Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Health-Care Confusion

Last week, President Obama and Congress passed historic health-care legislation, arguably the most sweeping government refo
rm measure in decades. Analysts, academics, politicians and average Americans everywhere have since been trying to make sense of the 2,000-plus page bill that will potentially redefine a fundamental system of American society.

I tried my hardest to follow the year-long legislative sparring that preceded this bill's passing, however, as my generational peers would agree, our position at this present time is unfortunate. We have largely never had to face the frustration of medical bills and insurance injustices (most of the medical paperwork is still left to our parents) yet we are just months away from losing that coveted coverage. Our generation will face the task of implementing and monitoring many of the reform measures the bill dictates and we will most definitely be the ones paying the for the fiscal consequences of it, yet we are in no position to really understand the flaws of the current system and whether the reforms actually include any viable solutions.

Apparently the intricacies of the legislation are not just perplexing to 21-year old crowd: Yahoo reports that searches for "health care reform" are up over 6,000 percent this week. Newsweek published a column today "Americans Don't Undestand Health Care" and the pure volume of news coverage on this topic also exhibits just how confused Americans are about it.

Below, I've compiled a list of helpful links from Newsweek and other sources that attempt to simplify the complicated bill. Logically, most try to isolate individual lifestyles and target tailored explanations to "each" particular American prototype. While this is seemingly helpful, we must be careful not to discount the bill's other facets, which also affect all of us, even if indirectly.

Ten major provisions of reform that will change health care for individual Americans—in an idiot-proof graphic form.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's succinct summary of what health-care reform does holistically.
This Washington Post personal calculator allows you to plug in your individual numbers—income, family members, and suchto find out what will happen to your insurance premiums.
This New York Times interactive tool also allows readers to understand the bill's effects.
Another helpful list in bulleted form.

Feel free to post any additional helpful links. In order to form opinions on this controversial bill, Americans need to understand it first- an understanding that is currently missing.

1 comment:

Kaylyn said...

Thanks for posting these links, Amanda! They're definitely helping me to sort out some of the specifics of the bill, which I also had trouble keeping up with through the legislative process.

These also might be of interest, especially to students, since they explain the student loan reforms in condensed ways.

"FAQs About Student Loan Reform" -CNN

"Questions and Answers on the Student Loan Bill" -New York Times, "The Choice"