What’s In The New Health Care Reform Bill?
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.
EFFECTIVE OVER THE YEARS/2014:
- 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.
[Note: All comments have delayed posting as they must be approved first, and I sleep a lot.]