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7 votes seals the deal

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MEGAN GRAY

The Ellis County Press

WASHINGTON D.C. – With a mere passing vote, members of the House of Representatives passed the Senate Health Care bill Sunday, March 21 by 219-212.

The $938 billion, 10 year bill, would require Americans to carry health insurance -either through an employer, a government program or by buying it for themselves- for the first time in history.

Any who refuse will face penalties from the Internal Revenue Service.

Rep. Joe Barton R-Arlington/Ennis, stated, "They [Democrats] passed a fatally flawed bill. One based on the belief that one party, acting unilaterally, can dictate the entire will of the American people on one-sixth of the economy.

"They excluded half the country from having input on the bill and when you do things on a purely partisan basis they don’t stand. "

The public view on needing mandatory health care is divided with Republicans ready to repeal any and everything feeling the bill is an "unwarranted government takeover" while the Democrats plan on pushing forward with a few amendments hoping to have the final adjustments made by this weekend.

"For more than 60 years, we have fought to provide access to affordable health care for all Americans and today [Sunday, March 21] the House has secured a historic vote to do so," stated Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson D-Dallas.

"The legislation we passed today [Sunday, March 22] will provide protections for those who have insurance, and a guarantee of quality, affordable health care for those who are currently lacking coverage."

By the end of September, American citizens will start to see the effects of the bill starting to take place. Insurers will then be required to keep young adults as beneficiaries on their parents’ health plan until they turn 26 and companies would no longer be able to deny coverage to sick children.

"All the federal mandates, the intrusion of the government into daily health care decisions and the multitude of tax increases are wrong.

"We will fight those and eventually they will be repealed," said Barton.

Johnson stated the bill will improve employer-based coverage for 264,000 residents and provide coverage for 200,500 uninsured residents in her district which covers Downtown Dallas, Fair Park, Oak Lawn, Old East Dallas, Pleasant Grove and South Oak Cliff, all of Balch Springs, DeSoto, Hutchins, Lancaster and Wilmer. Parts of Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Ferris, Glenn Heights and Ovilla are covered also.

"I am proud to cast a vote in favor of this historic legislation," said Johnson.

The bill will require all Americans to have insurance by 2014 and was signed into law Tuesday, March 23 by Democratic President Barack Obama.


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