After months and months of endless debate, the House appears poised to vote in favor of the most important piece of social legislation in this country in many years. This is not a perfect bill, but it is a bill that will make a positive difference in lives of the American people and will reduce the national deficit at the same time.
Here are three key provisions that make this bill well worth supporting.
1. There will be a mandate to have coverage, subsidies if you can’t afford coverage, and a requirement that insurance companies must cover those with pre-existing conditions at the same rate others are charged. – Many opponents to this bill had insisted that it was irresponsible to pass this bill all at once and that a piecemeal approach would be smarter. However, these three provisions are linked and, for any of them to be effective in both expanding coverage and controlling costs, all must be enacted at once.
2. Insurance companies can not rescind coverage when someone gets sick – Should be a no-brainer, but this is an all-too common practice in today’s marketplace. Imagine paying your premiums for years but, just at the moment when you need your coverage, your insurance company tells you that they have decided to no longer cover you. Well, this bill will prevent that from happenning.
3. Clinical Trials must be covered – This is something that hasn’t gotten much coverage, but it near and dear to my heart. Clincial Trials are an essential tool to assess new treatment options and medical advances but, in today’s world, many insurance companies won’t cover them (another example of profits before patients). Requiring them to be covered will make it much easier for investigators to reach enrollment goals and get real answers on best to diagnose and treat patients.
I wholeheartedly support this bill and am thrilled that we are one step closer to ensuring that patients come before profits and medical care will finally be a basic right. But don’t just take my word for it. Click here to read a statement from Rep. Brian Baird (a former medical professional) who voted no on the original house bill but will be voting yes today.