If we're going to hold insurance companies accountable, then we must also ensure a stable risk pool with full participation by everyone in the United States workforce. We are all players in the system, and our actions impact its economic balance.
That's why the law includes an individual mandate which requires that all Americans have health insurance or face tax penalties. The only way to prevent a spiral of ever-increasing premiums is to ensure that we've all got some skin in this game.
We have all witnessed what happens when the scale is heavily tipped to one side. It all goes terribly wrong:
- Soaring premiums and astronomical rate hikes in the face of an economic crisis.
- Extreme surges in profits for insurance companies.
- Coverage is dropped or barred from people when they need it the most.
Our current system is cruel, costly, and unfair. It has failed too many of us for too long. With this new healthcare reform law, we have finally been given the right foundation to start again.
The Fat Lady Hasn't Sung Yet
The passing of the healthcare reform bill is a big win and represents real progress. However, it's not a magic solution. While there are still inequities in the system, it’s important to remember that change takes time. We have to be patient and see how it all shakes out once all the pieces of the new healthcare law come into effect. While it may take longer than we’d like, reform has set the right foundation in place to see real positive change (some of which has already come to fruition) with more to come in the future.
The changes in the healthcare reform law are being phased in gradually over a four-year period (2010-2014.)
Some of the most popular provisions, those that will truly transform the current system, will not come into effect until 2014.
How does health reform help me? What's In It for You?