The bill passed yesterday that Pres.Obama was ecstatic enough to personally email me about it at 1:03 am. And here I thought that only Hillary Clinton got 3 am calls.
Here is the section by section summary link of the HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care For America Act
All's well and good,even with a restrictive clause on abortion funding in order to get the conservative Blue Dog Democrats to not derail the bill. But little things niggle.
Such as errors in the statement of intent to ensure that insurance companies will be required to pay out at least 85% of the plan money towards treatment of the enrollee.
"Sec. 102. Ensuring value and lower premiums. Amends the Public Health Service Act to require health
insurance issuers in the small and large group market to meet a medical loss ratio of not less than 85%, effective for plan years beginning January 1, 2010. Directs the Secretary to require that plans in the individual market also meet a medical loss ratio of not less than 85% so long as it does not destabilize the existing individual market. If plans exceed that limit, rebates to enrollees are required. In determining the methodology for the medical loss ratio, the Secretary is to design it to ensure adequate participation by issuers, competition in the market, and value for consumers."
A better summary would have said "If plans do not meet the minimum medical loss ratio, rebates to enrollees are required." This is a section summary, so one would have to read the actual bill for the specific language, which I haven't.
But there is a whole box of goodies, most of which take effect on Jan 1, 2010. No more pre-existing condition based denials, no more rescission, no lifetime caps, immediate provision for a large group of high-risk uninsured till the proposed Health Insurance Exchange (aka Public Option, if I'm not mistaken) comes into existence, etc., etc.
In the spirit of not lettling the perfect be the enemy of the good, we have a bill, warts and all, passed in the House of Representatives. The next milestone will be the Senate Health Care bill and debate- the next blockbuster thriller.
Stay tuned for the epic battle 'Duel in the Sun', starring Harry Reid, Joe Lieberman, Olympia Snowe, Evan Bayh et al.
(Teaser: Will Bayh block debate, even though he said he wouldn't? Will the GOP and Joe Liarman succeed in thwarting the efforts of Harry Reid to get the bill out the door? Will it Snowe or won't it?)