Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Good Health For All

Thursday marks the start of something remarkable for our nation.

On September 23, several key provisions of the new health care bill go into effect, affecting every man, woman and child in the United States.

Regardless of your political affiliation, this health care reform will affect your life. It will allow you, a loved one or friend to experience a new level of care, possibly making for better opportunities to fight a medical catastrophe.

If you have a job with health benefits, beginning Thursday, your lifetime insurance cap is tossed out the window.

The significance may be lost on you now, but I assure you, some of life's most critical health scenarios carry with them hefty bills that can wipe out a $5 million cap.

Trust me.

If you have children on your health insurance policy, the new reform entitles them to coverage up to 26-years-old, provided they are unable to secure their own employer-covered health insurance.

This is fantastic news for millennials who are coping with unemployment, seeking post-grad education or coping with other scenarios of hardship in this sputtering economy.

People with new health insurance coverage will now be able to avoid paying co-pays or deductibles on preventive care. This includes things like cancer screenings, immunizations and colonoscopies.

If you are paying for your own health insurance, companies will no longer be able to turn families away because their child (19-years-old or younger) has a pre-existing condition.

And isn't that really the right thing to do?

Nobody, especially a sick child, should have to be turned away because an insurer won't cover them.

There are great benefits for small businesses, too.

Small business owners (25 employees or less making $50,000 or less) will be able to get a tax credit to cover up to 35 percent of insurance premiums if they choose to offer health insurance for their employees.

In a few years, the health care reform will prohibit any insurer from denying coverage to someone with a pre-existing condition.

Again, I say. Isn't this really the right thing to do?

What kind of absurd system would allow a health insurance corporation to deny a person coverage - even if they're knocking on death's doorstep?

Some of these health care providers may begin passing on higher costs to their customers, claiming it's a result of the health care reform. Please know this is not the case. Health and Human Services Secretary Jean Sebelius is going after providers who make false claims about the reform and its impact on costs.

The more I hear about the reform (and the new mandates that will protect the American people), it makes me think these health insurance companies are run by some draconian machine that fails to truly consider the human condition.

And then I think back to some of the medical crises my immediate family has weathered, and it makes me grateful that other families won't have to worry as much about health insurance coverage in times of crisis.

A grave illness is not the time for a family to deal with another, insensitive drama.

CBS News

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Me! said...

Totally well said. I have a friend here that I work with. She is struggling with very serious heart issues and her doctors haven't given her much time to live. The doctors here in Cincinnati have already said they can no longer do anything more expect treat her with medication. Insurance is wringing her dry. She makes little money here because the place I work for is on a pay freeze. The money she does make goes to pay for her medications and none are available in generics. We had to do up a collection just to raise money for her to get by. When she went to the Job Family Services office, she was turned away because she was single with no children and made too much money. The only way they could help her is if she quit her job. She doesn't want to apply for disability because of the length of time it takes and doesn't want to go without insurance. She is basically screwed by red tape. JFS told her that if the new health care bill were in affect already they would be able to help her. It makes me sick when people put the bill down. I think of all the people this is going to help.

Ara said...

Thank you for posting this. I either haven't had time to read in to the health care reform, or if I have read info on it, it's not in terms I can understand. Thank you for putting it in lamens terms so I can understand it. :)

WestEnder said...

And I thought Jean Sebelius only knew about music... :)

Rusty said...

You heart is in the right place. I really do believe that. But...

"Some of these health care providers may begin passing on higher costs to their customers, claiming it's a result of the health care reform."

How on Earth would letting 26 year old "children" continue to receive medical insurance not raise the costs of a group policy? How would allowing people to enroll in insurance plans after they are already sick not cost these plans more money?

Why wouldn't you expect this to make the costs of insurance much more expensive?

I think there is a huge disconnect on this bill. You want all of these things for free, but you don't see that insurance companies are businesses like Kroger, the Reds, or GE (the only difference is they exist on much lower margins). If the Kroger was forced to give food to anyone who is hungry, it may be a nice thing to do and would help the Human Condition, but it would make the cost of their products a lot more expensive to their actual paying customers. It could ultimately lead to them going bankrupt.

You can't pass bills that change the laws of economics.

By the way, Insurance Companies shouldn't be as concerned with the Human Condition (whatever that is), they should be concerned with taking care of their customers and answering to their shareholders. They aren't charities.