Anyone excited about the new healthcare bill???

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[deleted account]

As an Australian, I have to say, Yippee!



So maybe it's not perfect and it will need some tweaking, but it's a start that had to be made.



To those who worry about paying for others' healthcare, too bad. You're a community, aren't you?

To those who don't seem to care about those who are unemployed or on low incomes, where's your humanity?

If your taxes have to rise to pay for what should be a universal right, so be it.



My taxes pay for schools, though I don't have any kids at schools; my taxes pay for Australian troops in Iraq, although I'm against the war; my taxes pay for roads and I don't drive. And so on.



Get over yourselves and think about others.

Stephany - posted on 03/24/2010

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Kelly- What I see you saying is that you agree that all people deserve health care, but that everyone should profit equally from such a plan, and that is why you don't like this one- because (at your income) you and your family will not be positively affected. I wonder, what was your opinion a year ago when the Dems were actually talking about a system more similar to the universal healthcare plan you now tout? Something tells me that your argument against that was along the lines of you not wanting to pay for other people's health care, but that you would like a cheaper version of health care for your family. You mentioned in an earlier post that, in the unfortunate event that you were afflicted with a catastrophic illness, you know how to arrange things to make it so you can get medicaid. Are you kidding me? Who would be paying for your health insurance then? Everyone else! Then you would be just like the people you argue are getting the good end of the stick because they happen to be fortunate enough to be low-income. You said that, if you were in a car accident, your PIP from your car insurance would cover your injuries. You later pointed out that the same coverage also extends to people you may injure in said accident. What if your medical bills go beyond the $500,000 limit (believe me, it happens faster than you think). You think that $10K you put aside each your (in an ed fund?!) would really help you out? The article you pasted argues that preventative care should be free and "other care" (like emergency, etc) should be paid either out of pocket or through insurance. Know what? The "other care" is the most expensive type! You, yourself, claimed that preventative care is the one we can all, supposedly, manage to pay out of pocket. Furthermore, when someone goes to the doctor and does not pay, that doctor/hospital/clinic/etc. absorbs the cost, which makes their costs go up, which makes their prices go up, which means we all pay more. When everyone pays, we all pay less. That's common sense. So how could anyone argue against a system that not only mandates health insurance but helps needy people receive similar benefits at a price point they can afford?
This whole topic makes me so angry! There are people in this country who DIE from lack of health insurance. I was standing behind an elderly man at the pharmacy who was having to decide which medication to get this month- the one to keep his heart pumping or the one to keep him breathing- because he couldn't afford both. I have two special needs kids who require extra attention from health care providers. I have and will do anything for my children, but I don't think that going bankrupt should be an outcome of making sure they are healthy. I had cancer of the kidney as a child, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last summer, and am positive for the BRCA-1 gene. At this point I have been told that I will get breast cancer- not if but when- and we are just waiting for one of the tests to come back positive. If anyone has a disqualifying pre-existing condition it's me. I get how much it might suck that your family may not benefit from this new law. However, I think you should be grateful that you aren't one of the people who have to choose to pay rent or see a doctor (because really, how healthy can you be if you're homeless), or the one who has to decide between which breast to keep (because your insurance company will only cover the removal of one ticking bomb, even though it may mean losing your life in the end and leaving your children without a mother), or the one who has to sit and watch their child wither away because they make just enough to not receive aid and have no more belongings to sell.Count your blessings that you aren't someone who so desperately needs this bill that they cried with joy when it was passed. Maybe you (and everyone who feels the way you do) could find some compassion and just get over it.

Christy - posted on 03/23/2010

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you say young people who haven't invested anything just want rich people to pay their way, well think about this: my family absolutely does not have the money to pay the outrageous costs of health insurance but my daughter is in the midst of her immunizations. if health care worked the way you think it should, she wouldn't be able to finish getting her shots and could therefore not only contract a terrible illness herself but she could pass it on to infants that aren't old enough to have that particular immunization yet.

and it's not as though we don't work hard for our money, we just don't have the same hourly wages that some are blessed with. i hate how everyone automatically assumes that all people that are low income are lazy and good for nothing. we are doing our best with what we have right now. and i guarantee that when we finally get to a place in our lives where we have money we won't mind paying taxes to help people that are in the boat that we're in now...

Christy - posted on 03/23/2010

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i am absolutely DISGUSTED at the fact that anyone can say that low income people basically deserve to be stuck without health insurance! how is that even right? you're going to complain that money is going to come out of your pockets to help us out, well guess what- schools work exactly the same way. if you are wealthy and can send your child to a private school, you still have to pay school taxes. and how would it be if you didn't? schools would lose a lot of funding and eventually only the children that came from wealthy families would be able to get quality education. fortunately for families like mine, aristocracy does not rule in this country.

[deleted account]

HOW THE HEATHCARE BILL AFFECTS YOU...

WASHINGTON — The first changes under the new health care law will be easy to see and not long in coming: There'll be $250 rebate checks for seniors in the Medicare drug coverage gap, and young adults moving from college to work will be able to stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26.

But the peace of mind the president promised — the antidote for health care insecurity, whether you favored or opposed his overhaul — starts in 2014. Insurers then will be barred from turning down people with medical problems, and the government will provide tax credits to help millions of working families buy coverage they can't afford now.

Health care overhaul will bring real change, but it's going to happen slowly.

If President Obama wants to preside over the expansion of coverage to more than 30 million people, he'll first have to persuade a majority of Americans to re-elect him in 2012.

"For people who have the greatest need, a number of things will start quickly and make a difference," said DeAnn Friedholm of Consumers Union. For others, 2014 may seem like a long way away. "Some people may be frustrated that it's going to be several years, but that is the reality of what it takes to make these significant changes," she added.

The main reason that Obama's plan phases in slowly boils down to cost. The Medicare cuts and tax increases to finance the bill start early; the subsidies to help people purchase coverage come later. That combination keeps the cost of the overhaul under $1 trillion in its first decade, as Obama promised. Republicans call it an accounting gimmick.

Here's a look at some of the major impacts for consumers:

COMING SOON

Roughly a third of people in their 20s are uninsured, so allowing young adults to remain on their parents' plans until 26 would be a significant new option for families.

Adult children would not be able to stay on a parental plan if they had access to employer coverage of their own. But they could get married and still be covered. (Grandkids, however, would not qualify.) Regulations will clarify to what degree young adults have to be financially dependent on their parents.

Other reforms starting this year would prevent insurers from canceling the policies of people who get sick, from denying coverage to children with medical problems, and from putting lifetime dollar limits on a policy.

These changes will spread risks more broadly, but they're also likely to nudge insurance premiums somewhat higher.

Obama's plan also includes an important new program for the most vulnerable: uninsured people who can't get coverage because of major medical problems. It's intended to provide an umbrella of protection until the broad expansion of coverage takes effect in 2014.

The government will pump money into high-risk insurance pools in the states, making coverage available for people in frail health who have been uninsured for at least six months. The premiums could still be a stretch, but for people who need continuing medical attention, it could make a dramatic difference.

There is a catch, however. The $5 billion Obama has allocated for the program is unlikely to last until 2014. In fact, government experts have projected it could run out next year.

Among seniors, the plan will create winners and losers. On the plus side, it gradually closes the "doughnut hole" prescription coverage gap, improves preventive care and puts a new emphasis on trying to keep seniors struggling with chronic diseases in better overall health.

But it also cuts funding for popular private insurance plans offered through the Medicare Advantage program. About one-quarter of seniors have signed up for the plans, which generally offer lower out-of-pocket costs. That's been possible because the government pays the plans about 13 percent more than it costs to cover seniors in traditional Medicare. As the payments are scaled back, it could trigger an exodus from Medicare Advantage.

"It's not all black and white; sometimes it's gray," said James Firman, president of the National Council on the Aging. "Overall we think this plan is very good, and will provide some significant benefits for seniors. There will be some pain among some people in Medicare Advantage plans."

The prescription coverage gap will be totally closed in 2020. At that point, seniors will be responsible for 25 percent of the cost of their medications until Medicare's catastrophic coverage kicks in, dropping their co-payments to 5 percent.

COMING LATER:

The real transformation of America's health insurance system won't take place until 2014.

Four large changes will happen simultaneously:

* Insurers will be required to take all applicants. They won't be able to turn down people in poor health or charge them more.

* States will set up new insurance supermarkets for small businesses and people buying their own coverage, pooling together to get the kind of purchasing clout government workers have now.

* Most Americans will be required to carry health insurance, either through an employer, a government program or by buying their own. Those who refuse will face fines from the IRS.

* Tax credits to help pay for premiums will start flowing to middle-class working families, and Medicaid will be expanded to cover more low-income people. Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said she doesn't expect things to change too much or too rapidly for the majority of Kansans, who receive their health insurance through their employers. She said they may eventually see slightly lower premiums as more young people are brought into the system.

She said the biggest changes will come among the uninsured, the self-employed and others who either buy their own policies on the open market or go without. At last count, about 10 to 12 percent of Kansans are uninsured and the number is likely climbing because of layoffs due to the economic slump, she said.

The new law will open up possibilities for those who have been denied coverage because of pre-existing health conditions, she said.

That should be a big benefit for people who are now in "job lock" — afraid to quit or start their own business for fear they wouldn't be able to get health insurance because they or a family member has had a past health problem, Praeger said.

When all is said and done, the number of uninsured nationwide will drop by more than half. Illegal immigrants would account for more than one-third of the remaining 23 million people without coverage.

Cost could be the Achilles' heel of the whole effort.

"I hope it is not repealed, because we do need to extend coverage to most of our population," said Gail Wilensky, who ran Medicare for President George H.W. Bush and remains a leading health care adviser to Republicans. "But it could well be substantially modified. It expands coverage, but it does very little to take on two other major issues: improving quality and leveling the rate of growth in spending."

Read more: http://www.kansas.com/2010/03/23/1237412...

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Ashley - posted on 03/27/2010

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I wish they would not mandate us to have to get health insurance or fine us if u can't. My job is in jeopardy over this Health Care Reform. If they take a lot of money away from Medicaid and Medicare, I will end up losing my job, and how am I going to afford health insurance if I lose my job.? My kids will be in Jeopardy, specially since my oldest one has a lot of health problems. Are they going to help him or do they just want more money? Good thing Texas is filling a lawsuit against the Government. It is against our Constutional Rights.

LaCi - posted on 03/26/2010

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That was hilarious. Go white, married, men with guns. They rule. Theres no socioeconomic gap, theres no system hold people within their economic class. Over a life time its totally likely an American to move more than 2 tiers on the economic ladder. They all do. They all have the chance to go straight from welfare to millionaire. They never tell you anything about glass ceilings in a high school freakin' sociology course, because there aren't any, thats not basic knowledge its totally a myth. This is absolutely the land of opportunity, EVERYONE can make something of their life no matter what resources they have. In America, its easy! we have such equal opportunities here. Its a fucking utopia. I didn't want to move to Canada when I was 16.. no way. USA USA USA. pfffft.

Gina - posted on 03/25/2010

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Ohmy god!!!! After reading all that I am soo shocked! I live in Australia and I can walk into my doctors and not pay a cent! My sister does have private insurance and that means a short waiting list for surgery plus other benifits. Our health system is no way perfect but we have something called MEDICARE . lol Really whats more important than our health? America is one of the leading countries and ppl cant just walk into a doctors office without worry about if you can pay? Thank God I live in Australia! Next time I pay my taxes I will not complain.... well not much anyway!! LOL

[deleted account]

I'm not sure if it was a state or federal govt thing, but I believe in OR? WA? they were trying to increase taxes on soda and other drinks...they were showing commercials against the tax that had a woman bringing groceries in saying that it'll raise her food bill and it'll negatively impact families, etc...I laughed sooo hard! Because we all know that soda is an essential to our daily lives! Frankly I think they should tax anything w/high fructose corn syrup & maybe CO2 since those aren't an essential to my daily living...

Just the same, I work in a little ma&pa cigarette/beer/wine store. Our current cigarettes are anywhere from $5-$9/pk. depending on what brand you get...a good portion of people switched to rolling their own, others switched to cheaper brands, but generally most STILL smoke! I know this is NOT a necessity to living, I'm an ex-smoker, but you try telling someone who is not yet willing to give up that habit that it is NOT a necessity to their daily lives and it's not gonna work! So these people end up cutting corners in their lives to pay for their smoking...no its not good, and ppl do the same thing for other addictions (beer&drugs) and I agree that smoking is bad and I think raising the cost will help cut it back, and already has to some extent, but some people's acceptable spending on these things is outrageously high!!! I have ppl that come in, say "I was going to quit when these things went to $1/pk," and now they're forking out $6-8??? GEEZUS!!! And then the older folks on fixed incomes...a lot of them switched over to Little Cigars because you can still get some of those for $2/pk. The last huge cigarette tax (last April) hit the bulk tobacco to where it tripled the cost, so ppl either eat it and cut back or reroll...OR switch to Pipe Tobacco because that didn't get hit in the tax...Inevitably they are smoking something worse for them all because they can't let it go. Again, I'm not saying its all bad, I just think it is horrible the length ppl will go to continue this disgusting habit...

Oh, and good luck getting past the beer lobby to make beer have compareable taxes to cigarettes, hahaha

Melissa - posted on 03/25/2010

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Let me get this straight. We're going to be gifted with a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, to be signed by a president who also hasn't read it and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke.

What the hell could possibly go wrong?





~~~ I couldn't agree more with this post from Amy Bode....well said!!!!!!

Melissa - posted on 03/25/2010

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Not really....did you know that you will be penalized if you do not have healthcare by 2014??? I do no twant to be penalized because I cannot afford it!!!!!

[deleted account]

I am compassionate! And I do believe in healthcare reform, just not by the method passed in this bill. I do believe all people deserve the right to affordable healthcare, but my definition of ALL include EVERYONE, not just "underprivileged" people.



You pointed out in my last post that I knew how to get my family on Medicaid if a catastrophic illness struck us and asked who I thought would be paying for that care and how that maid me different. I am different in 2 ways: 1) I HAVE paid for Medicaid--I've paid taxes into that system and the welfare system for the past 15 years! I deserve to benefit from it since I have paid for it. 2) I would only use it in an extreme emergency, most of the people on it, use it for everyday healthcare while people like me, in MY income brackets, who make just enough not to qualify for aid, DIE because we can't afford healthcare.



" Furthermore, when someone goes to the doctor and does not pay, that doctor/hospital/clinic/etc. absorbs the cost, which makes their costs go up, which makes their prices go up, which means we all pay more. "

You must not know much about being uninsured--if you go to a doctor's office and don't have insurance, you have to pay before you are treated. That is why so many people go to ER's instead. But it is not just people "not paying" that drive the cost up. Insurance agencies get a HUGE discount--For example, a blood test that I get every 6 weeks costs me $99. When I had insurance, my insurance paid $69 for the same test and the remaining $30 was "written off". If I were on Medicaid, Medicaid would reimburse my doctor $22 for the same test. If you want to blame someone for driving the cost up, blame Medicaid.



" I wonder, what was your opinion a year ago when the Dems were actually talking about a system more similar to the universal healthcare plan you now tout? "

I was never against UNIVERSAL healthcare. I don't mind paying for a program as long as I qualify to receive the benefits from it.



Here are some of the things I had hoped for: (I never said I agreed with EVERYTHING in the article btw. I just thought it had a lot of good points. I know that wasn't clear, sorry)

1) Cap insurance profits. This would require insurance companies to return to their customers a percentage of their premiums equal to the amount the company profited over the cap. The cap was still rather high, but I don't remember as it wasn't given much thought.

2) Cap pharmaceutical profits. Currently, pharmaceutical companies may patent their new drugs for many years (to ensure that no generic comes out before they have earned a return on the investments they made to research and develop the drug). Under this recommendation, the pharmaceutical company would loose it's patent, opening the field for less expensive generics, after that drug had earned a return of more than 400% of the initial investment and production.

3) Eliminate the minimum percentage of income dedicated to healthcare required to receive the itemized tax credit/benefit.

4) Raise taxes on unhealthy habits--Tobacco, fast food, junk food, alcohol (all optional taxes).



None of those things would have cost "average families" any more than they already pay, and it would have helped keep prices down for everyone.

Jane - posted on 03/24/2010

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I think it's about time we did SOMETHING! Is it perfect? No but for me, I see two benefits that will affect my family. 1st, I can insure my kids until they are 26 now instead of only when they are done with college. I like that peace of mind that when my daughter graduates college in 2 years (and then my son, who is still in high school) that she won't be without insurance until she gets a job that actually offers coverage. The other thing that will be good is that my ex-husband has a serious condition that has trapped him in his current coverage at an absolutely ridiculous premium. This new bill will stop the robbery that insurance companies do to people like my ex and give him options to have good health care at a reasonable price.



Also, I think what people fail to realize is that the millions of uninsured American's are the reason for the rising costs of medical care. An uninsured person goes to the hospital and still gets treated but the hospital doesn't get paid so they raise their costs...which in turn raises the cost of insurance because the insurance companies are having to cover higher costs. Think about the days when people weren't required to have car insurance. Everyone FREAKED about that saying it was not good, unconstitutional, blah, blah, blah...but here we are many years later with everyone (except people that are being illegal) with car insurance and honestly, my car insurance is actually better now than it was when it wasn't mandatory. So, I'm going with the fact that this will work out.



For all the nay-sayers....well, I guess I'm glad that all the efforts to not have this happen, didn't work because again, my family will benefit from this and I'm not a low income person but will still benefit in many ways.

Christy - posted on 03/24/2010

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"Christy, If you cannot afford a $90 doctor visit and $120 shots (I should have clarified, that was for all of the immunizations each visit) how are you paying for your insurance premiums?

I really hate to bring on the bad news, but this bill is NOT going to lower your insurance premiums unless your family makes less than 400% of the federal poverty level. and even then, only the poorest of the poor will be seeing that full 40% reduction in premiums. If you make more than 200% of the federal poverty level, only expect to see a 5%-15% decrease."





i CAN'T afford insurance premiums, that's why in my first post i stated that my daughter is on full access and i have access for my ob/gyn and birth control. i am up in arms with you because my daughter's health insurance does come from tax payer dollars and i think it's awful that you think that that isn't right. on that same note, when i was pregnant, my prenatal care and delivery were covered by Medicaid, which you are calling a hand out and saying that tax payers shouldn't have to pay for. by your logic, people like me shouldn't get any prenatal care and should have our babies at home because we can't afford to pay our own insurance yet.



with the new health care bill being passed, i am looking forward to being able to go to an actual dr. (i haven't been to one in about 6 years and have had to let quite a few ear infections "run their course" because of it) and for my boyfriend to have that option as well. i also think it's great that people that are trying to make their way in the world have a little bit of a leg up to keep themselves and their children healthy. i don't know what would happen to us if we got really sick and couldn't bring money in for a period of time. and it's not as though we're not going to pay anything at all for it but it will be something affordable for us, i think i remember reading something like 2.5% of our annual income for people in my income level.



Sara, i really do wish there was a free clinic even semi-nearby but i live in rural Pennsylvania and don't quote me but i *think* the closest one would be in either Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, both of which are between a 2 and 3 hour drive from me.



i also agree with Nikki, Obama made a hard decision and certainly doesn't have the support that he should but i am so thankful that he recognized that we needed change.



edited to add: i am also so very thankful that when my daughter is my age she will still have about 2 and 1/2 years to make her way in the world because i will be able to keep her on my health insurance until she is 26. i know my mother would definitely done that for me if she had had them option. it's hard enough for young people to get their feet under them without having to worry about either paying $500/month for health insurance or not getting to go to the doctor/hospital when they need it because they can't afford to pay out of pocket.

Amy - posted on 03/24/2010

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Let me get this straight. We're going to be gifted with a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, to be signed by a president who also hasn't read it and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke.

What the hell could possibly go wrong?

[deleted account]

I'm with you Nikki! I live in Canada and I knew we were lucky but OMG! I had no idea! No wonder everybody wants to come to Canada! For health care and BC BUD! LMAO!

Nikki - posted on 03/24/2010

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I must say after reading all of your posts I really feel for you all, I am from Australia and I suppose I take it for granted how good we have it over here, yes we pay taxes for our health care but everything is free and medications are subsidised, I feel comfortable in the fact that if my husband lost his job and we had no money my family is still entitled to the same health care as someone which is earning $200,000 a year. Yes we have Private health insurance if you wish to attend a private hospital or get a rebate for extras health like chiropractors but it is not a requirement for people to have it, unless you want the tax breaks and the extra benefits.

It really amazes me that a country so advanced in everything else is so far behind in their health care. I think Health care is a basic need, I believe that every person should have the right to health care regardless of their socio economic status or pre existing conditions, hopefully this is a step in the right direction, up until now America had been the only industrialised country to not have universal health care, it's hard to believe. I think good on Obama for trying to make a positive change regardless of the negative feedback he is receiving from a large percentage of the population, good on him for standing up and making the hard decisions. I just hope for you all in the future it is taken a step further to get rid of your immoral insurance companies and funded by taxes and levy's, so much cheaper, ethical and fairer for everybody.

I really hope that it does have a positive impact on your people.

[deleted account]

Standard of living varies greatly all over America. Kelly's 88k could be equivalent (or even worse) than your 50k depending on where she lives.

Heather - posted on 03/24/2010

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Its 4:30am here, and I am tired and cranky and havent had my coffee yet, so if I come off a little bitchy...sorry!
In my opinion, anything is better than nothing, which is what I currently have!
Kelly, you said in an earlier post that your family of 3 makes around $88k...and you cant afford insurance? My family of 3 makes less than $50k a year and if we made like $500 more a month we could afford the $700 a month for insurance for my family...your family makes like $40k more than ours. As far as young people wanting the rich to pay for their health care, that just pisses me off, why shouldnt the rich help pay? I am not rich by any means, but I still pay my taxes and if they go to help other in need..thats great...I would rather my tax money go to help others who need health care, than to bail out banks, and send bankers on vacations and pay for million dollar bonuses! People who have money always complain about having to pay for the poor...thats the problem with America...GREED! So to answer your post that was directed to me, yes, we are low income, so this bill will help my family, and many others, and according to the info Meghan posted, they will not be able to charge more for a pre existing condition...

"* Insurers will be required to take all applicants. They won't be able to turn down people in poor health or charge them more."

God, I wish I lived in Canada!

Jocelyn - posted on 03/23/2010

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Slightly off topic, but you guys have to PAY for infant immunizations?!?!?! Omg that is disgusting.

[deleted account]

A little off topic but while we are on the subject of shots:

In Louisiana we have Shots for Tots. It is a program that pays for immunizations for uninsured kids. I can walk into any free clinic and get my daughter immunized for no cost. Perhaps other states should have looked into that. I don't think anyone can deny the benefits to society for all kids to be immunized.

[deleted account]

Kelly, about my much earlier comment about the health savings account, I wasn't only referring to you, but everyone who is complaining about high premiums. Sorry, should have clarified. =)

[deleted account]

Christy, If you cannot afford a $90 doctor visit and $120 shots (I should have clarified, that was for all of the immunizations each visit) how are you paying for your insurance premiums?
I really hate to bring on the bad news, but this bill is NOT going to lower your insurance premiums unless your family makes less than 400% of the federal poverty level. and even then, only the poorest of the poor will be seeing that full 40% reduction in premiums. If you make more than 200% of the federal poverty level, only expect to see a 5%-15% decrease.

Christy - posted on 03/23/2010

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"I pay $90 per visit for my son to go to the doctor and we paid $120 for each of his immunizations. That is NOTHING in comparison to the cost of insurance plans that cover those things for $40-$50 copays. I can pay $90 per visit full price, or I can pay $400/month for insurance then pay copays as well. His plan costs us only $214/month, but it does not pay for anything until we meet the $5k out of pocket deductible."

"Even as it is now, they are dirt cheap if you don't have insurance. Forgive me, I don't understand your argument."

those numbers right there are the difference between your family and mine. we can't afford to pay $90 for a visit plus $120 for each of the 5 immunizations that my daughter needed each time she went until she was 18 months old. do you realize that that adds up to $690? and i'm not talking about having the money laying around, i mean that there is no amount of corner-cutting that could help us come up with that money. and that's not to mention if she would get very sick and need hospitalization.

the whole point of the health care bill that was passed is that it will lower the cost of premiums for everyone and make health care available to more people. it isn't perfect now but like everyone else is saying, they had to start somewhere. at least now children with pre-existing conditions won't be denied health care and in 4 more years adults with pre-existing conditions won't either.

Amanda - posted on 03/23/2010

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Its a shame that this bill isnt a step towards socalized medical. The best thing USA can do for its people, is put salary caps on doctors and nurses, and then lower the cost of medical items (if other countries can do it so can USA). After that get rid of these insane insurance companys (we have insurance through our work we pay 100 bucks a month for 2 adults 3 children, and that gives us prescriptions, dental, glasses, and accidental with no co-pays, no deductibles, there is no such thing as pre exisiting conditions). Once the cost of medical in USA is lower, the government can then afford real Universal Healthcare for everyone.

[deleted account]

"you say young people who haven't invested anything just want rich people to pay their way, well think about this: my family absolutely does not have the money to pay the outrageous costs of health insurance but my daughter is in the midst of her immunizations. if health care worked the way you think it should, she wouldn't be able to finish getting her shots and could therefore not only contract a terrible illness herself but she could pass it on to infants that aren't old enough to have that particular immunization yet. "



I know your family doesn't have the extra $$ laying around to pay for health insurance--neither does mine! If we did, I would have it, not just my son.



Furthermore, if healthcare worked the way I described above, there would be no reason she would not be able to continue her immunizations, they would be free. Even as it is now, they are dirt cheap if you don't have insurance. Forgive me, I don't understand your argument.

[deleted account]

Brandi, my son is covered under a high deductible plan. I would never consider not having him covered. And yes, we all do go for check ups, but have you checked the cost of preventative medicine lately--It is VERY CHEAP! I pay $90 per visit for my son to go to the doctor and we paid $120 for each of his immunizations. That is NOTHING in comparison to the cost of insurance plans that cover those things for $40-$50 copays. I can pay $90 per visit full price, or I can pay $400/month for insurance then pay copays as well. His plan costs us only $214/month, but it does not pay for anything until we meet the $5k out of pocket deductible.
In most cases, actual health care is a lot less expensive than insurance premiums. For example, I have a condition that requires I take blood tests every 6 weeks, the tests are only $98, but insurance companies add on average $150/month to my premiums to cover it, then I still have to pay 30%.Why pay an extra $150/month to save $60??

[deleted account]

In fact, Meghan, you gave me a rather good idea (I think).
I read in a study once that averaged together, people should not be required to spend more than 10% (I think, may have been 15%) of their income on healthcare and that was a reasonable amount to expect. So, why not just increase everyone's federal income taxes by 15%, Instate a higher federal tax, say 20% on habits that are PROVEN unhealthy, like tobacco, fast food, and junk food.
Then expand the Medicaid program, which would pay the doctors and hospitals, to everyone. The tax increase should cover it if procedural costs are kept in check with actual inflation and higher tax on unhealthy habits will curb their use and thus lower the cost of care for most Americans. Most Americans I know who have individual health insurance are spending more than 15% of their income on them, so I don't think any of us would mind paying that much to provide for everyone as long as we all get equal benefits. Those making $20k a year would only pay $3k/year, while those making $100k would pay $15,000/year, so it would be fair income wise with the rich paying more, but the poor still contributing. Most have no problem supporting the working poor as long as they are trying to contribute and not just looking for a hand out.

Brandi - posted on 03/23/2010

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Okay first of all, as a person who actually works in health care & has also taken care of the elderly, let me tell you something-not all of them have paid a penny into ANYTHING in their life. And they'd just as soon spit on you for being against health care reform. The condition of the places these people reside in is a consequence of our health care system letting insurance companies control everything.

Secondly, Kelly, what you are doing is VERY irresponsible. As a parent and as a citizen of our country. You might think having your own business and car insurance is enough coverage, but you're wrong. What if something happens to your child NOT in a car? What if he gets leukemia? What if you get sick? Believe me, there are plenty of diseases you could get that your business wouldn't cover the long-term treatment for.

Lastly, who the hell only goes to the doctor or hospital if there is an actual problem? Don't you go for check ups? Where did you get your child immunized? I can't imagine having no health care and being cool with it. I love going to my daughter's ped knowing I can afford whatever service I'm going to use and not at the expense of someone else.

[deleted account]

I don't think I would be against Socialized Medicine, it works rather well in the places they have it, but that is not what this bill is providing. I would love a bill that made insurance companies obsolete and allowed our taxes to provide equal care for everyone.
The insurance companies are not going to lose billions with this bill, they put in lots of safeguards for that.

[deleted account]

I guess I'm not as skeptical as most, because my Mother and Grandmother came from Germany where they have Socialized Medicine. They have very good health care for everyone. They don't need BIG INSURANCE COMPANIES because the government provides it at a minimal cost. Look and see just WHO has been working so hard to keep this reform from going ... See More through and you will see it is the Insurance companies.....they stand to lose Billions!!!
Is it going to be good right off the bat? Probably not, but we have to start SOMEWHERE!!!

[deleted account]

Because old people have paid into the system all of their lives and deserve a return on the money they have invested. Young people who haven't invested anything wanting richer people to pay their way so they don't have to work as hard is communism.

[deleted account]

How come when old people get free health care it is called something nice like medicare, but when everybody gets it they call it communism?

[deleted account]

"schools work exactly the same way. if you are wealthy and can send your child to a private school, you still have to pay school taxes. and how would it be if you didn't? "



Schools do not work the same way. Yes, my taxes pay for schools whether my kid attends a private school or a public school, but the difference is that my child has a RIGHT to attend the public school, whether I can pay for a private school or not. In this healthcare bill, those of us paying the higher taxes and premiums do NOT have the right to receive the free or cheap healthcare we are paying for.

Like I've said a thousand times, I would not mind helping pay for other people's healthcare as long as I was entitled to care at the SAME COST they pay.

(I'm not rich btw, just middle class--if I were rich, I'd have health insurance lol)

[deleted account]

That would be ideal, Sara, and what we prefer to do, but b/c of my preexisting condition even a high deductible plan is $300/month w/ $8k deductible. It is more beneficial for us to simply put $10k/yr into a taxed sheltered education account (b/c we only spend about $4k/year on medical & IRS keeps what you don't spend) and take the small tax penalty (28% in our case) at the time of withdrawal, then claim the medical expenses on our income tax return to get the penalty back.

Unfortunately, under the new bill, we will not be able to do that anymore and will have to throw $300/month away on an insurance plan that will not ever end up paying any of our medical expenses.

[deleted account]

So why not get a high deductible plan with a low premium. And put the amount of the deductible into a tax sheltered Health Savings Account. Then you are pretty much covered. And you are taking care of it yourself.

I agree that health care reform is needed, but I am just not comfortable the government having so much power.

[deleted account]

Here is the article. The link won't work so I'm pasting it. It is by Matt Bromund.

I share the concerns of many about the health care reform. I don't think it passes constitutional muster nor do I think it was done in a very politic way. I really wish the government had considered something more like this:

1. Preventive care for all Americans shall be provided by the Federal Government from the general revenue. This care shall be provided at existing hospitals, clinics, and facilities at rates set by the Department of Health and Human Services and shall be paid to the service provider by the federal government. (The state has an interest in seeing that people identify their illnesses and facilitate their wellness as it is only healthy citizens who can generate the wealth necessary to support the state and the society.)
2. Preventive care consists of vaccinations, annual physical examinations, and non-emergency basic diagnostic testing.
3. For all other care (emergency, chronic, and interventionist care), individuals shall be able to purchase health insurance or pay directly, as they see fit. (Only the beneficiary of such services can properly evaluate the benefit of these services and thus they should be responsible for the cost.)
4. Competition between private insurance companies shall be fostered on a nationwide basis and no state shall be able to regulate the policies offered by private insurance companies except to prosecute fraud or other criminal activity on the part of insurance companies. (States have acted far too often to impose minimum benefits on insurance resulting in many people not having the opportunity to purchase the insurance that fits their personal preference for risk. A healthy male should not have to buy insurance that covers maternity services, as just the most obvious example of what happens now.)
5. Taxpayers shall receive a 100% credit for all costs spent on health insurance, prescription drugs, and medical care. (The government has no business penalizing the self-employed, unemployed, or those who chose non-traditional therapies for healthcare.)
6. Medicaid and Medicare shall be discontinued in all regards by phase-out over the next 5 years. (The unfunded mandate for these programs will absolutely bankrupt us. If you don't think so, consider the fact that each of us has almost $300,000 in today's dollars obligated to pay for promised future benefits in excess of the collections done for the Medicare trust fund.)


We deserve better health care given how much we commit to the system. Far too much of it is consumed by bureaucracy and oligopolistic competition.
The system created yesterday is not going to make that better because it does not increase competition nor does it empower the people to take charge of their health care.
My proposal, which will not be enacted into law, will do that.

Sadly, we needed to 'get change done now' and as a result have a system that is getting sicker every day.

[deleted account]

You're right Meghan, we do need health care reform, this was just not the way to reform it. It will not help those who need it most--like you, if you are receiving benefits through your employer (or hubby's) you will not really be affected.
A lot of things should have been done differently. There was this really great article, I'll see if I can find it.

[deleted account]

Our insurance just went through the roof (and my husband works for a very large plumbing company) so high my husband and I decided to take me off for now and only insure our daughter my husband pays 400 (that is slightly over 1/2 of our house payment) a month for insurance through his employer for ONLY our daughter as I am no longer on the plan (had I stayed on the plan it would have been upwards of 550 per month) and he is covered 100% by his employer, tell me how paying 400 a month for a 2 year old makes any sense at all?!?!?!?!?! She goes to the Dr 2 times a year for check-ups...WE NEED HEALTH CARE REFORM, no one will convince me otherwise EVER!

[deleted account]

You missed my point completely--the car insurance you are required to have protects OTHER people from your mistakes. Health insurance does not protect anyone but the policy holder no matter what level of coverage you choose.



also, 75 employees does qualify for a group plan (must be more than 25) ,but I'll take your word and assume your husband's employer does not offer group health insurance and you are all on individual plans. If you have pre-existing conditions it would be impossible to get insurance below $500/month without a group plan--I know, I've been looking for 2 years.

Jennifer - posted on 03/23/2010

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First my husband works for a small business, employing 75 people, therefor they get no group discount if we had to pay for cobra it would be $483 a month.(under your 500 mark just barly but yes under)



It is in theroy the same as car ins, you can choose what level of ins you want. You can have the lowest rate or go higher in coverage. When you fill out your health ins paperwork and choose your options, (your choices affect your price.) You can chose to pay less by going for a plan that does not cover as much, or have as many choices of Dr.s.

[deleted account]

"Well I guess I'm not a skeptic....nobody wanted it when President Roosevelt started taking money out of EVERYONE's paycheck to pay for Social Security either.....but now everyone can't wait to retire."

The only reason people can't wait to retire is because they get THEIR money back. The government has no business borrowing it and keeping it from people until they are in their 60's anyway (I could manage it better in my IRA). Also, no one could actually retire on social security alone. You have to put a few hundred thousand with it if you want actually survive, so we are all saving for it anyway, we just have to let the government borrow part of our savings, mismanage it and hope we get an equal return in the end.

Okay, so that has little to do with healthcare other than the socialist thinking, but it's a pet peeve of mine :)

[deleted account]

" I think most of the arguements against it are most likely the same ones used when car ins became manditory and guess what you will have a bit of a choice just like with that. If you drive with out car ins and get cought you get fined like wise you can choose to not have health ins BUT you will get fined. No differant in theory, and over all it will help the country"

This is different in theory than car insurance because health insurance pays for medical care for ourselves. Car insurance pays for the car and medical care for the person you hit with your car. We are required to have insurance to cover damages to other people, but we can opt not to have full coverage which would cover the damage we do to our own car.

Geralyn - posted on 03/23/2010

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People in the US have no idea how hard it is to buy insurance as a private person. With changes in our job situation, I applied for private health insurance for me and for my son, who was 18 months at the time. He was denied health insurance because "he had seen a doctor in the last 12 months." What 18 month old hasn;t seen a doctor????? I would be negligent if he hadn't. And it is not as if he has health issues - he is and always has been one of the healthiest babies. Give me a break. He and I applied for what we could get - which was crappy insurance - and we are totally "underinsured." We have had the means to pay privately for health insurance, but we couldn't get one of the bigger companies to insure us. Ridiculous. Affordable health insurance is critical for everyone. People die every day because they are either uninsured or underinsured and cannot access adequate health insurance. That is just wrong.

I haven;t tracked the changes as the bill was tweaked and re-tweaked, but I think there is a lot of misunderstanding being swirled around that needs to be corrected, and hopefully will be corrected.

[deleted account]

"I have a family of 4 making under 50k BUT we have had and been paying our own ins. For years! Not state but through my hubbys work, with not help so not all of us that are low income are or will be in anyway mooching. "



You can afford it because you get it through your employer. If you were trying to purchase an individual plan, it would be really expensive, but since you are getting a highly discounted group rate, and your employer is contributing to the cost of your premiums you get really cheap insurance. I'm willing to bet you pay less than $500/month to cover your family. If I could get it that cheap, you can bet your a** I'd have it, but the fact is, I don't have an employer to get me a great group rate and pay a percentage of my insurance. If you want to know how much your premium actually is, take a look at how much it would cost you to continue your plan with COBRA if your husband looses his job.

This bill will not effect people who have employer sponsored health plans. It only effects people who do not have insurance through their employers.

[deleted account]

"Thank you Meghan! After reading that I do feel much better about it! I am diabetic and havent been seen for this in over a year because I have no health insurance...the pre-existing condition thing makes my premiums unaffordable for my family...this is actually a relief to me :)"

Actually, this bill will do very little to make healthcare/insurance more affordable for you unless you are low income. It will prohibit insurers from denying coverage for you, but you will still have to pay a higher premium than "healthy" people.

[deleted account]

"actually you will receive tax credits for making over the income limits and a reduced price of up to 40% on your own private health insurance...if you had some..."

Actually, I won't get a reduced price of up to 40%. That price reduction is a sliding scale reduction based on income for families making up to 400% of federal poverty levels ($88k for a family of 4). I have a family of 3 and we make around that much each year depending on the economy--we will not qualify for any discount. And the only tax break we will receive is one we already get--we will not be required to pay income tax on income spent to purchase medical care or insurance. If you make less than 400% of the fed. poverty level AND use federal subsidies to help pay for insurance (buy your own insurance not sponsored by your employer) you will no longer qualify for that credit.

Heather - posted on 03/23/2010

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Thank you Meghan! After reading that I do feel much better about it! I am diabetic and havent been seen for this in over a year because I have no health insurance...the pre-existing condition thing makes my premiums unaffordable for my family...this is actually a relief to me :)

Jennifer - posted on 03/23/2010

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I have a family of 4 making under 50k BUT we have had and been paying our own ins. For years! Not state but through my hubbys work, with not help so not all of us that are low income are or will be in anyway mooching.

I am in favor of this and yep my hubby and I are the only ones we know that are. We have already gotten notice from our ins. that our price will be droping a little YEA! Every one needs health ins. I used to work in a hospital and where do the uninsured go when they are sick? normaly a hospital, when someone was unisured and did not have a way to pay for it right there we had to have them fill our paper work to not pay but guess what every working person in the country had to! I know people who make more then we do who "chose" not to have health ins. they all say they cannot afford it, well I never believed them as we who make less afford it! But they would go to the hospital or doc. them who pays for it not them us! This is defanitly a step in the right direction, I think most of the arguements against it are most likely the same ones used when car ins became manditory and guess what you will have a bit of a choice just like with that. If you drive with out car ins and get cought you get fined like wise you can choose to not have health ins BUT you will get fined. No differant in theory, and over all it will help the country. (on a side not to me this is the fist real thing the Presidant has done and its a doosy! LOL after a couple of years more people will except this with out the fight, jus wait until that friend or family member that was uninsured gets hurt or sick and can go in instead of just trying to cope)

Amy - posted on 03/23/2010

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i don't think we'll know until it's in effect if it will be good or not. Just because something sounds good - if we go about it wrong, could be bad. And as far as rate jumps - don't you think it's kinda odd that it happens a lot right before the bill? Governments are like chess games. It's all strategy. I have read good points and bad points.



i'll just say I have my concerns and hope for the best.

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