The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced it will support that a public option be included in national health care legislation.

This came as the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed President Barack Obama’s health care reform plan Nov. 7.

The bill as it enters the Senate would cost more than $1 trillion over the next decade. It would provide health coverage to tens of millions of Americans who don’t have it now, require most employers to offer it to their workers and prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage based on a person’s medical history.

The NAACP has endorsed the aforementioned provisions of the bill, said Gary Leavell, president of the Jeffersonville/Clark County chapter of the NAACP.

Although Leavell said the bill was one most people would support, he also offered some concerns.

Leavell emphasized the NAACP is endorsing legislation that includes the public option, likely the biggest hurdle the Senate will face in attempting to pass the bill.

Before the vote in the House, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels sent a biting letter to Indiana’s members of the House of Representatives to reconsider before voting in favor of the plan.

Daniels’ letter said, “The current House bill is the worst version yet, with truly awful consequences for Indiana, and I feel obligated to add another voice to the many you are hearing on the subject.”

He went on to cite several consequences should the current legislation be passed.

The bill would cost Indiana taxpayers billions, effectively end the Healthy Indiana Plan, fails to pass common sense tests and would be a “job-killer” for Indiana residents, Daniels wrote.

“Hoosiers, particularly younger ones, will share for their lifetimes in the unbearable costs this scheme will add to the dangerous levels of national debt which other recent legislation is already making much, much worse,” it said.

The vote from Indiana representatives was 5-4 in favor of the bill — along party lines — with the five Democrats voting in favor. Ninth District Rep. Baron Hill voted for the health care plan.

Resistance to the plan is certainly not over and the health care debate is expected to rage on, likely into next year.

The NAACP, along with the AFL-CIO and the Urban League, will allow those opinions to be voiced as they will host a town hall meeting to discuss the health care bill at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Jeffersonville City Council chambers.


• WHAT: NAACP town hall meeting on health care

• WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Thursday

• WHERE: Jeffersonville City Hall, council chambers, 500 Quartermaster Court

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