3.06.2010

Weekly Presidential Address: Immediate Benefits of Health Care Reform

This week's Presidential Youtube-Radio Address is once again all about Health Care. Health Care. Health Care.

The President detailed, once again, how broken the health insurance industry is and how big insurance doesn't have any answer for why they're rates are skyrocketing.

The President then takes care to discuss not only the long terms benefits of passing health care legislation, but also the immediate benefit.

Finally, he declared it's time for an "up or down vote" becuase the country can't wait any longer.

From the White House website:

President Obama raises the point that health reform will not only have long-term advantages for the country but will have immediate protections and benefits this year if passed by Congress.


Read the Transcript

Here are a few more points about how health insurance reform measures will benefit Americans this year:

Hold Insurance Companies Accountable:

  • Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all new plans;
  • Prohibit rescissions of health insurance policies in all individual plans;
  • Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
  • Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs;
  • Establish a process for the annual review of unreasonable increases in premiums, requiring State insurance commissioners to work with the HHS Secretary and States.

Protect Consumers:

  • Provide grants to States to support health insurance consumer assistance and ombudsman programs to help consumers;
  • Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
  • Require all insurance plans to use uniform coverage documents so consumers can make easy comparisons when shopping for health insurance;
  • Establish an internet portal to assist Americans in identifying coverage options;
  • Prohibit insurers from discriminating in favor of highly compensated employees by charging them lower premiums.

Ensure Affordable Choices and Quality Care:

  • Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;
  • Create a temporary re-insurance program for early retirees;
  • Require new plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26;
  • Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
  • Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
  • Facilitate administrative simplification to lower health system costs.
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