One issue not raised, but included in this bill, is the fully subsidized coverage of 5 million residents of U.S. Territories (Puerto, Rico, Samoa, et.al). This was addressed in a letter sent to President Obama by CBC leader Barbara Lee and printed in full in Politico on 9/4/09 (sorry, I no longer have the link). The key passage is as follows:
Inclusion of provisions that will ensure equity and parity for the American men, women and children in the U.S. Territories. The nearly 5 million Americans who live in the U.S. Territories (emphasis mine) should benefit from health care reform in a manner that is equitable to those Americans who live within the 50 states and in the District of Columbia.
These 5 million are U.S. citizens by birth but are not eligible to vote (unless they take up residency in one of the 50 states) and are not subject to Federal Income Tax. While they do pay F.I.C.A., they are also eligible for Social Security.
So under this bill, 5 million people not subject to Federal Income Tax will receive fully subsidized health insurance from U.S. taxpayers. But, don’t worry, I’m sure that the Democrats have plans to give these folks voting rights and Congressional representation so it’s worth the cost. Right?