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nosurrender

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A look at the health care overhaul bill
March 22, 2010 by The Associated Press

Congressional Democrats released a final version of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul bill in advance of passage Sunday by the House. Some features of the legislation, which makes changes to the bill the Senate passed on Christmas Eve:

COST: $940 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.


HOW MANY COVERED: 32 million uninsured. Major coverage expansion begins in 2014. When fully phased in, 95 percent of eligible Americans would have coverage, compared with 83 percent today.


INSURANCE MANDATE: Almost everyone is required to be insured or else pay a fine. There is an exemption for low-income people. Mandate takes effect in 2014.

INSURANCE MARKET REFORMS: Starting this year, insurers would be forbidden from placing lifetime dollar limits on policies, from denying coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions, and from canceling policies because someone gets sick. Parents would be able to keep older kids on their coverage up to age 26. A new high-risk pool would offer coverage to uninsured people with medical problems until 2014, when the coverage expansion goes into high gear. Major consumer safeguards would also take effect in 2014. Insurers would be prohibited from denying coverage to people with medical problems or charging them more. Insurers could not charge women more.

MEDICAID: Expands the federal-state Medicaid insurance program for the poor to cover people with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, $29,327 a year for a family of four. Childless adults would be covered for the first time, starting in 2014. The federal government would pay 100 percent of costs for covering newly eligible individuals through 2016. A special deal that would have given Nebraska 100 percent federal financing for newly eligible Medicaid recipients in perpetuity is eliminated. A different, one-time deal negotiated by Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu for her state, Louisianna worth as much as $300 million, remains.

TAXES: Dramatically scales back a Senate-passed tax on high-cost insurance plans that was opposed by House Democrats and labor unions. The tax would be delayed until 2018, and the thresholds at which it is imposed would be $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. To make up for the lost revenue, the bill applies an increased Medicare payroll tax to the investment income and to the wages of individuals making more than $200,000, or married couples above $250,000. The tax on investment income would be 3.8 percent.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: Gradually closes the "doughnut hole" coverage gap in the Medicare prescription drug benefit that seniors fall into once they have spent $2,830. Seniors who hit the gap this year will receive a $250 rebate. Beginning in 2011, seniors in the gap receive a discount on brand name drugs, initially 50 percent off. When the gap is completely eliminated in 2020, seniors will still be responsible for 25 percent of the cost of their medications until Medicare's catastrophic coverage kicks in.

EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITY: As in the Senate bill, businesses are not required to offer coverage. Instead, employers are hit with a fee if the government subsidizes their workers' coverage. The $2,000-per-employee fee would be assessed on the company's entire work force, minus an allowance. Companies with 50 or fewer workers are exempt from the requirement. Part-time workers are included in the calculations, counting two part-timers as one full-time worker.

SUBSIDIES: The proposal provides more generous tax credits for purchasing insurance than the original Senate bill did. The aid is available on a sliding scale for households making up to four times the federal poverty level, $88,200 for a family of four. Premiums for a family of four making $44,000 would be capped at around 6 percent of income.

HOW YOU CHOOSE YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE: Small businesses, the self-employed and the uninsured could pick a plan offered through new state-based purchasing pools called exchanges, opening for business in 2014. The exchanges would offer the same kind of purchasing power that employees of big companies benefit from. People working for medium-to-large firms would not see major changes. But if they lose their jobs or strike out on their own, they may be eligible for subsidized coverage through the exchange.

GOVERNMENT-RUN PLAN: No government-run insurance plan. People purchasing coverage through the new insurance exchanges would have the option of signing up for national plans overseen by the federal office that manages the health plans available to members of Congress. Those plans would be private, but one would have to be nonprofit.

ABORTION: The proposal keeps the abortion provision in the Senate bill. Abortion opponents disagree on whether restrictions on taxpayer funding go far enough. The bill tries to maintain a strict separation between taxpayer dollars and private premiums that would pay for abortion coverage. No health plan would be required to offer coverage for abortion. In plans that do cover abortion, policyholders would have to pay for it separately, and that money would have to be kept in a separate account from taxpayer money. States could ban abortion coverage in plans offered through the exchange. Exceptions would be made for cases of rape, incest and danger to the life of the mother.



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snhb

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Reply with quote  #2 
The only 2 parts of this bill that I can find "acceptable" are the insurance market reform, and the prescription benefits parts, and those 2 areas could have been adressed without this big "Health Care Bill".
 The rest of this MESS is ridiculous!!!  The way in which it was shoved down our throats, and pushed through by this present administration is OUTRAGEOUS!!
I have NEVER in my entire life seen a bill passed, where literally every poll conducted showed that the majority of Americans were against something, and the politicians continued to move forward on it!
This says to me that our elected officials think they can do whatever they want regardless of how their constituents feel.  Truthfully, in this case they really could give a crap less because every member of congress receives free lifetime healthcare coverage.
There arent enough doctor's as it is now in this country, so how in hell are they going to "treat" all of these people?? 
 They think they're going to get enough money to cover this so called plan by increasing taxes on those making over $200,000 or $250,000 per couple?? I think NOT!!
We all know how far in advance we must schedule our "Mammo's, Sono's, MRI's etc., now, can you imagine how long a wait there will be once this "Socialistic" medical reform goes into effect??
Can you tell I'm upset with this? lol

nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #3 
The only part of the bill that I like is the lifetime cap as been eliminated and that starts immediately. They can't F*&$ that up. The rest is a recipe for disaster.
my sister is on COBRA which runs out soon... she has a BC history... so the "pre-exisiting" condition "fix" can't help her until 2014.

We NEED reform. But this ain't it.

My mom is beside herself about losing her Medicare Advantage and her doctor told her today that he will have to leave medicine if this goes through the way it is designed because he won't earn enough to support his family.


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DoreenF

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Reply with quote  #4 
Apparently there are many lawsuits being filed to sue the govt regarding the health care reform bill -  unconstitutional  on several grounds - one being religious discrimination - 
apparently there are two protected groups that are not required to have heath insurance: the amish, and christian scientists 

11 states sueing for govt overstepping their boundaries 

interesting times ... 

that bill is such a mess - and the whole process to approve was sickening 

Doreen


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