Thursday, October 7, 2010

What is the truth about Health Reform?

Now that health reform is with us I thought it was worthwhile trying to summarize what I understand to be the truth about what it will mean. There are a number of pros and cons, and some areas that seem to be of equivocal benefit, depending on our personal views, so here is a brief summary...........

The positive aspects:
  • 95% of legal US citizens will have health insurance, compared to 83% now - an increase of 32 million people
  • Insurers cannot stop paying for people who are sick, even if they lose their jobs
  • People with previously known medical conditions cannot be refused health insurance
  • People who cannot afford health insurance will be able to obtain it relatively cheaply
  • Medicaid will expand significantly, and children will be able to stay on their parents insurance until they are 26

The negative aspects:
  • Most of the bill won't go into effect until 2014
  • The costs will be about $94 billion per year for the first 10 years - but these will be more than covered by cost savings and tax increases
  • Some states will have an increase in the cost of health insurance
  • The Individual Mandate means that you either have to buy health insurance of have a $2.5% tax increase
  • There is an extra tax on very expensive health insurance plans and for high income people

The equivocal issues:
  • The public option is not an option
  • More government involvement in healthcare, but remember that governments already pay for more than 65% of our healthcare, and hopefully this bill will reduce medical costs in the long run
  • There is no federal money for abortion
  • The extra regulation on insurance companies will probably increase costs, but will certainly increase quality, and will make sure that they spend at least 80% of their receipts on actual healthcare
  • Doctors will have increased access to information about which treatments are most cost-effective
  • Large employers have to offer insurance to all their employees or pay a fee

There are lots of other parts of health reform, but hopefully this very simple guide is helpful.

3 comments:

  1. Very nice succinct explanation - I wish more people would focus on these basic concepts and in particular focus on the pros of the reform before criticizing something before it is even implemented.

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  2. Highly еnergetic blog, I enjоyed that a lot.

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