When you hear about the new health reform law these days, too much talk is focused on the political.
What I’ve found is that most Americans just want to know how this new law helps their families stay healthy — and how it reduces their costs.
The first thing I tell people who ask about the Affordable Care Act is that, for moms like me, it makes our lives easier. It gives families control over their own care. And it gives us the comfort of knowing that our insurance will be there when we need it most — especially if we get sick. Then I tell them that it gets better, but there’s a lot to know. To help, this administration has set up HealthCare.gov, where folks can see customized information about how care will improve for their families.
So much of what makes this law great is its emphasis on preventive care — right now, too many people aren’t getting the check-ups or the screenings they need to stay healthy. Twelve percent of kids haven’t seen a doctor in the past year. And 59 million adults — and 11 million children — depend on an insurance plan that does not cover basic immunizations.
Health reform is changing that. Under this new law, all new private plans will provide basic preventive services — things like childhood immunizations and checkups, mammograms, colonoscopies, cervical screenings, and treatment for high blood pressure — absolutely free of charge. No copay. No deductible. No co-insurance needed.
And, on HealthCare.gov, you can not only learn what preventive steps will help keep your family healthy, but also what insurance coverage options are available based on your needs.
A focus on prevention will help us to combat diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure — chronic illnesses that right now lead to seven of ten deaths in the United States and 75 percent of our national health care costs.
And it will help us tackle an issue that is dear to my heart — childhood obesity. As some of you know one of my top priorities as First Lady is the Let’s Move! campaign, where we have made it our goal to put a stop to the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so children who are born today grow up at a healthy weight.
Each of us needs to take responsibility for our own health and the health of our families, and the new health reform law can help. That’s why I’m writing today — to make sure you and Americans across the country know how their health plans are getting better day by day under reform.
Please visit HealthCare.gov and find out more about your care:
We had eight years of Bush and Cheney, now you get mad!
You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy.
You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got ousted.
You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.
You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.
You didn’t get mad when we spent over 600 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.
You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.
You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.
You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.
You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden.
You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.
You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city drown (New Orleans-Hurricane Katrina).
You didn’t get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.
You didn’t get mad when, using reconciliation; a trillion dollars of our tax dollars were redirected to insurance companies for Medicare. Advantage which cost over 20 percent more for basically the same services that Medicare provides.
You didn’t get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark, and our debt hit the thirteen trillion dollar mark.
You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.
Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans…oh heck no.
BUT YOU ARE 100% MAD BECAUSE WE HAVE A BLACK PRESIDENT!
Note: This was forwarded to me and I do not know who the author is however this is some good reading. I totally agree.
Reporters leaving Capitol Hill in the wee hours of Monday morning were, for the most part, heaving sighs of relief: health care reform had – finally! — passed, a vote for the history books. However imperfect, the deed was done, the fat lady had sung. A day later and Republicans seem not to have gotten the memo: they are attacking the bill as ferociously as they did before it passed. Repeal it, they’re saying; strike it down in the courts; and in the Senate, the reconciliation fixes may die a death of a thousand amendments. (Read more @ TIME)
Reforming health care in America is proving complicated. Until now, every attempt to provide Americans universal health coverage, as most other leading nations already do, has failed. Each of the 200 countries on our planet devises its own arrangements for keeping people healthy, treating the sick, and protecting families against financial ruin from medical costs. America has been the lone exception among 32 of the 33 developed nations that have universal health care.
It may not be “world-class”, but American lawmakers can now say Heath Care Reform is “a done deal”. Congress and Obama Administration officials say Americans will now get health reform “based on shared responsibility that asks businesses, insurers, providers and individuals to do their part to make health care more affordable and our people and our economy healthier”. While many Black Americans are elated over what is deemed as a political victory for Obama, they’d be native not to note the role health, hospital and insurance companies and organizations played as the legislation was taking place. Major “Pay for Play” was on display: insurance-related companies and organizations employed 4,500 lobbyists to influence the bill.
After the final legislation is signed, in six months insurance companies will be banned from unpopular practices such as: rescinding coverage when policyholders get sick, imposing lifetime financial caps on coverage or denying coverage for children with pre-existing conditions. These companies will be required to allow parents to keep children up to age 26 on health care policies, unless the offspring get employer-backed coverage. In coming years, the government can offer a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries to help pay their prescription drug costs when they hit the “doughnut hole” – an existing coverage gap. Two years out, Medicare beneficiaries will see a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs.
Unless waylaid by lawsuits from the states, within 90 days, a temporary high-risk pool will be created for those uninsured because of pre-existing medical conditions, allowing them to immediately buy insurance. Other provisions include:
• Uninsured and self-employed individuals will be able to purchase insurance through state-based exchanges with subsidies available to individuals and families with income between 133 and 400 percent of poverty level – about $30,000 and $80,000 annually.
• Separate exchanges are to be created by 2014 for small businesses to purchase coverage.
• The funding that is supposed to be available to states to establish exchanges is to be provided within one year of enactment.
Every American, beginning in 2014, may be required to buy insurance or pay a penalty. Subsidies will be offered to help those making less than $44,000 or $88,000 for a family of four, afford insurance. Fines would be $95 in 2014, gradually rising to $695 by 2016. By January 1, 2014, companies with more than 50 workers would be required to provide health care for them or face a penalty of $2,000 per worker. Up to $40 billion in tax credits will be offered to help companies buy insurance for workers. It will cost $940 billion over 10 years and provide coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans. When fully phased in, 95 percent of eligible Americans will have coverage, compared with 83 percent today.
Among rich nations, America has the highest level of poverty and income inequality. This structural racial inequity significantly affects Blacks. Forty percent of Black Americans were uninsured for some portion of 2007-2008, compared to 1 in 4 whites. Calling it “a moral imperative”, most of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) voted for the bill. CBC Chair Barbara Lee of California, said: "The president’s plan will give American families and small-business owners more control over their own health care." Although Blacks have suffered the most inequities in health care, Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, a CBC member who represents the only majority Black congressional district in the state, voted against the bill. Davis is running a “mainstream platform” in his campaign for Alabama governor against the state’s Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks. Sparks, a white man, accuses Davis of “selling out his constituents by opposing health care reform to satisfy conservative big business interests”.
(William Reed – www.BlackPressInternational.com)