Author Topic: THE PRESIDENT ON HEALTH CARE REFORM  (Read 969 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9920
    • View Profile
THE PRESIDENT ON HEALTH CARE REFORM
« on: March 21, 2010, 08:49:15 pm »
For the first time in our nation's history, Congress has passed comprehensive health care reform. America waited a hundred years and fought for decades to reach this moment. Tonight, thanks to you, we are finally here.

Consider the staggering scope of what you have just accomplished:

Because of you, every American will finally be guaranteed high quality, affordable health care coverage.

Every American will be covered under the toughest patient protections in history. Arbitrary premium hikes, insurance cancellations, and discrimination against pre-existing conditions will now be gone forever.

And we'll finally start reducing the cost of care -- creating millions of jobs, preventing families and businesses from plunging into bankruptcy, and removing over a trillion dollars of debt from the backs of our children.

But the victory that matters most tonight goes beyond the laws and far past the numbers.

It is the peace of mind enjoyed by every American, no longer one injury or illness away from catastrophe.

It is the workers and entrepreneurs who are now freed to pursue their slice of the American dream without fear of losing coverage or facing a crippling bill.

And it is the immeasurable joy of families in every part of this great nation, living happier, healthier lives together because they can finally receive the vital care they need.

This is what change looks like.

My gratitude tonight is profound. I am thankful for those in past generations whose heroic efforts brought this great goal within reach for our times. I am thankful for the members of Congress whose months of effort and brave votes made it possible to take this final step. But most of all, I am thankful for you.

This day is not the end of this journey. Much hard work remains, and we have a solemn responsibility to do it right. But we can face that work together with the confidence of those who have moved mountains.

Our journey began three years ago, driven by a shared belief that fundamental change is indeed still possible. We have worked hard together every day since to deliver on that belief.

We have shared moments of tremendous hope, and we've faced setbacks and doubt. We have all been forced to ask if our politics had simply become too polarized and too short-sighted to meet the pressing challenges of our time. This struggle became a test of whether the American people could still rally together when the cause was right -- and actually create the change we believe in.

Tonight, thanks to your mighty efforts, the answer is indisputable: Yes we can.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9920
    • View Profile
KEY PROVISIONS THAT TAKE EFFECT IMMEDIATELY
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 09:28:39 pm »
SMALL BUSINESS TAX CREDITS
Offers tax credits to small businesses to make employee coverage more affordable. Tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums will be immediately available to firms that choose to offer coverage.

Effective beginning for calendar year 2010. (Beginning in 2014, the small business tax credits will cover 50 percent of premiums.)

BEGINS TO CLOSE THE MEDICARE PART D DONUT HOLE
Provides a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the donut hole in 2010. Effective for calendar year 2010. (Beginning in 2011, institutes a 50% discount on brandname drugs in the donut hole; also completely closes the donut hole by 2020.)

FREE PREVENTIVE CARE UNDER MEDICARE
Eliminates copayments for preventive services and exempts preventive services from deductibles under the Medicare program. Effective beginning January 1, 2011.

HELP FOR EARLY RETIREES
Creates a temporary reinsurance program (until the Exchanges are available) to help offset the costs of expensive premiums for employers and retirees for health benefits for retirees age 5564. Effective 90 days after enactment.

ENDS RESCISSIONS
Bans insurance companies from dropping people from coverage when they get sick. Effective 6 months after enactment.

NO DISCRIMINATION AGAINST CHILDREN WITH PREEXISTING CONDITIONS
Prohibits new health plans in all markets plus grandfathered group health plans from denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions. Effective 6 months after enactment. (Beginning in 2014, this prohibition would apply to all persons.)

BANS LIFETIME LIMITS ON COVERAGE
Prohibits health insurance companies from placing lifetime caps on coverage. Effective 6 months after enactment.

BANS RESTRICTIVE ANNUAL LIMITS ON COVERAGE
Tightly restricts the use of annual limits to ensure access to needed care in all new plans and grandfathered group health plans. These tight restrictions will be defined by HHS. Effective 6 months after enactment. (Beginning in 2014, the use of any annual limits would be prohibited for all new plans and grandfathered group health plans.)

FREE PREVENTIVE CARE UNDER NEW PRIVATE PLANS
Requires new private plans to cover preventive services with no copayments and with preventive services being exempt from deductibles. Effective 6 months after enactment.

NEW, INDEPENDENT APPEALS PROCESS
Ensures consumers in new plans have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal decisions by their health insurance plan. Effective 6 months after enactment.

ENSURING VALUE FOR PREMIUM PAYMENTS
Requires plans in the individual and small group market to spend 80 percent of premium dollars on medical services, and plans in the large group market to spend 85 percent. Insurers that do not meet these thresholds must provide rebates to policyholders. Effective on January 1, 2011.

IMMEDIATE HELP FOR THE UNINSURED UNTIL EXCHANGE IS AVAILABLE
(INTERIM HIGHRISK POOL)
Provides immediate access to affordable insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a preexisting condition  through a temporary subsidized highrisk pool. Effective 90 days after enactment.

EXTENDS COVERAGE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE UP TO 26TH BIRTHDAY THROUGH
PARENTSí INSURANCE
Tightly restricts the use of annual limits to ensure access to needed care in all new plans and grandfathered group health plans. These tight restrictions will be defined by HHS. Effective 6 months after enactment.

COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS
Increases funding for Community Health Centers to allow for nearly a doubling of the number of patients seen by the centers over the next 5 years. Effective beginning in fiscal year 2010.

INCREASING NUMBER OF PRIMARY CARE DOCTORS
Provides new investment in training programs to increase the number of primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals. Effective beginning in fiscal year 2010.

PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SALARY
Prohibits group health plans from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that have the effect of discriminating in favor of higher wage employees. Effective 6 months after enactment.

HEALTH INSURANCE CONSUMER INFORMATION
Provides aid to states in establishing offices of health insurance consumer assistance in order to help individuals with the filing of complaints and appeals. Effective beginning in FY 2010.

CREATES NEW, VOLUNTARY, PUBLIC LONGTERM CARE INSURANCE PROGRAM
Creates a longterm care insurance program to be financed by voluntary payroll deductions to provide home and community-based services to adults who become functionally disabled. Effective on January 1, 2011.