Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Has The Current Congress Done For Voters? Starting Today, Health Care.

The single topic we've written the most about over the nearly two years we've been publishing has been the Health Care Insurance Reform (HCIR) bill that finally passed in March of this year.

As of today, September 23, 2010, the first wave of significant changes HCIR promised is the law throughout America - even in states that are attempting to fight it.

Throughout that discussion, we urged you to make sure you were acquainted with the real facts, not the talking points. As we learned during those debates, a majority of Americans agreed with nearly all of the individual provisions of the legislation, even if - illogically - they argued against the HCIR bill as a whole.

Since the reform bill passed, Americans have begun educating themselves on the coming changes. As they have, polls have shown a steady increase in positive opinion of the reform - as we and others (including the President) predicted they would.

With that in mind, here are the four major provisions going into effect today:
  • All children must be allowed coverage, regardless of preexisting conditions.
  • Individuals cannot be dropped if they become ill - meaning the practice of rescision has now been abolished. 
  • Lifetime limits on benefits and coverage levels are also now abolished. 
  • Children are able to stay on their parent's insurance until the age of 26.
As we also predicted, this HCIR legislation was not going to magically solve all of the nation's health insurance and medical issues. We said then it was a good start - but that further work would need to be done.  We also said then it would not surprise us one bit if the insurance companies & drug manufacturers would attempt to weasel out of their obligations to American citizens.

Right on cue, insurance companies like Aetna and Anthem Blue Cross announced this week that they'll simply stop selling new child-only insurance altogether, to avoid having to deal with the change in the law. It's interesting and appalling that these companies - some of the wealthiest businesses in America - would be willing to sacrifice sick and sometimes dying children for continued huge profits. They're not the only health-related businesses trying to skirt the new law, either.

If the health insurance companies and drug companies truly had the best interests of both their customers and their stockholders at heart, America would never have needed health care insurance reform in the first place.

We got SOME reform, thanks to this Congress. But we're a long way from being healed.

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