Saturday, December 25, 2010

Health Care Reform Pros And Cons

The health care reform bill authored by the Congress has finally been approved. It is imperative that we know the pros and cons of this bill. Let us discuss some facts about this health care legislation that should be common knowledge for every citizen.

The insurance companies will be under the watchful eye of the government. The minimum services to be covered, such as preventive care, will be standardized. The premiums should have a particular percentage to be paid out to patient care. The exchanges will be opened by the year 2014. By then, the insurance companies will not be able to turn down clients because of the previous conditions.

The hospitals or other private health care institutions won't be taken over by the government the way they do in Britain or Canada. Physicians won't be under the employment of the government such as in Britain.

And unlike in Canada where all bills are paid by the government (single-payer system), the US government will only aid individuals in buying insurance from private companies. The other areas of the previous system such as Medicaid for the deprived, employer-assisted insurance, or Medicare for the aged will not be touched. For individuals who are compelled to get insurance on their own, the administration will produce exchanges for health insurance. With this, they could comparatively analyze prices & plans with minimum effort.

Small companies are not obliged to provide insurance for their employees but large companies will be fined if they neglect to buy them insurance. Large companies are those that employ fifty workers or more. For example, an employee for a company of seventy workers purchases insurance on the exchange. Then it is found that he is eligible for the government's low-income credit then the company will be afforded a fine.

According to the individual mandate, every individual must have a health insurance otherwise they will be fined. The intention of the government is to cap premiums for individuals who earn below a certain bracket. A minimum of $695 for every individual each year will comprise the fine. But there are exceptions like hardship on finances and other special cases.

The Medicare program, which is controlled by the government, will continue shouldering the medical expenses for senior citizens. But cost controls will be implemented on health care institutions, especially incentives & penalties. Medicaid will now cover all poverty-stricken individuals unlike before where only the elderly, disabled, children, or pregnant women are covered. Illegal immigrants aren't eligible for benefits. Nor does the government favor elective abortions except in cases of incest, rape, or when the mother's life was endangered.