Online Poker Bill Tied into Health Care Reform

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:

Senator Robert Wyden (D-OR) has introduced a bill to legalize and regulate the online poker in an effort to help offset the cost of health-care reform.

The bill's objective would be to funnel revenue derived from H.R. 2267, introduced by Congressman Barney Frank, into low-income subsidies for health care.

Steven Ruddick of the Examiner:

In the current political climate, any way proponents for health-care can give specifics on how they will pay for health-care is a plus. So, perhaps the online poker world can use the current health-care debate to move their agenda forward, and by attaching legalized online gaming to the health-care bill could see legislation passed much sooner than was previously anticipated. reporter, Jenny Woo, recently asked Mr. Frank to give us odds of healthcare reform being passed.

"Well I probably can't give you the odds until we legalize gambling," he said.  "I don't want you and me to get in trouble here because I wouldn't want you to go and make a bet on it.  I think we are very likely to pass a pretty good bill.  I think the president had some false hopes that he was going to get some more of a publicness more for than planned to.  You know, that's not a problem if you can get both parties "okay" but we have elections and when one party wins - that's their responsibility and they should go ahead and discharge it."

Congressman Frank is especially confident that healthcare reform can be passed.

" We're not involved with healthcare ourselves at all.  We're actually working on the whole financial regulation trying to stop all the gambling that goes on with other people's money that some of the financial institutions have been doing.  So I definitely plan on this bill voted on in the house this fall.  It probably won't come up until the Senate jury next year but I plan on having this voted on the house and healthcare won't get in my way."

Jagajeet Chiba, 

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