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About Health Care Reform

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Key Components

  • Protects consumers, improves affordability and holds insurers accountable.
  • Contains costs for public & private programs to ensure fiscal sustainability.
  • Cracks down on waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Expands coverage to those who are currently uninsured.

What the Various Reforms Do When They Take Effect
  • Requires insurance companies to allow young people to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26.


  • Prohibits rescissions (cancellation of existing insurance when a person becomes sick), restricts annual limits on coverage and precludes insurers from denying coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition.


  • Provides tax credits to small businesses to help cover employee premiums.


  • Prohibits health insurance companies from discriminating against adults because of a pre-existing condition.


  • Provides tax credits and subsidies for low and moderate income families to offset the cost of insurance premiums.


Additional Benefits for Consumers and Public Health Programs

  • Reduces family health insurance premiums by $1,510 - $2,160 without reducing benefits, as compared to what they would be without health reform by 2016. [Senate Finance Committee estimate based on CBO, 11/30/09]
  • Closes the Medicare prescription “donut hole” coverage gap.

  • Establishes a tax on high-cost plans to control rising insurance premiums.

  • Boosts Medicaid primary care reimbursements to physicians to 100% Medicare for two years with federal dollars.

  • Increases the number of primary care doctors, nurses and physician assistants through new investments in student loan programs and other incentives.

  • Institutes new patient care models in Medicare and Medicaid, such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and medical homes, as well as other payment reforms intended to link payment with quality outcomes.