Monday, November 9, 2009

What's in the House bill?

The health reform bill that passed the House is not perfect. But in my opinion, it includes lots of good stuff! If this version becomes law (big "if" - there is still a long way to go) - the following things would happen:

Insurance companies would not be allowed to turn you down or charge you more because of a pre-existing condition.

There would be caps on annual out-of-pocket expenses - $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for a family. Just think - an accident or illness would not necessarily result in bankruptcy. What a concept.

Insurance companies could not say "Sorry, we have spent too much on you. We're not paying any more." There would be no lifetime caps on the amount they would have to cover.

A temporary national high-risk pool would help cover the uninsured right away.

In 2013, an Insurance Exchange would help individuals and very small businesses obtain coverage.

In 2013, a public option would be available as one choice in the Exchange.

There would also be new insurance co-ops to help provide choice and competition.

There would be a new tax credit for small businesses that provide insurance for employees.

The anti-trust exemption for health insurance companies would be repealed.

There would be federal subsidies for lower-income people to help them buy insurance.

About 96% of Americans would be covered.

There's more. A lot more. Some good, some not so great. But overall, there's a lot to like here. Let's see what happens in the Senate.

Click here for the official summary of the House bill, or here for the entire bill. Here is another good summary.


  1. I'm turning blue from holding my breath! I just received a denial for payment from my insurance company for a $327 bill for lab tests! My doctor wanted to find out why I keep going to the emergency room with my asthma. She thought it was allergy induced. Turns out anything allergy is NOT covered by my insurance... WHAT? Are you serious? No tests, no shots, no nothing...

    Another stack of bills to pay while listening to people rant about how "TERRIBLE" health care for everyone is...

  2. Sounds pretty good to me. I just worry about the subsidies part with the nation already so far into debt and so many people out of work (and, therefore, unable to pay taxes). I'm interested in seeing how all this turns out.

  3. Good job on the research and yes, it still is a big uphill battle with the Senate now.
    Here's hoping they can reign in "Joe" Lieberman and the rest of the "gang of six" on Capitol Hill.

  4. Still, costs need to be controlled. And that means that fee for service has to go. I'm happy for the bill, but we're still just improving the same bad system. It needs to be restructured. See that happening?

  5. Bruce: it'll be restructured, all right. Not in a good way. I guess we'll all have to wait and see.