The big debate about Health Care Reform simmered down with the passage of the bill, but it continues to be the core of a nationwide ideological battle over the role government should play. The special interests are also battling it out over how to interpret - or in some cases, I'd say misinterpret - the new law. Here are some recent highlights:
- A pair of Congressmen say some states might have to secede from the union if the health care bill isn't overturned. Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) both say the law puts some states in an untenable position and may force them to go the way of the Confederate States if it isn't repealed. Wamp, who is running for governor in Tennessee, said: "I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government." He has also promised to refuse to implement the law at the state level if he is elected.
- Some insurers, faced with the realities of health care reform, are offering lower cost plans that narrow the number of doctors from which patients can choose. This isn't the only area in which they're looking for loopholes. The bill states that $.80 of every dollar will be spent on actual health care. Are the insurers cool with that? Not so much. Some want to include the costs of checking doctors' credentials and ferreting out fraud as "patient care," and think commissions collected by insurance brokers shouldn't be part of the calculation at all.
- Within the parameters of the new bill, "preventative services" will be free. However, the foggy definition of "preventative care" remains an issue. Immunization and mammograms are among things classified as "preventative," but one item notably not included is birth control, which some feel is "the very definition of a preventative service." And, fellas don't duck out of this debate: you could be a consumer of birth control in the near future too. An Israeli professor has developed the Bright Pill for men, and says it could be on the market in the next five years.
- What about dental? If you were waiting for health care reform to visit a dentist, (which I wouldn't recommend) the new bill offers no relief. Right now, it is estimated that around 132 million don't have any dental plan. Is that bad? This guy thinks it is "white collar robbery." What's your opinion?
- While the debate rages, the fact is that the lion's share of the laws won't come into effect until 2014. In the meantime, maybe your favorite pastime is good for your health after all: treehugging turns out to be an immunity booster. If treehugging or rainbows aren't meeting your needs, and like me you're in the market for an affordable health plan, check out these helpful websites to compare costs and apply for insurance.
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