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What’s In The New Health Care Reform Bill?

March 23, 2010

Love it or hate it, the health care reform bill was passed in the house last night. What does it entail for us exactly? Well, some parts take effect immediately, while others won’t until 2014. Take a look at what’s in it:


  • No more lifetime/annual caps. This means that if you’re really sick, like cancer or HIV, your insurance company cannot deny you more coverage once they’ve already covered a certain dollar amount.
  • Children under 19 cannot be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition.
  • If you are under 26 and labeled as a DEPENDENT by your parents, you will be able to stay on their coverage regardless of if you’re in school. This doesn’t mean that just being 26 and having parents that are covered gets you covered. You must be filed in their taxes as a dependent.
  • More money for old people. $250 a month will be given to certain senior citizens to help them pay for prescription medicine. This will not carry over the years because the new bill will cut the costs of prescriptions drugs down entirely.
  • Insurance companies can no longer drop you when you get sick. Before, insurance companies could drop you from their plan if you got very ill (cancer, HIV, lupus, etc) on the basis that you would be too much of a risk/too expensive. They can no longer do this.
  • Early funding is being provided to form community health centers. These will include medical, dental, and vision for people in communities (rather than visiting a busy hospital, or going around to multiple specialists).
  • Tanning beds will now be taxed. While you aren’t being taxed for it, the companies that provide the beds will be, which in effect will likely raise the cost of tanning beds. The sun is still free!
  • Free preventative care. This includes things like breast and cervical cancer screenings.


  • Mandated Coverage. Ya gotta buy it, folks. However this will be subsidized for poorer people and families.
  • Medicaid will be expanded.
  • Tax credits will be given to families to help offset the cost of health care premiums. The tax incentives include tax breaks for families which vaccinate their children and for adults who go to scheduled annual appointments (this is all I could gather from the news, if anyone knows further please let me know.)
  • The deficit is expected to be reduced by $43 million over the first ten years. These numbers are only projected though.
  • Coverage would be expanded to the 32 million currently uninsured people.
  • Illegal immigrants will still not eligible to be covered by Medicaid.
  • Help for those with pre-existing conditions. Millions of Americans are denied full or partial health care because of a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition does not always mean born with it, but if you had cancer before you got insurance, an insurance company can label cancer as pre-existing and deny you coverage. But not anymore. Note that insurance will, in 2014, cost more for people with a pre-existing condition. However you cannot be denied coverage because of it.

What about all that abortion stuff? Do I have to pay for other people’s abortions? Will I still be able to get one?

  • No, and yes. An amendment was made yesterday to guarantee that federal funds would not be used in abortion coverage costs. However individuals will have the opportunity to pay extra for a plan that would cover abortions.
  • Federal funding will cover abortions only in cases of rape, incest, or health of the mother.

Understand? Good! On both the pro and con sides there’s been a lot of confusion about what this bill entails.  I want to remind all my readers: Don’t be a dick about this. Whether you’re pro or con, hateful, mean, bigoted or rude comments will not be tolerated and will get you banned. Speculation, emotional reactions, and supported arguments are WELCOME, but be respectful.

[Sources: First Coast News, Health Reform, Yahoo!, Washington Post, CBS News, CNN]

[Note: All comments have delayed posting as they must be approved first, and I sleep a lot.]

58 Comments leave one →
  1. Nick permalink
    March 23, 2010 3:11 am

    I can tell that you are a supporter because of the way you wrote this :) That’s just an observation.

    In a perfect world, this seems like a pretty good deal. I mean, it should be made illegal for providers to drop you if you get cancer. Why were you paying them for all those years if they are just going to dump you when you really, really need them?

    My issue with the whole thing is:

    #1 Mandated Coverage and
    #2 “Expected” Reduction in Deficit

    Mandated coverage is unconstitutional. If it isn’t a tax, then you should HAVE to pay it. Same goes with Social Security and Medicare… but that’s a whole other story. Making this mandated only makes it less regulated. Why do we split monopolies? Because after a while, they can do whatever they want! But this is worse than a regular monopoly, this is the government. And they are going to be able to do whatever they want for a really long time, considering it’s nearly impossible to get stuff like this reversed once people start counting on it.

    If our deficit is reduced by providing health care for everyone in this nation, monkies will fly out of my ass. THAT simply makes no sense. Just like every other piece of legislation passed in the last 10 years, it will always cost more than projected. Who came up with that number? How do they come up with that number? Find me in 2014 and I’ll give you my car if this ends up being true. They say stuff like that to gain support. It holds no merit.

    I am opposed to this (obviously), mainly because it’s a crude attempt at making everything “fair”. Everyone is o so jolly about getting health care, wait until they discover how much it is going to actually cost them. Most people you talk to don’t even realize they are still going to have to pay premiums. They think that it will literally be free. HA!

    Do you know what people from Canada do, who can afford it, when they need some serious medical work done?

    They come to the US. Why?

    Because there isn’t enough funding in their health care system to afford the latest technologies. Also, wages for doctors are way lower and smart people don’t want to sit through school for 7 years to make the same income as an auto mechanic.

    Why isn’t there enough funding for these things?

    Because helping people costs money. And when you aren’t thinking with your own wallet, you become more careless about when you need medical attention. When the increase in doctor visits goes up, and the amount of profit per individual goes down, quality and timeliness also goes down.

    That is why you hear cases from Canada of people who wait two weeks to get a broken ankle set. That is why the Prime Minister of Canada gets his check-ups at the Mayo Clinic.

    I’m not a heartless human being, and that is what people who are for this like to call me. I’m a rational human being. Right now, I understand some people can’t afford health care. It’s disturbing and it’s sad. And I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone who truly needs it to not be able to get it because of their income.

    Life isn’t fair though.

    So what would you rather have is the real question? Everyone gets health care, but the system is run by the government, the wait is longer, the quality is worse, everyone gets taxed more and is forced to pay premiums that are dependent on your income, the doctors aren’t as educated, and the technology is old… or…

    Not everyone gets health care but we remain at the top of the medical industry (in terms of what I had stated above). And, by the way, there are plenty of programs in place today for people who can’t afford health care. Nearly every state has state run health care that is provided for people with low incomes. Hospitals are required to do a portion of charity work for those in need that can’t pay for work.

    I’m not saying that what we have today is good. We should work on fixing the politics involved in today’s health care systems. The free market is the best way to make health care affordable, competitive, and fair to all.

    Last night, our congress passed MORE GOVERNMENT.

    Ask yourself this question….

    Are you 100% satisfied with our public school systems?

    OK, now ask yourself this question….

    What makes you think public health care will be any better?

    It’s run by the same whack jobs.

    • Tegan McRae permalink*
      March 23, 2010 4:42 am

      Yeah I was going to respond but uhh…that’s just a lot of stuff. I’ll leave it up because it makes some points and if anyone wants to tackle it, go ahead. I just wanted to make the basic information available to everyone.

      • Nick permalink
        March 23, 2010 5:05 am

        In retrospect I could have shortened it up a little, and I do appreciate your post! Obviously I’m not ready to accept what has happened… like you said, agree with it or not, it was passed.

        I wish I could believe in something like this, because on the surface it appears so innocent and good. The concept sure plucks your heart strings.

        I guess we’ll see what happens… thanks again for the post.

    • charlie permalink
      March 23, 2010 3:31 pm

      you pose a good statement to sum up your argument: life isn’t fair.

      and i agree. but i know i’m not that selfish. i’d rather see minimum coverage for those less fortunate that really do need help than keep the best technology for those who can afford it. Thats what it comes down to, sacrificing for you and yours to help those who can’t help themselves.

      • Matt permalink
        March 24, 2010 6:11 am

        I’m sorry but I can’t agree with “life isn’t fair” being a good statement. The whole “Just accept it the way it is” and “that’s the way the world works” are all a mindset of loss and shared by the losers. Acceptance is not the key. If acceptance was the key then the Berlin wall would still be up, third world countries would be left alone, and any fight against the African disasters wouldn’t exist, and seeing how a great deal of people support benefactors that “fight the odds” and say no to “the way it is” I don’t think I’m alone with my “Change the world, don’t accept it” mindset

      • kilt1iron permalink
        September 27, 2010 4:24 pm

        Well, then — please feel free to find those you deem truly in need, and help them out.

        I do. Through my church. Up close and personal.

    • James permalink
      March 23, 2010 5:44 pm

      I would agree with your point about free market and insurance companies if the ideal were reality. However, so far, the health care system in place has not been covering Americans in need. One would assume that if enough Americans had problems with the system that the insurance companies would reflect that and decrease their prices but that is not the case. This would not necessarily be as big an issue if it weren’t for the fact that health care is, at least in my opinion, a right just as much as it is an American’s right to live. No one will deny health care, the reason being that it is essential. Therefore, the government had to step in. It was necessary to protect the rights of the individuals to live. Because of the humanism that is involved in this issue, we cannot leave it up to insurance companies to mandate things. It is like selling life. It is not right to put a price on life. Therefore a reform was needed. I understand where you are coming from when you talk about competition and the greatness of our doctors but the need for health care period is greater than the need for the best doctors. The decrease in competition is not as big a problem as the need for universal health care in my opinion. Eventually, maybe we will be able to have both, but in the mean time, we need to get our priorities straight.

    • sabotooth permalink
      March 23, 2010 8:04 pm

      I agree Nick. The way they say they can pay for it is by making money off the takes for 4 years, without paying out for the “benefits”. Anybody can make that look fiscally responsible. In practice it doesn’t work. Also, the Congressional Budget Office that figures out the expected financial impact scores legislation in a vacuum. What that means is whatever the bill says in it is how they evaluate it. So they don’t take into account any outside influences on the bill, for instance, if there aren’t as many doctors as are estimated in the bill or if there are more costs, then that doesn’t get figured in.

      Everybody thinks there is going to be “free” healthcare, it isn’t free. And subsidies son’t cover the full costs, somebody has to come up with the money. If employers have to pay, they will have to cut costs somewhere. In the current economy, that most likely means payroll cuts. They will have to lay people off. The number of uninsured people is misleading, because most of the uninsured don’t have insurance by choice. They could get it if they wanted it, but they choose not to pay for it. Now they will be forced to purchase it to make up the costs for everyone else. That isn’t right. In America, no one should be forced to buy a product or service just to be legal.

      Another big misunderstanding is that people can’t get health care. There is no hospital in America that will not provide you with service even if you can’t pay for it. Yes, that does increase the costs for other patients of the hospital, but it is misleading to say that people are dying on the streets because uncaring hospitals won’t help them.

      I agree that there should be changes to the healthcare/insurance system, but there is no magic bullet that will fix this system. We have the best healthcare system in the world, this will lower the quality that all Americans receive. It has to- you can’t cut costs, insure millions more, improve services, and cut the deficit all at the same time. Use a little logic people!

    • Danny permalink
      March 23, 2010 8:38 pm

      mandatory to insure your vehicles, isn’t it? houses too, at least upon purchase, right? why don’t you complain about the constitutionality of those? don’t just say that you will give up your car or supply monkies from your ass…if, and i think when, this all plays out to be a positive progression in humanity. you should honor your claims. unlike idiots like glenn beck who say they will leave the country if this passes or sean hannity who agreed to get water-boarded. have your opinions, express them with eloquence and hold true to them unless admittedly proven wrong. Nick, this bill isn’t just about affording health care. it’s about righting the wrongs that billionaire insurance constructs have been profiting off of by the actual lives of Americans for years. you say life isn’t fair? that’s a psychological tool used by the cold and incompassionate to justify there selfish and egocentric ideology. life is what we make of it. further more you seem to think that it’s ok under the “life isn’t fair” banner for company to take money from a client/customer with services promised and upon the time of (agreed upon) services needed said company can simply say “No, we BELIEVE that you MAY have had this condition when we first agreed to enter partnership, so the deal is now off. But we are going to keep all the money that you have paid us already even though you haven’t used any of it.” Fair or not, that sounds damn-right criminal. Government regulation in certain instances is necessary. To monitor food from poisoning us, to setting safety standards in day-to-day products, to provide fire departments and yes even schools which do suck but much of that has to do with republicans (Bush’s-No Child Left Behind) not properly funding them. the “take-over” argument is tired and unfounded. they are not taking over. hence the terms “public option”. clinics aren’t going to be government run clinics. don’t believe the hype and certainly don’t believe ANYTHING you see or hear on Fox News.

    • Jeff Dalton permalink
      March 24, 2010 4:16 am

      “Mandated coverage is unconstitutional?” Why do people just say things? There is nothing unconstitutional about it.

      • Erin permalink
        March 24, 2010 5:18 am

        “Mandated coverage” IS unconstitutional. Maybe you should read the constitution.

        Health insurance is not a right, I’m sorry but I should not have to pay for peoples’ inability to grasp that. The government has no right to force the public to purchase a commodity/good. A good is defined as anything that is bought or sold. Health insurance is bought and sold. Thus, health insurance is a good. And, the government is not sanctioned by the CONSTITUTION to make me buy something.

        I am saddened by the alarming amount of people (thanks to public education) who do not understand the foundation of our nation.

        “There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” – John Adams (1814)

    • Ian permalink
      March 24, 2010 4:41 pm


      Having lived in Canada all my life, I can tell you that it is a great relief to be covered under almost all circumstances. I have a debilitating muscle condition and it would have cost my family thousands of dollars for treatment. I consider myself lucky to be living here. And as for doctor’s salaries, my mother is a doctor and we’re not exactly starving here. I will admit that it is probably inflated by the doctor shortage here.

      Regarding Canadians going to the US for treatment; yes, richer Canadians do. Why? Because yes, American facilities are better funded and often have better equipment. However, this is a very small majority, for patients with rare or very extreme conditions. Your average Canadian goes down to a walk-in clinic down the street or to an emergency room to be seen, and doesn’t pay a cent out of their pockets for it.

      In response to your anecdote about waiting two weeks to have an ankle set, I cannot comment. It may or may not be true. However, what I can tell you is that American media drastically exaggerates the downsides of socialized medicine. On average, an emergency room trip will take you 6 hours, not several days. Our hospitals aren’t dilapidated wrecks, the doctors aren’t incompetent, and we’re not paying exorbitant taxes. Yes, they’re probably higher than yours, but we accept that, because Canadians realize the value of helping people who need help. As one of those people, I sincerely thank every Canadian taxpayer, and the socially minded Members of Parliament who brought this system here.

      • Alan C permalink
        March 26, 2010 3:17 am

        Ian, as a person who lived in Canada, I got sick and tired of paying taxes to cover you and your family when you get sick (so I moved out).
        Canadian system is a disaster. It is a Stalinist system.
        The problem with the new bill is this: Imagine next time you buy a car, you don’t pay 100% for it, but 10%, while the rest is paid from a car buying insurance premuium. You would be a fool not to buy a Lamborgini or a Ferrari for 30,000. But what will happen is that everybody will do the same, buy expensive cars. Over time, the car buying premium would be tens of thousands of dollars a year.

        It’s the same thing with healthcare. The whole thing will collapse (just like the Greek budget). The federal governments in both US and Canada will collapse. This bill will ensure it will collapse sooner (around the time I will have to retire, so I bet it will be fun).

        Apart from that, Obama is a thug. The way he got the whole thing through makes Mafia look good.

        Now if you don’t know how good the Canadian system is, watch this:

        The guy actually moved to the states from Quebec.

        As for you being supportive of a government system, remember Benjamin Franklin’s words: those who would give up their liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty nor security.

  2. Bella permalink
    March 23, 2010 3:15 am

    Thank you very much for this summary. Hopefully, there will be more to come regarding specifics.

  3. Jess permalink
    March 23, 2010 5:25 am

    As someone in school for Health Care Administration, I have to say that this is great progress for our country. Health centers are struggling to care for patients because a lack of staff unwilling to work with the uninsured or low income. Everyone should have health care and I sure don’t mind spending extra to cover other people who may be less fortunate than I am. Americans are supposed to work together and help each other!!

    • Old Hoosier permalink
      June 9, 2010 6:45 pm

      This doesn’t address the extremely expensive coverage supplied by every hospital Emergency Dept. in the USA to the non-covered, and especially, illegal aliens

      I invite you to spend a day observing any ER for the population and probable impact on the hospital’s financial state. Add to that the impact on the paying customers in triage, wait time, staff availability, cost for their insurance, waiting room space, etc.

      I spend both time and money to support the medical system (I’m a medical professional). Part of the difficulty for me is the overwhelm I experience daily in the surge of the people who eat up the time we have to treat others who work very hard for their benefits.

      Requiring illegals to buy health care must have teeth or it is not a solution for anyone.

  4. Julian permalink
    March 23, 2010 6:07 am

    I just have a feeling that this could go the way of the 20th Century Motor Company from Atlas Shrugged, but on a global scale. Hopefully it won’t, but there are definitely parallels. I’ve always kind of taken issue with Insurance as a whole, but I guess that until I can come up with a better way I can’t complain as it is better than nothing.

    • Danny permalink
      March 23, 2010 8:40 pm

      ugh…Ayn Rand? really?

  5. March 23, 2010 6:53 am

    Good on you for writing this post – making it super simple for folks to understand – I’m in Australia and know a little about the US health reform but def. learned more from what you’ve outlined. Great article.

    • Tegan McRae permalink*
      March 23, 2010 8:35 am

      Thank you! I’m glad!

  6. Yousuf S. permalink
    March 23, 2010 7:40 am

    Agree with Kate ^

    I’m Canadian myself, but it’s always good to know what’s happening with our neighbours. Thank you for posting, clears up a few things.

  7. Mike permalink
    March 23, 2010 7:47 am

    I’m not impressed by the caveat that everybody must buy health insurance, because that will only have been put there to appease the health insurance companies.

    On the other hand, living in the US must be scary sometimes – if you don’t have a job with health insurance included and you can’t afford to pay the premiums out of your wages, then what are you left with?

    You run the gauntlet don’t you? You could get injured or sick and have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to get treated. Same if your insurance company decides to turn you down.

    So I like the bit of the law which says insurance companies can’t turn you down as easily as they could before – maybe the insurance companies’ death panels won’t kill your grandmother after all.

    • Tegan McRae permalink*
      March 23, 2010 8:38 am

      I’ll admit it is pretty scary being without health insurance (I have been without for two years, due to financial reasons and that my jobs don’t offer it). Either way, this offers some reform to insurance as a WHOLE, which is a start at working toward something better than what we have today. Even if not everything withstands till 2014, its a start to reform insurance policies to be more accommodating (such as with pre-existing conditions, caps, etc)

      • sabotooth permalink
        March 23, 2010 8:11 pm

        It will be more scary when they take all our freedoms to choose. Have you really tried to get insurance from every possible source? There are so many different options, that I find it hard to believe that you are uninsurable. Unless you are a very high risk or something like that. If money is really your limiting factor, most states and the federal government already have programs to help you.

        This is just a stepping stone to the ultimate goal of single payer system. Obama’s crew know that it will take time and they want full control of the system. Now that they have this passed, they will gradually destroy/take over the insurance industry. When the only insurance left is Obamacare, then what power or freedom over your own healthcare will you have then?

    • aNicerMilf permalink
      March 23, 2010 4:09 pm

      but they must be required to purchase insurance so that the rest of us are not required to take up the slack when they can’t pay their medical bills. Now, every time someone decides not to pay their medical bills (usually because they don’t have coverage)… you and I cover that cost through higher costs to us.

      I don’t have a problem with that part at all.

    • Danny permalink
      March 23, 2010 8:43 pm

      never was a death panel…GOP bullshit! (Generated Order w/Propoganda)

  8. March 23, 2010 11:09 am

    Does insurance provide that you do not get sick? No.
    Insurance is about minimizing RISK – generally, financial.

    I’m young and healthy.

    Many people like me go without health insurance (gasp) by choice. At our age and health level, it is a small financial risk, compared to the much larger financial commitment.

    So, since this bill was all about being “fair” – someone tell me why it is “fair” that I will be forced, at metaphorical “gunpoint” by my government, to buy something?

    It is important to note that this is not a “tax” – it is a mandate that I purchase something the government “approves.” This is also different from, say, car insurance (I hear many people make the comparison, which proves that they do not know what they are talking about) – Car Insurance is a payment required to exercise a PRIVILEGE. Indeed, we do not require all citizens to own cars and we certainly do not provide cars for the “needy” as national policy. If you are to liken car insurance to health insurance, than you are implicit indicating that health insurance is, in fact, not a “right.”

    But can a “right” be forced on you? More importantly, if you have to pay for it, is it still a right?
    This mandate is blatantly unconstitutional. It is based, they say, upon the commerce clause (which, through Wickard V. Filburn, changed the face of America in a dramatic and reprehensible manner)…but riddle me this:

    How is *NOT* purchasing health care = commerce? The answer: it is unrelated to commerce. It is NOT commerce. It is abstaining from commerce and therefore cannot be regulated. You cannot regulate non-commerce…just being ALIVE is not interstate commerce. If this were so, the commerce clause would give the government carte blanche over every aspect of our lives…they mandate everything for you to buy.

    I understand that I -and many like me- are to start paying taxes now for a system that will not go into effect for years. Mainly, this is to make it look like the system is sustainable at the decade mark…but anyone who knows basic math knows that when you need to front-load years of payments into a system and refuse to score long-term financial projections…it’s the worst kind of sleight-of-hand. In fact, the modified bill was voted on before the CBO was able to announce the new score, taking into account the modified provisions. Even then, government estimates are always fancifully low, usually by orders of magnitude (
    Not millions, but hundreds of billions of dollars.

    Generally, when politicians have to bribe each other ( with hospitals or, even more despicable, WATER (yes, remember California’s San Joaquin Valley? The one with the water that Obama refused to turn back on? Yeah, the dead one. They couldn’t get it on – the Governor pleaded, the Senators pleaded, but he stood firm. Months later, they were undecided vote-wise…and it’s back on! Amazing coincidence!), you realize that the bill, on it’s own merit, fails.

    Indeed, when all the polling indicates that the majority of Americans were against it – when you have representatives, as politico pointed out, going through the thought exercise: “Well, I can vote against it and face a 40% chance of re-election and make enemies with the Democrats, or I can vote for it, face a 30% chance of re-election, but net a cushy lobbying job after this,” then you just start vomiting.

    Sadly enough, I don’t see anything in this bill to actually CONTROL costs.
    Government can’t just wave a magic wand and demand prices to go down…not the government of a free nation, at least. Businesses will die. Some of the huge pharmacies (Wal-Greens, etc.) have already announced that they will stop taking new medicaid prescriptions (the reimbursement rate is artificially low and set to go lower)…the same bad-for-business, populist demagogues who shake their fingers and scold the industries that enable us to live longer are killing the REAL forces behind health care in this country.

    How does increasing access to a limited resource (health insurance WILL be used, and our doctors and health care providers are a resource) DECREASE costs to either the system as a whole OR to the individual? It increases lines, it increases DEMAND….and when demand increases, so do premiums (which have been projected to increase for those not covered by this plan).

    I think that it is a good decision to not allow insurance providers to drop you from an up-to-date (read: current. As in, a plan that you are CONTINUING TO PAY FOR. If you cancel the plan or there is a considerable lapse in payment, there should be no obligation of theirs to renew).
    Why do I like that? Because insurance is all about RISK – you pay a little, consistently, against the risk of paying even more later. Insurance companies evaluate that risk. Allowing them to drop the hot potatoes removes the risk they, too, face. Imagine getting your insurance payments back every year you were not seriously ill.


    Forcing insurance companies to accept a person with a pre-existing condition…that goes against A) The core concept of “risk” in insurance, and B) The core concept of a free market.

    Insurance companies exist because, if they play the odds, it is more often than not quite profitable. However, you remove “chance” and “risk” that the industry is based on when you FORCE them to accept a client. This isn’t discrimination based on an external factor such as sex or race, this is a factor (health) that cuts to the very CORE of who they *CHOSE* as their clients. It’s what the industry is about! Picking healthy clients to minimize the risk to your business!

    Let’s also not forget the freedom of contract, as it appears congress has. Selecting your clients based on these criteria that are much more than “reasonably” pertinent should be a right. It’s not as if insurance companies are engaging in a hateful or ignorant discrimination – they are merely exercising their freedom to NOT contract with a customer. That customer is not “wronged” – he would be no better or worse off if that company didn’t exist. The customer is unaffected. However, now the rights of both business and the individual are placed in serious jeopardy with this legislation.

    It makes me sad. :(

    • Nick permalink
      March 24, 2010 1:12 am

      Jerome, first off, what city do you live in? I need to buy you a beer. We should wallow in our understanding together.

      I’m really happy to see this thread take off, and I’ll definitely subscribe Tegan. I think you run it well.

      Anyways, Jerome said it better than I ever could. As far as what an earlier poster had to say in rebuttal to me coining “Life isn’t fair”, and then going on to say that what insurance providers do to people isn’t fair, I think you need to stop using the exception as your rule.

      There will ALWAYS be *certain, and uncommon, circumstances* in which a business, such as an insurance company, does bad business. I’d like you to name an insurance company with an outrageous reputation for dropping customers with terminal illness outside of the norm. You can’t, because that company doesn’t exist, and if it USED to exist, I don’t think employers would choose to cover their employees with it anymore, thus running it out of business (if it didn’t go bankrupt from all the lawsuits first). I’m not even looking this up, I’m going under the presumption, so prove me wrong.

      And when you look up these “certain, and uncommon, circumstances”, also make note of whether or not the person being dropped ended up winning in a lawsuit.

      That is what the government should be for, to protect us from theft, and to protect us from being physically harmed by one another. Meaning, if a company takes advantage of you, in other words breaks a legitimate law, you have the right to be compensated. I feel a little nervous even saying that after people make millions dumping coffee on their own lap.

      The only REAL question here is what do you believe in.

      A. I believe it is not a right as human beings to have health insurance.
      B. I believe it is a right as human beings to have health insurance.

      If you agree with letter B, then you need to go and change the constitution to say “right to health care” before you force me to pay for your government health care.

      And I honestly don’t give a damn if you think I’m heartless because of it or not. I know I’m not heartless. I believe that I know what is best for this country and what is best for everyone living here. I believe that, inevitably, this will truly hurt our country and all the people living in it. That is my opinion.

      The best part is that you won’t be able to see that this bill is driving the deficit down even deeper until the Democrats are out of the white house, and then they will say “See!! See!! When we are in office, everything is great!”

      What’s next? Everyone will have the right to be happy? No longer do you need to pursue it, because every human being has the right to be happy now. So tell us what will make you happy, and everyone will pitch in to build you that swimming pool in the backyard or we’ll put a trillion dollars into research on how to bring your grandma back from the dead.

      Everyone, just become libertarians already. You will eventually if you truly want to prosper while respecting your fellow citizens at the same time.

      And for those of you who came to this website and learned about this bill AFTER it was passed, and you agree with what me and Jerome are saying, and you are realizing now that you voted for people who passed this legislation, I think you should feel ashamed. I hope that you do your research next time.

      Voting for congress representatives and presidents isn’t voting for prom queen. You can’t let your friend/teacher/church/lover/co-worker/family member influence the way that you vote. Don’t let the fear of ridicule from your peers stop you from choosing what is right, and don’t follow someone blindly without looking into these very important decisions yourself.

      We need more people in this country to vote off of things other than news headlines. Remember, there are more than two names on the ballot, and voting on your principles is NEVER wrong and NEVER a “wasted” vote! Regardless of what you believe, and regardless if you agree with my political views or not.

      I’d much rather you be an Obama supporter who KNEW that he was going to sign this bill than a Obama supporter who decided to learn about it after it had already passed.

      Thanks everyone, it’s been a pleasure reading what everyone has to say.

    • Loves To Spooge permalink
      March 24, 2010 4:14 am

      I imagine you would be sadder if you got cancer and couldn’t get any assistance because you don’t have health care. It isn’t about – or it shouldn’t be about – profits and margins. It should be about having health care if you need it, when you need it. I have pay taxes in the U.K., much of which goes to our health system. My 27yr old brother got cancer and needed care. He got it. I needed emergency treatment and I got it. I would rather pay taxes for health care all my life and have it there for anyone who may need it than pay some company that only cares about profit (and massive profits at that) and can exclude me at any time for any reason.

      • Nick permalink
        March 24, 2010 2:31 pm

        The USA is a different kind of government than the UK, with all due respect, if I wanted universal health care and wanted to pay for it, I could move there. This health care reform is simply unconstitutional. Period.

  9. lyttleton permalink
    March 23, 2010 5:02 pm

    Excellent recap of the basic information.
    I feel the same way about mandated health insurance as I have about mandated car insurance: I don’t want to pay it when I’m low on funds, but I understand why it’s law and ultimately it’s smart for everyone.

    • Tegan McRae permalink*
      March 24, 2010 4:16 am

      Very eloquently put, thanks.

  10. Lizzy permalink
    March 23, 2010 5:27 pm

    I think that while there are beneficial aspects to the bill, there are the negative as well- most importantly being the fact that we are giving the government even more control. Time and time again it has been shown that if you leave something in the hands of power and politics it gets twisted beyond the original good intentions it was built on- look at Amtrak and unions. As it is, this will help many people and scare many others with what’s to come in the long run but no matter what, it’s gone through.

  11. anne cevalez permalink
    March 23, 2010 7:36 pm

    Despite having the most costly health system in the world, the United States consistently underperforms on most dimensions of performance, relative to other countries. This report—an update to two earlier editions—includes data from surveys of patients, as well as information from primary care physicians about their medical practices and views of their countries’ health systems. Compared with five other nations—Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom—the U.S. health care system ranks last or next-to-last on five dimensions of a high performance health system: quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives. The U.S. is the only country in the study without universal health insurance coverage, partly accounting for its poor performance on access, equity, and health outcomes. The inclusion of physician survey data also shows the U.S. lagging in adoption of information technology and use of nurses to improve care coordination for the chronically ill.
    AS of january 2010 we rank lower in all these dimensions, lower than canada .. we are 37th !!!

  12. m.diane newsome permalink
    March 23, 2010 8:42 pm

    Unless this mandated coverage runs about the same as my water bill (about $30) then they can make room in the jailhouse for myself and many other Americans. I am a self employed artist and a cancer survivor. I work seven days a week to keep body and soul together. There is a county teaching hospital here that cannot turn down the indigent. They treat me, bill me and accept the $30 a mounth that I send them.

  13. Danny permalink
    March 23, 2010 8:46 pm

    oh, and yes, Thank You T-Bee for posting this.

  14. Yousuf permalink
    March 23, 2010 10:38 pm

    Thanks for the clarifications Jerome.

    I wasn’t aware that American citizens are being forced to buy health care.
    That does seem a bit of an extravagant measure.

  15. March 24, 2010 12:29 am

    Hi. I just wanted to inform you that I will NOT be buying health care, now that Socialized Dog Poop has been signed into law. I didn’t to the census, well, because I think its a load of crap for our Racist president to redeligate the Representative seats, and I won’t get health care. There is nothing in the constitution that says I have to, so I don’t, and I wont, not until good old fashioned American health care is back. And if that’s never, then I’ll continue to work under the table so not a single dime of my money goes to some welfare rat. Want health care? Get a job. Can’t afford it, get another job, I did.

    • Tegan McRae permalink*
      March 24, 2010 12:56 am

      Thanks for your opinion. I’ve been hearing a lot of people say they’re going to refuse the health care when it comes. Don’t forget, many states, if not all, will have health care reform on their ballots this November. If you want things to change, I encourage you (and everyone) to vote in November.

  16. March 24, 2010 1:02 am

    Oh trust me, I will be refusing and fighting as probably the only Conservative (not Republican, Conservative) in Vermont. REAL Health Care Reform should be Tort Reform, first and foremost, not a requirement that you HAVE health care, and all this other bull that has been crammed into a 2,000 page bill. Remember, the bill that built the Highway system for the UNITED STATES was 26 pages.

  17. Nick permalink
    March 24, 2010 1:54 am

    Hey Tegan, I just started following you on Twitter. Strange little coincidence, I’m moving to Phoenix from Minneapolis in May. Hopefully this thread got a lot of stumble attention. I think it’s a good topic, better late than never to get people educated about this stuff.

    • Tegan McRae permalink*
      March 24, 2010 4:14 am

      Sweet! I do have to warn you sometimes my posts are a little liberal, but I try my best to balance it out in my posts :) Enjoy Phoenix, you’ll be here just in time for lovely(?) warm weather! Remember that in November we will have some health care issues on the ballot, too!

      • Nick permalink
        March 24, 2010 2:32 pm

        I can’t imagine the Phoenix summers being worse than the Minneapolis winters… I think it will be a fair trade :)

  18. Gil permalink
    March 24, 2010 3:17 am

    I’m from Canada. I get great free health care. I’ve never had to wait more than a couple weeks to see a specialist, I get all my pre-screening for free.. I’m in good shape to be honest.

    I’m tired of people saying that Canadians are running to the states for health care. I don’t know a single actual Canadian or a friend of a friend of one for that matter who had to go the states to seek treatment.

    Also, It seems like people are awful ticked off about being required to have insurance in case they get sick.

    I certainly hope none of these people ends up being one of the 700,000 Americans who will have a stroke this year (stats or becoming of of the 11,028,000 living with cancer since 2006, according to

    • Jeff Dalton permalink
      March 24, 2010 4:14 am


      I believe you. Canada has a great system, and if it weren’t for all the right wing propaganda we in the U.S. would embrace it. I get “socialized medicine” through the Veteran’s Administration, and it is great. Too bad most Americans can’t seem to appreciate how great it would be. (Now if Canada could just get rid of that cold weather, I’d be there in no time.)

    • Tegan McRae permalink*
      March 24, 2010 4:15 am

      I just want all our Canadian and European posters to remember that our health care plan is different from yours…from what I understand mostly in the $$$ department. But your points stand true, there are is a big misconception of health care in socialist countries. Thanks for bringing it up!

    • Nick permalink
      March 24, 2010 11:35 pm

      I’ll admit that it’s not really my place to preach about the wrongs of another country’s policies, considering I don’t really know a whole lot about the specifics. I did, once, meet a young man staying at the Mayo Clinic (I live about an hour from Rochester), and he had told me that he comes to the states because the health care is better (and the Mayo Clinic is bar-none, people come from all over the world and travel cross-country to go there, so I can’t really use that in my defenses). And then once at Brit’s pub in Minneapolis I met another Canadian who went on and on about how terrible the health care was in Canada. He, however, doesn’t speak for everyone, and that little experience alone doesn’t make me an expert by any means. It’s just what I’ve been hearing.

      I guess I shouldn’t be using what you mentioned as strong points in my arguments, but these stories do exist. I wouldn’t want to be criticized for “using the exception as my rule”… to quote myself from earlier :)

      • Ham Nox permalink
        March 25, 2010 11:18 pm

        Ah, but Mayo Clinics aren’t exactly definitive of the rest of the US healthcare system, are they?

  19. Loves To Spooge permalink
    March 24, 2010 4:07 am

    We have universal health care in the U.K. and I would be dead without it. Which means that if I was in the U.S. I would have died because there is no way I would be able to afford health care. Life isn’t fair, that is why we have systems in place to make it as fair as possible for all involved. Our health care does have a lot of problems, but that is pretty much always administrational rather than because our doctors and nurses are not trained enough, because they are educated fantastically. It is being ruined by people who view numbers as being important as opposed to what is actually happening on the ground. If you can afford it, you can go private, but it is the same doctors who will do the procedures as would do it on the NHS. You can just get it done sooner. If, however (as in my case) you need it done asap then that is what happens. Bottom line is I can’t understand anyone who doesn’t want universal health care. I can understand debate on how it is done, sure. But to say you don’t want everyone to have access to health care just means you are a jerk and have been fortunate enough to have never been without.

  20. Jeff Dalton permalink
    March 24, 2010 4:11 am

    We need the public option.

  21. Meg permalink
    March 24, 2010 5:23 am

    I just kind of stumbled onto this, and after reading some of these comments I felt I had to say something.
    In regards to cost, here’s a crude analogy of how health insurance costs get decreased: say you want to rent an apartment that costs $1,000 a month. By yourself, that costs a pretty penny. But say you get a couple of roommates, and the cost goes down. Same with health insurance. This also applies to why members of Congress have such a great health insurance plan; when there are millions of federal employees feeding into the same plan, cost per person dramatically decreases. As of now, each individual taxpayer pays for the hospitals to absorb the cost of treating all of those uninsured people who have to resort to expensive E.R. visits, rather than being able to visit a local G.P.
    Also, in regards to the whole socialism idea, let’s play a game. I’m imagining a line on my paycheck. That line is a dollar amount the government takes out every single time. This money goes to older citizens who cannot afford other insurance plans. I may or may not ever need this plan myself, nor may I even live to be old enough to qualify. But in the interest of providing coverage for people I neither know nor care about, I get money taken out of my paycheck, courtesy of Uncle Sam, to keep these people alive and healthy. If anyone hasn’t already guessed, this is MEDICARE. A GOVERNMENT run and funded program for Americans over the age of 65. Not every person over this age uses it, but damn it, we’re all still paying for it. MEDICAID is also a government run and funded health insurance plan for low-income families. So while people are upset about this new “socialized” medicine, they need to realize that government run healthcare has been around for decades.
    I agree with those who are shouting for tort reform. I fully believe the numbers are way lower than would be the actual case, and I fully agree that it should be part of healthcare reform. But it is in no way going to be the sole savior of the healthcare industry. In fact, the only true savior of healthcare would be for all the insurance companies to go back to being not-for-profit, so profit margins and stock prices are not the main focus of CEO’s whose companies are supposed to help keep people alive. Insurance companies are supposed to be in the business of providing funds for medical care, not raking in the dough while they drain money from healthy but increasingly income-restricted people and denying coverage to people that need it most. And even if they do not drop all coverage, after working for a company that appeals denial claims from insurance companies, I have seen pretty much every major insurance company deny coverage to just about anyone, from the oldest man to the newest newborn. I’ve seen claims where a baby’s stay in the NICU was denied because of a lack of “pre-authorization”, and a mental patient had their stay denied, even though each day the patient was on suicide watch. So if these companies are no longer interested in helping the sick, then they should be eradicated immediately, in my opinion.
    This bill didn’t include a public option, and I don’t think it should have. Right now the system we have isn’t working, and that needs to be fixed before the government comes in to create another insurance option that can’t possibly be funded or run effectively just yet. I believed in a public option when there seemed to be no effort toward curtailing the insurance companies already in place, but now that reform is in place, I honestly see no need. I am skeptical about just how much this will decrease the deficit, but I am confident that we will see even just a small drop; I am also skeptical about the federal penalties against those who do not purchase insurance by 2014, because I don’t think it’s fair to punish people who can’t afford or want insurance. But I think people should protect themselves against unforeseen circumstances. My cousin was 23 when he was diagnosed with leukemia; the cancer went into a blast phase out of the blue, requiring a bone marrow transplant. He’s thankfully fine now, at 25, but if he hadn’t had insurance, there’s no doubt that he could be dead right now.
    And a final note about someone mentioning the Census. That actually IS in the Constitution, in Article 1, Section 2. It requires a count, which allocates over $400 billion in federal funds. So answering the Census determines whether the school your child goes to get the extra computers it needs, or up-to-date textbooks. It determines whether your town is able to afford more hospitals, or renovations to existing ones. And yes, it can re-draw the lines; but this is so people are equally represented. In the 2000 Census, one state lost a House seat by only 800 people. Whether or not you answer the race question, you should turn in the form; you could be responsible for losing representation in your government, and you could lose out on potentially millions of dollars for your community… just something to think about.

  22. March 24, 2010 5:30 am

    First and foremost, there is no right wing propaganda about the Americans lack of Faith not only in the British Health Care system, but the Canadian as well. First and foremost, its not about you living or dieing. Its about my money. I freelance and run my own private business. I don’t want you having health care on my dime. Public Option? No. Does not want. Our Government can’t run the post office or medicare, or Social Security, lets not give them control over actual Life or Death. Second off, Canada/UK, I can pick up my phone tomorrow morning and be in with a specialist in the afternoon. Granted, yes, if I have brain cancer that only one other man in the world has had, I’ll have to wait. But over all, I see who I want, when I want, within a day. Not weeks.

    Canada. Your PM, or was it Quebec’s PM, I don’t recall, came to horrible America, to get a heart surgery that no one else could do. Horrible, horrible system. I hear members of your Senate/Parliament are coming here as well… Or England. How about the man with Colon Cancer, who caught it VERY early. And had his follow up pushed back…and pushed back…and 2 years later, he was terminal. And if anyone feels like tossing Cuba into the mix, well, Castro went to Spain to save his life.

    America’s health care system IS the best there is. First and foremost, Health Care can only go so far when yes, our population lives a rather sedentary life style. I try to bike daily, I try to eat right, I run, I play sports, and yet, there are people out there prone to eat McDonalds and company, every day, every week, and then turn around and go to court claiming ‘they made me fat.’ There is a huge lack of responsibility in this country; look at our Government and Obama. Its still Bush’s fault, apparently. No, heath care is fine, minus the need for Tort Reform. Our people need to realize that if they want to live, pay for cheaper drugs, or have lower premiums, well do this. Don’t allow giant settlements in malpractice lawsuits. If you cut me open and leave a tool in me, and its just…sitting there going “Yo, I’m a knife” then I do NOT need a $300 million settlement. Should you pay my bills? Oh yes. Should I get a little on the top? Yes. But should I get a Power Ball reward for that mistake? No.

    And stop over medicating the public. When I get a head ache, I take a pill maybe. 9 times out of ten, I drink water, and close my eyes in the dark, and my headache is gone. Half of my class growing up were labeled as ADD or ADHD because they didn’t’ sit still in class. Okay, well, our parents basically took the school to court so many times because kids hurt themselves during recess, you know, PLAYING and such, that we sat in side, all day, for 8 hours doing nothing. We weren’t ADHD, we were KIDS with no energy release.

    And to really boil it down, yesterday…or, well, the day before yesterday now, the Senate, the House, and the President, ignored the will of the people and the popular majority. I mean, for me, a conservative, its a god send. Political Suicide is easier then a long drawn out fight, and I am enjoying watching Pelosi, Reid’s, Dobs, and Boxer’s pole numbers plummet. Plus, a Bill should not include terms that mandate that the Government does NOT have to take part in their own health care plan, or that “no law written after this can repeal, affect, or change anything in this law.” Since when can you make a law not to make any more laws?

    None of it is right. But it will right itself. We, the people, are strong, and as convoluted as things get, the American people always prevail and conquer. I’m just glad to be around in this turning point in history where we stand up again and fight the good fight for what we want, not what a body of 500 people ‘think we want.’

    • PoodlePants permalink
      March 24, 2010 12:57 pm

      “its not about you living or dieing. Its about my money.”

      Your right to cash does not trump an ill person’s right to health. This is the Republican standpoint in a nutshell: “Screw you, Jack, I’ve got mine.”

      “I don’t want you having health care on my dime.”

      And I don’t want to pay for the firefighters to douse a blaze at your home, or the police to stop an assault on your property, or for highways you use and I don’t. Unfortunately we have responsibilities in a civilized society. If you want to avoid taxes and responsibilities, leave. I won’t stop you.

      “Second off, Canada/UK, I can pick up my phone tomorrow morning and be in with a specialist in the afternoon.”

      Yes, you can. Not on the NHS, but you can always choose to pay for private care.

      “Canada. Your PM, or was it Quebec’s PM, I don’t recall, came to horrible America, to get a heart surgery that no one else could do. Horrible, horrible system.”

      Wasn’t a PM. Was Premier of Newfoundland. This proves only that rich people get superior care in America, and we already knew that. How about the poor and the middle class?

      I am an American who has lived in the UK for 9 years. The NHS is by no means perfect, but it is in numerous ways superior to the US health system. When I lived in the US I had to undergo emergency surgery, as my gall bladder had gone necrotic due to gall stones. The insurance company spent years making threats and refusing to pay for the surgery, claiming it was a pre-existing condition. In the UK I would simply have been given the surgery, at no cost to myself, without the stress and threats I received in the USA.

      “America’s health care system IS the best there is.”

      By every measurable standard, this is a HUGE lie.

      “Okay, well, our parents basically took the school to court so many times because kids hurt themselves during recess, you know, PLAYING and such”

      Yeah, I don’t believe you.

      “the Senate, the House, and the President, ignored the will of the people and the popular majority.”

      Do you understand how representative democracy works? It seems like you don’t.

      I’m just glad to be around in this turning point in history where we stand up again and fight…

      by misrepresenting statistics, holding signs of Obama as the Joker or Hitler, and bitching on the internet? Enjoy your revolution fail.

  23. Kylie permalink
    March 24, 2010 2:23 pm

    To the people who say America has THE BEST health care in the world, I would like to point out that my country, Australia, has some of the best health care in the world. We’re the nation that brought you the electric pacemaker, penicillin, the bionic ear, the humidi-crib (incubators for newborns), spray-on skin for burns victims, and the cervical cancer vaccine. And we manage to do all this while still providing free health care for our citizens. The quality of the health care remains uncompromised. You can do this, America!

  24. McKenna permalink
    March 24, 2010 3:16 pm

    Fantastic article and some real good comments. Thanks

  25. coopworker permalink
    April 28, 2010 11:15 pm

    Clement Attlee, NHS.It might be a bit wobbly but it still works,oh and by the way Prof.Stephen Hawking is English and it’s the NHS that have kept him alive this long.


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