Posted on : June 11, 2009 | By : Sophie Callahan | In : Health Insurance, Politics
Senator Edward Kennedy’s new long-term care insurance program proposal will help healthy young adults and disabled senior citizens. The bill will provide assistance to disabled people so they can continue to live in their homes, all at an affordable monthly premium. The bill would also extend children’s coverage under their parents’ health insurance until age 26.
The bill would also allow U.S. citizens to buy long term care health insurance for as low as $65 a month from the government. The legislation would also revamp our current health care system with new government rules for insurance companies including guaranteed coverage for people with preexisting conditions to other rules that could limit profits.
The plan is designed to help disabled persons pay for services that would allow them to stay in their homes and not have to move into a nursing home. The disabled people begin paying premiums while they are still working in order to use the services when they are retired. For students and young workers, premiums could be as low as $5 a month.
Unfortunately the costs for the long term care plan would exceed $1 trillion over the next 10 years it is enacted. Though they do not yet know how to cover the costs, one way includes a tax on employer-sponsored health benefits.
Posted on : January 27, 2009 | By : Sophie Callahan | In : Health Insurance
Along with the plans to build up clean-energy industries and boost security at U.S. ports, President Barack Obama is also promoting a plan to expand health insurance coverage in his stimulus package. His stimulus package is a part of the broader effort to pull the economy out of the recession it has been in the past year.
The report released on Saturday outlined the priorities for the two-year stimulus package which included health insurance coverage to the 8.5 million people who lost their jobs this past year. The $825 billion package of spending and tax cuts is a two-year plan that house Democrats have already begun working on.
Senate Version of Stimulus Package
The senate version of the stimulus package includes $149 billion in funds for health care. The package includes a provision that would extend Medicaid to families who have become ineligible because their incomes have increased at a cost of $1.3 billion over the next 10 years. The package also includes federal subsidies for 65% of the health insurance premiums under COBRA for 9months.
Another inclusion in the package is approximately $23 billion for health care information technology, whereas the House version is about $3 billion less at $20 billion.
House Version of Stimulus Package
The house version would allow states to expand their Medicaid programs to low-income, recently unemployed workers at a cost of approximately $9 billion through 2010. The house version of the package includes federal subsidies for 65% of the health insurance premiums under COBRA for one year. The house would also include in their version of the package, a provision that would allow recently unemployed workers ages 55 and older or those with at least 10 years of tenure at their jobs to continue to receive COBRA. They will receive COBRA until they find a job or reach 65 and are eligible for Medicare. The senate version does not include this provision.
“If we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse,” Obama said on Saturday.
Posted on : January 20, 2009 | By : Sophie Callahan | In : Miscellaneous, Politics
“On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord,” Barack Obama said today after taking the oath of office as the nation’s 44th president.
Over 2 million people came to DC to see the swearing in of this country’s first African American president. It is a day that will go down in history. His speech captured many peoples’ hearts and helped us to believe that change for our country is coming. He acknowledged all of the real challenges we face today including the state of our economy that calls for action to create new jobs, and to lay a new foundation for growth. He then goes on to speak about the restoration of science that needs to take place as well as raising health care’s quality and lower its cost.
Health care is a huge priority for Obama and his cabinet. He has a three part plan for reforming our nation’s health care system.
The first part is to give all Americans access to affordable health coverage. This new health plan would be a public health insurance plan similar to that of federal employees. Regardless of any citizen’s health status, it would be available to everyone at an affordable premium. In addition to a public health plan, there would be a service (National Health Insurance Exchange) that would help Americans find private health insurance plans. Also, there would be an individual mandate for children.
The second part to Obama’s health care system is the implementation of reforms to help lower health costs and improve health care quality. Obama wants to provide federal funding assistance to business with high-risk employees. He also believes that health care spending can be reduced by improving health care quality in cases such as preventing medical errors, implementing disease management programs, reforming medical malpractice, and promoting health information technology.
The third part is to promote health and wellness. Obama supports increasing federal spending for efforts to address childhood obesity, education for healthcare professionals, and individual and community incentives to help Americans make healthful choices.
With a new president sworn into office today, we should expect a positive change for our country.