While Republicans Promise Repeal, More Health Benefits Go into Effect

Just days before its Republican enemies are officially sworn into office in the House of Representatives and Senate — armed with their zeal and desire to repeal it — major parts of the new Health Care law with a total of 21 provisions, will go into effect in 2011.

The areas of the law scheduled to take effect January 1st 2011, are geared towards consumer protection and as its purpose suggests, it should be very popular with the American people once the measures are fully implemented. Some of the measures scheduled to take effect on January 1st are:

  1. Rebates to Consumers if Insurance providers use less than 80% of premiums for clinical services. Providers would be required to use up to 80% of your premium to provide clinical services and quality of care to you. If they use less than this percentage, a rebate check covering the difference must be sent to you.
  2. Pharmaceutical manufacturers must provide a 50% discount on brand-name prescriptions filled in the Medicare Part D coverage. Also, federal subsidies for generic prescriptions kick in on January 1st.
  3. Eliminate cost-sharing for Medicare covered preventative services. Also, waives the Medicare deductible for colorectal cancer screening tests and authorizes Medicare coverage for a personalized prevention plan, including a comprehensive health risk assessment.
  4. Creates the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to test new payment and delivery system, with the goal of reducing costs while maintaining or improving quality.
  5. Reduces the Medicare Part D premium subsidy for those with incomes above $85,000/individual and $170,000/couple. Also, freezes income requirements for medicare part B premiums at 2010 levels for the next 8 years.
  6. Creates a new Medicaid state option to permit certain Medicaid enrollees to designate a provider as a health home and provides states taking up the option with 90% federal matching payments for two years for health home-related services.
  7. Provides 3-year grants to states to develop programs to provide Medicaid enrollees with incentives to participate in comprehensive health lifestyle programs.
  8. Establishes a national, voluntary insurance program for purchasing community living assistance services and supports (CLASS program).

Republicans, however, are  promising to stop the progress of these reforms by cutting off all necessary funding. They will take over the agenda in the House of Representatives on January 5th, and will introduce more Republicans to occupy more seats in the Senate on that same day.

Polls suggests that Americans have mixed feelings about the new Health Care reform measures, mainly because they were misled by Republicans and a Conservative media. Some Republicans have even won awards for misleading or lying to the American people, like Sarah Palin’s winning Lie Of The Year Award for claiming the Health Reform contains “Death Panels” to “kill your grandma.”

Democrats claimed that they are up for the coming fight, as they try to keep their signature history-making policy alive. The rumble starts January 5th 2011.

Source: The Kaiser Family Foundation

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