The New Health Insurance Bill Explained…Simply

My favorite newspaper the WSJ, which of course tilts to the right, presented a quick summary of what is actually in the recently passed health care bill. Below are some of the points the article makes, for those of us whose eyes glaze over these kinds of details I think it is enlightening. You’ll see here it isn’t as crazy or bad as pundits and the far right are saying.

The uninsured are the biggest winners in the new bill. Beginning in 2013, the government will offer subsidies to low and middle income Americans while expanding Medicaid to cover more of the poor. Families earning $29K a year would not have to pay more than 1.5% of this on health insurance.

For the insured, most would see their out-of-pocket expenses capped at $5000 a year for individuals or $10,000 for families. Children could stay on their parents insurance until age 26. Nobody could be denied for pre-existing conditions. People who earn more than $500K a year or families making $1 million a year would pay a new 5.4% tax on top of income tax.

Small employers with less than 25 workers and average annual salaries of $40K would get tax credits, and employers with less than $500K in payrolls would be exempt from being fined if they don’t offer insurance. Big employers would have to pay a fine of 8% of their payroll if they offer skimpy coverage or no coverage.

Big drug companies would lose $125-150 million over the next decade with lower government payments, but would gain business because many more people would fill prescriptions. Insurance companies would have to abandon some of their most profitable practices, like charging older customers more than twice as much as younger ones.

Hospitals would no longer have to give away so much free care, since more Americans would have insurance. Doctors would get an influx of newly-insured patients and a new incentive plan would aim on cracking down on frivolous malpractice suits.

From the looks of it, I think we’re on to something fantastic here…I don’t see all of the things that Republicans and Glenn Beck are yelling about. It’s about time we moved ahead with something like this.