Saturday, March 6, 2010

The President's Weekly Address: What Health Reform Will Deliver – This Year

From the White House Blog:

In this week’s address, President Obama describes how American families will have more control over their health care this year, after health reform passes.

This was also included with this weeks address, and it may help allay some of the fears people have about whether this is real reform or not.

Here are a few more points about how health insurance reform measures will benefit Americans this year:

Hold Insurance Companies Accountable:

* Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all new plans;
* Prohibit rescissions of health insurance policies in all individual plans;
* Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
* Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs;
* Establish a process for the annual review of unreasonable increases in premiums, requiring State insurance commissioners to work with the HHS Secretary and States.

Protect Consumers:

* Provide grants to States to support health insurance consumer assistance and ombudsman programs to help consumers;
* Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
* Require all insurance plans to use uniform coverage documents so consumers can make easy comparisons when shopping for health insurance;
* Establish an internet portal to assist Americans in identifying coverage options;
* Prohibit insurers from discriminating in favor of highly compensated employees by charging them lower premiums.

Ensure Affordable Choices and Quality Care:

* Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;
* Create a temporary re-insurance program for early retirees;
* Require new plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26;
* Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
* Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
* Facilitate administrative simplification to lower health system costs.

These are all very important and once people realize exactly what they have.. this will be popular. It is real reform. As my friend Matt Osborne @ OsborneInk likes to point out, it may not contain the Public Option... but without all of these things in there.. you could have no Public Option.

So, lets work to get this passed, then we can come back and add the Public Option at a later date. We can't let this go down, just because we didn't get every little thing we wanted. We have got to grow up and start acting like the adults in the room.

Right now, the left are acting like a bunch of children who didn't get their way. We have to stop this.


Sue said...

I'm starting to believe the public option will be included later. Hell even the righties say we are headed for single payer!

After this all comes to be, the country will love it just like they do Medicare. Whatever lowers costs, I'm for it.

Annette said...

It will eventually lead there.. and I believe the Public Option will be added later.. as I pointed out and as Matt has stated.. all these reforms need to be there before the PO can be enacted. This is a wonderful first step and that's all we need. All major legislation started with a first step. None of it was as it is now.

K. said...

Yeah, but it's 2700 pp. long. That kills it for me.

I had lunch with a physician earlier this week. She's pessimistic about HCR and thinks that the entire system will have to collapse first. And she doesn't think that the system is that far from collapsing.

Annette said...

I think this will pass. Stupak is the holdup right now and he is being marginalized as we speak. The more that comes out about him the less he is going to be able to hold up this reform. It will pass, and we will have reform this year.