Some of the $938 billion national health care bill that expands coverage to 32 million people has already gone into effect. Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn says it’s not true that none of the provisions will take place for four years.
Opponents have referred to the health care plan as a government takeover. Clyburn says opponents said the same thing when Social Security was implemented, and it cost some members of Congress their seats.
Congressman Clyburn says “This is not about a government takeover.”
Prescription drug coverage for older Americans and children who have been denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions are provisions of the law that will take place this year. Clyburn says beginning this year the health care bill will allow parents to keep their children on their insurance plan until the age of 26.
The law will immediately prohibit health insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Beginning in 2014, the prohibition will apply to anyone with pre-existing conditions, and insurance companies will be stopped from charging patients more because of those conditions.
Immediately after the bill was signed, insurance companies were prevented from dropping a patient’s insurance if that person gets sick. Clyburn says the recissions for chronic illness will be no more.
Beginning this year, older Americans who have reached the $2800 cap on their Medicare prescription drug benefits will be given a $250 rebate. The bill will close the “doughnut hole” completely by 2020.
Also this year, insurance companies will be required to cover preventative services.
Clyburn says many members of the public who criticize the health care plan and have even gone to Washington to protest it will actually benefit from it greatly. He says it’s obvious that some of the protest anger is actually about having a black president, not about any legislation.
The health care bill will be paid for by tax hikes on the wealthy and cuts in Medicare.
About 60 percent of Americans currently get health insurance through their employers. Employees who make less than $200,000 are not likely to see changes.
Clyburn says the legislation removes an anti-trust law exemption that insurance companies have used for years.
Clyburn says a lot of people never believed that the plan would pass, and he believes one of those people was his wife. Clyburn says she emailed him just after the final vote, and he told her that it had indeed become reality.