Good news in the health care bill

I’ve already ranted against the Stupak amendment, but now I’m going to take a deep breath and look at some of the positive things included in the House health reform bill. The bill:

  • Expands Medicaid “to reach a wider range of poor households up to 150% of the federal poverty level. 36M additional Americans will now be eligible for Medicaid.”
  • Bars discrimination in health care on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • Acknowledges LGBTQ Americans are a population likely to “experience significant gaps in disease, health outcomes, or access to health care.” This will hopefully ensure that LGBTQ people are included in future data collection, and that grant programs will focus on their specific health needs.
  • Ends the “unfair practice of taxing employer-provided domestic partner health benefits, allowing thousands upon thousands of LGBT people to obtain domestic partner health benefits for their partners and families without having to pay a tax penalty through the nose.”
  • Allows states to cover early HIV treatment under their Medicaid programs. (Currently, states are only allowed to use Medicaid money for patients with full-blown AIDS.)
  • Funds comprehensive sex-ed programs.

Join the Conversation

  • Jennie

    Though the Stupak Amendment is horrible, it is good to see the positive parts of the healthcare reform. Thanks!

  • aleks

    Any word yet on pre-existing condition condition coverage?


    The bottom line is, this is NOT single payer Canadian-style national health insurance.
    This is what can best be described as the “car insurance model” – that is, you are required by law to buy insurance and if you can’t afford it and your boss won’t pay for it (or you don’t have a boss – self employed, unemployed, 1099 independent contractor ect) you have to figure out how to pay for it.
    The government will let you get Medicaid if you’re at 150% of the poverty level or below, but if you’re at 151% of the poverty level, that won’t help you.
    And if you’re an undocumented immigrant, it doesn’t matter what percent of poverty you’re at because you will not get anything from the government.
    Not to mention that there are a whole lot of medical services that Medicaid does not cover, and many providers don’t take Medicaid (in some areas, you’ll be stuck getting “medical care” from the quacks and scam artists who run “Medicaid Mills” – slipshod clinics that provide, at best, bare minimum care).
    Oh, and if you need an abortion, it will not be covered by the “public option” or by Medicaid.
    In other words, Obamacare is worse than what we have now!

  • chechelle

    thank you so much for posting this. while I do think the abortion issue is a huge one, the things you pointed out are great and I am so glad that we you are able to look at the positives in this situation, and encourage others to do the same.

  • Rubbersoul4163

    =), especially for comprehensive sex-ed.

  • loves abortion

    its still tainted
    I can’t look at this as any sort of victory when repo rights are still the first thing to be bargained away. And it isn’t the repo rights of rich women, nope poor women.
    dumb dumb dumb

  • aleks

    Please stop spreading misinformation.
    “Most employers would have to provide coverage or pay a tax penalty of up to 8 percent of their payroll. The bill would significantly expand Medicaid and would offer subsidies to help moderate-income people buy insurance from private companies or from a government insurance plan.

  • ellid

    Denial on the basis of a pre-existing condition is banned. Ditto lifetime or yearly caps on benefits.
    There’s a lot to like in this bill, even if the robust public option didn’t make it. I can still see Stupak-Pitts causing a whole heap o’ trouble for women, though, especially if the “birth control = abortion” crowd gets involved.

  • ellid

    No, this is much closer to Commonwealth Care, the subsidized type of Mass Health. Which, for all its flaws, has succeeded in covering something like 94% of the population and is very, very popular, to the point where despite massive budget problems, the Governor shows no sign of touching it.
    As for undocumented workers, I’m going to side with the conservatives for once: people who are in this country illegally should not receive public medical insurance. Now, I think we should relax immigration and let the millions who have made lives here remain here with green cards and/or citizenship. But until that day, the law is the law, unfortunate as that is.

  • Honeybee

    Right now alot of those people below the 150% poverty line have NO INSURANCE at all. So how can this be worse????
    Irrational ranting due to the lack of abortion coverage is driving all of this. This is a huge victory. There is a still a fight to be had but this is a big step forward.
    Also why would an undocumented immigrant be given coverage?

  • biancamarissa

    I agree, it is hard not to feel gutted right now. I want to be happy for some of the things, but it just fucking sucks. Has Obama condemned the Stupak amendment?