The United States House of Representatives is poised to take an historic vote today on whether or not to implement health care reform. You will often hear opponents say that the bill does "not take effect" until 2014, but actually, there are many improvements that will occur right away. This is a good time to reflect on what this vote could mean for all of us.
On the first day that health reform becomes law:
· Annual caps on coverage will be eliminated
· Rescisions - the practice of dumping people even if they have paid their premiums – will be eliminated
· Pre-existing conditions for children will be eliminated, followed later by the elimination of all pre-existing conditions
· Parents will be allowed to have their children on their health insurance policy until age 26
· The "Donut Hole" Medicare Part D drug coverage gap will be decreased with a $250 rebate
In short, in addition to expanding coverage, reducing the deficit and helping to decrease costs, there is a lot other immediate benefits to like in this new bill. We need to encourage our representatives not to blink, and to take this momentous step for all of our citizens.