Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What will Health Insurance reform mean for you & me?

Good question! Here's what the current proposals include:

1. Affordable coverage – New rules will limit health insurance premium increases, and tax credits will make premiums affordable for middle-class families and the self-employed. Credits will be refundable – so you get a check if the credit exceeds your taxes – and provided on a sliding scale up to $88,000 in income for a family of four. Small employers will also receive credits to offset the cost of coverage for their employees.

2. Peace of mind – New rules will prohibit health insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions, age or gender and from canceling your health insurance if you get sick.

3. Secure coverage – New rules will cap out-of-pocket costs, the leading cause of medical debt and individual bankruptcies, and annual and lifetime insurance limits will be prohibited.

4. Access to care in your community – New programs such as college loan forgiveness will provide incentives to increase the number of medical providers in rural communities.

5. Choice & competition – Reform will allow you to keep the insurance you have, if you like it, or provide you the option of buying insurance from a different provider in a new health insurance marketplace. This will allow you to compare plans, foster competition and make buying health insurance more like buying any other product.

6. Better Care – Health insurance companies will be required to spend a greater amount of premiums on medical care. There will be incentives for insurers to promote prevention of health problems, coordinate care, and reduce medical errors – all things that reduce costs.

Health reform will strengthen and protect the best of rural America – family farms and ranches, small businesses and prosperous communities. A fair health insurance system will protect genuine opportunity to earn a living, raise a family and prosper in a small town. Reform that guarantees affordable care will foster a system of family farms, ranches and small businesses.

A balance between self-interest and the common good means we cannot allow people to be driven out of business simply because they cannot afford the ever-rising cost of health insurance. And it is not good enough to have people die from waiting too long to go to a doctor because they are uninsured. Please take action today!

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