More Reasons to Support Health Care Reform

Jun 22nd, 2010 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Social Security & Medicare

Patricia Barry writes for the monthly AARP Bulletin.  She did an exemplary job last month putting together a special section on Health Care Reform. One of the sections carries information about some surprises.  SCJ believes it worthy to be reprinted here, with credit and kudos to AARP Bulletin and Patricia Barry.

There are five sections in the new health care reform law that are surprising, and not being talked about much.  Here they are:

  1. Members of Congress are now required to buy health care plans through the new state-run insurance exchanges that begin in 2014.  This means that annoying, and somewhat non-factual forward that dances around on the Internet can finally be put to rest.  That email complains about our senators and representatives having a much better plan than the rest of the citizenry, and of course, we must forward the email to everyone on our email list or a dreadful plague will descend upon us and our computers.  The good thing here is that the playing field is leveled and we will all now have access to the same kinds of plans.
  2. Illegal immigrants are prohibited from buying health insurance through the exchanges or from getting subsidies to help them pay for insurance.  On the other hand, the hundreds of thousands of immigrants here legally, and who are in process of getting permission to work or who have obtained citizenship, will have access to health insurance just like the rest of us.   
  3. Calorie counts on foods sold in chain restaurants and in vending machines have to be displayed.   This is an obvious attempt to educate the public about foods that are contributing to the explosion of obesity in this country.  That 950 calorie hamburger will now be exposed!
  4. Tanning parlors will have a new 10% sales tax.  This is probably a not-so-well-disguised attempt to discourage tanning; research is pretty clear that the risk of developing skin cancer escalates as much as 70% for those who go to tanning salons.
  5. New long-term care insurance lets you make contriutions while you are still working, in return for future cash benefits for help to remain in your home if you become sick or disabled.  SCJ welcomes this new benefit, recognizing aging health is improved for many when they are able to remain in their own homes with appropriate caregiving assistance.

Again, thanks to AARP for pulling this information together and offering it to senior citizens everywhere!



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