Wonk alert! Official summaries and timelines for the rollout of health care reform are now posted on the Democratic Policy site. Presumably these do not yet include the changes made by the reconciliation bill now under debate.
One of the more striking highlights of this list: Each and every item on the list is a benefit to most Americans, which translates to an increase in disposable income or opportunity. It's going to be tough for Republicans to take this list to their constituents and threaten to repeal it.
Calendar year 2010
- Tax credit assistanceSmall businesses are eligible for a 35% tax credit; non-profits may receive up to a 25% credit.
- Medicare Part D "donut hole" begins to close. Seniors receive a $250 rebate for prescription expenses in excess of $2,830.00.
- Adoption Credit Increases adoption credit by $1,000, makes it refundable, and extends the credit through the 2011 tax year
- Health students' assistance - Expands student loan programs, scholarships and loan repayments for medical services students, also allows exclusions from gross incomes for health professionals serving in underserved areas.
March 23, 2010
- Federal grants to states to implement consumer assistance for complaints
April 1, 2010
- Medicaid - Allows states to opt to cover parents and childless adults up to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level and receive federal funds under the current (strengthened) formulas.
June 21, 2010
- High Risk Pools open for uninsured people. It's my understanding that unlike current state high risk pools, the costs on these will be subsidized and calculated as a national pool, spreading costs and risks across a wider group.
- Federal assistance for early retirees - helps companies continue insurance for employees age 55-64
July 1, 2010
- The John Boehner Tanning Tax - 10% tax on amounts paid for indoor tanning services
September 23, 2010
- Rescissions - Policies may not be rescinded when people get sick. This applies to all new and existing policies, whether through an employer or individual.
- Lifetime Limits - All lifetime limits on policies are eliminated.
- Annual Limits - All group and individual plans will have tight restrictions on annual benefit limits. There will be no annual benefit limits once the exchange comes online 1/1/2014.
- Preventative - 100% coverage for preventative health services.
- Improved claims appeal process.
October 1, 2010
- Community Health Centers Funding to strengthen existing community health centers and begin new ones in all 50 states.
- Primary Care Workforce expansion via additional funding for scholarships and student loans.
There are other 2010 changes targeted toward very specific situations. The ones listed above affect everyone, or the medical profession overall.