How will you be affected by the health care overhaul?

The health care bill that passed the House Sunday night is expected to become law almost immediately. Today’s Question: How will you be affected by the health care overhaul?

  • Peter

    I am a student, and will be one for many years to come. To know that I have the guarantee of health care alleviates so many of my worries and allows me to look out of state for doctorate programs.

  • Dianne

    I work for the University of Minnesota who is self-insured, so I don’t expect to see any changes in my insurance. Perhaps some of the costs will go down and lower our premiums over time.

  • Laurie Buehler

    I hope this legislation will make it possible for my two recently graduated sons to obtain health care for themselves. They are both working but for employers that don’t provide coverage of any kind and their wages are low enough that purchasing a private plan is impossible.

  • Steven

    I can quit worrying that I might lose my health insurance. On the other hand, our health care system as a whole is still based on extracting profits from sick people, so there’s no guarantee that costs will actually go down. So I’m still worrying that our dysfunctional health care system is going to wreck our economy.

  • Jonathan Thomas

    I’m a musician with a pre-existing condition. This will help me develop my musical aspirations rather than always having to find a day job just so I can get insurance, which I’ve always thought is a ridiculous situation. It seems, a couple times a year I hear about a musician having a benefit to pay health costs because they were hospitalized but didn’t have insurance.

  • Jane

    I don’t know that it will affect me at all since I have low enough income that I am already relying on the vagaries of Minnesota public policy and “elected” (not by me) officialdom for medical coverage for my son and myself.

  • Ginny

    I have coverage through my employer. As long as I work I don’t expect my HC to change much. Many my age are looking at retirement and not doing it because they will have no health care or health care at very high cost and they cannot afford it. Unfortunately, this bill doesn’t change that.

  • Gary F

    Most companies will just pay the $3000 dollar fine each year per employee and let the government handle it. That was the whole intent of the legislation, to make it so difficult for private business to keep private insurance that they just give in.

    Do your endzone dance, pat yourselves on the back, the ends justified the means, I guess.

    Don’t expect any private sector recovery for a long, long, time. You just killed it.

  • Gary F

    March 21 every year will now be an official holiday, “Dependance Day”.

  • Rebecca

    My son will no longer be denied treatment by my insurance company! This is a beautiful day for me!

  • DMox

    Like the vast majority of Americans, liberal, conservative or otherwise, this bill won’t effect me at all. Instead of paying higher insurance premiums, which went up 36% last year, in order to absorb the cost of health care for those who must wait & present themselves to the ER instead of going to a regular doctor, I may pay a higher tax. I’m fine with that, I’m blessed with a job, benefits, food & transportation – my limits are so far removed from the problems these newly covered patients find themselves in. It’s the least I could do.

    It will, however, give a chance to 32 million otherwise helpless fellow Americans. It’s my firm belief that the Founders of this country had this idea in mind when they formed our union….the citizenry coming together to protect each other, not corporations or those with purely monetary interest, such as the crown. We’ve made our union more perfect….not perfect, but closer still.

  • Elaine

    My insurance situation will not change at the moment. However, what this does for me is to give me hope that I live in a compassionate country. I feel that we are all better people when we are helping out those who have needs that are blocked by our old system of healthcare. I am interested in even further reform. I feel we are all of equal value in the big scheme and healthcare should be considered a right for all.

  • EAL

    Personal accountability provisions are absent from this legislation. As such, my son and the children of others will wind up paying for those who choose not to take care of their health or choose risk lifestyles (smoking, drinking, drugs, etc.). The same accusations of greediness by those in the financial sector should also be recognized by those demanding health care without recognizing the financial impact. For example, with provisions for taxes for medical devices, the U.S. and especially Minnesota, will begin to loose its global advantage in providing innovate goods and services. Finally, the U.S. Constitution was adopted to limit the role of the federal government. If health care is a right and coverage mandated, then Congress and the President should have the political will and guts to update the U.S. Constitution.

  • Gary F

    Who is John Galt?

    Better find out who John Galt is.

  • Jake

    Epic Fail! Another Trillion $$ piled upon our already massive deficit…there is no money to pay for this and those who voted for it better start looking for a new job now.

  • James

    Thank you Comrade(товарищ) Hussein Obama for “Fundamentally Changing” Our free democracy into a Socialist state. Now you can tell us what is healthy to eat, how fast we can drive, what we can drink, and other “Health” related governmental concerns you have for us. Also Thank you for being so open-door about this “Change” and the Sunday (a day set aside for worship) ram rod / arm twisting / bribed / partisan / against the majority of AMERICANS vote.

    Next November we will clean house and try to fix this mess. And FORGET about term two.

    DTOM

  • Alan Ruvelson

    I am retired from the Army. I am told by some who hope to gain my support that the bill will cost me money. No doubt they are right in that, but they err in assuming that having “stepped up” once it is not in me to give more for the greater good. “Selfless service” and “service above self” are reminders of what I can be. It is sad that ostensibly non-partisan organizations will allow these principals to be subverted.

  • James

    Thank you Comrade(товарищ) Hussein Obama for “Fundamentally Changing” Our free democracy into a Socialist state. Now you can tell us what is healthy to eat, how fast we can drive, what we can drink, and other “Health” related governmental concerns you have for us. Also Thank you for being so open-door about this “Change” and the Sunday (a day set aside for worship) ram rod / arm twisting / bribed / partisan / against the majority of AMERICANS vote.

    Next November we will clean house and try to fix this mess. And FORGET about term two.

    DTOM

  • MN mom

    I am thrilled this passed and it’s about time. My college graduate son who tried to get insurance but was diagnosed with ADD years before can now get insurance without being referred to the MN high risk pool. For all of you Republicants, this will lower healthcare costs by giving more people access to healthcare, thus lowering the high costs incurred by people without insurance who waited too long to get care. You are already paying for them right now. Also, look at medicare! People have access and statistically, people over 65 have a longer life expectancy. Last, in a educated, progressinve country such as ours, there should never be a profit dollar made on the backs of the vulnerable. I am glad the insurance companies will loose some of their strangle hold.

  • jessica Sundheim

    I’m glad there is finally some regulation on these insurance companies! I think they have devestated our country enough!

    My hope is that this means the end of discrimination in care for those with mental illness and addiction. If so, it could have an amazing affect in the lives of many, not just ME, who have witnessed the horror of those suffering without the ability to pay for the care they need.

    Over the last few months, I’ve begun to wonder if health reform took this long to pass for a really good reason. Perhaps Congress had to pass legislation to end discrimination against those with mental illness first.

    It is too late for my family, but hopefully this will end the tragedy of soldiers returning from war who are denied the care they need. Hopefully, the next disease that will “eat into profits too much” will be recognized sooner and we will be able to provide treatment for those suffering. I hope the overall affect this will have is that millions of people will not lose chunks of their lives because they cannot afford to see a doctor. I hope that we no longer throw away people in order to stuff the coffers of companies. If so, my life and the lives of many will drastically improve.

  • Steve

    I am rather glad about this legislation. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Crohns disease while under my parents health care. After I graduated from college I was on my own but very lucky to get a job during the depths of the recession that gave me health care for the most part….I had to wait until the beginning of this year for the insurance to cover anything having to do with my crohns. I was lucky twice. My luck was bound to run out some time…but no longer…I don’t have to worry about this “pre-existing condition” anymore. I can do a little dance and be happy because of that.

    As for the rest, I don’t mind paying a bit more to help out my community member. I live up on the Iron Range, where since the beginning of it’s creation, looking out for your neighbor and partner in times of trouble has been what’s kept us alive. Over the years, people have gotten away from that, and we were worse off for it. This little step brings some part of that back.

  • Wallace

    Pelosi crowed this would save the taxpayers $1.3 trillion. Right!

    How will it affect me? I guess it’ll make me a criminal, for not being able to afford insurance, and being too proud and independent to go on the dole.

  • john

    I am an entrepreneur. I have personally experienced being turned down due to pre-existing conditions (as was my 9 year old,) and not being able to procure insurance. I had to work hard to get coverage, especially back when I relied on individual coverage. I’m all for extending coverage to those who cannot get it—but the elephant in the room is out of control costs. And this bill does nothing to fix the fundamental problems behind our health care woes. In my company all US employees have good coverage via a highly successful high-deductible and fully 100% funded HSA plan enacted three years ago (my Australian employees buy private insurance on their own to supplement the national plan in case they need to get in to see a doctor quickly.) The HSA plan was a big change for us. Our insurance costs went down, and the employees were incentivized to make intelligent, discriminating decisions on health care. It turned out we like those dollars staying in our personal HSA account (go figure!) This ill-conceived bill does nothing to put power in the hands of consumers to lower cost, as has been our experience with the HSA plan. This bill will simply drive up indiscriminate demand for healthcare, which is the fundamental problem. Costs will rise, taxes out of necessity will also rise, and quality will go down as the profit incentive which drives innovation and financial risk taking erodes. Productivity and the economy will suffer under a high tax load. Unemployment will remain stubbornly high, mediocrity will rule the day. I work with governments around the world for a living, and I can tell you other than defense and infrastructure, there’s not much else they have proven to be able to manage effectively. Ordinary individuals do a much better job, but this Health bill goes entirely in the opposite direction. My kid who has been pre-med in college is now changing her mind to go into business. I have slaved and sacrificed for the past twenty years to build a business, and now that is is succeeding what I see coming are growing disincentives to employ anybody. My situation is unusual: I have the option to emigrate, as most of the business’ income is generated abroad. If the tax/cost of living advantage of the US goes away to be replaced by a welfare nanny state where the inmates run the asylum, heck, I can get that in Australia, where the weather is a lot better. Others will make the same choice. We get what we deserve, people.

  • Dave

    Watch out for the scams! Now that everyone will be required to buy insurance, we will all receive junk mail telling us that we must buy a policy, and that the government will fine us if we don’t have insurance, so here is a cheap policy that will keep you out of jail. Of course, it will be a sham policy that covers little or no real health care bills. How will the big brother government know who has purchased insurance or not? Is this just a step towards government-provided health care for everybody?

  • Randy McLaughlin

    As a self-employed person in my late 50s, I feel like a sitting duck. Predatory pricing against people of my age is now written into the law and I have lost the competitive ability to choose whether or not to accept insurance or to decide what level of service works for me.

    I have always determined that paying an insurance company to cover preventive services is more expensive than simply paying for the procedure directly, but I now must accept the more expensive option.

    I greatly fear that my current policy will be canceled because it no longer matches new federal requirements and that the policy offered to replace it will be significantly more expensive. Of course, when this happens, any deductables accumulated under the old plan will not transfer to the new plan. And, since I have to buy insurance with after-tax money, any increase in premiums carries with it an increase in taxes.

  • Steve

    I have health insurance at my work and I pay 26% of the premium or $5631.00 this year, I am glad I only pay 26%!!! I hope this will eventually lead to some premium reductions or at least to less than double digit cost increases? I believe having Health coverage for all is good and will come as we work to make this more comprehensive. After all Social Security and Medicare were not comprehensive either when those programs were first voted in. This compromise bill is a good start and maybe now the TV adds will soon just be lies about politicians something I learned to block out years ago.

  • Peggy Joseph

    “I never thought this day would happen. I won’t have to work on puttin’ gas in my car. I won’t have to work at payin’ my mortgage. You know. If I help him [Obama], he’s gonna help me.” Peggy Joseph 2010

  • Gordon in Two Harbors

    Although this bill is far from perfect, it certainly is a step in the right direction. The entire health care system has been headed for a crash for decades, with costs escalading many times the overall rate of inflation and driving millions of people out of the market and onto the shoulders of taxpayers.

    Health care in the US is no better than what is offered in Sweden or Germany, for the most part, but costs to the American consumer are the highest in the world.

    Sure, you can label this health care bill a “socialist, government take-over”, but the real reason behind it is the outright failure of the free-market system to make an ESSENTIAL SERVICE affordable to everyone.

    The same people who squeal and cry about legalized abortion seem to care nothing about the tens of thousands of people who needlessly die every year because they can’t afford, or are denied, health insurance.

  • Sue de Nim

    I don’t think it will affect me at all. I’m sure the big-business health care corporations have already figured out how to milk this new thing for all it’s worth. They’ll just find new ways to gouge us. If this is “socialism,” why have health care stocks gone up in recent days? This is an illusory reform that really doesn’t fix anything. Why are we Americans too proud to admit that other countries (England, France, Canada, etc., etc.) might have good ideas, too?

  • Jill

    The immediate effect of the overhaul is that I am proud of my country for taking this step. My current health care situation is dismal; I am a 57-year-old who does not receive health benefits from my employer, so I purchase for myself a high-deductible plan and avoid going to the doctor. Anyone who thinks that this health care reform only helps lazy people who just want a welfare state doesn’t know people like me, who have worked hard all their lives but have each year had more money taken out of their paycheck for less coverage until finally their employers can’t afford to provide health care benefits any more. Also, anyone who thinks this makes us a “socialist nation” is buying into the negative sound bites without critically examining the issue. This reform was necessary and we will all be the better for it.

  • Rob

    The greatest effect on my life will be the rapid increase in global warming as the earth now begins hurtling toward the sun. Oh, and there will be plenty of new job opportunities for all the people who want to be on the death panels.

  • jim

    4 years ago my wife and I lost our daughter to a disease for which treatment was expensive. Once she lost her job, due to the of the illness, she could not get insurance because of a preexisting condition. Now perhaps other parents will be saved our grief.

  • Lawrence

    I hope my individual and employer provided health care costs will stop rising. I hope health insurance companies and hospitals will follow Congress’s lead and initiate more reforms too. And I hope our two political parties will declare peace and work with each other on remaining legislation. If all these hopes happen, this was a great bill and it would make me very happy. If none of my hopes come true, then I think we’re in trouble.

  • Mel

    It is a great day for the United States! I have disabled children and I have a pre-existing condition. I have a full time job, but it does not provide health care. Plus I am a college student. This bill will help my family and others like me in many different ways. I am proud of the Democrats and President Obama!

  • Rosie

    I don’t know how I’ll be affected by the Health Reform legislation. I am 58, been unemployed (and off the unemployment insurance rolls for 28 months), and uninsured for 3 years as I couldn’t afford the COBRA option, and am struggling to start a business in this economy. I hope the legislation will provide me some health coverage, but I haven’t had time to review the 1,000+ page document.

    I believe this legislation is better than nothing and now we have something to improve upon. We need to stop the spiraling medical costs and the insurance companies from having control. This is not socialism, it is a democratic process with the citizens calling the shots!

  • Laurie

    I was thrilled that the bill passed. I’m sure it’s not perfect, but to take the first step was very important. I get so confused when conservatives claim that Americans don’t want health care reform. After hearing T.R. Reid on NPR and reading his book, “The Healing of America” about health care systems around the world, I am more convinced than ever that we must work toward a system which respects all people and offers access to health care to everyone. Anything less is immoral.

  • Jason

    Now I will have to live under tyranny! Oh, wait, I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about…

  • Clark

    Higher taxes to support expansion of obama socialism. Bush, yes I really do miss ya!!

  • Bruce T Johnson

    Personally, I expect to continue to have health insurance available and affordable within a year or so after my COBRA health care runs out. More importantly, I have some increased pride in our country and our ability to promote the common good for all.

  • Tom

    Just like everything else that the government is involved in – higher cost, lower standard of service.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I’m going to have to stock up on more guns and ammo before this new health care system designates them as unhealthful, so I’ll still be able to fend of the IRS’s jack-booted storm troopers when they come to tax me to pay for this radical, ultra-communist “reform.” And when those death panels decide it’s my turn, I’ll want to be able to fight back.

    Wait a minute…. You say the stock market went up today, and it looks like the for-profit medical industry will still be able to make windfall profits off of sick Americans? Okay, never mind.

  • Bonnie

    Gary F. Have you ever worked for the private sector? Your comments don’t indicate you understand how private industry operates. I’ve worked for a Fortune 100 corporation for 30 years and our HR folks are always talking about the uncontrolled, rising cost of health care and how it affects our cost of product, etc., etc.

    Our company welcomes the new law and hopes it will contribute to making health care more affordable for all of us and our products more competitive in the world market. As for corporations who want to pay a $3,000 fine instead of providing health care options for an employee, good luck finding quality folks who want to work there!

  • Archie B

    Oh, please! The IRS does not have “jack-booted storm troopers.” How ridiculous! Jack-boots went out of style 50 years ago, fer Pete’s sake.

  • http://minnesota.publicradio.org/publicinsightjournalism/ comments sent to MPR

    Comments texted to MPR:

    I will be affected in the knowledge that more of my fellow Americans will now enjoy the right of health care without fear of insurance company abuses. -Mik

    I’ll get cut for MN Care because I’m single with no kids and I have to wait until 2OI4 to get insured again because of pre-existing conditions. -Sue, Minneapolis

  • Tim Eiler

    The health care reforms will reduce anxiety due to pre-existing conditions, but otherwise will really do little else. It *might* keep my monthly costs down over time, though I’m guessing that in 5 years the overall cost trend will be the same as it was without federalization of health care. I’m also guessing that access to health care might become somewhat more limited.