Health Care Reform Bill Passes House

health care reform passesThe Sunday news roundup shows debated the healthcare reform bill, which the House of Representatives passed 220-215 over the November8 weekend. What does this mean for freelancers?

Right now, absolutely nothing. President Obama has to review the bill then sign or veto the bill. It’s not law just yet, and without reading the seven thousand miles worth of pages in the bill we won’t know how soon the reforms will take place–it certainly won’t be overnight.

The highlights of the bill freelancers need to know about:

According to the news reports I’ve seen, higher premiums for pre-existing conditions will be outlawed under the bill. Again, there’s no word on how long the insurance companies get to jack you around on pre-existing medical conditions.

You WILL be REQUIRED BY LAW to carry health insurance. You face legal consequences for not having the insurance. This seems to be a “breathing tax” in the minds of some, and I have difficulty arguing against that thinking.

I personally find this the most troubling part of the coverage aside from a couple of other highly controversial points I wont’ dive into here because they are irrelevant to the basic freelancer’s need to get affordable coverage. (The points themselves are NOT irrelevant in and of themselves.)

More heartening are the federal subsidies that are said to be available for those who can’t afford to carry health insurance. Also good–the elimination of higher premiums based on gender or medical history.

Freelancers, it’s going to be a good while before we know how this affects us. Stay tuned.

–Joe Wallace

2 thoughts on “Health Care Reform Bill Passes House”

  1. Joe, I’m trying not to get too worked up over something that may not happen, but this sure looks like an expensive solution. And the timing of it, in the midst of all of a financial crisis, is terrible.

    My experience with socialized medicine is not good from an expense perspective. Our family is in Canada for the year, and it is going to cost me several thousand dollars in extra taxes–even though I am not eligible to use their system for “free”! (For that matter, I’m not even doing any business for any Canadian clients.)

    Meanwhile, the Canadian government is looking toward private solutions to help them out of an unaffordable situation.

  2. Health care is the only thing I am really, sorely missing in this country ever since I moved to California. In Germany, freelancers have their own “socialized” healthcare system. The German government is actually subsidizing this by chipping in what employers would normally chip in – about half of the cost of insurance. You can choose if you want the “private” option or the “state” option with your health insurance. There are slight differences in cost and in services paid for. The system works really well, EVERYBODY has insurance, and people take it for granted to receive medical services whenever they need them, and they are paid for. Nobody ever goes broke, no family ever loses their home or their saving because of medical bills. People in this country who are so much up in arms against universal health care don’t generally know what they are talking about since they have never lived in a country that has universal health care. I suspect that the insurance industry is creating a lot of fake arguments and uses multiple front groups to confuse public opinion. Of course it will not be for free, it will cost, but it will cost everyone, and it will be much cheaper than what we would have to pay for health insurance right now. Right now, health insurance would be not affordable for my family at all. I have great hopes for the future. One of my hopes is, that people who are so worked up right now about “socialist” health care, will actually realize very soon how wrong they were, and how they adopted arguments that are based on ideology and misinformation, fed to people who think they are conservative, by a powerful lobby who has nothing else in mind but keeping their profits up and leaving things as they are.

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