Health Care Reform
In November, 2009, the House of Representatives took an historic first step in providing Americans accessible, affordable, high-quality health care by passing a major health care reform package. In December, the Senate passed its version of health care reform which differed from the House version.
The House approved the Senate's version and also passed modifications to that version in a process called "reconciliation"-- which is predicated on the House first agreeing to the Senate's passed version.
Those modifications close the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole,” remove the backroom deals for individual states, eliminate overpayments to private insurance companies offering Medicare Advantage plans, and expand the savings to the federal deficit over ten years to over $1 trillion.
One of the most important modifications for New York State that the House has made to the Senate proposal is a $2+ billion improvement for New York’s Medicaid budget in just the first year (in 2014). The impact on the NYS Medicaid budget is a swing from a projected increased cost of over $700 million, to a project savings of $1.3 billion—and again, that’s just the first year of implementation of this provision.
I’m proud to have voted for this package of health care reforms. Together, they go farther than any other health care legislation in my lifetime-- and probably yours-- in extending health care coverage and reducing health care costs over time. Key immediate benefits of the legislation include:
- Free preventive care under Medicare—no co-payments and deductibles for seniors.
- Helps "early" retirees with pre-Medicare, temporary coverage for those between ages 55-64. · Prohibits insurance companies from canceling policies of people with pre-existing conditions, from canceling the policies of people who get sick, and eliminates lifetime caps on coverage.
- Bans discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions. · Bans restrictive annual lifts on coverage, for new plans.
- Requires free preventive care for those under new private plans—no co-payments or deductibles. ·
- Extends coverage of children on their parents' policies to the 26th birthday-- our most uninsured group.
The graphic below links to an innovative on-line tool that will help consumers take control of their health care by connecting them to new information and resources that will help them access quality, affordable health care coverage.
As HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says, “HealthCare.gov helps consumers take control of their health care and make the choices that are right for them, by putting the power of information at their fingertips. For too long, the insurance market has been confusing and hard to navigate. HealthCare.gov makes it easy for consumers and small businesses to compare health insurance plans in both the public and private sector and find other important health care information.”
03/18/10 - Detailed Summary of Reconciliation Bill
11/07/09 - Summary of Manager's Amendment
06/22/10 - Immediate Benefits of Health Care Reform
06/22/10 - New Patient's Bill of Rights Fact Sheet
03/18/10 - Key Improvements to the Senate Bill
03/18/10 - What Health Insurance Does for You
03/18/10 - Implementation Timeline
03/18/10 - Shared Responsibility
03/18/10 - Strengthening Medicare
03/18/10 - Medicare Part D and Donut Hole
03/18/10 - Employers and Health Reform
11/07/09 - Summary of Manager's Amendment
11/07/09 - Paying for Health Insurance Reform
11/07/09 - Controlling Health Care Costs
11/07/09 - Leading Health Economists Support H.R. 3962
11/05/09 - Paying for Health Insurance Reform
10/29/09 - Immediate Investments on the Road to Reform
10/29/09 - Affordable Health Care for America Act
08/14/09 - Making Quality Health Care Affordable
08/14/09 - Paying for Health Care Reform
08/14/09 - Consumer Protections Insurance Reforms
08/14/09 - Public Health Insurance Option
09/23/10 - Early Retiree Reinsurance Program: Already, more than 2,700 businesses, unions, non-profits, and State and local governments have been accepted into this program, representing every state in the nation. Find out how the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program is helping businesses and early retirees in your state