Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How Health Reform Helps Right Now

Obama and the Dems have done a terrible job at marketing Health Care Reform, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The statute that is now law has new provisions that go into effect as early as September 23, 2010 and millions of people will benefit.  Here are a few benefits that you probably haven't heard much about:




  • College graduates and dependents will be able to stay on their parents' insurance until they are 26 years old.  Since many young adults can't get their own insurance, this gives them cheaper rates and coverage as they try to enter the real world.
    • No insurance plan can place lifetime limits on health coverage or catastrophic events.  This is huge and should give us all comfort that we won't be dropped if we get sick.
    • All insurance plans are mandated to have a medical loss ratio that is at least 80-85%.  This means they have to spend more on our care and less on wall street profits.
    • There is no co-pay or deductible for preventive care under new insurance plans. (Note: this only includes new plans, not those already in effect with the healthcare reform law passed)
    • No coverage denial for children with pre-existing conditions.
    • Patients will have two ways to appeal coverage decisions or claims: through their insurer or through an independent decision-maker.  For me...I'll take the independent decision maker every time! (Note: this only includes new plans, not those already in effect when the healthcare reform law passed)
    • Expansion of the primary care workforce.  It creates additional primary care residency slots, establishes new nurse practitioner-led clinics, and encourages states to expand their primary care workforce to meet increased demand.  
    • Expansion of the National Health Service Corp, to increase the number of primary care providers who practice in rural America and under-served areas.
    • Prevention and Public Health Fund to promote prevention and public health and address tobacco use, poor diet, lack of exercise and alcohol abuse.
    All I seem to read about are States and Insurance Conglomerates suing the government in an attempt to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  In the meantime, the new law might just be doing some good.

    29 comments:

    KM said...

    I hope this does help alot of people. For me my insurance can still raise it's premiums every year across the board for no reason and not cover any preventative doctor visits like a physical, or annual gyn. or flu shots.
    It seems like if a person has never smoked there should be some kind of smaller discount factored in to the monthly charge as well as if you maintain a healthy weight, eat healthy and drink in moderation, as incentives for living a healthy lifestyle.

    sunnydalai said...

    Very well said again, Doc. I would only add that the media in general, and specifically the evening news etc., have done a terrible job of following up and showing their audience what has changed and how. This HAS to be part of their job. Not sexy, not bloody, but so vital to many.

    BrainDame said...

    You have done great job of framing many positive attributes of the legislation-I hope many are listening!

    daphne said...

    great job Ms. . .sounds very good post! love it already here

    Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

    Many of the proposals that you outline are laudable. Who can argue against their objectives? My concern is how are we going to pay for it all? The bill hasn't come in yet, and will surely be higher than current estimates. Everyone seems to want some other constituency to give up something? Physicians will be asked to earn less. Patients will be asked to pay more and receive less. Drug companies will be taxed more and regulated more. So, it don't think it will be all that rosy. I think that the anticipated GOP success this November will be attributed in large measure to rising public dissatisfaction with the health care plan. This subject is so important, and I'm glad you posted on it.

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