January 2010. Federal Health Reform: What Does It Mean for You, Your Family & California?. www.health-access.org www.facebook.com/healthaccess www.twitter.com/healthaccess www.healthcareforamericanow.org. Understanding Health Reform. The Problem: Why do we need health reform in California?
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President Obama’s goals for health reform:
House & Senate Floor Votes
Chairs of Black Caucus, Asian
Caucus, Progressive Caucus,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
On November 7, 2009, the House passed H.R. 3962, Affordable Health Care for America Act
H.R. 3962 passed by a final vote of 220-215
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is negotiating with the Senate and the White House on a final bill
On December 24, 2009, the Senate passed H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
H.R. 3590 passed by a final vote of 60-39
Senate Leader Reid is negotiating with the House and the White House on a final bill
Health reform is farther along in the Congressional process
than anytime since the passage of Medicare over 40 years ago.
“The current system wastes too much, leaves too many Americans uncovered and allows insurance companies to make unjust decisions, such as refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions. Failure on the reform effort is not an option because the status quo is unsustainable.“
White House Commitment
(July 29, 2009)
No Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions
No Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays (yearly caps on for out-of-pocket costs)
No Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care
No Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill
No Gender Discrimination
No Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage
Extended Coverage for Young Adults (family coverage thru 26)
Guaranteed Insurance RenewalPresident Obama’s Health Reform Principles
In each of the ways people gets coverage today (through an employer, a public program, or buying it as an individual), coverage should include:
The exchange is a government-regulated marketplace of insurance plans with different tiers, or levels of coverage, offered to individuals without health care or to small companies. Presumably, the presence of government-regulated exchanges will, like any functioning market, bring prices down so that personal and employer-provided insurance is both comprehensive (i.e., cannot legally skimp out on necessary care or otherwise abuse customers) and competitive (i.e., enough demand will force insurance companies to cut prices to compete). A public health insurance option could provide an affordable and safe choice.
Given the extent of our state’s health care crisis, California could especially benefit from health reform:
Despite significant agreement and a similar framework among bills, there are crucial differences between the proposals. What do we need to fight for?