My sister was asking the other day what the humbaq is all about this Health care reform bill. For her and others like me, who wants to know the basics of it, I am just gathering some of the points I found on the net.
The healthcare reform package that Obama campaign on includes the following among its most notable elements:
1) Regulation of insurance companies including preventing them from dropping people or reducing their coverage because of a pre-existing condition
2) Expansion of coverage to most of the current uninsured, primarily through expansions to Medicaid, Medicare, and other existing government programs
3) Make health insurance more affordable through a variety of cost-cutting measures within healthcare as well as subsidies and tax credits for working families
4) Require employers to provide health insurance for their employees or face a fine
5) Establishment of healthcare exchanges where (some) individuals and businesses can choose a health insurance plan from among a menu of options, increasing competition
6) Creation of a "public option", a government run health insurance program available on the exchanges
Democrats in Congress would enact a bill and it is in the draft stage. This is the Baucus bill. This bill provides all of the above except the last item.
The legislation really would:
-->Protect millions of Americans from Medical bankruptcy.
-->Insure tens of millions of people.
-->Curb the worst practices of the private insurance industry.
-->Lay down out-of pocket caps.
-->Help primary care providers.
-->Make hospitals more transparent.