Here are all the articles I've written about Poverty in the United States. Enjoy!

March 26th, 2010

How Health Care Reform Affects You

If you didn’t read the entire 12-page synopsis of the new Health Care Reform legislation which I posted a couple of days ago (because you found it just too exciting!), here is a year-by-year breakdown of what you can expect (the big stuff doesn’t happen until 2014).   Can you spot the fatal flaws?


  • Subsidies begin for small businesses to provide coverage to employees
  • Insurance companies barred from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions
  • Children permitted to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until their 26th birthday


  • Set up long term care program under which people pay premiums into system for at least 5 years and become eligible for support payments if they need assistance in daily living
  • Drug makers face annual fees of $2.5 billion


  • New Medicare tax on individuals earning more than $200,000 a year and couples filing jointly earning more than $250,000 a year
  • Tax on wages rises to 2.35% up from 1.45%
  • New 3.8% tax on unearned income such as dividends and interest
  • Excise tax of 2.9% imposed on sale of medical devices
  • Medicare pilot program begins to test bundled payments for care, in a bid to pay for quality rather than quantity of services


  • Create exchanges where people without employer coverage, as well as small businesses, can shop for health coverage.  Insurance companies barred from denying coverage to anyone with pre-existing illness.
  • Requirement begins for most people to have health insurance.  Subsidies begin for lower- and middle-income people.  People at 133% of the federal poverty level pay maximum of 3% of income for coverage.  People at 400% of the poverty level pay up to 9.5% of income.  (Poverty level currently is about $22,000 for a family of four.)
  • Medicaid (in CA, Medi-Cal), expands to all Americans with income up to 133%
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