Sunday, Congress passed the most important reform to America’s health care system since Medicare in the 1960s. After years of fierce debate, 14 months of intense GOP misinformation and hundreds of millions of dollars spent in opposition by industry lobbyists, health care is finally coming to all Americans —and peace of mind to millions more about the health care they already receive.
The health reform bill President Obama signed into law is not perfect, but it does reign in the worst excesses and abuses by greedy insurance companies.
While several of these reforms will take time being fully implemented, many major benefits take effect immediately. Three of the 18 immediate provisions include; no denying coverage to children with pre-existing medical conditions, eliminating annual and lifetime limits on coverage, and new tax credits for small businesses offering health insurance to employees. This landmark bill also immediately requires 80% of premium payments go to actual medical costs, not desk jobs, executive bonuses and additional profits. Premiums can only go up if medical costs go up.
My 88-year-old father, who has great health care coverage thanks to Medicare and VA benefits, tearfully told me he’s grateful he’s lived to see Health Insurance Reform legislation pass. I’m grateful also.
Thanks to all the brave representatives who recognized the critical need for reform by voting to support this historic bill. Specific thanks to Congresswoman Betsy Markey, for voting her conscience, putting people before politics and insurance industry profits. This courage is truly what makes our country great.