By Noah Graff
Hurray! The monumental health care bill has been passed—virtually. It’s been watered down from its original version dramatically, and one could actually make the argument that it’s pretty similar to the bill Republicans proposed. The bill contains hundreds of pages of details that I can’t be very articulate about at this point, but there’s one part of the bill that I can comment on because it significantly effects my life.
I have a preexisting medical condition I was diagnosed with when I was 18. It’s very controlled by medicine and has little effect on my daily life other than me having to take some expensive pills every day. Until now, if I wasn’t employed in a company that provided me health insurance benefits I would be virtually unable to buy health care. I’ve always felt scared that if I lost my job or wanted to start my own business that I would be left in the cold. Until now insurance companies would flat out deny me the right to coverage in a private plan. I would have to live in fear of becoming ill or having an accident, and I’d have to pay hundreds of dollars every month out of pocket for a drug to keep me healthy. In 2014, the new bill will ban pre-existing condition exclusion for all patients in the U.S. Even though that’s four years away, the bill also states that in 2010, it will provide immediate assistance for patients who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions. So I’m assuming that means I no longer have to fear being uninsurable.
The ramifications of the new health care bill can be debated to death. The bill is far from perfect, but today I feel I have significantly more freedom in my life than I did yesterday. I, with so many others like me, have gained the freedom to switch jobs or start businesses and know we can now buy health care coverage. Hard to argue with that, isn’t it.