(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
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.