2010+March+21+For+Consumers+Clarity+on+Health+Care+Changes

2010+March+21+For+Consumers+Clarity+on+Health+Care+Changes...

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New York Times, March 21, 2010 For Consumers, Clarity on Health Care Changes By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD American consumers, who spent a year watching Congress scratch and claw over sweeping health care legislation, can now try to figure out what the overhaul would mean for them. The uninsured are clearly the biggest beneficiaries of the legislation, which would extend the health care safety net for the lowest-income Americans. The legislation is meant to provide coverage for as many as 32 million people who have been shut out of the market — whether because insurers deem them too sick or because they cannot afford ever-rising insurance premiums. For people already covered by a large employer — most Americans, in other words — the effect would not be as significant. And yet, just about everyone might benefit from tighter insurance regulations. “We think it’s a big step forward,” said Bill Vaughan, a policy analyst at Consumers Union . “It’s going to provide a peace of mind that many Americans who really want or need health insurance will always be able to get a quality product at a reasonable price regardless of their health or financial situation.” There would be costs to consumers, too. Affluent families would be required to pay additional taxes. Most Americans would be required to have health insurance and face federal penalties if they do not buy it. And it is still unclear what effect, if any, the legislation would have on rising out-of-pocket medical costs and premiums. But there is no question that the legislation should benefit consumers in various ways. Beginning in 2014, for example, many employers — those with 50 or more workers — could face federal fines for not providing insurance coverage. Several of the other changes would take effect much
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This note was uploaded on 11/21/2011 for the course SOC 1004 taught by Professor Mdhughes during the Fall '07 term at Virginia Tech.

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2010+March+21+For+Consumers+Clarity+on+Health+Care+Changes...

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