While President Obama (no longer being forced to waste time responding to Republican lies and mischaracterizations of the health care bill) gave a succinct statement of some key provisions of the lengthy Affordable Care Act, which ultimately has been turned into a sock-it-to-’em commercial, it might be helpful for us to have a few bullet points handy (tip of hat to Bensdad, mentioned recently in DailKos in a non-wonky format:
* Health insurance will become cheaper because almost everyone will have it
* You can keep your current insurance— if you want to
* No taxpayer dollars; you pay your policy premium just like now
* If you can’t afford insurance, you get help so you can
* Your adult kids stay on your policy until they’re 26
* Not government-run health care! It’s free market! You still have to get your own insurance; your relationship with your doctor stays the same.
* Want to change jobs but are afraid of losing your insurance if you do? From now on, there will be affordable plans for you to choose from, created by demand
* Near retirement but too young for Medicare? The Feds give money to your employer to supplement your health insurance in retirement, if they offer such a benefit to you already
* Got a pre-existing condition (insurance companies think we all do)? No longer matters; they have to insure you anyway (even if you suffer from that notorious pre-existing condition called “being female”)
* If insurance companies spend too much of your premium on “administrative costs” (including advertising and CEO’s salaries) and not on your care, they have to refund it to you… starting this Augujst. Hahaha.
* Irresponsible freeloaders who can afford to pay for their own health insurance, but don’t, and then end up in emergency rooms will now have to pay a penalty premium/tax for not insuring themselves—- which will mean our own premiums will go down because we won’t have to pick up their costs.
I would, if the chance arises, remind people that preventive care including screening tests is part of the new system, as well a start on digitizing records for efficiency and error reduction. It wouldn’t hurt to say something about Yes, as in any new system, there are start-up costs but, once in place, it will make health care cheaper and better. Instead of emphasizing fee-for-service it will emphasize outcomes and reward good outcomes, making for a healthier America.