Saturday, March 20, 2010

Medical Insurance Overhaul

Here is what my congresswoman, Tammy Baldwin, says about the proposed "health care" (i.e. medical insurance) bill. Note that she doesn't say when these things will be in effect, if passed. She also doesn't point out that the clause about pre-existing conditions currently is applicable to children and not adults, as I have heard. However bad the bill is, it has some good parts. I heard one legislator call it a quarter of a loaf. I think she should and will vote yes.

Tammy's thoughts, from her newsletter, start:

After decades of unfulfilled hopes, and a year of intense study and debate, the House plans to vote on a health care reform bill on Sunday.
Health care for all is the issue that brought me into public service. As long as I've been your Member of Congress, I've been working to answer your call to reform our health care system.

What this health debate boils down to is one, simple question: Whose side are you on?
Are we going to improve the lives of Wisconsinites and all Americans; or are we going to improve the bottom line of the insurance industry?

My answer is clear: I stand firmly on your side.

I stand with all of you who have struggled to afford your health care premiums, and copays. I stand with all of you who have been denied insurance coverage, or dropped in your time of need. I stand with all of you who have had to declare personal bankruptcy because of the medical bills from a serious illness, and all of you who face this possibility. The health reform bill that I support addresses all those problems and then some. It’s not perfect, and it's not all I wanted it to be....but it is a good start.

I am eager to pass this measure that will help us move forward and put our families and our economy on safer, healthier ground.

Sincerely,
Tammy BaldwinYour Member of Congress

As we prepare to vote on health care reform, I highlighted specifically how the reform measure will benefit the people I represent in the Second Congressional District (South Central Wisconsin). Under this reform measure:

539,000 people in South Central Wisconsin will see improvements in their current health care coverage;

7,400 with pre-existing conditions will be able to obtain coverage;

Up to 162,000 families will get tax credits and other assistance to help make health insurance more affordable;

Up to 16,800 small businesses will get tax credits and other assistance to help make health insurance more affordable for their employees;

97,000 Medicare beneficiaries will see better care and pay less for prescription drugs because the Medicare Part D donut hole will be closed;

68,000 young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance policy until their 26th birthday;

13,500 uninsured people will have access to health care coverage;

1,100 families won’t have to file for bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs;

6 community health centers in South Central Wisconsin will receive millions of dollars in new funding to care for thousands of new patients.

Under the bill, if you like the insurance you have now, you may keep it and it will improve. The insurance reforms will prohibit annual and lifetime limits, eliminate retroactive cancellation of insurance policies for individuals who become ill while insured, ban coverage denials for pre-existing conditions, and reduce the cost of preventive care.

Equally important, the health care reform bill will cut the nation’s deficit by $138 billion in the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the second ten years – the largest deficit reduction measure in 17 years.

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