immediate health care changes

The Health Care Bill Passed…Now What?

Though the full legislation won't go into effect until 2014, you can take advantage of some immediate health care changes.

The Health Care Bill Passed…Now What?

Among other things, the new legislation will make tanning more expensive.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—There's a lot of confusion surrounding the far-reaching, landmark healthcare legislation President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday, partially due to its sheer length—2,000-plus pages of legalese—and partially the result of emotional arguments raised on both sides. To shed some light on the immediate health care changes, and some important ones set to go into effect by 2014, turned to Diana Zuckerman, PhD, president of the National Research Center for Women & Families and its Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund and an expert on national health policy. What are your overall thoughts on the bill?

Diana Zuckerman: There are some wonderful things in the bill. I preferred the version that passed the House of Representatives, rather than the Senate version, but the final bill is a major improvement over the healthcare system as it has been. And, contrary to some very vocal critics, it is NOT government-run health care. We will still have private insurance companies, but they will no longer be able to get away with unfair practices, such as refusing to pay for medical care for pre-existing conditions. And they will be required to include dependent children under 26 as family members in family policies. I predict that many people who had thought this bill was not worth supporting are going to be very happy when they realize that they are benefiting from the new law.

R: Do you have any specific advice for people relating to their insurance? Is there anything they can or should do right away?

DZ: Here are just a few examples. People with pre-existing health conditions that were not covered, or who have children with pre-existing health conditions, or who have dependent children under 26 who were not covered in a family plan, should check with their current insurance company to find out when the policies will change. And also check with other insurance companies to see if they are moving more quickly. The law requires these provisions to go into effect six months from now, but some companies may implement them sooner.

R: Is there anything new to take advantage of now, or in the near future?

DZ: In addition to the above examples, retirees over age 55 who are not eligible for Medicare will be eligible for affordable insurance in 90 days. Also, six months from now insurance companies will no longer be able to place lifetime limits on medical costs—an important benefit for people with expensive diseases. In 2011, there will be other new benefits, such as more affordable long-term-care insurance and 50 percent discounts on drugs for some Medicare patients.

R: Do people who don't have health insurance need to find something quickly to avoid a penalty?

DZ: Individuals won't be penalized for not buying health insurance until 2014. I know some people think requiring insurance is not a good idea. But until we do, those of us who are insured are going to pay more for health care, because those of us who pay for our own health care are also paying for uninsured adults and children who go to emergency rooms or have expensive surgery that they can't afford. When an insured person goes to an emergency room after an accident, for example, the bill she pays includes money for her medical care and also a proportion of the expensive unreimbursed care of uninsured people served in that same emergency room.

Read on to find out how smaller parts of the legislation, including the tanning tax, will affect you.


Published on: March 24, 2010

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A dictator? explain...

@ MC

Hi there, I was just wondering on what basis you think Hugo Chavez is a dictator? Presumably being democratically elected in 3 presidential elections (1998, 200, 2006) that have been declared free and fair by the OAS, EU and the Carter Centre would preclude him from being a dictator? I realise that many in the US media choose to frame him in this way, but there is no factual basis for it. Moreover, when he lost a referendum to amend the constitution in 2008 he accepted defeat without a fuss. There have been many Latin American dictators over the years, but, with the exception of Castro, these have all maintained power thanks to the support of the United States (Somoza, Pinochet, Fujimori, etc). So I am interested in how you define a 'dictator'? Looking forward to your reply...


They were not from the us they lived in venezuela and still do. Further more most latin americans I speak to have a different opinion than you about cuba venezuela and the poverty all over latin america. Again I am not saying I agree with all I have heard or that their leaders are perfect, But since I speak to many people from latin american countries who have a different opinion than you and they are latino and they live in their countries and not here I must believe them over you. Also if we did not have a stop of all trade to and from cuba perhaps they would be able to get what they need for their studies and improve their facilities.

Venezuela's health care?? Are you kidding me?

I have no idea who you've been speaking to, but the sad fact is that Venezuela's dictator hugo chavez (I know I should use caps but he is not worth that much) has no means from his country's medical personnel and he has to ask Cuba in this case fidel castro to "ship him" doctors so that Cuban doctor can take care of the Venezuelan people. As I assume that many people know Cuba has been under castro's regime for over 50 years. And the fruits that this communism has produced are calamity, misery and shame. Shame because although the government’s mouth is soiled with lines such as "we here have free quality education and free quality health care", the facts are that Cuban kids cannot study what they are interested in because there' not enough recourses in the universities, so they choose to "do" some "other" things. And the sadly and shameful reality about health care is that many of the doctors have been "shipped-out" to fulfill other interests abroad. The hospitals are in terrible shape (many of them from 40 or 50 years ago, no supplies, no beddings, no equipments, no medications, no sanitation products, no food supplies for the patients and the ill reality is that it just gets worse by the years. Please, if you have someone in the US telling you that the Venezuela's health care is SO great, ask them if they would ever consider going back to the country. I could assure you that the answer will be a negative one. Why, should be your next question. All you need to ask is why are there so many families leaving the country just like it has happened from Cuba.
It is so demeaning for a medical field of a country to be "taken-over" by another. Which in this case, is a chaotic one. Health care in a socialist or in a soon to "come out of the closet" socialist country is a wreck, a terrible accident or to put it in a better descriptive words, a collective suicide. The even poignant reality is that these calamities never affect the ultimate persons who are responsible for it.
Once again, please, don’t say that Venezuela’s h/c is a positive example because it is not. And just like I’ve seen it in Cuba, it is happening to Venezuela. Health care should be private for who can afford it and health aid should be for the one who cannot. What should be looked at is that there are too many “middle man” between the ultimate care provider and the government. That’s where a large part of the monies is staying.

umm rrriiiggghhhtt

so where is the government supposed to get it's money? Just print it? That's what I don't understand. I don't mind chipping more in because it benefits me for people to not drive on crappy bridges. It benefits me to not have to worry about traveling state to state because of whether or not there's some sort of sickness in that state. I'm sorry but the constitution is a living document. If you think that word for word that document applies to our daily lives you're no better than the Christian, Islamic and Jeweish fundamentalists who claim their Holy book is word for word code to live by. Do you think the found fathers knew anything about the internet? What about lesbians in high school wanting to attend prom? And what's wrong with socialism? To be a strong country we need to look out for each other. To be the best in the world we need a healthy workforce, we need a strong army and a stable economy. Not just all on our own, why are you so regressive? Why do you want to bring back the days of the West? First of all grocery stores might as well be socialist, since we all go there for our food. In the words of my late grandmother, grow up! and this whole liberals don't work crap, I've worked almost half my short life, my parents are liberal and equally have worked since teenagers.


I think you're missing the point. I pay for things that I use. You want me to pay for things that you use. That's the big difference.

As for the fifty country thing, read the Constitution. It says that the federal (not national) government shall pay for certain things and shall leave all other responsibilities to the states. Health care is not one of them. Our now National government has decided to supercede the Constitution for its own, and your, socialist agenda. If you don't think that it's a socialist agenda, look of the definition.

liberals work, too...

Hey Bob,
I'm a liberal AND I WORK.. AND I have my own insurance. Wow, imagine that? Get over yourself.


Bob, as much as the govt needs hows that! :)

Look, if you don't like paying taxes then quit driving, quit getting gas, don't use our roads, don't use our bridges and don't use any publicly funded hospital or school. Period. How much of my money do you want? Because if it was up to the conservatives we'd end up paying corporations more, corporations where we can't vote the officers out.

How much you want to chip in Bob? We do not have fifty countries, we have fifty states and an infrastructure that needs yours and my money to thrive. Sure we can argue on how to spend it but nice try blaming it on liberals. Liberals did not take trillions of our dollars to needlessly invade a country.




You folks who scream about government healthcare and all this need to just sit down and retire already. What makes old people so special? Why are old people privilaged to cheaper insurance and perscription drugs? I am 26 and I have a pre-exsisting condition. I also was laid off last year.

"You don't want your kids to pay for this!" but you want your kids to one day have to worry about whether or not they can afford medication? I'm so sick of these screaming old people. If you're really concerned about cost then cut Medicare and Social Security all you want. And now I'm so happy I can finally say this to you old cave-dwelling geriatic blowhearts....KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY HEALTHCARE!

I also feel sorry for those saying they won't visit this or anyother site because of their liberal biased. Yes what an attitude, go through life with your walker listening to only those who agree with you because you are right and the rest of the world is wrong and against you. Good luck with your angry lives old yellers! Thank you President Obama for doing what WE THE AMERICAN people elected you and fellow Democrats to do.

PS Please grammer police, because you can't back up any of your facts go ahead, insult my English skills. It's because I grew up in a conservative area that loved to cut school funding!


I'm just wondering. Just how much of my paycheck do you liberals want? The money does not come from the federal government; it comes from us in our "support" of the federal government. I worked to get health care. Now many of you liberals just think that because I have it, it should also go to you, just because "it's fair." Is the system flawed? Yes. Let's fixed the broken parts. Those of you who think that the system is somehow going to be free, think again, or rather, think for the first time.

Your an Idiot.

First I would like to say that I am so sorry for you your friends and your family because you are such an angry individual.I would also like to add that when a person cannot see beyond little details they miss the whole picture. When I responded to a response that started acusing venezuela to be a terrible country, and that we were becoming like them because of healthcare reform. I guess I fell into that same trap ( you know responding due to anger). I in no way stated or meant to state that hugo chavez is perfect or wonderful (all leaders in all governments make bad decisions including our own) But that he has done some very good things for his people. I have met many people from that country who only have good things to say about him. Not all call him a dictator. They at least have health care. And that is what this is all about healthcare. I want all human beings to have good quality healthcare and not have to worry about cost. If that makes me socialist in your eyes then I am proud to be. I didn't know that caring for your fellow human being had a label. As for my spelling I work 6 days a week and only have break time to rush through anything I want to respond to. If you wish to make a uninformed decision about my education based on that so be it.

Healthcare and idiots that write things putting people down...

You know, I have been told my whole life that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. This was about healthcare so why don't you stick to the subject and quit putting people down. It is idiots like you that make blogs unreadable for alot of people. Why don't you read what she is saying--not how she spelled it. You sound like one of those sit at home, with no job, in a filthy house, letting someone else support you, with no education, couch potatoes, that listens to other people bitch, then writes what they said instead of using your own brain. Oh right, your a couch potatoe so you don't have a brain of your own. Now how do you like that sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation? So THERE!!! QUACK!!!

I'm still not convinced

So you're saying that women's health is on par with fad diets? To quote what Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said to Jon Kyl of Arizona when he griped about funding women's health, you may not need an OBGYN, "But I bet your mother did!"

And you still haven't told me what freedoms are being stolen from me.

You're an idiot

You should learn how to use punctuation correctly instead of applauding a socialist dictator. Perhaps your inability to differentiate between "there" and "their" is a result of a socialist public school education. Since you like Chavez's policies and are also inept in writing a simple paragraph with correct sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation, then Venezuela would be perfect for you!

What you are missing

We could have passed a bipartisan bill in 3 sentences which would have actually lowered our "cost" of health-care not destroy an industry which makes 2% profit. Unfortunately, the drug companies (21% profiteers) bought off the congress.

The particulars:
1. Congress will amend the McCarran-Ferguson Act to allow interstate competition in health insurance.
(We can't have a free market in health insurance until Congress eliminates the antitrust exemption protecting health insurance companies from competition. If Democrats really wanted to punish insurance companies they would make insurers compete.)

2. The exclusive regulator of insurance companies will be the state where the company's home office is.
(That's the only way to bypass idiotic state mandates, requiring all insurance plans offered1 in the state to cover, for example, the Zone Diet, sex-change operations, infertility treatments, unlimited OB/GYN visits, etc.)

3. The federal government is prohibited from regulating insurance companies, except for normal laws and regulations that apply to all companies.
(Freed from onerous state and federal mandates turning insurance companies into public utilities, insurers would be allowed to offer a whole smorgasbord of insurance plans, finally giving consumers a choice.)

That’s it. Three sentences!

health care reform

"We are already a socialist country from BUSH'S ere we just didn't get any of the good partsof socialism like taking care of the people."

If you intended to say that Bush's era was the start of socialism, you really don't know American history. This country has been down the slow path to socialism since FDR during the Great Depression (and those measures actually made the depression last longer). Then, LBJ greatly expanded all that. Both of them were Democrats, by the way.

You are right that this country is not as free as many would like to think. Our freedoms have been slowly eroded away over the past century. I'm not saying that Bush didn't add to it, but he certainly did not start it, and was not the main contributor by any stretch.

Re: get a grip people...

Amen! I'm glad it passed. And people can whine all they want about "the way it was passed," but budget reconciliation was used dozens of times during the Bush administration. There's nothing "unprecedented" about it. It's about time something happened to reform health care, and had the opposing side put forth ANY LEGITIMATE ALTERNATIVE PLANS I might feel sorry for them. Finally, if any people screaming that this bill is going to "take away our freedoms," I prevail upon them to list ONE of those freedoms. So far, the only freedoms I see being taken away are...the freedom to be completely exploited by insurance companies, the freedom to live in constant fear that an illness will cause you to lose your house, the freedom to know that if you get cancer, you'll probably die because the insurance will pay for an insultingly low percentage of your treatment, and the freedom to know that even children with life-threatening genetic diseases can't get insurance. Am I missing anything?

Healthcare reform

I am not sure what dream country you have been living in, But I learned at a very young age That this country is not as full of freedoms as one might think. In fact it is a country that tells you that you are free when you are not. We are already a socialist country from BUSH'S ere we just didn't get any of the good partsof socialism like taking care of the people. My mom works very hard. 6 days a week. She doesnt get a tax return she pays in. When someone engages her in a conversation about welfare or even healthcare reform she says "I am so thankful we have welfar and that we will be getting healthcare reform. It makes me happy to know that at least one of my neighbors is being taken care of.)

Healthcare reform

Yes lets look at venezuela. There people actually get taken care of. Have you Ben there and if so did u talk to a variety of people. I have heard many good things about him and some of his policies. And as for the shape his country is in who is it that gives money to people in the united states for heating fuel (CITGO OIL ) a venezuelan company. He may not be perfect but he is not all bad either.

get a grip people...

So what are you cry babies REALLY crying about?

I personally think this new health care bill sounds great and I can't wait for positive things to start happening for people. I'm sure none of you health care bill haters have ever been in a situation where one simple health matter threw your family in the dirt because you couldn't find coverage for a sick child or other family member.

And why are you crying about "being forced to buy coverage?" HOW is that going to effect you when you're probably at the top of the food chain and already have insurance anyway?

Seriously people...give it a rest. And if you don't like this so-called "socialist website w/ a liberal slant" then go read Fox News instead where you'll DEFINITELY find a non-biased opinion.

Same old liberal dogma, ignoring the facts

I work in the healthcare industry, and I can tell you that there is no free lunch here. And, by the way, this will drive healthcare premiums up even more. Many of the "reforms" in this bill already exist in the large and small group markets of health insurance. When you compare the premiums for group coverage (the real cost, not what you pay if your employer pays part of the cost), the premiums for both singles and families in the group market are 70 - 100% higher than the individual market, primarily because of these mandates. Wake up, America - if you think individual health insurance are already too high, wait until this is in full effect! "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"

...Now What?

A lot of the costs(new expenses and so-called federal savings)will be passed on to the state level. Our states are suffering budget cuts already, do we really want to stretch them any further? It seems to me that tax payers will be paying for whatever procedures the new government entities decide are allowable in the medical treatment of anyone who is using a subsidized healthcare plan. Do we really think that end-of-life care and abortion will not be an issue here? I am most concerned about the methods used to secure the passage of this health care bill. Everyone agrees that there is a problem with the present health care system. Would it not be better to address the problems in increments so that we can deliberate on a reasonable portion at a time? Maybe then the amount of anger and division that is accompanying this process would be reduced.

Save Us Money ??

The idea that because all people will have insurance means as individuals we won't have to pay for the uninsured is silly, the reason most of the uninsured will have coverage is because the government will provide subsidies so they can buy it.

Who pays for everything the government spends money on... you and me !! There has never been anything the government spends money on or tries to fix that doesn't cost more than it did before they were involved, they are lousy money managers.

Though overturning the preexisting conditions issue and getting rid of lifetime limits on individual spending are good things, I guarantee you they will either cost the individual more in insurance premiums or all of us more.

Insurance companies are still in it to make money as are the healthcare professionals... somewhere some how they will charge enough to make money and if any costs come down because the government chips in, will only mean you will pay more in taxes.


Healthcare? Where?

What about the elderly? Who should take care of them? What about your mom who paid for you to go to college, which you cant even now get a job with the degree to take care of her? This is about everyone rich, poor but mostly for those of us who are middle class and dont get anything! No tax breaks! No food stamps! No help! No care!The middle class family does more for the economy than the rich or the poor!!! Let the middle class people decide what this country needs.

Government run healthcare

We already have govertment run healthcare, VA hospitals and clinics. Now you know where we are headed.

People who swallow others' opinions whole may get indigestion

I hear the same buzzwords about the health care initiative coming down the pike whenever there's an argument against it. You guys must get your talking points from the same tv and radio commentators. Speaking as a mother and wife of a solid, middle-class working household that has been laid low by medical problems, and the concurrent struggle to maintain health care coverage at astronomical and crippling monthly rates, because if we got dropped we would never, under the old system, have been taken in by any other insurance plan, I am one who is shouting hooray! from the rooftops and blessing Barack Obama and those who struggled to get this health care program passed.
It's all well and good to argue that the government should get out of people's business when you are doing fine and at the top of the food chain; but if you fall a few rungs due to injury or illness, it's nice to have a safety net. That's one of the many great things about this country, is its consideration of the minority voice, of the little guy, and the weak or struggling. This health care program was passed because there is a democratic system in place that however flawed allows for change and progress to be made to the system itself.... and also allows for healthy debate and argument on both sides.

Deborah & Marc are correct

I'm outraged that this website is slanted in a socialist’s direction. And it is not about health care it’s about taking away our freedoms a little at a time. If you think this is such a great idea you should have moved to a country that had this already in place. And leave us to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

healthcare bill

First - this will result in government run healthcare because despite the demonization of the insurance industry, their mark up is really quite small. Our healthcare premiums will sky rocket or the insurance company will go out of business. There is no way they can afford to accomodate these rules. Doctors will refuse to practice and we will have doctor shortage. All of this is just another step in the government telling you how you can live, breathe, sleep and eat. Give them an inch and they will take a mile. We must repeal this bill. Obamba sounds more and more like Hugo Chavez of Venzuela (please excuse any spelling errors)and look at the shape their country is in. God help us all!

Biased Point of View

This is the second time I've read an article with a liberal slant. I will not go on your website anymore.

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