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Republicans Vow to Bring Back Pre-existing Conditions and Rescissions, And “What’s In the Health Reform Bill for You Right Away?

Republicans Vow to Bring Back Pre-existing Conditions and Rescissions, And “What’s In the Health Reform Bill for You Right Away?

In the face of health care reform passage Republicans are going to ignore the advice of conservative columnist and former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum (see previous blog post) and double down with help from the Tea Party movement on their opposition to healthcare with plans to repeal the law (see here, here, here, and here)

The problem is even before Obama and the Democrats have had time to blitz the public on the benefits of health care reform the public has already started moving steadily in favor of the reforms:

A USA Today poll reports that “American’s by 9 percentage points have a favorable view of the health care overhaul that President Obama signed into law Tuesday, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, a notable turnaround from surveys before the vote that showed a plurality against it.”
“By 49%-40% those surveyed say it was “a good thing” rather than a bad one that Congress passed the bill. Half describe their reaction in positive terms, as “enthusiastic” or “pleased,” while about four in 10 describe it in negative ways, as “disappointed” or “angry.”

“The largest single group, 48%, calls the bill “a good first step” that should be followed by more action on health care. An additional 4% also have a favorable view, saying the bill makes the most important changes needed in the nation’s health care system.”

“No one gets overwhelmingly positive ratings on the issue, but Obama fares the best: 46% say his work has been excellent or good; 31% call it poor. For congressional Democrats, 32% call their efforts on health care excellent or good; 33% poor. Congressional Republicans, all of whom voted against the bill, are viewed more negatively. Although 26% of those surveyed rate the GOP’s effort as excellent or good, 34% say it has been poor.”—thats right the GOP scores are already a low 26% but they someone thinking attacking an increasingly popular reform will work.

On a side note, I found it very telling that the USA Today’s report shows a “yawning age divide” because “a solid majority of seniors oppose the bill; a solid majority of those younger than 40 favor it.” This of course strikes to the core of the hypocrisy since all these seniors have government sponsored health care and their own mistaken fear of reduced benefits is prompting them to deny those under 40 with reform that will not even be government run as theirs is.  They are protecting themselves against a talk radio created boogeyman and dumping on the rest of us.
But I digress. 

I think the best way to demonstrate that the Republicans are facing a losing battle is to show the public what it is they want to take away.  Below you will find a point by point description of many facets of the health care bill that I am sure the public will support, and since many of them take place in 90 days the benefits will probably start being felt even before the November elections which will only serve to make the Republicans cause that much more difficult.

Below you will find a copy of the Speaker of the House blog, The Gavel, detailing what is in the billl:

What’s In The Health Reform Bill For You Right Away?
March 23rd, 2010 by Karina

Under the legislative package the House passed on Sunday (the Senate-passed health bill as amended by the reconciliation bill) many key provisions take effect this year – here are some of them:

IF YOU ARE A SMALL BUSINESSES OWNER:

SMALL BUSINESS TAX CREDITS—Offers tax credits to small businesses to make employee coverage more affordable. Tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums will be immediately available. Effective beginning for calendar year 2010. (Beginning in 2014, small business tax credits will cover 50 percent of premiums.)

IF YOU ARE A SENIOR:

BEGINS TO CLOSE THE MEDICARE PART D DONUT HOLE—Provides a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the donut hole in 2010. Effective for calendar year 2010. (Beginning in 2011, institutes a 50% discount on brand-name drugs in the donut hole; also completely closes the donut hole by 2020.)

FREE PREVENTIVE CARE UNDER MEDICARE
—Eliminates co-payments for preventive services and exempts preventive services from deductibles under the Medicare program. Effective beginning January 1, 2011.

HELP FOR EARLY RETIREES—Creates a temporary re-insurance program (until the Exchanges are available) to help offset the costs of expensive health claims for employers that provide health benefits for retirees age 55-64. Effective 90 days after enactment.

IF YOU HAVE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE:

NO DISCRIMINATION AGAINST CHILDREN WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS—Prohibits health plans from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Effective 6 months after enactment. (Beginning in 2014, this prohibition would apply to adults as well.)

NO RESCISSIONS—Bans health plans from dropping people from coverage when they get sick. Effective 6 months after enactment.

NO LIFETIME LIMITS ON COVERAGE—Prohibits health plans from placing lifetime caps on coverage. Effective 6 months after enactment.

NO RESTRICTIVE ANNUAL LIMITS ON COVERAGE—Tightly restricts new plans’ use of annual limits to ensure access to needed care. These tight restrictions will be defined by HHS. Effective 6 months after enactment. (Beginning in 2014, the use of any annual limits would be prohibited for all plans.)

FREE PREVENTIVE CARE UNDER NEW PLANS—Requires new private plans to cover preventive services with no co-payments and with preventive services being exempt from deductibles. Effective 6 months after enactment.

NEW, INDEPENDENT APPEALS PROCESS FOR NEW PLANS—Ensures consumers in new plans have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal decisions. Effective 6 months after enactment.

MORE FOR YOUR PREMIUM DOLLAR—Requires plans to put more of your
premiums into your care, and less into profits, CEO pay, etc. This medical loss ratio requires plans in the individual and small group market to spend 80 percent of premiums on medical services, and plans in the large group market to spend 85 percent. Insurers that don’t meet these thresholds must provide rebates to policyholders. Effective on January 1, 2011.

NO DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SALARY—Prohibits new group health plans from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that have the effect of discriminating in favor of higher wage employees. Effective 6 months after enactment.

IF YOU DON’T HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE:

IMMEDIATE HELP FOR THE UNINSURED WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS (INTERIM HIGH-RISK POOL)—Provides immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition – through a temporary high-risk pool – until the Exchanges up and running in 2014. Effective 90 days after enactment. (Beginning in 2014, health plans are banned from discriminating against all people with pre-existing conditions, so high-risk pools would phase out).

EXTENDING COVERAGE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE UP TO 26TH BIRTHDAY THROUGH PARENTS’ INSURANCE – Requires health plans to allow young people up to their 26th birthday to remain on their parents’ insurance policy, at the parents’ choice. Effective 6 months after enactment.

GENERAL REFORMS:

COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS—Increases funding for Community Health Centers to allow for nearly doubling the number of patients served over the next 5 years. Effective beginning in fiscal year 2010.

MORE PRIMARY CARE DOCTORS—Provides new investment in training programs to increase the number of primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals. Effective beginning in fiscal year 2010.

HEALTH INSURANCE CONSUMER ASSISTANCE—Provides aid to states to establish offices of health insurance consumer assistance to help consumers file complaints and appeals. Effective beginning in FY 2010.

A NEW, VOLUNTARY, PUBLIC LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE PROGRAM—Creates a long-term care insurance program to be financed by voluntary payroll deductions to provide benefits to adults who become functionally disabled.

Effective on January 1, 2011.

And in 2014, once the exchanges have formed, more insurance reforms go into effect, including:

NO DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ADULTS WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
BAN ON HIGHER PREMIUMS FOR WOMEN


PREMIUMS BASED ON AGE CAN ONLY VARY BY A MAXIMUM OF 3-TO-1 RATIO CAP ON OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES for private health plans

Oh and on a final note, here is a great video showing the hypocrisy of Republicans who once supported a mandate for insurance coverage and who now deem such a mandate unconstitutional which is a specious argument based on how they are framing it.  Whereas the Republicans characterize the small tax people who choose not to get health insurance as a fee, whereas Democrats should, if they are not already, characterize it as a tax break for those that get insurance i.e. everyone has to pay this tax but if you buy insurance the tax is waived.

P.S.

Health Care for America Now! is running a new $1 million dollar ad to show support for the Democratic members of the House in Republican leaning districts who support the bill.
Per the website:

Washington, DC  - Health Care for America Now (HCAN) – the nation’s largest health care campaign – and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) will run cable and broadcast television ads in 14 Congressional districts thanking individual members of Congress for stopping health insurance companies from killing reform. The ads applaud the members of Congress for being on our side against the 2,049 health insurance company lobbyists and the $86 million in misleading ads. The $1,000,000 ad buy will run for one week starting Tuesday. Each ad is also sponsored by a grassroots organization in the state.

The ad titled “On Our Side” will air in the districts of the following members of Congress:  Alan Mollohan (WV-01), Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15), Chris Carney (PA-10), Allen Boyd (FL-02), Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Mark Schauer (MI-07), Gary Peters (MI-09), Bill Foster (IL-14), Brad Ellsworth (IN-08), Baron Hill (IN-09), Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11), and Debbie Halvorson (IL-11).

Here is the ad for my own representative who switched her vote due to calls from constituents like me (or so I like to think).  Her switch will guarantee her my vote come November and continued donations to her support her re-election.

See Health Care Reform: What did you miss? for an index of Care2 health care related articles.

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Scott Pasch

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78 comments

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8:42PM PDT on Apr 10, 2010

Ok , for those of you too stupid to see this from a clear perspective let me try something else. This is the situation. If someone from government came to you today and said, you have no choice but to buy this brand new pickup truck, and i don't care if you can afford the payments, your gonna buy it. would this be ok for you? if they then said you must buy the blue one with power windows ,even if you don't want power windows. would this also be ok for you? this is what our government is trying to do to us. and then they are also saying that it matters not if you can afford this medical coverage, your gonna be fined 750 the first offense, and more each time you violate this order. Now ,think about your grandmother, who lives on a set income and has no extra money, but is forced to buy insurance anyway, so she either must starve or lose her home because of it. is it ok to put your grand mother out on the street cause the insurance companies want to make billions more each year?
and don't think they intend to stop with this violation of your freedoms . they are already working on a bill to force you to put your hard earned retirement money into an annuity that will maybe pay out 2 to 3% a year when you can close your eyes and chose a stock that returns 3 times that much.no choice here either, you will transfer your retirement money to this new plan.

7:51PM PDT on Mar 28, 2010

Frankly, I think comparisons to the Third Reich are missing the point. I think we are closer to the days of the French Revolution.

6:01PM PDT on Mar 27, 2010

I rely on factcheck.org for my information. The Republicans tell too many lies and can't be trusted anymore.

8:47PM PDT on Mar 26, 2010

Alexander T..... I object to the tactics that both sides used in this "debate". Mostly the information was actually in error, or frankly disinformation. Much of the propaganda on both sides was, by intention, designed to produce a emotional response. That response was is anger. I am once again reminded of the age old tactic used by government throughout the ages: "Divide et impera".

There were better answers than this Bill. Objectively we should look at who were the real winners here. Who was pulling the strings.

That being said, being a libertarian, I am uncomfortable with some imposing their will on others using Government as a coercive tool. And yes, I had the same objections to the Bush NeoCons and their wars. Being a libertarian get hammered by both sides.

The historical perspective was given so that, hopefully, people will understand the dangers of large, powerful, and coercive government. Today, Liberals have won the day. But government has, once again, grown more powerful. Chances are, the pendulum will swing the other way. The now more powerful government remains. The people are further alienated from each other. This could end very badly.

3:50PM PDT on Mar 26, 2010

Jim:

Thank you for having the grace to site your sources, but I reiterate my overall point that invoking Godwin's Law as a protest to a bill that does little other than to say, "Stop denying people coverage when they get sick," is rather... erroneous to be kind.

I don't profess to be an expert in the politics of WWII, but even I seem to know more than most of the people screaming that the health care reforms are analogous to the rise of the Third Reich. Invoking the specter of Adolf Hitler does not constitute a point, and in fact I'm biting my tongue for some of the more colorful language I want to use because I feel that people like Loral throwing out Nazi comparisons like beers at a frat party cheapens the gravity of what really happened back then.

I hope this makes my stance a little clearer.

1:56PM PDT on Mar 26, 2010

Key elements of the German Nazi State
-----A Government that claimed to be for the German people and made extravagant promises ..
------A Government that was heavily connected to powerful private business interests including their Military Industrialists, and Banks.
------ A Government that came out of the hyper inflation of the Weimer Republic, as the German Government printed huge amount of money to fund the Governments attempt to come out of the Depression. (By the way, the Bankers made a lot of profit out of this.)
-----A Government that was empowered by the demise of the German Middle Class, which had been destroyed by the twin curses of the Great Depression and the inflationary practices of the Government printing money.

^^^^The Enabling Act (Gleichschaltung), gave the German Government the power to enact laws without parliamentary approval. (You might compare this to the infamous Executive Orders that became so common under the Bush regime. Those Executive Orders have been defended and expanded under the Obama Administration.)

By the mid 1930's the German Federal Government had, essentially, taken over most state and local legislative powers. (Consider the effect of unfunded Federal Mandates to the States that take up 2/3's of the States budgets.

1:55PM PDT on Mar 26, 2010

Another thing people don't understand that the early supporters of the Nazi regime in Germany were indeed Socialists. Those who opposed them were called "Liberals". That last name does not bear a resemblance to current "Liberals". The political opposition to the rise of German National Socialism today would better fit "Libertarian" or "Jeffersonian". Those who opposed the rise of the "National Socialist German Workers' Party" (Nazi party) did so on the basis of resistance to the governments control over most elements of the German Republic and increase in repression of the human rights of the German people using nationalism as the excuse for the repression. .

1:54PM PDT on Mar 26, 2010

Alexander T... Actually, the Nazi party was losing strength "support for the Nazis had fallen to 33.1%, suggesting that the Nazi surge had passed its peak by 1933" Sensing this they staged on 27 February 1933 Reichstag fire. This Reichstag fire was blamed on a communist conspiracy and the KPD's offices were closed, its press banned and leaders were arrested. Hitler convinced President von Hindenburg to sign the "Reichstag Fire Decree", suspending most of the human rights provided for by the 1919 constitution of the Weimar Republic. A further decree enabled preventive detention of all communist leaders, amongst many thousands of others.

"Since the new government lacked a majority in parliament, Hitler held a new election in March 1933. With the communists eliminated, the Nazis dominated the election with 43.9%, and with their Nationalist (DNVP) allies, achieved a parliamentary majority (51.8%)." ...... Notice that once the Communists were eliminated as a political force most of the Communists voted for the OTHER Socialist Party.

9:39AM PDT on Mar 26, 2010

It is perhaps discourteous for me as a citizen of the UK to intervene in this vitriolic domestic controversy (though seen from here the spectacle has seemed quite ludicrous - having even today visited my National Health Service doctor for a consultation: free of charge, of course). However, I felt I had to respond to the remarks of Pedro J.C. and speak up for the anarchists; his remarks are a travesty. For those who would like to see a vision of a fair, just, peaceful and harmonious society I suggest you read 'Mutual Aid', the work of Peter Kropotkin, one of the greatest anarchist writers. There are many others with anarchist leanings: Tolstoy for example. Here in Britain we can look to great figures like William Blake and William Morris, and in the US Emma Goldman.

8:30AM PDT on Mar 26, 2010

Loral O:

I'd be more inclined to take your opinions seriously if I believed you actually knew what socialism is. And since you felt the need to invoke Godwin's Law, I'm going to have to disillusion you with education.

The Third Reich was democratically elected and did not consolidate power through government takeover as you erroneously believe. They did not need to takeover industries in Germany when they could simply give them government contracts and tax breaks. Governments works programs were implemented, but then the US did the same thing to provide jobs during the Great Depression.

The Third Reich was actually very pro-business. They gave contracts and tax breaks to many companies that are still around today. Huge Boss, Siemens, IBM... the VW bug was actually made because Hitler told the manufacturer that one step to revitalizing the German economy and raising the standard of living was to create an automobile that was affordable to everyone and easy to maintain. No government takeover involved, he simply did what every effective administrator has ever done and provided incentives to get the job done.

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

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