Despite the industry lobbyists, despite the disinformercials, despite Glenn Beck & the FOXNEWS parrots, & despite the Teabagger Parades, the most important healthcare legislation for average & poor Americans since Medicare passed the House of Representatives without a single Republican vote.
Ask yourself why?
Ask yourself who the Republican Representatives are really representing?
Ask yourself why the medical insurance & pharmaceutical industries lobbied so long & hard against the bill and are bipolar now that it passed?
Best of all, despite the cocaphony of denial from the same business-as-usual suspects, many of the most pressing healthcare benefits kick in this year.
No more worrying about lifetime limits on health coverage, about whether your insurer will dump you when you get sick, or about whether your adult child will be booted off your plan when he turns 18.
Kids will be able to stay on their parents' plans until they're 26 if they want and new insurance policies will have to cover certain preventive-care measures with no out-of-pocket cost to the consumer. Insurers also will be barred from denying coverage based on people's preexisting health conditions for the first time. The ban on excluding kids because of illness takes effect six months after passage, but the full adult measure doesn't kick in until 2014. In the meantime, adults with preexisting conditions who've been uninsured for at least six months can enroll in a temporary high-risk pool and receive subsidized premiums, starting three months after the bill's passage.The real beneficiaries of this landmark, if not historic, health-care bill are the American people, young & old, middle class & poor, black & white, employees & small businesses.
"While the new reforms won't solve all the problems in our nation's broken health-care system, they will go a long way toward achieving the goal of affordable, reliable health care for all Americans," Jim Guest, chief executive of Consumers Union, said in a statement after the vote.
- If you have employer-sponsored coverage: lifetime caps ... eliminated;
- If you have a small business: tax credits for health-insurance premiums;
- If you're uninsured: extend[s] coverage to an estimated 32 million people;
- If you're low-income: significantly expands Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor ... 16 million more people;
- If you're a young adult: catastrophic coverage on the exchanges;
- If you have Medicare: ... $250 rebate.... 50% discount on their brand-name drugs;
- If you take advantage of preventive care: Full coverage ... in six months.