Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quick analysis of effect of new health care bill

Washington Post article 3/28/2010

Now that all the rhetoric is behind us (you think?) what does the new law mean to each individual. Well there is a site with a situation calculator. Requires just 4 inputs. 1. How you are/not insured now 2. how many in your family 3. Your adjusted gross income. 4. Your marital status. The resultant statement is clear and concise.

Click here for site to analyze what the new bill means to you

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Personal Commentary

Posted 3/23/2010

President Obama has engineered a watered down semi-universal profit driven health care system. His accomplishment will go down in history as one of the major social legislation issues to have been undertaken in generations. To his credit he negotiated placated and modified his way into a victory for politcal accomodation that will (in spite of it's faults) stand the test of time as a Major step forward in American Health Care for all.

Machiavelli said 500 years ago "Change is hard. The losers know very well what they are losing and fight with passion to maintain the status quo. The winners have no experience to know what they are gaining, so are lukewarm in their pursuit" (quotation marks are mine and statements within approximate)

A huge portion of our great nation are currently involved in demonizing and denigrating what has been accomplished. How much better it would be if they stopped for a moment and reflected on their good fortune and proceeded in good faith to modify it to better reflect and adjust to what will become obvious with time needs to be modified.

Monday, March 22, 2010

More Commentary on New Health Ins Bill

The New Health Insurance Law and Your Money

by Smithee on March 21, 2010.

Small group (50 or less employees) health insurance Employers get this years tax break!

complete details of article here

New Health Care Law Summary

By CBS News Capitol Hill Producers Jill Jackson and John Nolen

March 22,2010


* Would expand coverage to 32 million Americans who are currently uninsured.

Health Insurance Exchanges:

* The uninsured and self-employed would be able to purchase insurance through state-based exchanges with subsidies available to individuals and families with income between the 133 percent and 400 percent of poverty level.
* Separate exchanges would be created for small businesses to purchase coverage -- effective 2014.
* Funding available to states to establish exchanges within one year of enactment and until January 1, 2015.


* Individuals and families who make between 100 percent - 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and want to purchase their own health insurance on an exchange are eligible for subsidies. They cannot be eligible for Medicare, Medicaid and cannot be covered by an employer. Eligible buyers receive premium credits and there is a cap for how much they have to contribute to their premiums on a sliding scale.

Federal Poverty Level for family of four is $22,050

Paying for the Plan:

* Medicare Payroll tax on investment income -- Starting in 2012, the Medicare Payroll Tax will be expanded to include unearned income. That will be a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for families making more than $250,000 per year ($200,000 for individuals).

* Excise Tax -- Beginning in 2018, insurance companies will pay a 40 percent excise tax on so-called "Cadillac" high-end insurance plans worth over $27,500 for families ($10,200 for individuals). Dental and vision plans are exempt and will not be counted in the total cost of a family's plan.
* Tanning Tax -- 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services.


* Closes the Medicare prescription drug "donut hole" by 2020. Seniors who hit the donut hole by 2010 will receive a $250 rebate.
* Beginning in 2011, seniors in the gap will receive a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs. The bill also includes $500 billion in Medicare cuts over the next decade.


* Expands Medicaid to include 133 percent of federal poverty level which is $29,327 for a family of four.
* Requires states to expand Medicaid to include childless adults starting in 2014.
* Federal Government pays 100 percent of costs for covering newly eligible individuals through 2016.
* Illegal immigrants are not eligible for Medicaid.

Insurance Reforms:

* Six months after enactment, insurance companies could no longer denying children coverage based on a preexisting condition.
* Starting in 2014, insurance companies cannot deny coverage to anyone with preexisting conditions.
* Insurance companies must allow children to stay on their parent's insurance plans through age 26.


* The bill segregates private insurance premium funds from taxpayer funds. Individuals would have t * abortion coverage by making two separate payments, private funds would have to be kept in a separate account from federal and taxpayer funds.
* No health care plan would be required to offer abortion coverage. States could pass legislation choosing to opt out of offering abortion coverage through the exchange.

**Separately, anti-abortion Democrats worked out language with the White House on an executive order that would state that no federal funds can be used to pay for abortions except in the case of rape, incest or health of the mother. (Read more here)

Individual Mandate:

* In 2014, everyone must purchase health insurance or face a $695 annual fine. There are some exceptions for low-income people.

Employer Mandate:

* Technically, there is no employer mandate. Employers with more than 50 employees must provide health insurance or pay a fine of $2000 per worker each year if any worker receives federal subsidies to purchase health insurance. Fines applied to entire number of employees minus some allowances.


* Illegal immigrants will not be allowed to buy health insurance in the exchanges -- even if they pay completely with their own money."
More info

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Truth is we can improve healthcare and reduce deficit

New England Journal of Health
March 11,2010
Article by Len N Nichols Phd

The Congressional Budget Office says current version of Health Care Reform bill will in fact offer Health Insurance to 30 million not now covered and will reduce healthcare costs over time and reduce our deficit. Conservative myth makers say otherwise. Dr.Nichols full statement here