How will health reform affect you?

After a year of wrangling, the showdown on health care is set for Sunday.

Some of the bill’s features include:

Cost: $940 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

How many covered: 32 million uninsured. Major coverage expansion begins in 2014. When fully phased in, 95 percent of eligible Americans would have coverage, compared with 83 percent today.

Insurance mandate: Almost everyone is required to be insured or else pay a fine. There is an exemption for low-income people. Takes effect in 2014.

If passed, how will this affect you or your workplace? Will it make things better or worse? Why?

What do you think about the tortuous political process to get us to this point?

How will this affect your vote come November?

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46 comments Add your comment


March 19th, 2010
6:53 am

I’m retired with traditional Medicare, so it shouldn’t affect me that much.

With the GOP vowing to derail Obama’s presidency the process was probably necessary. I would have liked to have seen the president reach out to the doctors serving in Congress for more input, tho.

I’ll have to wait along with everyone else until the regulators get through with it to understand what is in it. But I don’s see it changing my vote in November.

I don’t like the fines. Maybe people should be given the opportunity to opt out if they’d sign a pledge not to be asking for government assistance when they couldn’t afford expensive health care treatments. It would be more palatable if we called it a tax.

It’s time to seriously go after the fraud and abuse. What’s wrong with us? Have we no integrity?

Ambulance Chaser

March 19th, 2010
7:56 am

I am so glad there is little to no tort reform. I don’t know what I would do without multi million dollar lawsuits when a client gets a scratch in an accident.

Tail end of the boomer bell curve

March 19th, 2010
8:15 am

No effect to the workplace that I can see – not much impact either way as I do not believe most are really watching in detail the debate plus it is due to the political chaos hard to get to the truth; impact to investing – ouch;

The political process concerns me as does the bill should it pass or fail. TN has it right – go hard after the fraud and abuse – I would also add continue to reform and contain costs.

The country has financial and political challenges – Medicare is delayed bankruptcy by this bill – I believe, however I doubt by much; Social Security – we are paying out more this year than taking in for the first time, this is just a start, the third rail of a American politics has a soft orange glow at the moment and is beginning to melt; and finally the debt continues to grow – Note:our president gets no credit for moving the cost of the Wars in Iraq and afghanistan to the total debt.

So, TN as a retiree are you willing to give up some or your benefits? Do you think others are? Or are we going to have intergenerational political battles? I am willing to give up both medicare and social security for the country’s future and in fact don’t anticipate any to be available. Or do we pay significantly taxes – maybe through tax reform – so its not immediately obvious as such reform would bring on the same infighting as we have seen in healthcare. Do we no longer invest even in a shared public private partnerships in infrastructure – no more roads, water lines, electrical grids, freight and passenger rail?

The Crisis is here – the debt, medicare, and social security sinkholes are now visible and growing – and threatens our longterm prosperity.

Say it aint so

March 19th, 2010
8:18 am

Ask all the millions more people who lose their jobs when their small employer has to supply insurance to their employees. Half the employees will be let go to supply the needed money to insure the other half. No new business will start up because of this policy. This is terrible for America if this passes.

It is also unconstitutional for the government to mandate anything to anyone. You have the freedom of choice, or at least we did before Oblama got into office.

Also for those who blame republicans and their no no no voices, this is a democrate thing. If it was so very good for america and our people, why then are the house members being bribed and threatened by their own party for this vote. And again, why dont the congress members fall under the same health care plan? Because they know its a major takeover of the economy and healthcare. They have the money to leave the country and get their medical coverage there. Be ready for doctors that you cant understand and that cant understand you. Be ready for doctors to close their doors and move on. Be ready for a lot of bad things to happen if this is passed.

Joe The Plumber

March 19th, 2010
8:20 am

I will be laying off approx 35% of my staff due to this HCare debacle.


March 19th, 2010
9:03 am

I would think again about the traditional Medicare being unchanged. The Medicare entity may remain solvent for longer, but the product itself will be even more undesirable to providers you will essentially be like the uninsured– only able to get someone to see you in the ER.


March 19th, 2010
9:16 am

all of you know it will just be a glorified Medicaid plan right? Our doc said the other day that if it passes we would have to wait at least 6 months for an appt.


March 19th, 2010
9:20 am

I am amazed by the comments so far. Tax increases and fines on “Cadillac” plans will immediately go into effect but substantially no benefits will be available until 2014. 44% of Americans support healthcare reform now but I think when they see that their paychecks are reduced and no benefit is forthcoming, that 44% will be cut in half to the hard core liberals that will support anything Obama and Pelosi dish up. Pelosi is crazy that people will really like the plan once they know the details. If anything, it will be increased critical focus so that Demorcrats who vote yes and are not in ultra liberal districts will be tarred and feathered.


March 19th, 2010
9:22 am

And to those who think regular Medicare will not be effected, think again. I am in healthcare Finance and as they continue to cut reimbursement to doctors and hospitals, doctors are going to stop taking Medicare patients. Many have stopped taking Medicaid because the payment does not cover their costs.



March 19th, 2010
9:33 am

No one really knows what is in this thing, but we do know it will cost billions and cause even more drain on the system.

People who voted for Obama and his party should be reminded of this.


March 19th, 2010
9:34 am

$940 billion for 12% of the population… where does that math make sense? These idiotic followers don’t even think twice about where that will actually come from either. I already pay enough for my own healthcare – and now I have to fund the 12% of the population who are not able to carry their own? And from the numbers I am hearing, the tax increase will be more than most can stomach. At least this bill will die in the next term – before 2014 can kick in.


March 19th, 2010
9:36 am

How will this work with the Government’s hand in it? Does the government not run Medicare and Medicaid? How is that working out?


March 19th, 2010
9:39 am

The Obamacare bill will definitely affect anyone on Medicare.

They are planning to CUT Medicare funds by $500 billion dollars immediately. They are adding 39 million more uninsureds who will enlarge the number of people on Medicare plus the Baby Boomer generation is coming of age for Medicare. All this will definitely end up affecting the funds available for Seniors on Medicare.

Medicare is currently going bankrupt. By the CUTS of $500 billion, there is no way you can sustain the current benefits. Decisions will have to be made as to whom to cut.

Seniors will be the ones who find themselves being denied hip replacements, knee replacements, cancer treatments and all the other medical advances available. The Government intends to use a formula of the age and how many years left in that person’s life and the cost of the treatment. Can you imagine how a 70 year old with a life expectancy of about 78 will come out?

My mother at age 90’s got excellent care which prolonged her life another 8 years. Should we have denied her those extra 8 years?
OR, with Obamacare, they would decide she was too old because funds were low and they could better serve a younger person?

But, we can afford to fund abortions?


March 19th, 2010
9:46 am

This is going to bankrupt the country. People who already have insurance, get ready for a big boost in your premiums! Benefits will be cut and watered down. This is the start of socialism in America. Get reazdy for rationed healthcare. The only ones who profit from this debacle is the deadbeats and freeloaders in America. Thanks Obama for the change! Obama is the worst thing to ever happen to American politics! You people who voted for him got what you deserved!


March 19th, 2010
10:18 am

this bill is a joke and Pelosi and her gang of thugs will pay hell for this come elction time. with all the back door deals to get the votes should tell you how bad this bill is for America.
And what does the Student loan provision have to do with Heathcare and why is in this bill? The goverment cant manage Medicare so what makes them think they can manage a new health care package. Wouldnt it be smarter to fix the current system instead of adding billions and billions of dollars to the deficit?

Business Owner

March 19th, 2010
11:58 am

Caterpillar already came out and said it will cost them $100 million in the first year. They have a few choices to make this back as will every other business this effects. They can raise their prices, cut staff, or most likely a mix of both. Obama, who has never been in the business world, is completely blind to what effect this will have. There is no way around it. If this passes it will cripple or kill many businesses in this country and severly hurt any chance the economy had at recovering.

Mr. Nobody

March 19th, 2010
12:16 pm

God I hate Obama…and God hates Obama


March 19th, 2010
12:23 pm

If Bozo has to bribe members of his own party to vote ‘yes’, what does that tell you? The company that I work for is already nervous about this bill, could be MORE job losses. I have been lucky so far, but not sure if it passes. They will not be able to afford HC, therefore I will have to get my own, but will not get an increase in pay. Add to that how much I will lose in additional taxes, I don’t see how I can afford to get my own HC. Of course I could get another job with benefits……but, oh yeah…..there aren’t any jobs.

The Republican candidates will be smart to run on rescinding the HC plan. They would win by a landslide.


March 19th, 2010
12:24 pm

And for Medicare, Walgreens in Washington State has already said no new Medicare patients after April of this year. Other stores are sure to follow.


March 19th, 2010
12:27 pm

God Bless the Free Market States of America

March 19th, 2010
12:31 pm

Silly Republicans! Actually thinking they are a part of the elite. It’s comical really.

Fact: Citigroup bankrolled Obama’s presidential campaign.


March 19th, 2010
12:33 pm

Mr. Nobody–”God I hate Obama…and God hates Obama”

Well considering that God doesn’t even exist, Obama should take that as a compliment.


March 19th, 2010
12:41 pm

I’m hoping to benefit from healthcare reform. And I am not a freeloader or a deadbeat, thank you. I recently earned my master’s degree and work for a statewide nonprofit that cannot afford to provide health insurance due to the current economy. I have applied several times on my own for health insurance and have been denied due to minor pre-existing conditions (and I’m only in my mid-20’s). Call me crazy, but I need healthcare reform to happen.

Carlin 3:16

March 19th, 2010
12:44 pm

“You may have noticed that there’s one thing I don’t complain about: Politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says, “They suck”. But where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. No, they come from American homes, American families, American schools, American churches, American businesses, and they’re elected by American voters. This is the best we can do, folks. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out.

….I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way: I don’t vote. On Election Day, I stay home. I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain”, but where’s the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain.

I, on the other hand, who did not vote — who did not even leave the house on Election Day — am in no way responsible for that these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess that you created.”

John Radney

March 19th, 2010
3:35 pm

I will never, never vote for another democrat. I retired form another failure, the US Post Office. Never never never.

Small Business Owner

March 19th, 2010
6:54 pm

This legislation will cause my costs and taxes to go way up, forcing me to lay off at least 1 employee, maybe 2, or fire everyone and just use independent contractors.


March 19th, 2010
7:01 pm

This was an open letter to a dem senator from a physician whom I believe has a great deal of insight into healthcare. Decide for yourself:


As a practicing physician I have major concerns with the health care bill before Congress. I actually have read the bill and am shocked by the brazenness of the government’s proposed involvement in the patient-physician relationship. The very idea that the government will dictate and ration patient care is dangerous and certainly not helpful in designing a health care system that works for all. Every physician I work with agrees that we need to fix our health care system, but the proposed bills currently making their way through congress will be a disaster if passed.

I ask you respectfully and as a patriotic American to look at the following troubling lines that I have read in the bill. You cannot possibly believe that these proposals are in the best interests of the country and our fellow citizens.

Page 22 of the HC Bill: Mandates that the Govt will audit books of all employers that self-insure!!
Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill: THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get.
Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!!!
Page 42 of HC Bill: The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC benefits for you. You have no choice!
Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise.
Page 58 HC Bill: Govt will have real-time access to individuals’ finances & a ‘National ID Health card’ will be issued! (Papers please!)
Page 59 HC Bill lines 21-24: Govt will have direct access to your bank accounts for elective funds transfer. (Time for more cash and carry)
Page 65 Sec 164: Is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions & community organizations: (ACORN).
Page 84 Sec 203 HC bill: Govt mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the ‘Exchange.’
Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans — The Govt will ration your health care!
Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Govt mandates linguistic appropriate services. (Translation: illegal aliens.)
Page 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18: The Govt will use groups (i.e. ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Govt HC plan.
Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans. (AARP members – your health care WILL be rationed!)
Page 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill: Medicaid eligible individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. (No choice.)
Page 124 lines 24-25 HC: No company can sue GOVT on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Govt monopoly.
Page 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill: Doctors/ American Medical Association – The Govt will tell YOU what salary you can make.
Page 145 Line 15-17: An Employer MUST auto-enroll employees into public option plan. (NO choice!)
Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay for HC for part-time employees ANDtheir families. (Employees shouldn’t get excited about this as employers will be forced to reduce its work force, benefits, and wages/salaries to cover such a huge expense.)
Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with payroll 401k & above who does not provide public option will pay 8% tax on all payroll! (See the last comment in parenthesis.)
Page 150 Lines 9-13: A business with payroll between $251K & $401K who doesn’t provide public option will pay 2-6% tax on all payroll.
Page 167 Lines 18-23: ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HC according to Govt will be taxed 2.5% of income.
Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill: Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay.) (Like always)
Page 195 HC Bill: Officers & employees of the GOVT HC Admin.. will have access to ALL Americans’ finances and personal records. (I guess so they can ‘deduct’ their fees)
Page 203 Line 14-15 HC: “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax.” (Yes, it really says that!) ( a ‘fee’ instead)
Page 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill: Govt will reduce physician services for Medicaid Seniors. (Low-income and the poor are affected)
Page 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill: Doctors: It doesn’t matter what specialty you have trained yourself in — you will all be paid the same! (Just TRY to tell me that’s not Socialism!)
Page 253 Line 10-18: The Govt sets the value of a doctor’s time, profession, judgment, etc. (Literally– the value of humans.)

Page 265 Sec 1131: The Govt mandates and controls productivity for “private” HC industries.
Page 268 Sec 1141: The federal Govt regulates the rental and purchase of power driven wheelchairs.
Page 272 SEC. 1145: TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!
Page 280 Sec 1151: The Govt will penalize hospitals for whatever the Govt deems preventable (i.e…re-admissions).

Page 298 Lines 9-11: Doctors: If you treat a patient during initial admission that results in a re-admission — the Govt will penalize you.
Page 317 L 13-20: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. (The Govt tells doctors what and how much they can own!)
Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3: PROHIBITION on expansion. (The Govt is mandating that hospitals cannot expand.)
Page 321 2-13: Hospitals have the opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input is required. (Can you say ACORN?)
Page 335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339: The Govt mandates establishment of=2 outcome-based measures. (HC the way they want — rationing.)
Page 341 Lines 3-9: The Govt has authority to disqualify Medicare Advance Plans, HMOs, etc. (Forcing people into the Govt plan)
Page 354 Sec 1177: The Govt will RESTRICT enrollment of ’special needs people!’ Unbelievable!
Page 379 Sec 1191: The Govt creates more bureaucracy via a “Tele-Health Advisory Committee.” (Can you say HC by phone?)
Page 425 Lines 4-12: The Govt mandates “Advance-Care Planning Consult.” (Think senior citizens end-of-life patients.)
Page 425 Lines 17-19: The Govt will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. (And it’s mandatory!)
Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3: The Govt provides an “approved” list of end-of-life resources; guiding you in death. (Also called ‘assisted suicide.’)(Sounds like Soylent Green to me.)
Page 427 Lines 15-24: The Govt mandates a program for orders on “end-of-life.” (The Govt has a say in how your life ends!)
Page 429 Lines 1-9: An “advanced-care planning consultant” will be used frequently as a patient’s health deteriorates.
Page 429 Lines 10-12: An “advanced care consultation” may include an ORDER for end-of-life plans.. (AN ORDER TO DIE FROM THE GOVERNMENT?!?)
Page 429 Lines 13-25: The GOVT will specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order.. (I wouldn’t want to stand before God after getting paid for THAT job!)
Page 430 Lines 11-15: The Govt will decide what level of treatment you will have at end – of-life! (Again — no choice!)
Page 469: Community-Based Home Medical Services = Non-Profit Organizations. (Hello? ACORN Medical Services here!?!)
Page 489 Sec 1308: The Govt will cover marriage and family therapy. (Which means Govt will insert itself into your marriage even.)
Page 494-498: Govt will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, and rationing those services.

Senator, I guarantee that I personally will do everything possible to inform patients and my fellow physicians about the dangers of the proposed bills you and your colleagues are debating.

Furthermore, if you vote for a bill that enforces socialized medicine on the country and destroys the doctor-patient relationship, I will do everything in my power to make sure you lose your job in the next election.


March 19th, 2010
9:26 pm

Tail end of the boomer bell curve

March 19th, 2010
8:15 am

Yes, I’m willing to pay more in co-pays and deductibles and have my SS benefit taxed more. It will be there for you as long as the GOP is kept in the minority.


March 19th, 2010
9:34 am

Would you believe we’ll be paying about $30 trillion in total health care costs for the other 88%? The $940 billion is only about 3% of that.


March 19th, 2010
10:06 pm

AND LIBERTY DIES WITH THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE…. The entire world is laughing at U.S. The circle is complete The BOOMERS got to live our their lives in luxury and favor. Now we are the generation whom the check was passed…. PEACE…


March 19th, 2010
10:18 pm

Fund abortions for those on welfare only…we don’t need any more bottom feeders…


March 19th, 2010
10:29 pm

Come Nov. no more nancy as speaker!!!!

Democrat Ho's

March 19th, 2010
11:17 pm

The Democrat scumbags that are in charge for the time being are likely to pass this bill on Sunday. It’s nothing more than them whoring themselves out to their pauper constituency for votes. The only good news is that the vote for this bill will lead to the Democrats being voted out of power for at least ten years. I hope that the Republicans can take the ball and run with it, Fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, ending entitlements, and a logical immigration plan are needed!


March 19th, 2010
11:21 pm

People will whine and complain…and then they’ll move on with their lives.


March 19th, 2010
11:54 pm

Looking at the real cost of the healthcare plan is 2.3 trillion over the next 10 years.

It’s just not good if this gets past, our national debt is already to high!


March 20th, 2010
1:39 am

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the Socialist States of America and to the dictatorship for which it stands. One nation. Under Obama. With big government and enormous debt for all.

Rick in Grayson

March 20th, 2010
2:51 am

The Democrats refuse to directly confront the issue of providing healthcare to illegal aliens in this bill!

They are cowards that refuse to speak in plain English (that would of course prevent them to get their message to their future constituents) to the American public about their plans to provide free healthcare to foreign nationals in our country illegally.

They have written a bill that will allow foreign nationals in this country on a temporary visa to get free healthcare at any ER around the country! Talk about medical tourism. The US will continue to be ripped off by foreign nationals and illegal aliens.

Please support NUMBERSUSA.COM in the next fight to stop the Democrats from providing another amnesty to the 10-20 million illegal aliens (and their children) currently in the US. We have provided 8 amnesties since 1986 and still the government can not and will not adopt policies that draw illegal aliens into this country. We spend billions of dollars each year providing K-12 educations for the children of illegal aliens. Isn’t it about time that we used US taxes to provide for US citizens?


March 20th, 2010
8:06 am

The person who referred to multimillion dollar lawsuits when somebody gets a scratch in an accident must be from another planet. Big tort recoveries are awarded by juries ONLY when there is a hugely devastating injury.

As a small business owner who genuinely wants my employees to have decent health insurance, I have been burdened by spiraling premiums and inability to get a better deal due to preexisting conditions. I won’t be any worse off with health insurance reform and am likely to be better able to assure that employees and their families have adequate coverage.


March 20th, 2010
8:15 am


March 20th, 2010
8:06 am

Thanks for the voice of reason.


March 20th, 2010
8:21 am


March 19th, 2010
11:54 pm

We’ll be spending at least $2.5 trillion this year on total health care; at least $35 trillion over 10 years. So even if true, $2.3 trillion isn’t that much. That’s not to say I support the bill(s) or the process.

melissa's mom

March 20th, 2010
8:37 am

As a business owner and employer, I will probably drop insurance for my employees and pay a fine, which will be cheaper for me. Unfortunatly for my business and employees, the higher payroll taxes will negate any savings. Come to think of it, paying a fine for not having insurance will be cheaper for everyone. After all, why pay for insurance if you aren’t sick? Just wait until you need it and then the insurance companies HAVE to insure you. Gee, what a brilliant idea! Unless of course, there aren’t any insurance companies left. Then the government will have to take over – which is the democrat plan. Yes they want to “kick down the door” of capitalism and take over everything.

My only hope is that in the next election, we can vote the bums out and reverse this boondoggle.


March 20th, 2010
8:53 am

Vote out the incumbents and start over


March 20th, 2010
8:54 am

My hope is that the legislation reduces the cost of insurance and prevents gaps in insurance coverage. I switched jobs a few years ago and the cost of my insurance doubled just because of the differences in my former and current employer’s plans. The companies are the same size and engage in the same business, but their plans were dramatically different. Moreover, my current employer required a 90 day wait for insurance benefits. In the interim, I couldn’t afford COBRA and couldn’t buy a private insurance plan b/c I’m an Asthmatic. My family of four had to go uninsured for 90 days. Of course we all got sick 80 days into the wait period and had to spend a fortune on Drs visits.

If this plan reduces the overall cost of insurance and prevents gaps in coverage it will be a win for all Americans.


March 21st, 2010
7:17 pm

We’re already insurance poor, with health insurance being our biggest expense. And we’re on Medicare!

[...] platforms. Now the historic moment has come to pass: Congress has agreed that they should write a check for $940B to completely overhaul American healthcare and drive coverage from 83% to 95% of Ame……and hopefully coming in budget neutral  at least over the next decade. Insurance companies [...]


March 22nd, 2010
6:16 pm

MEDICARE at least you have something, everyone of poor working class have nothing they cant get medicaid or medicare. shouldnt we have something in place for working american tax payor that has no insurance, they have to get up and be slaves every day and no affordable health care that sucks.


March 23rd, 2010
12:24 am

Yes, the health reform bill covers marriage and family therapy. This means licensed marriage and family therapists such as myself will be able to see clients covered by Medicare. This change alone will save taxpayers huge sums as the current system covers the much higher paid psychologists and psychiatrists for the same services.