Here are some of the highlights:
"Eliminating caps: If you buy a policy, a health care company will not be able to place a lifetime -- or annual -- cap on how much they will cover. This is will be especially important for those diagnosed with serious illnesses, such as cancer, who face steep medical bills.
Pre-existing conditions: The Senate bill includes $5 billion in immediate support to provide temporary coverage to uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions. The money would help you until the new health care exchanges in the Senate bill are put into effect in 2014.
Children and pre-existing conditions: Another thing that's going to be very important, CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger said, is that there will be no exclusion of children with pre-existing conditions.
Dependent children: Your children will be covered until the age of 26.
"Children who are over 21 and may not have a job that pays their health insurance can still be on your policy," Borger said. "That's very important to a lot of families."
Small business tax credits: Those tax credits are aimed at helping small businesses buy health insurance for their employees. Tax credits of up to 50 percent of premiums will be available to firms that offer coverage, according to the Senate's plan.
Preventive care: All new insurance plans, Obama said, will be required to offer free preventive care in order to "catch preventable illnesses and diseases on the front end."
Appeals process: A new independent appeals process will be set up for those who feel that they were unfairly denied a claim by their insurance company.
Help for seniors: If you fall into the Medicare Part D Drug Benefit coverage gap, dubbed the "donut hole," you will receive $250 to help pay for prescriptions."This sounds like an excellent bill to me then. It benefits small business, the uninsured, seniors, children, and is firmly in favor of citizens, not insurance companies and their ilk.
It will save hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions according to the Congressional Office of Management and Budge. (See the full story here, the OMB numbers are at the bottom of the page.) I have heard that doctors would suffer under the new bill. If that is so someone forgot to tell the American Medical Association, which also endorsed the bill.
There is simply no reason to not support this.
Which is why I find it so annoying that all this rests in the hands of a few Democrats. Look, Republicans would never get behind any healthcare reforms, precluding the massive $500 billion giveaway they gave to pharmaceutical companies in 2005, under the watchful eye and arm-twisting of that highly respected conservative Tom Delay. (This is a link to the masterful "60 Minutes" expose on that unholy deal.)
But this is what you can expect of Republicans/Conservatives: obstruction for its own sake, being ill-informed on even their signature issues, and general hatred of all good, rational progress. They hate Obama, period, and were never going to give him a chance. They hated Bill Clinton, and never gave him a chance. Par for the course. What are they for? God only fucking knows. Because they sure don't seem to. God in schools, but no books? Hard to say.
Be this as it may I am much more annoyed by the holdups coming from Democrats than I am Republicans. How stupid, how venile, how spoiled a brat do you have to be to be against a bill that would expand coverage to literally women, children and senior citizens ... and men too? That eliminates the evil little spending caps insurance firms put on your policy? That reduces that bullshit "donut hole" that screws people who can't afford life-saving medication?
People are so ill-informed about this that I swear on a bible I met a woman in the airport who was against health care reform because she thought it would expand the so-called hole in the donut. This was a desperately poor woman in her late 50s, with few prospects and no money, literally scrimping to buy the drugs she needed to live. And somehow she became convinced that the bill would make that worse. It was so tragic. I had a copy of "The Wall Street Journal" with me that day, but I hadn't read it yet. After she left, I opened it and on the front page it described how the new bill would help close the donut hole. I almost wanted to flag down her plane, but it was too late. She still probably doesn't understand.
Is the bill perfect? No, far from it. Will we get a better one if this one doesn't pass? Are you fucking serious? If this thing doesn't pass, forget it, healthcare reform is dead for another 20 years. Does it have the public option? No, and for that I am sorry, and sad. But there comes a time when you have nut up and take the best deal offered, no matter whether it has everything you want in it. Politics is the art of the possible. This bill is possible. The public option, despite the reams of sense it made, and how well it works in every other first world nation, was not possible. We are a dumb nation. And if we think health care reform is expensive wait until there is real educational reform. This is an even bigger problem, because it will make the masses less easily swayed by dumb, illogical arguments. Those in power fear that the most.
It's not a perfect bill, but no one can say it didn't get properly aired and debated. And when I think of American history most of the best legislation was hard to pass. The civil rights era voting legislation was literally passed because LBJ rallied the troops around the recently buried body of JFK. Meanwhile horrible, malignant tumors like The Patriot Act and the passing of the useless Homeland Security mega-office, not to mention the Iraq War, and the horrifying Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act all sailed through when all the votes were tallied.
This is America: the good stuff comes out over the dead bodies of far too many powerful, entrenched, malicious idiots. The horrible stuff goes through with nary a hitch.