Imagine the world without anger, without greed. We have the power, the tools, the skills and the resources right now to build a peaceful world, where people live in harmony with the Earth and each other. This blog explores ways we are doing just that, one post, one change, one day at a time. Join me. Tell your stories. Ask for help. Spread your ideas for making the vision real and, well, ordinary.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How will the new health care reform bill change your life?

There's a print answer below, but if you have time, grab a cuppa and listen to the president's moving answer to that question. He knows this issue from the inside out: He watched his dying mother talk to the insurance companies over and over again. He's not the only one.

(Vice President Biden gives a lovely tribute introduction to President Obama, also worth a listen, if only because it is so genuine, so heartfelt, coming from a formal rival for the position who now must stand, quite literally, in the president's shadow.)

For a quicker answer, Connecticut's Representative John B. Larson, on the Huffington Post yesterday, defined ten ways the health care reform bill, which the president signed today, will change our lives immediately. Here is what he says we all get right now.

The Top Ten Immediate Benefits You'll Get When Health Care Reform Passes
  • Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
  • Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;
  • Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans;
  • Lower seniors' prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole;
  • Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
  • Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans;
  • Require plans to cover an enrollee's dependent children until age 26;
  • Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
  • Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
  • Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs.
Rep. John B. Larson on the
Huffington Post

Taking care of our own is one of the best ways we as a society are building Ordinary today. Sunday night, thanks to supporters all over the country and the bravery of many Democratic Congressional representatives, the United States took a giant leap toward taking care of our own. No more children have to die because of insurance investor greed. In four years, no more U.S. citizens will have to die because of insurance greed. Thousands of lives will be saved every year. Perhaps yours, or mine, among them.

Is the bill perfect? Not even close. Lots of problems? The president and every one of the people in the East Room celebrating its passage know the problems better than you or I. Am I disappointed in the final bill? You bet. Still. We have a bill that will save thousands and thousands of lives every year. It's a start.

Take another look at that list. Members of my family will be helped by this bill, some for the rest of our lives. Which of these ten benefits affects you and your family the most?


We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.


Wanda said...

I won't get dropped from my insurance. Hopefully, I will get some assistance with my premium. Eventually, I will pay less for the services I do get. And...there is so much more to be done on this issue. I am grateful we got this far.

Hayden said...

I'm deeply grateful that we got this far, but the battle is far from over. Michigan (where I now live) and some other states are mounting a battle to exclude citizens from participation at the state level. It's still going to be a long, dreary fight with unnecessary and unlawful deaths occurring in the interim. But now is the time to celebrate the progress!

Hayden said...

According to the news I'm reading, one of the *ahem* benefits is that I might be in the plan sooner than expected - companies are re-evaluating whether or not to continue benefits for their retirees, which I currently enjoy. Sigh. Stayed with the job extra years to get those. Not that it's cheap at all - I have the huge deductible plan and pay $630/month. Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of this. But it may not be of personal benefit. Worst of all possible outcomes? My former employer drops medical for retirees, and Michigan gets excluded. Then I am most certainly screwed, for like most folks my age, I do have "pre-existing conditions" even though they aren't an active problem. I'm tired at the thought. Wish it would be over and we'd know where we stand. I suppose I could move again, to a supporting state. That would be a major setback, but possibly necessary.

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