Unless you were on the moon over the weekend, you know by now that the House made history last night and passed health care reform. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law this Tuesday (along with an Executive Order banning public funding of abortion which he promised the Stupak coalition to secure their votes).
So now what? What will this mean to most of us Americans?
Does passage of this bill mean the end of liberty as Glenn Beck thinks it does?
Or, is health care reform a way to finally end corporate greed, which has enslaved and abused the American people for over one hundred years?
No doubt that many of us woke up this morning confused with mixed feelings about health care reform. But with the millions of dollars dumped into media campaigns by the health insurance industry to defeat reform, it’s no wonder we don’t know what the truth is.
In Nevada alone, the health insurance industry spent over $1.3 million in propaganda to turn public opinion against reform. That money could have been better spent improving health care quality or providing services to more people instead of devising talking points to convince people to tell their members of Congress to vote against passage of reform.
At this point, however, all that talk is over. The best thing we can do now is to give this program a chance. The truth is that most of us will likely see improvement in health care or will be able to save money on premiums.
Challenges to the personal mandate requiring everyone to purchase a private policy are already under way. It is likely that changes will be made which, hopefully, will include Medicare of all or a robust public option available for everyone before that part of reform kicks in around 2014.
What’s really important is that for-profit health insurers will no longer be allowed to deny coverage to children with asthma or diabetes.
Those who are right now suffering because they can’t get treatment for cancer and other diseases because insurers consider these “preexisting conditions” will have immediate access to a super fund for medical care.
Other provisions which take effect as soon as the President signs the bill into law include a huge tax credit for employers for what they pay to cover their employees. Also immediate is a provision which stops insurance companies from cancelling policies of those with cancer or chronic illnesses: insurers will no longer be allowed to put “lifetime caps” on policies which pull the plug on people during chemotherapy and other life-saving treatments.
Overall, it is my belief that h.c. reform will be beneficial for the vast majority. It won’t be beneficial for some industry moguls who have been reaping profits for decades without providing quality service.
There are details in this bill which will need to be worked out, and we will have to stay involved and active, providing input to our representatives in Congress. A majority of 220 put their political careers on the line yesterday to vote for this bill and that tells me that there is a lot more at stake than just pressure from the White House or Speaker Pelosi.
The best thing we can do right now is to take the next few months to give this reform law a chance and to stay active to work out its bugs; we, as voters, will give congress our answer in the Fall and let them know whether they made the right decision yesterday.