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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reform's early benefits

Now that President Obama has signed the health insurance reform bill, it's time to put the nasty rhetoric of the past year to bed and start looking forward to the reality of reform.

The reality is this bill will help Americans throughout the country. It will help those who have insurance by making sure they can never be dropped just because they got sick. It will help small business owners who are being crushed by premiums. And it will help millions of uninsured Americans finally gain access to quality, affordable health care.

While it will take four years for health reform to be fully implemented, here are some immediate affects of the bill:

1.      Health insurance companies cannot deny children who have pre-existing conditions.

2.      Qualifying small businesses will receive tax credits so they can offer health insurance to staff.

3.      Seniors will receive a rebate to help cover the cost of prescription drugs when they fall into the "donut hole."

4.      Young adults can stay on their parents plan until age 26.

5.      Lifetime caps have been eliminated, protecting people with high health costs.

6.      All new group plans-as well as plans in the individual market- must cover preventive care without meeting a deductible or copayments.

7.      Insurance companies can no longer drop someone's coverage when he or she gets sick.

You can check out the full list here.

For those who have made a sport out of spreading rumors and misinformation about what's in the health care bill, reality will hit them hard.

But for those who have ever been denied insurance, or have been dropped from their coverage, or have struggled to make ends meet because of sky-high medical bills-the reality of these reforms will be a reformed system that now works for them, not for insurance companies' profits.

That is change we can believe in.