Immediate Benefits of Health Care Reform

Political Point of View by Collier Democrats

Immediate Benefits of Health Care Reform
By Joseph Sweet, Issues Committee
Democratic Party of Collier County

Florida's Attorney General, and candidate for the Republican nominee for Governor, Bill McCollum, has filed a suit on the behalf of our state's citizens challenging the constitutionality of the recent passed Health Care Reform law. Rick Scott, another Republican candidate for governor, made millions of dollars as the CEO of an agency that was eventually fined a record 1.7 billion dollars and hit with 14 criminal felony charges. Both of these men want to deny Floridians essential changes to our health care delivery system. Now that the bogus charges of death panels and denying care for grandma have been effectively refuted, these Republicans are still fighting against improving our health care insurance programs.

Despite the solid political Republican opposition in Congress, this bill was supported by the American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Association for Retired People (AARP). Both groups have been vigorous watchdogs for their constituencies which suggest that the radical claims of the opposition that this bill will hurt seniors and destroy a solvent health care system are spurious.

Let us see how the health care reform bill will affect Floridians. Immediate benefits include:

• Children can now be covered under their parents' health insurance until age 26, regardless of school status.
• Small businesses will receive tax credits for offering health care to its employees.
• Children can no longer be denied health care insurance for pre-existing conditions.
• The "donut hole" in Medicare's prescription plan begins a graduated decline. (In 2010, senior will save an extra $250 worth of drug purchases. In 2011, they will receive a 50 percent discount on prescription drugs.)
• Preventative care with no deductible.
• Elimination of annual or lifetime limits or caps on coverage by insurance companies.
• Immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool.
• Insurance companies are prohibited from dropping people from coverage when they get sick.
• Insurance companies are held more accountable to their clients.

Despite Republican cries of injecting government into the doctor's office, this bill actually moves health care decisons from insurance companies to the patient and doctor. In addition it reduces the health care cost arc and reduces the U. S. deficit.

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