Are you coming to bed?
I can't. This is important.
Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD
What's in the Health Care Bill page they list a dozen or so actions that were in the health care bill, any of which could have stood independant of any of the others. Why is it imperative that Congress go all-or-nothing on increased funding for community centers and private plans being required to provide free preventative care?
Of course there are many items in the bill that it makes sense to tie together, but saying that the entire thing needs to be one gigantic bill and that it wouldn't work divided into more manageable pieces is ludicrous.Let's start with how health insurance reform will expand and strengthen coverage:
* This year, children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance coverage. Once the new health insurance exchanges begin in the coming years, pre-existing condition discrimination will become a thing of the past for everyone.
* This year, health care plans will allow young people to remain on their parents' insurance policy up until their 26th birthday.
* This year, insurance companies will be banned from dropping people from coverage when they get sick, and they will be banned from implementing lifetime caps on coverage. This year, restrictive annual limits on coverage will be banned for certain plans. Under health insurance reform, Americans will be ensured access to the care they need.
* This year, adults who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will have access to affordable insurance through a temporary subsidized high-risk pool.
* In the next fiscal year, the bill increases funding for community health centers, so they can treat nearly double the number of patients over the next five years.
* This year, we'll also establish an independent commission to advise on how best to build the health care workforce and increase the number of nurses, doctors and other professionals to meet our country's needs. Going forward, we will provide $1.5 billion in funding to support the next generation of doctors, nurses and other primary care practitioners -- on top of a $500 million investment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Health insurance reform will also curb some of the worst insurance industry practices and strengthen consumer protections:
* This year, this bill creates a new, independent appeals process that ensures consumers in new private plans have access to an effective process to appeal decisions made by their insurer.
* This year, discrimination based on salary will be outlawed. New group health plans will be prohibited from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that discriminate in favor of higher-wage employees.
* Beginning this fiscal year, this bill provides funding to states to help establish offices of health insurance consumer assistance in order to help individuals in the process of filing complaints or appeals against insurance companies.
* Starting January 1, 2011, insurers in the individual and small group market will be required to spend 80 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Insurers in the large group market will be required to spend 85 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Any insurers who don't meet those thresholds will be required to provide rebates to their policyholders.
* Starting in 2011, this bill helps states require insurance companies to submit justification for requested premium increases. Any company with excessive or unjustified premium increases may not be able to participate in the new health insurance exchanges.
Reform immediately begins to lower health care costs for American families and small businesses:
* This year, small businesses that choose to offer coverage will begin to receive tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums to help make employee coverage more affordable.
* This year, new private plans will be required to provide free preventive care: no co-payments and no deductibles for preventive services. And beginning January 1, 2011, Medicare will do the same.
* This year, this bill will provide help for early retirees by creating a temporary re-insurance program to help offset the costs of expensive premiums for employers and retirees age 55-64.
* This year, this bill starts to close the Medicare Part D 'donut hole' by providing a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the gap in prescription drug coverage. And beginning in 2011, the bill institutes a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the 'donut hole.'
The end result is that half of these items never entered into the debate at all. Not a bit. Maybe one or two of the items listed on the linked page were ever evaluated for merit. The rest had their fate tied entirely to the success or failure of the overarching plan for healthcare reform, no matter how unrelated they were to that overarching plan.
I think unrelated amendments should be banned from bills. It's dishonest and not what democracy is about.
Tired of elections being between the lesser of two evils.When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. -Socrates
Yes I would ban them. I would also make it required that each congressperson read fully the bill they are about to vote on.
A ban like that would happen after they eliminate paybacks to politians in the form of lobysts jobs after they retire from congress.
In another words it ain't gonna happen. The Reps and Dems have spent decades in developing this scam.
Yes. If a bill can't be passed on its own merits, then it probably shouldn't be passed in the first place.
If you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
If you set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.