Salient features of the Healthcare Reform bill
For the first time, most Americans would be required to purchase insurance, and face penalties if they refused.
- Bill was expansion of coverage to 32 million Americans who are currently uninsured.
- Bill will also weaken the grip of health insurance companies over the market by preventing them from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions and restrict their ability to raise premiums or drop coverage.
- Children may remain on their parents’ insurance policies until the age of 26 and insurance companies would no longer be able to impose lifetime limits on policies. The costs of obtaining insurance cover would also fall for older people and those with pre-existing conditions through their participation in “high-risk pools.”
- Small business would also derive such benefits by participating in state-level exchanges and some businesses would face penalties for not providing their employees with insurance.
- The bill, which will soon be signed into law by President Obama as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will also bring down the deficit of the country by $143 billion over 10 years and by over a trillion dollars within the following 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
- It will cost the American taxpayer $940 billion, according to the CBO.
- Coverage would be required for incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, $29,327 a year for a family of four.
- Childless adults would be covered for the first time, starting in 2014.
- The insurance industry, which spent millions on advertising trying to block the bill, would come under new federal regulation.