March 22, 2010
So, at last, it seems like we will have a huge reform of the health care establishment in this country. It’s about time that the USA joined the rest of the civilized industrial democracies! Of course, the bill is imperfect and does not do many things it should do, and it contains absurdities necessary to placate the regional crotchets of various constituencies, e.g, language on abortion, but it is a big step. And it can be improved upon.
My hope is that the Democrats will run like hell on this bill and crush the Republicans in the mid-term election. If people start hearing what the bill does for them, as opposed to the fantasies the Republicans have woven about it – it will usher in death committees, Soviet-style government, crushing taxes on the working man, lack of choice in doctors, etc. etc. – they will realize it works for them, i.e., 95% of the electorate. The other 5% is so rich, they don’t care either way.
I want to hear the Republicans run on why extending insurance to 30 million people, most of them children, is a bad thing. And why you should loose all your insurance if you loose your job. And why you should be denied insurance because you changed jobs and you have a heart condition that makes you…ahem…expensive to keep healthy.
Here’s hoping! Below is a list of the things that I think are most important about this bill, from MoveOn.org:
- Once reform is fully implemented, over 95% of Americans will have health insurance coverage, including 32 million who are currently uninsured.
- Health insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny people coverage because of preexisting conditions—or to drop coverage when people become sick.
- Just like members of Congress, individuals and small businesses who can’t afford to purchase insurance on their own will be able to pool together and choose from a variety of competing plans with lower premiums.
- Health care will be more affordable for families and small businesses thanks to new tax credits, subsidies, and other assistance—paid for largely by taxing insurance companies, drug companies, and the very wealthiest Americans.
- Seniors on Medicare will pay less for their prescription drugs because the legislation closes the “donut hole” gap in existing coverage.
- Medicaid will be expanded to offer health insurance coverage to an additional 16 million low-income people.
- Instead of losing coverage after they leave home or graduate from college, young adults will be able to remain on their families’ insurance plans until age 26.
- Community health centers would receive an additional $11 billion, doubling the number of patients who can be treated regardless of their insurance or ability to pay.