Health Care Reform: Your Thoughts?

Yesterday, President Obama congratulated Congress on finally getting the number of votes it needed to pass their health care bill. He was quoted as saying, “This may not be radical change” but “this is what change looks like.” Here are some of the highlights of the bill that may be of interest to readers here:

The Good Stuff

IHE Clinic/unattributed

  • 32 million uninsured American citizens will now be covered by the bill
  • Children will be covered regardless of pre-existing conditions 6 months after bill
  • adults with pre-existing conditions will have to be covered by 2014
  • Medicare must include non-parenting adults by 2014
  • Seniors covered by Medicare will see a 50% reduction in price of brand name meds by 2020
  • children can stay on parents’ plans until 26 years old
  • if your income is between 100 and 400% of the Federal Poverty Line, you will receive a subsidy from the government to cover health care and there will be caps on premiums
  • costs controls for prescription drugs for people on medicare living with HIV and AIDs

The rest

image unattributed

  • states retain the right to regulate and maintain “health care provider exchanges” that uninsured people who do not qualify for medicare can use to meet their insurance needs
  • states retain the right to cover or NOT cover reproductive health
  • the government will pay for health care even if it prohibits reproductive choice until 2016 (the program is expected to become self-sufficient after that)
  • there are no regulations preventing health care providers from raising the price of insurance for those with pre-existing conditions either between now and 2014 or afterward
  • undocumented immigrants (including adults who were brought here as young children) will NOT be eligible for health care but if they are working and paying taxes, will still be eligible for the fine for being uninsured
  • you will be fined $695 per uninsured person in your household annually after 2014 (some exceptions for poverty issues)
  • Undocumented people CANNOT buy into health care exchanges even if they pay total cost themselves
  • the amendment to include stats on LGBT health needs/disparities has been excluded

Your thoughts? Is this “Change you can believe in”? If so, why or why not?

6 thoughts on “Health Care Reform: Your Thoughts?

  1. For whatever help it offers, I’m glad. But…

    Requiring folks to pay money to insurance companies seems unconstitutional to me. Car insurance is about using a dangerous machine. I think house insurance is required by mortgage holders (banks) not the government. Have we ever been required to pay money just for living?

    I wish we could have the humility to recognize that single payer systems (like Canada’s) work, and to adopt what works. But there’s too much money involved in this for what’s right to be the guide…

    It’s all too complicated ofr me to have any sense of whether it will do more good than harm overall.

  2. Pingback: uberVU - social comments

    • I’m not a lawyer, but I think the main complaint about “mandatory coverage” ignores the loophole that you are not required to have coverage you have “the choice” to either pay a fine each year or buy coverage. Much like you have a choice to buy care insurance or pay a fine if you get pulled over or cause an accident. It isn’t really a “choice” in any real sense, but I think it is in a legal sense.

    • Patrick, it says right in the post “pre-existing conditions covered in 2014”, I’m sorry you missed that but my facts are checked.

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