Health Reform 101: If you have health care, you still benefit. (Take Action Today)

Health Care is in the air. But if you’re like a lot of Americans, you probably have health insurance through your job. And for the most part, you’re happy with it. 

But what if you become one of the tens of thousands of Americans losing their job each week? Or what if your employer dramatically hikes your premium, cuts benefits, or drops your coverage? 

Yesterday, leaders of both parties met to make another attempt at ironing out their differences on health care reform. Opponents of reform will argue we must toss out what’s on the table and start over. This is why we are reviewing the benefits of health reform with you and asking you to take action today. 

If you have coverage, this bill still offers: 

  • Security from a benefits cut: if you have decent coverage now through your job, you keep it. But if your employer suddenly drops your health coverage, or makes you pay more than eight percent of your salary on your premium, you could get credits or vouchers to help buy your own affordable policy in an insurance shopping mall, or ‘exchange.’
  • Security if you lose your job: If you hit a rough financial patch, are laid off from your job, or suddenly have a lot less income coming in, you can buy your own policy through the exchange. The less money you have coming in, the cheaper the policy.
  • Help for your older children: Do you have grown kids having trouble finding a job? Your kids can stay on your policy until they turn 26 – and they don’t have to be full-time students.
  • Small businesses tax credits will help pay up to 50% of the cost of coverage for these smaller employers. Small businesses can also buy policies for their workers in the exchange, giving their employees a wide range of quality options.
  • Seniors will get more benefits and a more stable Medicare program. Medicare, which is facing bankruptcy in seven years, will be fully funded until at least 2026. And seniors will get all their preventive care covered at 100%, more of their prescription drug costs covered by shrinking the infamous ‘donut hole’ coverage gap, and more programs to keep them in their own homes and out of nursing homes.

Yesterday lawmakers in Washington engaged in a (hopefully) final debate on health care reform. The Health Care Summit was extensive and included leaders from both parties. 

This issue simply cannot wait any longer. Our patience’s has been tested and our understanding is maxed out. 

Tell lawmakers you demand action NOW.

*This article is third in a three part series: Click here for the first article and here for the second. 

For more information on this legislation and the health care debate, visit:PrescriptionForChange.org

Photo courtesy of ProgressOhio on Flikr.
Written by Susan Herold. Senior Web Editor, Consumers Union.

62 comments

Elizabeth Vanderpool

I have paid for health care for 15 years and just recently had to use it for the first time . What a sham. Nothing is covered. . I had to pay for half of my MRI ($1000) and another few thousand for random other tests . Then I get phone calls from the insurance company asking me if I got hurt at work , when it was obvious they were just trying to get someone else to pay for it . Now they are trying to argue that I shouldn't get any more physical therapy since I have a sports injury and its my own fault . What ever happened to getting healthy . . Its all a sham . I asked around for better insurance companies and everyone tells me United Health care is one of the best . Thats great - They are the ones trying to NOT cover me now .

Sofia B.
Sofia B6 years ago

Sheila L.:
"This is a step int the wrong direction ... a step to the socialization of America. I don't want to live in a european type of government."

What is it that you fear with "a European type of government"? That the wealthiest 1% have to pay a few millions in taxes? I would very much for you to develop this statement.

Secondly, what is it that you Americans fear so much that if something is even whispered to be a bit socialized you throw it from you with both hands??
We all (hopefully) know the history of communism, and its failures. But for something to be a bit more social is just to make it more available to all citizens, instead of letting a few make big bucks on others' misfortune.

Lastly I must profess my surprise in how many Americans do not write proper English, ignoring punctuations and capital letters (or writing all capital) and not even using a simple spell check. It almost seems like a lot of us who have English as a second or (as in my case) third language are more interested in making our point readable.

Audrey L.
Audrey L6 years ago

It is amazing we always run to the aid of other countries, but do not do anything for our neighbors who are suffering without health care. We are such a greedy nation anymore, I wants with more for me bunch. Just like Congress," I have health care and I don't care about anyone else other than me and my family as they are so much more important than yours" and we are footing the bill for them. Term limits for this bunch.

Audrey L.
Audrey L6 years ago

It is amazing we always run to the aid of other countries, but do not do anything for our neighbors who are suffering without health care. We are such a greedy nation anymore, I wants with more for me bunch. Just like Congress," I have health care and I don't care about anyone else other than me and my family as they are so much more important than yours" and we are footing the bill for them. Term limits for this bunch.

Mary L.
Mary L6 years ago

To correct some impressions: Senior Joe already has a govt-run insurance program: Medicare. This bill rolls back excessive payments to private insurers in Medicare and frauds by Medicare providers.

The process was transparent. If it had been secret we would not know about "deals cut", etc. These were done to retain the private insurers, drug companies, etc. and get their support as well as that of some Democratic and Republican senators.This is a very moderate plan criticized as "socialism '" by those protecting profiteers.

Size of bill: All legislation is double-spaced legalese. One simple Republican amendment was 200+ pages!

Do I like the bill? No, I'd prefer Medicare for all similar to Canada's system with national insurance pool, private providers, and provincial (state) negotiated costs.

Main point: we CANNOT AFFORD the PRESENT costs!

A reminder: without the Social Security and Medicare taxes the US deficit would be tripled! Yes, we have paid and we are ENTITLED to benefits!

Janice L.
Janice Lawrence6 years ago

Medicare is a government-assisted form of health care. We are already in trouble, so it seems that the way this bill is written is that all it does is keep the insurance companies from making so much money. Oh, boohoo. Anyway, I don't go to the doctor. I eat three squares, get some exercise and sleep. It's easier than going to see a doctor. I just go to get stitched up. I had a spider bite once that abscessed. I went to the doctor to get it lanced and drained because I couldn't do it myself. That's what I think doctors are for---setting bones and sewing you back together. You can't do that for yourself. But I understand that some persons have to go to the doctor for chronic conditions.

Holly M.
H K6 years ago

Health Care should be a basic RIGHT...Not a LUXURY. Expand Medicare & let everyone pay into it. Some younger people may not need it right now, but some older ones will. It will all balance out.

Judy Emerson
Judith Emerson6 years ago

The USA may indeed have the world's best health care ... for those who can afford it. Everyone else here, not so lucky. One of the GOP senators commented that a member of the Canadian parliament came here for treatment. Here, of all places, when all Canadians have health care insurance. Well, that is only because that person had plenty of $$$ to pay the entire cost of whatever was needed. Not everyone has that opportunity. In fact, very few people can afford cash payment for excellent health care whenever they need it. That's why we need to cover everyone!

i'm not really happy with what's on the table now, but, heck! We've got to start somewhere. A beginning beats nothing in my book! PLEASE WRITE YOUR REPS TO GET HEALTHCARE FOR ALL STARTED! WE CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT! HEALTHCARE IS GOING TO TRIPLE IN THE NXT 10 YRS!

June K.
June K6 years ago

Robert S., what is the rush? My Mother is already dead since she had a pre-existing condition of cancer. How many more people must die before the American people get off their collective buts and demand the quality health care they have been paying for? When did we become such sheep?

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W6 years ago

It doesn't concern me, because I live in Poland.