Thursday, September 23, 2010

Grateful for the Health Care Reforms That Start Today

Some provisions of the health care reform act go into effect today.

Lifetime limits on coverage end. Insurance companies can no longer drop coverage without due process. You can't be refused insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Sick kids cannot simply be dropped. And one change that affects the Gruntleds directly is that children can stay on their parents' policies until they are 26, instead of 19. For the class for whom college is the norm, and further study is extremely likely, the years from 19 to 26 mostly mean no income to pay for insurance. This change is a real boon to our kind, and to all young people in a recession.

The health care reform was long overdue. It is not perfect - no bill that can pass Congress ever will be - but it contains many good improvements. Including those that start today.

20 comments:

Victoria Crowell said...

Indeed. Had these reforms started earlier, I would never have had a lapse in insurance for three months or so until my grad school insurance kicks in - grad insurance I am very thankful for!

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's wonderful. Now several insurer's have dropped child-only medical policies, due to the Obamacare requirement that they cover any child, any time.

Just the first step on the road to government controlled medical care.

Anonymous said...

sorry, that's "insurers"

Anonymous said...

Yes, this great new law just caused my employer to drop my current provider so they could consolidate into one health care provider. And really annoyed that this law no longer allows me to use the funds in my HSA to cover over-the-counter medicines unless I get a doctor's prescription for them. Who in the world is going to go get a doctor's prescription for an OTC medicine? Only those idiots in Congress could have thought this up as a way to squeeze more taxes out of the people.

Belinda said...

Nice to hear that you and Victoria are happy. I think things will change for the better after the election. I hope Mr. Obama's presidency do for the country what Jimmy Carter's did, Inoculate this country for at least fifteen years from intrusive, abusive, big government. Even Democrats who who are voted for Obama care are running from it this election cycle.

Gruntled said...

Belinda:

Which part of today's reforms do you think are bad things?

Belinda said...

All parts. Why? They are all mandated by a government that will never and can never care for me and my family as much as I do. It is supremely arrogant and dangerous for it to think that it can. Mr. Obama himself thinks of us as clinging to our guns and Bibles you know, ignorant.

Whit said...

Gruntled, why is it a good thing, for example, for insurance companies to be prohibited from giving consumers a choice between a more expensive policy with no lifetime cap, and a less expensive policy with one?

Does it seem rational to create a system in which someone can wait until he gets sick before buying insurance? That's hardly insurance.

I do think that creating an ADR system to enforce contract rights under insurance policies is a good thing to make sure companies live up to their contractual obligations. I confess that I am unfamiliar with these particular provisions of ObamaCare. But the ADR system should also protect the company from having to pay claims, or offer insurance, where it is not required by the contract. If you buy, and pay for, a guarantied renewable policy, you should not get dropped if you get sick. If you pay less for a policy without the guaranty, why shouldn't the company be able to drop you? Or if you have lied on your application and that lie is material to the coverage decision, why should you be able to enforce the contract against the company?

Bill said...

It seems Mr. Obama's policy on health reform is,"If it ain't broke fix it until it is".

Gruntled said...

Bill: each of these reforms seems like fixing broken things. Do you not agree?

And 35 million people without health insurance seems like a flaw in the "system" which costs everyone. That would also seem better fixed than ignored.

Gruntled said...

Whit:

"Does it seem rational to create a system in which someone can wait until he gets sick before buying insurance? That's hardly insurance."

Everyone will be required to have insurance. No one can wait until they are sick.

c3 said...

I agree that PPACA will eventually do much to improve access. But it will not reduce costs and that's at the heart of poor access. It also does little for quality.

COST

QUALITY

ACCESS

Without addressing all three the "system" remains broken

Bill said...

Apparently the vast majority Americans think the President's cure is worse than the disease. Even Dem's are running away from the fix. In his arrogance he has over reached. As he famously repeated, " Elections have consequences". I am looking forward to the consequences of the next election.

Whit said...

Gruntled:

So, because prohibiting insurance companies from doing underwriting on new policies as they do with every other kind of insurance (no pre-existing conditions) creates a problem of people waiting to get sick before buying, you then "fix" that new problem by forcing people to buy something they would not otherwise buy. Leaving aside the constitutional question, seems like we should look for a solution to access (like C3 does) that does not create a new problem or require a lot of government coercion and micro-managing.

Since you can't buy life insurance if you have terminal cancer, should we force companies to issue policies to such people, and then force everyone to buy life insurance? Same logic - or lack thereof.

MM said...

curiously, the health reform act has freed up abstinence funding....for those 8th grade and under.....and those of us in public health who face major cuts in other modes of prevention are pleased to have this windfall

Betty said...

It will also pay for abortions thanks to Bart Stupack. Are you happy about that?

Gruntled said...

"The Health Care Reform Bill prohibits the use of federal funding by health insurance companies to pay for abortions, except in the cases of incest, rape, or if the life of the mother is in danger. This means that the Health Care Reform Bill basically “honors” the Hyde Amendment, originally passed in 1976. Many abortion and civil rights groups, such as the National Abortion Federation, feel that the Hyde Amendment prevents low-income women the access to abortions."

http://www.examiner.com/women-s-health-in-national/obama-signs-abortion-order-into-health-care-reform-bill-to-continue-no-federal-funding-for-abortions

Bart M. said...

How long does an executive order last?

Gruntled said...

An executive order has no built-in time limit.

Whit said...

Indeed, this executive order lasts only as long as this President thinks it is to his political advantage to have it last.