Here at CafeMom, our research has found that moms are very worried about the rising costs of health care and health insurance.
In an effort to address these concerns, President Obama signed health care reform legislation into law in March of 2010. Although the Supreme Court is expected to decide on the validity of this law in June, some provisions of the law already have gone into effect, changing the face of American health care ... and leaving a lot of people very, very confused about what it all means.
That's why later on this week, I'll be talking with Mayra Alvarez. She is the Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and she has the answers (we hope!) to all of your health care reform questions.
Leave your question about the new health care law in the comments of this post and I'll do my best to address it during the interview!
Moms' concern about health care coverage is entirely understandable. Some mothers worry about whether they can afford to take their children to see the doctor. Others worry about the high costs of their prescription medication. Still others can't afford health insurance, and worry about a catastrophic illness or injury.
The new Affordable Care Act is designed to change health care over a four-year period, with the final changes taking place (depending on the Supreme Court ruling) by 2014. If you're looking for the specifics on what is changing, this site is a great resource that explains the changes in an easy-to-understand format.
Proponents of the ACA say it's already making a difference. This from The Maddow Blog:
Much of the Affordable Care Act won't take effect until 2014 -- assuming it survives until then -- but several provisions that have already been implemented are having a positive impact.
The health care law (1) is combating fraud and abuse, which in turns saves Americans quite a bit of money; (2) has brought coverage to 2.5 million young adults; (3) is delivering major savings to seniors on prescription drugs; (4) is giving a boost to small businesses through ACA tax credits; (5) has slowed the growth of Medicare spending; (6) has provided new treatment options for cancer patients; and (7) has offered new coverage protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
But the new law has a large number of detractors as well. Termed 'Obamacare' by Republicans, every GOP presidential candidate has pledged to repeal it if elected to office. Why?
- Critics say it "stifles job creation, increases costs and limits freedom."
- They argue that "it puts government—not doctors and patients—at the center of health care decisions."
- They say that it will reduce the number of doctors and, therefore, the quality of patient care.
- And they say it is already preventing businesses from expanding.
There's certainly a lot here to think about.
So tell me ... what are your thoughts about healthcare reform? What are your questions? What are your biggest concerns?
Image via Rosmary/Flickr