This will probably be one of the only political posts you will ever see on this blog, but I just got a social action e-newsletter I receive which reminded me that the first wave of health care reform changes came into affect on Sept. 23rd. They don't do anything to change my uninsured condition, but the list of what is coming into affect still excites me a lot. It feels fair and good. And I am still an idealist at heart who likes to think that even major corporate insurance companies can be run in a way that is both sustainable and good. Joel and I had a lot of conversations about this back before we were dating and when we just started dating, because I am the idealist who celebrates whenever any additional "goodness" seems to enter the world, and he is the business major who wonders how insurance companies are going to stay standing now that they must dole out this "additional goodness". I also heard from a nurse practitioner who runs a street clinic that, if the whole nation got health insurance, we actually wouldn't have enough doctors to treat people.
There are problems. But there will be problems no matter what. And now, if our problem is trying to find a way to increase the number of doctors to what the nation actually needs . . . or if the problem is re-managing the exchange of money in the health care system so that insurance companies can stay afloat without abusing their clients . . . it feels better to me than the low income person who goes completely under financially because their health insurance dropped them after they became sick.
So, here's what I am excited about today. It's from www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform.
Starting this past week:
-There is a ban on discriminating against kids with pre-existing conditions. In 2014, no one seeking coverage can be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition.
-Ban on insurance companies dropping coverage because of an unintentional mistake on your insurance application.
-Ban on insurance companies limiting coverage over a lifetime.
-Ban on insurance companies limiting choice of doctors
-Ban on insurance companies restricting ER care to a specific emergency room.
-Guarantee you a right to appeal to an independent 3rd party if you are denied coverage or have your treatment restricted.
-Covering young adults on parent's plan. You're allowed to be on your parents' plan now until the age of 26 or until you have job related insurance of your own.
-Covering preventive care with no cost. "Services like mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, pre-natal and new baby care will be covered and insurance companies will be prohibited from charging deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance".
I don't know about you, especially those of you out there who are economically minded enough to understand the financial impacts of these bans on the companies we rely on to even have insurance in the first place--but I'm pretty excited. :D