As we look back on that incredibly difficult debate and begin to see some of the new consumer protections take effect, it's increasingly clear that national leaders did the right thing.
Pre-existing conditions. As of last week, insurance plans may no longer deny children coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions or include pre-existing condition exclusions for children. For adults, this protection becomes effective 1/1/14. Until then, there has been established a "high-risk pool" that will provide at least some coverage to folks with pre-existing conditions. NOTE: This is a provision Paul Stam wants to roll back.
No more lifetime limits. As of last week, individual and group health plans are now prohibited from placing lifetime limits on the dollar value of coverage or rescinding coverage except in cases of fraud. Annual limits have also been restricted and will be eliminated in 2014. NOTE: This is a provision Paul Stam wants to roll back.
Dependent coverage raised to age 26. As of last week, all insurance plans must now allow young adults to remain on their parents' health insurance up to age 26. NOTE: This is a provision Paul Stam wants to roll back.
Improved Medicare and Medicaid drug coverage. The new law provides a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who reach the Part D coverage gap in 2010. Further subsidies and discounts that ultimately close the coverage gap begin in 2011. It also ups rebate percentages for a variety of drugs under Medicaid. NOTE: This is a provision Paul Stam wants to roll back.
Several other changes are already being implemented. These include new small business tax credits, several improvements to Medicare and Medicaid, and improvements to prevention and medical effectiveness. NOTE: This is a provision Paul Stam wants to roll back.