On Tuesday, President Obama signed health insurance reform into law. And on Thursday, the Senate made good on its promise to fix and finish reform by passing the reconciliation bill 56-43. A little while later, the house passed the last revision, Yeas and Nays: 220 – 207. Not a single Republican voted in favor for either HR 3590 (HC Reform bill) or HR 4872 (Reconciliation Bill).
There are a number of Health Care Reform provisions that will take effect this year — for example:
- Small businesses will receive significant tax cuts, this year, to help them afford health coverage for all their employees.
- Seniors will receive a rebate to reduce drug costs not yet covered under Medicare.
- Young people will be allowed coverage under their parents’ plan until the age of 26.
- Early retirees will receive help to reduce premium costs.
- Children will be protected against discrimination on the basis of medical history.
- Uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions can join a special high-risk pool to get the coverage they need, starting in just 90 days.
- Insured Americans will be protected from seeing their insurance revoked when they get sick, or facing restrictive annual limits on the care they receive.
- All Americans will benefit from significant new investments to train primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals, and the creation of state-level consumer assistance programs to help all patients understand and defend our new rights.
A number of other provisions of Health Care Reform will be phased in over the next 4 years (e.g., it will take a bit of time to set up the health care exchanges through which folks can shop for better priced health care alternatives).
All of that may be the law of the land today, but the fight for Health Care Reform is not yet over. Now, 13 Attorneys General have filed lawsuits in futile attempts to “repeal the bill.” Our own Governor Gibbons wants to sign on as the 14th state and has instructed our Attorney General, Catherine Cortez-Masto, to enjoin Nevada in those suits. Thus far, Catherine has declined to do so until she can ascertain there is a valid basis in law for such a suit that would not be a total waste of Nevada’s taxpayer dollars … of which we have far too few to actually pay for things like schools and protective services.
It’s time for us, as citizens of Nevada, to let the Governor know that we value and approve of the provisions included in the Health Care Reform bill, that Nevada should NOT sue the federal government to “repeal the bill,” and that he should refrain from wasting our finite taxpayer funds on such a frivolous lawsuit. Click here to send the Governor a message.