Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Responsibilities of Citizenship
I feel like this experience was somewhat rewarding. It is very difficult to find an actual Bill or Resolution that makes sense to me. I have not had any formal training on how to search and understand Bills and Resolutions and that made the experience a little confusing. I do hope that the politicians from my state email me back with their responses. I have already received a reply letter but it seemed generic. I don’t know who, if anyone reads the emails, but I hope that there is someone who can better explain to me the Affordable Care Bill. Overall I would rate this experiment average compared to others.
The Bill that I found and emailed was the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a federal statute that was signed into law in the United States by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The Act is a product of the health care reform agenda.
The law includes a large number of health-related provisions to take effect over the next four years, including expanding Medicaid eligibility, subsidizing insurance premiums, providing incentives for businesses to provide health care benefits, prohibiting denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, establishing health insurance exchanges, and support for medical research. The costs of these provisions are offset by a variety of taxes, fees, and cost-saving measures, such as new Medicare taxes for high-income brackets, taxes on indoor tanning, cuts to the Medicare Advantage program in favor of traditional Medicare, and fees on medical devices and pharmaceutical companies; there is also a tax penalty for citizens who do not obtain health insurance. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the net effect will be a reduction in the federal deficit by $143 billion over the first decade.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed the Senate on December 24, 2009, by a vote of 60–39 with all Democrats and Independents voting for, and all Republicans voting against. It passed the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 219–212, with all 178 Republicans and 34 Democrats voting against the bill.
The bill was originally drafted by the Senate as an alternative to the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which was passed by the House two months earlier on November 7. However, after the Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate on January 19, 2010 with the election of Scott Brown, the House decided to pass the Senate version and amend it with a third bill, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The Senate then passed a version of the third bill, amended to avoid application of the Byrd Rule, via the simple-majority reconciliation process. The amended third bill was then sent back to the House, where it passed. The President signed the reconciliation bill on March 30, 2010.
Emailing our state representatives allowed me to better understand the definition of responsible citizenship. Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, or national community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities. "Responsible citizenship" is the idea that people should work towards improving their community through political participation, volunteer work, and other efforts to improve life for all people in the community.

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