Last night the House passed two pieces of historic legislation. The first is a comprehensive reform package that extends coverage to 32 million Americans. This bill now goes to President Obama for his signature. The second piece, conducted through a process called reconciliation, makes targeted improvements to the first measure and now heads to the Senate for a final vote.
Without this legislation, Americans across the country of all economic means would see double-digit premium increases as high as 60%.
In this year alone, Americans will feel the impact of reform. The following benefits take effect within months of the president’s signature on the reform bill:
- Insurers will no longer be able to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
- Small businesses would benefit from tax relief that will help them cover their employees.
- There will no longer be lifetime or restrictive annual limits on the amount of care you receive from your insurance companies.
- Medicare beneficiaries will have less reason to worry about their prescription drug bills because of a new $250 rebate for those who fall into the prescription drug "donut hole."
- Children can remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until age 26.
These are critical new improvements to a health care system badly in need of a makeover.
"As the Senate prepares to complete our work on this historic effort," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, "Senate Democrats reaffirm our commitment to reform because we know it’s good for middle-class families, seniors and small businesses in Nevada and all across America."