obama-pelosi-reed-applaud.jpgAs soon as President Obama signs the historic health care legislation that passed in the U.S. Congress, the American people will see immediate benefits, including a guarantee that children can get health insurance — even if they have a pre-existing illness — and a measure that would let young adults stay on their parents’ policies until they turn 26.

The legislation will (
either now, or in six months to one year):

  1. Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans (6 months);
  2. Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool (one year);
  3. Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans;
  4. Lower seniors prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole, giving them $250 to help pay for drugs if they fall into that coverage gap;
  5. Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
  6. Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans (6 months);
  7. Require plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26 (6 months);
  8. Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
  9. Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
  10. Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs.

Many of the plan’s most important benefits won’t kick in until 2014. Those include the guarantee that anyone can buy insurance; the exchanges where individuals and small businesses can shop for policies — and the subsidies to help pay for them.


  1. This is a very positive piece of legislation. What I would like to see in the months to come is that we all realize that this was a good thing for the United States and long overdue. I am so glad that Good News Network took this positive approach.

  2. I am so happy to see health care reform happening. I do believe that as a whole, we are a compassionate country despite the vocal obstructionists. Health care reform is a step in the right direction, going along with the compassion and sense of fairness that I feel most Americans have.

  3. Although some reform is better than none, this law does not directly address the biggest issue – the 45 million people who don’t have any health coverage. It is true that a small portion of these people have no coverage because of pre-existing conditions who would now be reinstated. However, the vast majority of people have no coverage because THEY CAN’T AFFORD IT!

    This law does nothing to address the lack of health care for millions of Americans who need it NOW! By 2014, a lot of these people will be seriously ill or dead. And if they make it until 2014, they STILL won’t have the money to buy insurance. If anything, even more people will be destitute by then.

    Another double victory for corporate America. They got what they want, continued big profits, while convincing us that WE are the beneficiaries. Brilliant.

  4. I’m cautiously optimistic about this. I strongly disagree w/ Novastar’s belief that this is a win for corporate America. Because the insurance companies must accept people with pre-existing conditions, and cannot charge them more than anyone else, the premiums for everyone will increase. Corporations are required to provide the insurance for employees, or be fined. Those two combined will make things harder on corporations.

    However, overall it may be worth it. The people that can’t afford it will be helped by increase Medicaid and subsidies. The big question, which is the one that adds caution to my optimism, is how, who and when this is going to be paid for. Ultimately, some group of people out there (either me, my children, or my grandchildren) are going to take home a significantly smaller paycheck because of this. Who pays, and how much smaller, has yet to be seen.

  5. Congratulations, my American neighbours! I am Canadian and I have been watching to see what would happen through this (sadly) divisive debate. Needless to say, I am pleased to see some reform. I genuinely believe that the payoffs will be extraordinary. Human suffering will go down and productivity will go up and corporations will still maintain some control of the “products”. Win Win Win!

  6. I am also Canadian, and am pleased to see the US move in this direction. We are so privileged here that I can make health care decisions based on what is truely in my best interest, not on cost factors. Yes, I pay a lot of taxes, but I think it’s worth the price so that no one has to sacrifice their health because they can’t afford it. Poor children are just as precious as my own and as deserving of quality health care, and yes, I’m willing to help pay for it!

  7. From another Canadian GNNer, yes – it is and will be worth it. We do pay high taxes, however, compared to our social status, health wise in the days before our sweeping reform, when my parents avoided seeking medical care due to the cost, we are now miles ahead. No, it is not perfect – no human endeavor is. I too, am still looking for more detail on how the plan will roll out, and having been a health facility CEO, I can share that yes, it will take time, it will face major challenges, and some will not be happy – however, in a just society, we who have access to more abundance share the wealth with our less fortunate sisters and brothers.
    Geri: thanks for the detail in the article!

  8. As a Canadian, I’ve never understood why so many Americans are opposed to paying higher taxes in exchange for public health care. Sure you and your employer are paying higher taxes, but you wouldn’t be paying for insurance. Plus the public health care wouldn’t need to turn a profit, so the necessary revenue to keep the system rolling would be lower. The only difference in the end would be that public health care allows for universal coverage.

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