Posts Tagged - ‘health bill’

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Some States Plan to Sue Over Health Care Bill

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010


President Obama has signed the healthcare overahaul, but another hurdle lies ahead for it– litigation. Attorneys general in at least 12 states are preparing to challenge its constitutionality. One of them is Ken Cuccinelli, whose attorney general of Virginia.

Cuccinelli says the General Assembly of Virginia this year passed a statute that protects Virginia citizens from being mandated to buy health insurance. It passed on a bipartisan basis. And, of course, the federal health-care bill has a mandate to do just that. There’s a conflict between those laws. And while normally the supremacy clause leaves federal laws trumping, not when they are unconstitutional. And it is our position that the individual mandate is unconstitutionally overbroad under the commerce clause, that the Congress doesn’t have the power to impose this on individuals.

Experts believe it will be very unlikely for the Supreme Court to vote in favor of States because there are already mandates from Washington that we have to comply with medical insurance would just add another law to the list.

Cuccinelli and others argue those mandates are taxes and the healthcare penalty is a fine. They believe you can’t force people to buy a product from another.

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What the Health Bill Means for Young Adults

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

(Image: Zef Delgadillo under CC 3.0)

People between ages 19 and 29 are more likely to be uninsured than most other groups. Young adults are also more likely to visit the Emergency Room than many other groups. No one should start out their adult life under a mountain of medical bills. Even a basic individual health insurance plan will limit exposure to unexpected medical costs. Individual health insurance plans for adults ages 18-24 can be as low as $100/month, or less. A health plan can save you thousands of dollars in the event you need emergency care.

What’s more, the health bill extends specific provisions that reach out to young adults. Effective immediately, the legislation allows those through age 26 who do not have medical insurance to remain on their parents’ policies at their parents’ discretion. Currently, states regulate the age at which children are kicked off their parents’ insurance policies. Generally, it’s around 18 years old. Plans will be much more affordable for young adults under the new bill.

There is also immediate help for uninsured individuals with pre-existing conditions. This applies to young adults and all other Americans. The health bill includes a $5 billion fund to finance an immediate, temporary insurance program for those who are uninsurable because of pre-existing conditions.

If you need help finding coverage, health insurance agents will help you compare the costs of various plans at no additional charge.

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4 Reasons Not to Wait any Longer for Health Insurance

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

(Image: Zef Delgadillo under CC 3.0)

1. Pre-existing Conditions Protection If you are refused coverage because of your health, you can get medical insurance from a new high-risk pool. The pool will be established within six months and will operate until 2014, when insurance companies can no longer refuse applicants with pre-existing health problems. Annual out-of-pocket medical costs will be capped at $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families.

2. Healthcare is Pricey Healthcare is more expensive when you are uninsured. Medical services are double the cost when you don’t have coverage. Those without insurance are usually charged full price because they don’t qualify for discounts others receive under good health insurance plans.

3. Uninsured Risks Often times, uninsured individuals end up in financial debt due to outstanding medical cost. In fact, medical bills are a leading cause of personal bankruptcy among Americans. The reality is you never know when a medical emergency will happen to you or a loved one, but having health coverage will reduce the chances of crippling medical costs.

4. Youth offers no protection Young adults tend to go without health insurance believing that coverage is just for seniors or sick people. However, persons between the ages of 19 and 29 are more likely to visit the emergency room because they don’t have health insurance. No one should start out their adult life with a mountain of medical bills.

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Health Bill will Pay for Itself?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

(Image: Zef Delgadillo under CC 3.0)

Democrats are elated about the financial report released by the Congressional Budget Office. It estimated the health bill would reduce projected federal budget deficits by $138 billion over the next decade, with additional tax revenue and Medicare savings.

The report is already helping move the legislation forward. Representative Bart Gordon and Representative Betsy Markey had a change of heart on the healthcare bill. Both Democrats cited the budget report as the deciding factor. Many Senators had expressed concern about the cost of the health bill and were convinced the country just couldn’t afford it.

White House officials are now touting the budget report which they say proves the health care plan will not only save lives, but will also pay for itself in the long run.

The federal government would spend $940 billion over the next 10 years to provide medical coverage to 32 million people who would otherwise be uninsured. More low income individuals will be covered and other families will receive subsidies on behalf of the government to purchase health insurance.

President Obama still needs the support of about six more Democrats to reach the 216 votes needed to pass the affordable health insurance bill. Senators are slated to vote on the health bill this weekend.

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Repubicans Plan to Repeal Health Bill

Thursday, March 18th, 2010


The health bill is no sure bet yet. White House officials are still trying to get a handful of needed votes to pass the bill. But dozens of Republicans have already signed a pledge to repeal the bill should GOP take control of either House or Congress after this falls election.

Democrats managed to gain support from Rep. Dennis Kucinich; the liberal lawmaker had first opposed the bill because it didn’t include a pubic option. He had a change of heart and agreed to the President’s notion that the health bill was just the beginning of a slew of changes to come.

To start with, President Obama’s plan will immediately provide access to health insurance coverage for nearly all Americans and prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to the sick.

Republicans still believe the President should scrap his plan to overhaul the health system and and start afresh. The GOP “Repeal It” movement first started back in January and has picked up momentum as Obama’s bill has gained Congressional popularity. Some Republicans believe if the bill is passed Democrats will lose popularity among voters and will pay the price in the November elections.

Lawmakers on both sides acknowledge any repeal would be highly unlikely as long as Obama remains in office, as he could veto any such legislation.

House Democrats say they are on track for a Sunday vote on the health care bill that will expand medical coverage to millions.

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New Move for Health Bill?

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010


The White House is working hard to pass the health bill in its final crucial stage. President Obama has said Congress will give an up-or-down vote on the bill for medical insurance this week. However, Democrats are said to be about 11 votes shy of what is needed to pass the bill, and it’s unclear whether they will gain the votes from several apprehensive Democrats.

Another approach is taking form among lead Democrats that would allow the bill to take form without a vote. House Democrats would approve a package of changes to the Senate bill in a budget reconciliation bill. The Senate bill would be “deemed passed” if and when the House adopts rules for debate on the reconciliation bill — or perhaps when the House passes that reconciliation bill.

Republicans are speaking out against the move. GOP leaders believe it is a sneaky tactic to push the bill through without a vote. Representative Ted Poe said Democrats should stop avoiding a fair up-or-down vote.

White House officials believe Republicans are opposing the process to try and stop the bill that would make health insurance more affordable for Americans. Democrat leaders say they still expect to take full vote on the healthcare bill by this weekend.

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Small County Helps Workers Get Healthcare

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010


One small restaurant is not waiting for the White House to solve the healthcare dilemma. In downtown Pueblo, Colo., a restaurant called Gold Dust Saloon is helping its employees buy affordable health insurance.

The company is one of 30 participating in a county program to provide low-cost coverage to employees of small businesses. The program is called the “three share”. The cost of insurance is split three ways; cooks and waitresses from the restaurant pay a portion, and the worker and the community cover the remaining balance. In Pueblo, two local hospitals pay the community portion.

The program is the only way such employees can afford medical coverage. Many small businesses have stopped offering workers group health insurance due to skyrocketing premiums. The three share program is helpful but only reaches out to a small group. Millions of others still have no one to help cover their insurance costs.

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Health Bill is Not in the Bag

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010


President Obama is working on a final push for the health bill, and it seems he still has quite a bit of work to do.

The President says he is confident they will get the votes needed to pass the health bill this week. However, a new CNN analysis shows that opposition in the House of Representatives to the Senate health care plan has reached 200 members. That figure is 16 votes shy of the 216 needed to prevent President Obama from scoring a major victory on his top domestic priority.

Some Democrats oppose the bill saying it is to costly, does not adequately address rising medical costs and skyrocketing insurance premiums, Other Liberal Democrats aren’t backing Obama’s plan because it does not include a government run health insurance option.

Mr. Obama doesn’t seem discouraged by such responses. He is making stops campaign style working to convince Americans of his health plan. The President expressed the urgency of the bill in a speech centered around a woman forced to drop her health insurance due to rising premiums. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with Leukemia and stuck with no medical insurance. Health insurance companies will likely deny her affordable coverage with the pre-existing condition. President Obama said she was a prime example of the problem with the current healthcare system, and is pushing Democrats to pass the bill while there is still a chance.

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Obama’s Future in the Hands of Health Bill

Monday, March 15th, 2010

President Obama is on his final push for the health bill. If Obama’s plan does pass, healthcare in America will never be the same again. Millions left without medical insurance will receive financial help to get coverage, others will be offered lower and more stable premiums, and insurance companies will be forced to follow tighter regulations.

Mr. Obama, himself, has much to gain from passage of the health bill. The President’s reputation will be strengthened. He has struggled for more than a year of his term to overhaul the healthcare system. During that time, some Americans have lost faith in the president’s leadership, and others believe the political system is broken. The President has poured his all into this bill. It would certainly damage his credibility as a leader for months if Democrats do not support and pass his legislation.

If President Obama and the Democrats succeed, the challenge over the next eight months will be to convince the public that the program is better than polls suggest they think it is. Health bill supporters will need to prove to Americans that health insurance for all is best for everyone. And while parts of Obama’s plan would take effect right away other provisions would take time.

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Thousands Rally to Support Obama

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010


President Obama has been working to rally support from Americans, and it’s working. Thousands gathered in downtown Washington to support his plan for healthcare reform.

About 5,000 people traveled from different parts of the country to participate in the march. Protesters criticized the health insurance industry and addressed increasing premiums. President Obama is citing such increases as the reason healthcare reform is desperately needed.

The rally comes at a time when Republicans warn that Americans don’t want Obama’s health bill to pass. Republican strategists have said that if Obama overhauls the system, Democrats will pay the consequences in the upcoming November midterm elections.

President Obama says he doesn’t know how the move will play out politically but that Americans are waiting for lawmakers to finish what he started, end a year of legislative struggle and enact legislation ushering in near-universal medical insurance coverage for the first time in the country’s history.

White House officials expect to pass the health bill by March 17th.

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