The Health Care Plan: What do you like about it?

Tomorrow will be different. But today I want to ask one simple question and I ask you to weigh in:

What do you like about the new health care plan?
How do you think it will help?
What advantages will it bring?
(Tomorrow, we’d like to hear what you don’t like about the new health care plan.) 
Promise: any negative comments will be wiped out today. Let’s think of the positives today. If you have no positives, wait for tomorrow.
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  • Fisher

    This is really not health care reform, but rather insurance company regulation to end their worst abuses. Any real reform would eliminate the 30% of our health care dollars insurance companies spend on lobbying, marketing, multi-million dollar salaries and finding ways to deny claims. They’re leeches on society who add no value to our system.
    That being said, of the top ten immediate benefits the ones I like the best are the ones that halt the most egregious abuses:
    – Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans.
    – Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool.
    – Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans.
    – Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions.

  • Phil

    It’s about time. (I’m Canadian).

  • Fisher

    I’m sorry – I realized my comment had a negative tone to it and I apologize.

  • I’ve laid this out already in my own blog response, but I think that the key elements include:
    1. Ending the practice of discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions.
    2. Ending the practice of dumping people from insurance when they need to use it.
    3. Ending of life-time caps on benefits.
    4. Creation of exchanges for more choice
    5. Beginnings of providing insurance for all Americans.
    What needs to happen? Efforts to reduce sky-rocketing care, which means ending fee for service. It means introducing some form of tort reform. I think it also requires introduction of a public option. But this must build upon what has been enacted.

  • Karl

    I like that people who previously couldn’t get coverage and wanted it, will now be able to have it.

  • Barb

    definitely a step in the right direction

  • We will have to see what it actually does, but one thing I know for sure is that it’s good to see SOMEONE trying to get people taken care of. Those opposed to it from the Church really didn’t do anything about the uninsurance problem on a wide scale (say, as a ministry to the poor, or even as neighbor-love: in the first place. So I am no longer interested in hearing “But who is my neighbor?” to keep others away from tended wounds.

  • James

    Now that Health Care has passed, maybe Christians can actually look at the possible benefits, rather than quoting the talking points of Fox News. Christians have forgotten what “social justice” is and are self-absorbed.
    Many that protest against the reforms will be served most by it.
    I feel that the two most beneficial portions of the bill eliminate the denial of pre-existing conditions and providing a way for the poor to attain adequate health care.
    What disturbs me most about the detractors of health care is that a great number of them are “Christians” or at least claim to be. What do we as Christians have against providing care to the needy?
    If it is all coming down to the pocketbook, then we really need to look at who we serve. Do we serve a just God or a group of politicians that really don’t fulfill their promises of their campaigns? Evangelicals have been duped by fiscal conservatives into thinking that they will do as told, but history has shown us that in regards to abortion they are no better at halting it than the most liberal American.

  • David P Himes

    It was well intended

  • Rick

    It is interesting that (so far) it is not those who opposed the bill that are sliding in negative comments. It is those that supported it!
    You can’t make this up.

  • jason

    I think that giving people who could not afford coverage is a great idea. Also, regulating insurance companies in regards to pre-existing conditions is also important.
    Not the best, but a step in the right direction.

  • It’ll make Europeans think we’re compassionate. Sorry, that’s all I got.
    Can I ask that those in favor of this bill please stop denigrating those who oppose it? Liberals are prone to questioning the morals of conservatives. Conservatives are prone to questioning the intelligence of liberals. Can we please give it a rest?

  • kapeka

    LOL! Good luck wiping out all those negative comments. This will eat up all your free time.
    I don’t comment on US politics, because I am one of those socialist europeans. But let me say this: please stop calling europeans “socialistic.” Thats lame. I am living in europe, in Germany, and I don’t see any socialism here. I was born in poland when it was still a communist country. That was socialism. And I don’t want any of that back again.
    By constantly calling europe socialistic you are just belittling everything that happened before 1990 in eastern europe by putting it on the same level with europe today. Please stop doing that. I love Germany and Europe as much as you love America. Think a little bit about that before you post. Thanks.

  • Kenton

    I like the fact that the mandate to purchase health care is so blatantly begging for a constitutional challenge.

  • Danny

    Rick @10 and Chris @13: Don’t you know that all who oppose something like this just want to kill puppies? I think I’ll go read 1Cor 13 again.

  • JHM

    I personally didn’t like the bill (I guess that’ll be tomorrow) but I am glad that we got an up-down vote on it finally and can move on. I also think it might give the American people some motivation to bring in some fresh people to Congress. I guess it also got people thinking about healthcare and the future, that’s probably a good thing.

  • 1. The ending of the practice of rescission, insurance company dumping of sick people.
    2. Denying care due to pre-existing conditions (at least for children, immediately).
    3. More transparency in health care costs.

  • Luke

    1. Prohibits companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions
    2. Allows access to healthcare to millions of Americans who could previously not afford it
    3. Limits and regulates the power of an industry that has run Washington for decades
    4. Will allow me to not fear going to the doctor or emergency room. I often don’t go because my plan stinks and I don’t want to go broke.
    Though incomplete, I think this is a step in the right direction. The drug and insurance companies have run Washington for far too long. This helps regulate them and limit their power. We have a long way to go, but I like it for the most part.

  • Jon Snyder

    Though I disagree with the bill overall, there is some good in it.
    Particularly, the new regulations for health insurance companies. I think passing this as it’s own bill would have been a great way to begin the healthcare debate.

  • Kyle J

    Agree with the lists above. Immediately ending the practice of denying coverage to children who have preexisting conditions has to be at/near the top. I’d think that 99% of voters would agree on that one.
    Easily lost, due to the complex nature of the current health care system, are the concrete steps taken toward controlling costs. Lays the groundwork for real competition (within a regulated market) and takes small steps toward paying doctors/hospitals based on results rather than amount of services performed.
    Good summary here:

  • ChrisB

    “The drug and insurance companies have run Washington for far too long.”
    I thought the oil companies and Wall Street banking firms ran Washington. When was the coup?

  • Fisher

    Kenton @ 14: I also like the fact that there’s a constitutional question about forcing us to use insurance companies. If the courts strike down the current mechanism, we’re left with two options: 1) The status quo, our unsustainable system, or 2) a first-class system such as what Canadians enjoy.

  • Healthcare should not be a luxury.

  • We are showing the world that we care for our citizens. More care, less fear. Satisfying needs, instead of continuing in greed. It’s a great beginging!

  • That it will no longer only be the rich and people in traditional jobs who have the privilege of health care.
    That people like me who were born with disabilities will no longer be denied health coverage.
    That we are a small step closer to thinking more about people than profits as a country.

  • kevin

    I like it because it is one step closer to a single payer system in this country, which I am highly in favor of.

  • DRT

    1. Help those in need
    2. Highlight the idea that our politicians are not supposed to be a tally machine of our votes on every issue. They are supposed to assemble a platform to which we elect them and then they are to try and make that platform a reality the best they can.

  • Matt K

    –Ending abuses like denying coverage for preexisting conditions (a fair idea).
    –Expanding Medicaid to more of the working poor (a progressive idea).
    –Inter-state pools for the individual insurance market (a “free market” idea).
    –Closing the “donut hole” in Medicare D.
    –Reducing the deficit an estimated $148 Billion (a “fiscally conservative” idea).
    The rest of it is hard to make a judgment on. I’m still need convincing that the subsidies are the best way to make health care affordable for middle income families.

  • Fisher

    Two other benefits that haven’t been mentioned, then I’ll shut up:
    1. It should reduce abortions. I believe one big reason we lead the world in abortion is that a pregnant woman without insurance may well face the choice between having the baby and bankruptcy. A safety net is very pro-life.
    2. It should stimulate the economy. Imagine a world in which you could change jobs or start a business without thinking about how it affects your health insurance. Imagine how much businesses would save if they weren’t the administrators of employee insurance.

  • Republicans had years to make modifications to the health system. I think many of the suggestions they offered were sound but in terms of taking initiative to actually institute change they were largely AWOL.
    I don’t like many aspects of this new plan. Had Republicans governed more responsibly they wouldn’t be in this spot. This bill at least gets the health care issues squarely on the table.
    One of the things I’m the most thankful for is that it does not include a government-funded public option or a single payer plan.

  • Scot McKnight

    OK folks, I’ve asked this to be positive. I’m disappointed in the number of comments I’ve had to remove for being so nasty.
    One more time: what do you like about this health care plan?
    If you don’t like anything about it, please don’t comment.

  • ChrisB

    Michael Kruse, the word you’re looking for is “yet.”
    The whole “pre-existing condition” bit shows how crazy our whole approach to health insurance is.
    Should you be able to buy car insurance after you’ve wrecked your car? Of course not. You’ve already done the thing you’re trying to insure against.
    But health insurance isn’t really insurance at all. We call it that and try to base rates on odds of an event happening, but we treat it like the office kitty. It’s like expecting your auto insurance to pay for oil changes.
    How can you insure someone against heart attacks who’s already had one? It’s insane.
    But a person with diabetes, MS, or a heart condition is no more likely to break an arm or get cancer than anyone else. However the law doesn’t permit you to just insure against those conditions — it’s all or nothing. So people with one chronic disease not only have to bear the burden of that disease but of every disease.
    And who is responsible? Largely the same people who just shoved this down our throats. Let’s hope it goes better than I fear.

  • nlswitz

    I like that my teenagers will be able to stay on our health plans if they need it.
    I like that my sister who has gone without coverage for the last two years will be able to join the high risk pool.
    I like that we have made a start to provide healthcare to all and I look forward to us eventually moving to a public option or single payer system in the future.
    I like that Speaker Pelosi said, “all politics are personal.” This is so true in regards to healthcare and I look forward to the day when someone who is among the working poor doesn’t have to die off treatable illnesses because he/she doesn’t have access to quality healthcare. This reform takes us in the right direction.

  • BradK

    All of my comments are based on what I’ve heard alleged about the bill, which could be wrong.
    I like the fact that it will (allegedly) disallow government funding of abortion coverage, that it doesn’t have a government funded option, that it will prevent companies from dropping people who have paid for coverage when they get sick, and that it will seemingly allow competition between health insurance companies across state lines.
    Btw, I’m curious whether you will be consistent, Scot, and if tomorrow “any negative comments will be wiped out” and focus only on the negative aspects of the bill. Also, will posters tomorrow be allowed to name-call Nancy Pelosi and President Obama and supporters of the bill the way some posters (see #29) have done with Limbaugh and opponents of the bill today? Not cool.

  • Stephen Mook

    First, the fact that Washington can get something done. 2) That people wont’t be dropped from their parents plan untill 26 now. 3) Employers won’t be able to drop their employees health insurance when they get sick. 4) If you’re ever going to raise taxes for the upper/upper class, then this is a worthy reason (obviously debateable) 5) Finally insurance companies will have restrictions on them when It comes to raising premiums. 6) Now that 30 million more people will have to be insured, there will be more competion and business for a variety of insurance companies (as I’ve seen in MA, by going with a local insurance company). 7) Middle class to lower class (in America, rich in comparision with most of the world) will not have taxes increased and will have their medical costs supported by the government. 8) Though the government has grown In it’s involvement, the government is not taking over the whole medical system. This is attempt not for big government but for better government (we’ll see of course) 9) Over 300 Republician Amendments are in this bill, highlighting some common agreement. 10) Transparency, though Obama could of, and should of, been more transparent from the beginning, there has been so much debate and openness in comparision to how things have traditionally been done. This is a imperfect but giant step forward in having a government that is put together by the people and for the people. Obama and the democrats ran on health care and have spent a year of making that promise come to fruition. Just go back and watch all the election debates.  11) Regardless of our politics, the president taught all of us important lessons on leadership: unfailing vision. Leadership after winning the trust of the American people is illuminated after this historic health overhaul vote. 12) More work can and will be done to improve the bill. 
    Just to name a few things…    

  • J.L. Schafer

    Don’t know if this comment counts, since it’s not really about the substance of the bill.
    The one thing I like — and honestly, I’m not trying to be sarcastic here — is that we have been able to watch the process unfold over the past year and, like never before, have seen how hyperpartisan, dishonest and broken Washington has become. The effects of this realization may indeed be positive.

  • Richard

    @ ChrisB 32. Maybe you should consider holding comments until tomorrow because I imagine you’re going to have some really good points that will be worth reading and engaging with, they’re just all going to be opposed to the reform bill and don’t necessarily fit with this particular thread.
    @ BradK 34. I think that comment has been deleted already since I couldn’t find it after your question to Scot

  • Pat

    I like that everyone will have access healthcare and that people will not be penalized for pre-existing conditions.

  • Richard

    @ Schafer and Mook, #s 35 and 36. Good macro observations about the process. I would agree.
    @37 Bye. See you tomorrow. I was really hoping that T-shirt said, “Congress passed a massive healthcare reform bill and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”.

  • Amanda

    The thing I like the most about the bill is that it made me think of someone other than myself. Often in legislation, people worry only about what it means to them personally. With this bill, however, I came to think not only about myself, a person with health insurance, but about my neighbors who go without. I thought about having to tell a child that they cannot see a doctor because they have a preexisting condition. I then thought about our current unemployment rate, which coincides with our rates of persons without insurance. I watched the ugliness unfold on the streets yesterday and the words that were spit out at people just because they had a different viewpoint, and it made me think of just how far our country has come, and how much it still has to go. It made me think of which God I want to serve. I want to serve the God who tells me to love my neighbor, and to me, that means not denying that they have health insurance.

  • Scot McKnight

    BradK, I doing my best; Americans aren’t at their finest when talking politics and I’m working to keep the conversation civil.

  • Richard

    Ironically enough, my comment in 39 now looks like I was talking to myself in 37. I still think that would be a funnier shirt…
    Btw, Scot, you’re doing a good job moderating comments today and I’ll be interested to see how the dynamic plays out tomorrow. Maybe something that would have helped today (and maybe will help tomorrow) would be to remind people to focus on the bill and not the proponents and opponents. I know that’s tough to do but the reminder might at least cause some of us to think twice about what we’re typing

  • I like that no one will be without health insurance. I like that people won’t be ruled out because of pre-existing conditions. I like that it makes an attempt to cover the costs of this immense change. I like that it attempts to bring out some transparency and competition in the insurance world.
    There’s a lot I like.

  • BradK

    #41 Scot,
    Understood. The incivility here in the US regarding politics never ceases to amaze me. Even more amazing is that there doesn’t seem to be that much difference in behavior between the world at large and the professing churches. For a long while I’ve seen firsthand how offensive Christian people can be in churches where the political leanings tend to conservative, although it has gotten worse. But it’s only been somewhat recently that I’ve discovered that it’s apparently just as nasty on the other side of the political aisle of the church. I shouldn’t be surprised but I admit that I was for some reason.
    Fwiw, I intended to ask above (but made a copy and paste error) whether tomorrow “any *positive* comments will be wiped out” and the total focus would be only on the negative aspects of the bill. That seems only fair though I’m not sure that separating them into separate blog postings doesn’t cause even more generation of heat than light, because it makes effective dialogue impossible.

  • Access to more and hopefully all people. Toward fixing our breaking system. Nothing being done like Michael says, and now something is!

  • Rick Maden

    I`m a 100% DAV (Vietnam Era) & am wondering how this will affect the men & women who served and have suffered.
    Rick Maden

  • Cheryl

    My sister has health issues and is covered under my dad’s health insurance, which will cut her off at 23 (she’s 22). She’s in college and her school insurance does not cover what she needs. Our family is thrilled that she will be covered until 26, or until she finds a job after graduation, whichever comes first. And when she does need to get insurance, she will not be denied due to pre-existing conditions. To our family, this is priceless manna from the Lord.

  • Stephen Mook

    I have a question that I’m interested in hearing people discuss. Where’s the outrage towards the big insurance companies that raise premiums to an all time high during a recession and drop citizens whenever they please? Regardless of your thoughts on the bill (though this is one of the most important discussions we can have right now) where’s the mass outrage towards BIG insurance companies? My wife is a nurse and has seen the ways of these insurance companies, and after a dinner discussion over what is actually in the bill, we kept coming back to the question raised.
    Let’s keep this discussion going!

  • Scot McKnight

    Rick Maden,
    I want you to stay in touch with this blog (and me) about that very issue. We want to know if our Veterans are cared for any differently.

  • Richard

    @ ChrisB 32
    “But a person with diabetes, MS, or a heart condition is no more likely to break an arm or get cancer than anyone else. However the law doesn’t permit you to just insure against those conditions — it’s all or nothing. So people with one chronic disease not only have to bear the burden of that disease but of every disease”
    I’m trying to understand this. Is this a suggestion that we get insurance for individual items like “broken bone insurance,” “cancer insurance,” etc?
    How does the blame for “pre-existing conditions” fall on the government?

  • Kristen

    A good friend of mine used to work two part-time jobs — one for a teensy little ministry, one for a big corporation with great benefits. When she started a part-time grad program, something had to give. She would have preferred to keep working for the ministry, but due to pre-existing conditions she absolutely needed the big corporation’s health benefits so there was no real option.
    I’m glad that in the future, that choice won’t be necessary.

  • DRT

    I was a little behind on my email so I did not see it until yesterday, but my insurance company told me last week that they are going to cancel the health insurance for my company. I am a small business owner and provide coverage to my employees as well as for my family.
    I now really really like that I will be able to get insurance through a new pool.
    Funny when I wrote yesterday that I liked that it helped people in need, and today I am a person in need.

  • Lauren

    I like that millions of people will now be insured who weren’t previously. Health care is a human right not just a commodity to purchase if you can afford it or if you are fortunate enough to have the right job. There is untold suffering that millions of Americans endure due to the current system– from thousands of dollars of debt to the avoidable death of a loved one who couldn’t afford proper treatment. It is a shame to our country that it took this long for reform.
    I like that health insurance companies will be held accountable. It is absolutely criminal the way that they profit at the expense of others.
    I think this bill is a huge step in the right direction. I hope that one day a public option will be available. As a seminary student, it sure would have come in handy right about now!