Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthcare Reform Bill Passed March 21 to be Signed by President Obama

On Sunday, March 21, the House passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or H.R. 3590). The final vote was 219 to 212, as reported on the NPR website, and the bill will now go to President Obama to be signed.

More than 30 million Americans will now have access to healthcare. The $940 billion bill will "extend health coverage to most Americans," as reported on NPR. "Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides health insurance to the poor and disabled, will be expanded to cover all adults earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level."

Additional highlights of the healthcare bill include:
  • Individuals and small companies will have access to private health insurance via exchanges run by the states
  • Those who do not buy insurance, and "most employers who do not offer coverage to workers," face fines
  • "All but about 5 percent of non-elderly Americans will ultimately be covered"--about half through Medicaid and half through private insurance
  • "There will be a broad education effort, so that people understand what's in the legislation," said Executive Director of Families USA Ron Pollack
  • The Congressional Budget Office "has estimated that the legislation will reduce the federal deficit by $143 billion over the next 10 years"
>> To read the original NPR article "House Passes Historic Health Care Bill", click on this link:

>> To read the related article "What Are The Immediate Effects of Health Bill Passing?", click on this link, which includes specific information about help for the uninsured, healthcare changes we may see in 2010, Medicare, coverage of kids, changes to insurance, and tax credits for businesses.

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