10 things everyone should know about health care reform...

I was happy to see this bill pass because it affects us directly. We are into our 3rd year of getting individual insurance policies that have to be renewed every six months. After one year we have to find someone else to insure us. And after all that it is just major medical. We now have hopes of getting an affordable policy of some kind that will actually pay for something.

My guess is that no one will be completely happy with the bill but at least it is a step in the right direction. Here are some things about the bill you may not know.

1. Once reform is fully implemented, over 95% of Americans will have health insurance coverage, including 32 million who are currently uninsured. 2

2. Health insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny people coverage because of preexisting conditions—or to drop coverage when people become sick. 3

3. Just like members of Congress, individuals and small businesses who can't afford to purchase insurance on their own will be able to pool together and choose from a variety of competing plans with lower premiums. 4

4. Reform will cut the federal budget deficit by $138 billion over the next ten years, and a whopping $1.2 trillion in the following ten years. 5

5. Health care will be more affordable for families and small businesses thanks to new tax credits, subsidies, and other assistance—paid for largely by taxing insurance companies, drug companies, and the very wealthiest Americans. 6

6. Seniors on Medicare will pay less for their prescription drugs because the legislation closes the "donut hole" gap in existing coverage. 7

7. By reducing health care costs for employers, reform will create or save more than 2.5 million jobs over the next decade. 8

8. Medicaid will be expanded to offer health insurance coverage to an additional 16 million low-income people. 9

9. Instead of losing coverage after they leave home or graduate from college, young adults will be able to remain on their families' insurance plans until age 26. 10

10. Community health centers would receive an additional $11 billion, doubling the number of patients who can be treated regardless of their insurance or ability to pay. 11 http://pol.moveon.org/healthcare/tenthings/?id=19502-1507441-BqUt5Zx&t=1

Sources: 1. Final vote results on motion to concur in Senate amendments to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, March 21, 2010 http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll165.xml

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11. "Affordable Health Care for America: Summary," House Energy and Commerce Committee, March 18, 2010 http://wwwd.house.gov/akamaidocs/energycommerce/SUMMARY.pdf

4. "Insurance Companies Prosper, Families Suffer: Our Broken Health Insurance System," U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Accessed March 22, 2010 http://healthreform.gov/reports/insuranceprospers/index.html

5. "Affordable Health Care for America: Health Insurance Reform at a Glance: Revenue Provisions," House Energy and Commerce Committee, March 18, 2010 http://wwwd.house.gov/akamaidocs/energycommerce/REVENUE.pdf

8. "New Jobs Through Better Health Care," Center for American Progress, January 8, 2010 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=87402&id=19502-1507441-BqUt5Zx&t=2

9, 10. "Proposed Changes in the Final Health Care Bill," The New York Times, March 22, 2010 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=87403&id=19502-1507441-BqUt5Zx&t=3

11. "Affordable Health Care for America: Health Insurance Reform at a Glance: Addressing Health and Health Care Disparities," House Energy and Commerce Committee, March 20, 2010 http://docs.house.gov/energycommerce/DISPARITIES.pdf

Why We Need Government-Run Universal Socialized Health Insurance

Then I started to freelance and John carried our insurance. Then his good job ended and we have insurance but it covers absolutely nothing. John went in for blood work so he could get a prescription filled and got a $1,000+ bill for the lab work. And if we don't have money right now for good insurance we also really hate a big bill like that just so he could get his meds refilled.

We limp along on this temporary insurance you can get for 6 months, and then another 6 months. Then we change companies and limp along some more. Everyone deserves to be able to get insurance and have it be affordable.

I thought this animation was interesting.

Cheap Drugs

Since we are now both freelancers we are dealing with finding medical insurance on our own. In time, after John has more talent jobs, we hope to get SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) insurance. Right now we have some cheap insurance with a high deductible, no drug coverage and we are keeping our fingers crossed. We are getting our drugs at Walgreen's because it is 2 blocks from where we live. I went in to pick up one of John's prescriptions and I mentioned that we had no drug coverage. The prescription was $56 for one month. The young woman helping me asked if I wanted the Walgreen's Drug Card. The card is $20 a year and then John could get 3 months of his prescription for $12. $12 + $20 = $32 for 3 months. Yes I want the drug card. For $35 a year you get a family card. And if you buy any Walgreen's brand item and show your card you get 10% credit on your card for future drug purchases.

What a deal.