March 30th, 2010
11:37 AM ET

Obama signs health care bill changes into law

President Barack Obama claimed a final victory on his top domestic priority Tuesday by signing into law a package of changes to the newly enacted health care reform bill.

Among other things, the so-called "fixes" bill significantly expands health insurance subsidies for lower- and middle-income families while watering down a tax on expensive health policies. It also overhauls the national college student loan system by shifting government funding for loans away from commercial banks to new education initiatives.

The bill increases the overall cost of the health care reform legislation to $940 billion over the next 10 years, $65 billion more than the original health care bill Obama signed into law last week.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Congress • Health Care
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  1. Phil

    And there goes another $100B. I guess a billion here and a billion there just doesn't phase our congress any more. It's interesting how the Democrat's "fixes" always ends up spending MORE money and never LESS money. Hi Ho! Hi Ho! into Bank-rup-see we go!, Hi Ho! Hi Ho!

    March 30, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. George

    Funny how many people oppose the bill based purely on financial grounds. Where were these people for the previous 8 years of the Bush administration which spent more money on unnecessary wars? Instead, you should ask "Why is this bill being passed now? Who benefits most from it and is it the best we can do?" Frankly, i would prefer universal healthcare, combined with substantial cuts to the military (we do not need to be spend $600 BILLION + on something that has a low rate of return), increase in taxes, while simultaneously closing tax loopholes for the top 10% of income earners and corporations. All extra revenue going to service the principle on the national debt until it reaches a reasonable percentage of the GDP (~10%, though admittedly, that is a personal preference), after which the balance will be used to service budget obligations (Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security). But that would make too much sense for the long term viability of the country and doesn't make the electorate "feel good". Republican or Democrat, the people that make both these parties viable need to re-examine just what these parties have done/will do to the country.

    March 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    TRUE, TRUE, TRUE. Mo money and Mo taxes.

    March 30, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ches

    Would you people please stop falling back on "Bush did this! Bush did that!" We're talking about Obama, here and now. And for the record, TONS of people were bitching about Bush's frivolous spending, which is why so many of you elected Obama in the first place. God! The rationalizationg of, "Well, what we're doing may be bad but what he did was worse" will not work or change the situation.

    First libertarian to run gets my vote. I've had it up to here with both dems and reps.

    March 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. laura

    the bill is signed, the bill is funded-which is more than anything in the Bush Administation, the bill is law-get over it.

    Thank you President Obama for caring about the middle class instead of the top 5% like Bush did.

    March 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mel Mesick

    With the war and current defense spending, were at nearly 1 trillion a year as it is now.

    It totally escapes me when people complain about spending money that is actually going to alleviate suffering in America, and make it so people can actually get help without going broke.

    As fas as Bush, one who lets his house fall into a shambles after years of neglect, cannot expect that there will be an instant return to normal without considerable expense and effort.
    Bushes polices besmirched the face of this nation while allowing America to nearly fall into a depression while advocating torture, and a host of other immoral acts under the premise of being just. Unbelievable, but we move on.

    March 30, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dessiana

      Mel Mesick, you are wroooong. I know you and you are seldom right. Why should one foolish spender be replaced by another? You need to understand, there is only a finite amount of resources and servicing capacity. With that being said, there is a limited amount financial resources. Spending MUST stop somewhere, you can't spend your way out of a financial crisis, health crisis, or any other crisis.

      Health Care is not too smart. Health Care is resource, when demand is greater that supply prices go up to allow economics to decide the allocation of a scarce resource. With the government paying the price, the taxes will increase to cover the increasing price. What you fail to understand some means of allocation will happen regardless of who pays for it.

      Doctors have been experimenting with a new practice service called concierge service. This process runs like this. If you want me to call you back today, you want guaranteed today appointments, you want medicines called in today, you want longer consults, and you want preference in treatment; I have a concierge service that costs $1500.00 per year. With that fee you come before others. So it does not matter that the tax payer is paying for it. You are still last and you still barely get care. Mel you really need a job and decent health insurance to have access to health care in America.

      Toodles Mel

      June 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Andrew

    There are certain things that the government ought to provide, and there are certain things that the government should keep their nose out of. It has been shown (with great due success) that healthcare provided by the government (and I mean fully!) actually works. Look at Canada, UK, or Australia. These are all democratic countries that clearly show a government provided healthcare along with private does in fact work.

    Do you Americans know that almost half of the foreclosure of homes were due to medical bills last year? This is what happens when the people become poor and neglected...the economy suffers. Fear not, for this is not socialism, this is one aspect of common sense. The market has failed under their own terms and so government assistance is obviously needed.

    And for those who talk about spending, the bush administration went through 5 trillion dollars in a few years, with nothing to show for it.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bobbb

    EXAMPLE: CAR INSURANCE. They did the same thing state-by-state years ago. States passed laws that required everybody to have car insurance. Now you don’t see all the junkers on the roads like we did way back then. And I believe the rates went down too. Also I would add that Warren Buffet bought Geico about that time. I know Geico did not make him a billionaire but he still owns it and he seems to be doing okay, you know, for a BILLIONAIRE.

    March 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jason

    Well, the commercial banks DO have to be punished, for their arrogance and stupidity! Might as well do it by taking student loan business from them.

    March 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Alan

    Where did the money that was spent on the "unnecessary wars" actually go? Was it taken out in the back yard of the Pentagon and burned? Or did the government BUY stuff with it? If they bought stuff with it, didn't it go to people making things, giving people jobs and money?

    March 30, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jennie

    Reform was needed....... but not transforming health care which is what we've gotten.

    The real impact of what we've gotten is yet to be seen as the bill doesn't take effect for several years.... and some of its provisions stretch beyond just 3 or 4 years hence.
    How many new clinics will be opened to take care of demands? How many doctors will sell out or close private practices established in smaller communities more distant from centralized care?
    The efficiencies already in place to take care of the massive paper and cyber documentation of medical records and billing will be scuttled and revised just to meet the demands of new regulations... and the trial and error and revise again which goes with any new law...... an added expense for the established partnership practice or clinic which is large enough to absorb..... but impractical and expensive for a sole practitioner who must find and employ record specialist who keep ahead of regulatory changes and prevent snares which can cost hefty fines.
    Will advances in research and medical care continue as in the past or will it now be inhibited by this bill?
    The real issues of tort reform and reducing expense of education for our doctors would have had the biggest impact on medical cost. Creating provisions which encouraged affordable catastrophic insurance for all and made routine visits an individual responsibility excepting for public programs for the very poor or low wage earner and those with preconditions or 'uninsurable': And allowing all medical expenses to be a fully deductible adjustment to income: Allowing individual medical savings accounts which could revolve year by year to grow....... These would have reformed health care in positive directions without major transformation which we will now see, imo.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brett

    People continue to blame each other and the differences between the political parties. So much time is wasted blaming each other and driving the divide farther apart between we the people. Instead of being progressive and proactive, we're stuck in this perpetual circle that is the theater of politics. How about we unite as a collective group of concerned AMERICANS and say enough is enough to this spending? No, no, there's no room for bi-partisanship in your life, now is there?

    April 4, 2010 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. samuel wheeler

    let me see cut taxes ,cut the budget,lay off people due to less taxes collected ,know wonder we have a high unemployment rate in the usa .

    April 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jimmy

    This bill is full of logical falacies.
    1) anytime a business is deemed a necessity, especially insurances, prices rise. Simple law of economics, increase in demand increase in cost.

    2) This bill has actually forced or coerced many doctors to close shop. They can't afford another bill over their head. I have worked with and am connected to many of them. They live in apartments downtown with 3,4, or even 5 doctors to a single apartment, trying to pay off school and try to keep an operable practice. Less doctors can't take more patients, they were already stretched to thin.

    3) requiring coverage is not right. many people already decide between the electric bill and one more meal, how does this help them?

    This bill is a novel idea, but it had prerequisites and those were not met.

    April 6, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |