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GOP Cannot Obstruct Health Care Law’s 2011 Changes

The Republican Party’s maniacal obsession with repealing, revoking, or rescinding any trace of the healthcare legislation the Obama Administration and the Democrats passed into law almost a year ago has already marred their tenure as the majority party in the House of Representatives, drenching them in the scent of hopeless failure from Day One of the first session of the 112th Congress.

With GOP leaders chasing after the Tea Party, “That’s going to be the dog that catches the car. And the Democrats are going to have an enjoyable couple of years watching that dog deal with the car it’s caught.”

Former Rep. Bob Inglis, (R) S.C.

“Too Sane For Congress”   Mother Jones    

I’ve spied dogs chasing cars, but I’ve never seen any of them catch one. Not unless you count the numerous times I’ve watched a cartoon dog crash into the back of a cartoon car that stops abruptly. So Bob Inglis, who lost his seat last fall to a surge of Tea Party activism in his district in South Carolina, definitely has a point when it comes to the future of the GOP.

While the Republicans are putting on a show for the cameras, attempting to manufacture the kind of controversy our journalist corps swears is just as good as reporting actual hard news, there are several real changes to the delivery of healthcare in this country that became law on Saturday, January 1st, 2011.

  • Parents can now keep their adult children on their health insurance until the age of 26.
    • All health care insurance plans must cover kids under the age of 19, no matter what pre-existing conditions exist.
      • Insurance companies will be required to spend 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on medical care and health care quality improvement, rather than on administrative costs, starting in 2011.  If they don’t, the insurance companies will be required to provide a rebate to their customers starting in 2012.
        • Seniors who reach the coverage gap will receive a 50 percent discount when buying Medicare Part D covered brand-name prescription drugs.
          • Seniors will begin receiving certain free preventive services, such as annual wellness visits and personalized prevention plans for seniors on Medicare. 
            • The Community Care Transitions Program will help high risk Medicare beneficiaries who are hospitalized avoid unnecessary readmissions by coordinating care and connecting patients to services in their communities.
            • Then again, maybe I ought to wish John Boehner and his fellow GOPers good luck…

              …because if they can pull off a repeal of the healthcare law, our continually rising healthcare costs will put them even more behind the eight ball, effectively sealing the deal for putting a simpler, more affordable, more efficient single payer system in place.


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