Barack Obama has made history again!
This time he did it by getting a land mark legislation cleared that is potent enough to mend America's sagging health care system.
Let us take a look at this $940 billion initiative that is capable of providing medical coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans!
Salient Features -
· The health care reform offers medical insurance coverage to 32million people (out of the total 50 million uninsured)
· Everyone has to be insured or pay a fine, starting from the year 2014. Low income people are exempted.
· Insurance companies cannot deny insurance coverage to people with medical problems, neither can they charge them heavily.
· Parents can cover their children up to the age of 26 years
· Higher premiums for women are prohibited
· Medicaid programme (federal -state health care programme for the poor) will be offered for a family of four with income up to $29,327
· Tax on high-cost insurance plans to be stalled temporarily
· From 2011, seniors will receive discount (initially 50% off) on brand - name drugs
· It is not mandatory for employers to offer medical coverage. However they have to pay a fee if the government subsidizes their employees' coverage
· No insurance policy is required to cover abortion. In case of policies that cover abortions, the individual will be required to pay separately. Exceptions are cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger.
Why oppose Barack's Bill?
Of course the Republicans are aware of the impact that the bill would have on the general public, but they are wary of its fall outs -such as higher taxes and other financial liabilities. It is also clear that the financial burden arising from the bill will be lessened by raising resources from high - earning people ( those earning more than $200,000) or married couples earning more than $250,000.
Obama announced that he was open to the Republican ideas. However only one of their demand, that for a raise in the payment for primary care physicians under Medicaid, was considered to be included in the Bill.
Despite its short comings, Obama's bill has made an attempt to support ordinary citizens.
It looks like he certainly can!
Dr Reeja Tharu/S