadler said he’ll keep fighting for the changes he wanted in the bill. For instance, the bill makes virtually everyone in the country get health insurance, whether they want to or not. But it helps subsidize them if they can’t pay. The problem is the subsidies are based on the federal poverty limit, which might go pretty far in South Dakota, but isn’t that much in New York City. Nadler thinks the subsidies should be calculated using the area median income, which would more closely take into account the local cost of living.
Nadler also offered this interesting tidbit: a provision in the bill might actually let states set up their own government-run health care exchanges (public option!) because it gives the states a lot of leeway as to how they run their insurance exchanges. It’s the kind of provision, however, that “might be subject to lawsuits,” he added. (photo by Center for American Progress via flickr)