As I’ve said, I don’t want to jinx it, but after more than a year of wrangling and back-and-forth, Republican obstruction, and head-slappingly self-defeating moves by a few conservative Democrats, the rollercoaster ride that is health care reform looks to be coming to its happy conclusion this Sunday.
Politics aside, if and when the bill becomes the law of the land its effects will be felt almost immediately. It moves the bar that much closer to universal coverage and helps a whole lot of sick people. CNN has a partial rundown of which parts of the health care reform will be felt within the first year.
Washington (CNN) — President Obama launched his health care reform effort shortly after taking office, saying the country could not afford to continue to sustain the costs and the burden on families.
The House is expected to vote soon on the health care bill that the Senate passed in December, though many House Democrats remain opposed to it.
One of the options for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: having the House pass the Senate bill but following up with another vote in both chambers on a series of changes. The idea is to make the legislation more acceptable for House Democrats opposed to the Senate’s version.
Although some of the provisions in the reform bill won’t be implemented immediately, here’s what Democrats say would go into effect in the first year after passage:
Eliminating caps: If you buy a policy, a health care company will not be able to place a lifetime — or annual — cap on how much they will cover. This is will be especially important for those diagnosed with serious illnesses, such as cancer, who face steep medical bills.
Pre-existing conditions: The Senate bill includes $5 billion in immediate support to provide temporary coverage to uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions. The money would help you until the new health care exchanges in the Senate bill are put into effect in 2014.
Children and pre-existing conditions: Another thing that’s going to be very important, CNN Senior Political Analyst Gloria Borger said, is that there will be no exclusion of children with pre-existing conditions.