Over the last few months, the newly enacted health reform law has dominated most discussions about the health care system. Given the historic nature of the new law, it’s easy to see why. However, there are other important areas of the health care system that also need attention, such as COBRA.
Many are aware that young people stand to gain from the new health reform law, but what they may not know is just how many young adults will benefit.
The Commonwealth Fund recently published an issue brief that documents the critical problem of the growing numbers of uninsured young adults and how they stand to gain tremendously from the enactment of health reform. According to the report:
It’s been a little over two months since President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and across the nation, Americans are looking forward to changes in the new system.
When we asked you to share comments about how health reform will affect you, we got an overwhelming response.
Mike from Colorado told us,
Remember in elementary school when fractions were the bane of any student’s existence? Numerators and denominators were “bad words” and their relationship kept many school kids up past their bedtimes. Although many of the people who are working on implementing health reform are far past their elementary school math days, a certain numerator is causing them the same headaches.
The White House Blog recently posted a response to an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal, which claims the new health reform law will limit consumers’ choices and prevent them from keeping their current health care plans. As the author of the blog, Stephanie Cutter, points out, “this ignores the realities of health reform.” We couldn’t agree more.
People suffering from mental illnesses need access to appropriate medications and the right providers so that they can live productive and fulfilling lives. However, insurance companies have traditionally discriminated against individuals who need mental health services by placing more restrictive barriers—like higher co-pays or lower limits on hospital stays—on mental health services than on medical or surgical services.
One of the least mentioned aspects of the health reform law are measures that will improve the quality of health care. Although the benefits were not scored by the Congressional Budget Office, these measures are intended to positively change care, in both patient and doctor satisfaction and costs.
According to David Brown of Washington Post,
It’s no secret that our economy has left businesses around the country in a tight financial bind. In an effort to save money, many employers have decided to drop health insurance coverage—leaving many hard-working Americans in a vulnerable position. One group of people that is especially vulnerable is early retirees.
The recession has affected every American. But in Michigan, the effect of the recession is amplified. It has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. In addition, residents of Detroit, a city of over 900,000, don’t have access to a national full-service chain grocery store. Without jobs, many will lose health coverage. And without access to healthy foods (those in areas without grocery stores rely on fast food restaurants and convenience stores as their food sources), people are at higher risk for health conditions such as diabetes. This is a bad combination
Before health reform, insurance companies generally could deny Americans in the individual market coverage if they had a history of health problems. Heart disease? Denied. Breast cancer? Denied. Diabetes? Denied. For decades, many insurance companies have been allowed to treat those with pre-existing conditions unfairly. But because Congress and the American people became so fed up with this blatant discrimination, we’ll finally see an end to these shameful practices.