Our US Congress has just passed the most momentous health care legislation since Medicare, and I hope you are as proud as I am with this important legislative victory for the American people.
Unbelievably, some partisan factions are already trying to overturn healthcare reform before the ink has even dried on the bill signed into law by President Obama. They have decided that their vision of America, where children go without health insurance because their families can’t afford it, families are bankrupted by medical bills, and insurance companies can deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, is a better America than one where everyone has access to the affordable health coverage they need.
I heard Joan Henneberry speak recently. She is the head of Colorado’s Health Care Policy and Finance Department (HCPF). She congratulated our State Legislature on four years of hard work to position Colorado to take advantage of national healthcare reform. As of May, 2010, we will be providing health care to an additional 100,000 Coloradans.
Other IMMEDIATE benefits we will see in 2010 include:
- More affordable Employee coverage for small businesses—a tax credit of up to 35% of premiums to small businesses that choose to offer coverage.
- Affordable insurance options to adults who are denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions through a temporary high-risk pool
- A $250 rebate for Medicare recipients to help fill the Part D “donut hole”—the first step towards closing the donut hole for good
Beginning in 2011:
- 50% discount on prescription drugs, which fall into the donut hole
- FREE preventive care—with no co-payments required—in private plans
- FREE preventive care for Medicare recipients
- Temporary reinsurance program for early retirees—help for employers and retirees age 55—64 struggling to pay expensive premium