Posts Tagged - ‘healthcare bill’

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What does the Healthcare Bill Change Now?

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

The healthcare bill has passed after more than a year of debate and negotiations. Some of the provisions will go into affect immediately. So what does the passage mean for both uninsured and insured Americans? Here is a look at some of the major changes.

  • Seniors will get help paying for prescription drugs.
  • Individuals with income of $200,000 or more and families with a combined income of $250,000 or higher will see an increase in taxes.
  • If you already have health coverage, within six months, the plans will have to stop setting lifetime limits on coverage and canceling policy holders who get sick.
  • Insurers will also have to allow children to stay on their parents’ policies through age 26 and cover children with pre-existing conditions, but can still deny adults with medical problems until 2014.
  • By 2014, most Americans would be required to purchase health insurance or face penalties.
  • Small businesses and the uninsured would have the option of shopping for coverage in medical insurance exchanges, a marketplace in which people would be able shop for and compare insurance plans. Those exchanges would be implemented in 2014.
  • The bill greatly expands Medicaid and subsidies to the poor. Insurance companies would not be able to place lifetime caps or deny coverage to patients based on pre-existing conditions.
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    Health Insurance Reform Drug Lobbyist Jumps Sinking Ship

    Thursday, February 18th, 2010

    (Image: cliff1066 under CC 2.0)

    Recently, PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America) CEO and President Billy Tauzin announced that he is going to quit his job. What does that mean for healthcare reform? Well, PhRMA is the largest lobbying group for the prescription drug industry. The cost of health insurance is driven up partially by the high cost of brand name drugs.

    The Obama administration’s healthcare reform efforts will probably suffer even more with Tauzin’s resignation. Big Pharma was one of the key early supporters of the Democratic legislation, in somewhat of a surprise. PhRMA, whose members include major drug companies like Merck and Pfizer, agreed to $80 billion worth of discounts on their products over the next decade–in exchange for potential access to millions of potential consumers who would then have affordable health insurance.

    Such back-room dealings prior to Congress beginning its negotiations last year were controversial. Politicians in both parties were skeptical of getting in bed with the industry, and the $26 million the lobbying group spent last year appears to have been for naught. There are rumors that Tauzin (a former Congressman with bipartisan connections) was forced out due to his political miscalculation. Any scaled back medical insurance legislation that may pass now will have less in it for the drug companies, but may still expect their concessions.

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    Health Insurance Debate leaves Health Needs in Limbo

    Friday, January 29th, 2010

    health insurance.

    This is the predicament for an alarming number of Americans who are just hoping congress will do something to create more affordable health coverage including short term health insurance, family health insurance, and all other types of plans. President Obama used healthcare reform as a major platform during the presidential election. He promised to stop ignoring the health needs of uninsured Americans and make healthcare affordable for every individual who wants to have it.

    However, things seem very uncertain for the healthcare bill backed by Obama. The House, Senate and White House seems to be in a tug a war match over the bill. And nothing is getting getting accomplished. At the State of the Union address Obama made it clear he is not giving up on healthcare reform and made a personal commitment to put his weight behind a comprehensive healthcare bill based on the legislation already approved by the House and Senate. “I took on healthcare because of the stories I’ve heard from Americans,” Obama said. “I will not walk away from these Americans, and neither should the people in this chamber.”

    Republican leaders insist however, that the bill has serious constitutional issues. “This will be the first time in history that individual citizens in this country will be forced to buy something they may not want. And they may be forced to buy a federal version of something they don’t want,” Senator Orrin Hatch said.

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