WHAT IN THE H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS IS THE HEALTH CARE BILL? I’ve always thought that our lack of a health care system made the US quite hypocritical about calling any other country a third world country. I was chatting with my mom the other day and some how we started talking about this healthcare bill and quickly realized that we didn’t even know exactly what was included. I know I’m kinda late, but still, some research def needed to be done. So here it is.
The facts are to the point, vague, but to the point and located in a 1,990 page document called the H.R. 3962 located on the US gov website.
- People with pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied coverage, families with no insurance can apply for tax credits which will help them buy affordable coverage, small businesses will be given tax cuts to help pay for employee coverage, and about 50 million uninsured Americans will be given the chance to become insured.
- New plans must cover checkups and other preventative care without co-pays. All plans will be affected by 2018
- For senior citizens, they will have access to free preventive care which includes free annual check-ups, mammograms, and colonoscopies, and a 50% discount for prescription drugs for those who fall in the Medicare ‘doughnut hole’ (Under current law, Medicare stops covering drug costs after a plan and beneficiary have spent more than $2,830 on prescription drugs. It starts paying again after an individual’s out-of-pocket expenses exceed $4,550), and that is only what will happen in this year. Long term, the Medicare ‘doughnut hole’ will be closed making sure senior citizens will be able to afford insurance.
- Insurance companies can no longer cut someone when he or she gets sick.
- Insurers must now reveal how much money is spent on overhead.
- The Secretary of Health and Human Services will set up a new Web site to make it easy for Americans in any state to seek out affordable health insurance options The site will also include helpful information for small businesses.
- For young adults, starting this year, you will be able to stay on your parents health insurance plan until your 26th birthday, in 2014 young adults will be given tax credits to help them afford coverage, and also the new plan will ban new groups from establishing eligibility requirements that discriminate against lower waged workers.
- Chain restaurants will be required to provide a “nutrient content disclosure statement” alongside their items. Expect to see calories listed both on in-store and drive-through menus of fast-food restaurants sometime soon.
- For women, in 2014, discrimination against women with pre-existing conditions will be banned, also it will make it illegal for insurers to charge women more than man for health coverage, and also health plans will include maternity services.
- Non-profit Blue Cross organizations will be required to maintain a medical loss ratio — money spent on procedures over money incoming — of 85 percent or higher to take advantage of IRS tax benefits.
So why is this bill almost 2000 pages? Well, that is because on those white pages there is a lot of GRAY. Gray areas include questions like these: What if I don’t want “Obama-care” will I be penalized? Is this unconstitutional? Is Obama a Communist? Will this plan add to the national deficit? Will it raise taxes? Will it be able to turn water into wine…?
There are some facts to answer some of those questions. If you fail to purchase health care insurance you will be fined starting in 2016. Individuals would be required to purchase coverage or face a fine of up to $695 or 2.5% percent of income, whichever is greater, and the plan will add $940 billion to the deficit, but over ten years the plan will reduce the deficit by $143 billion.
So what do I think about all this? Well it’s complicated, I did get spoiled by that Canadian Health Care system for 5 years, so I’ll be doing some comparisons between our Health Care Bill, The French system, The Japanese system, the Australian system and the Canadian system, But before I do that. What are your thoughts?
Can you ask Chris Hughton whether he is at all bitter about his depature from WHL and if he would contemplate returning there in the future?