Today, as our nation enters the home stretch on health reform, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will take your questions via Yahoo! News and Ustream. You can e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and then join the chat at 5:15 p.m. ET. The entire event will stream via White House Live.
"President Obama's health insurance reform plan will make our insurance system work for families, small-business owners, and individuals," Sebelius wrote in an op-ed piece published in today's Yahoo! News.
"First, it will protect families by ending the worst insurance practices," Sebelius explained. "It will outlaw the practice of arbitrarily canceling someone’s coverage and eliminate caps on benefits. It will also forbid insurance companies from denying you coverage because of a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure. So for the first time ever, every American will be able to get an insurance policy.
"Second, it will give self-employed workers and small-business owners the same private insurance choices as members of Congress by creating a new, consumer-friendly insurance marketplace called an exchange. Because this marketplace will allow consumers to band together to negotiate lower rates, it's estimated that premiums for many consumers will go down 14 to 20 percent for comparable coverage. And it will provide tax credits to help middle-class Americans and small-business owners buy insurance.
"Third, the president's plan will bring down costs for families, businesses, and government with the broadest package of health care cost-cutting measures that has ever come before Congress. A report from the Business Roundtable [an association of CEOs from leading U.S. companies] says these reforms could lower costs by as much as $3,000 per employee. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the president's plan will lower the federal deficit by about $100 billion over the next 10 years.
"Collectively, these changes will help give Americans control of their health care choices..."
To learn about what President Obama's proposal for health insurance reform specifically means to you, go directly to the following sites:
* Own a small business? http://bit.ly/SmallBizOwnersFAQ
* Have insurance through work? http://bit.ly/ThroughWorkFAQ
* Have Medicare coverage? http://bit.ly/MedicareFAQ
* Don't have any insurance? http://bit.ly/NoInsuranceFAQ
* Buy your own insurance? http://bit.ly/BuyOwnInsuranceFAQ
GoodBiz113's take: Health reform deserves everyone's full attention and understanding. Make time to learn about how President Obama's proposal for health reform will benefit you, your family, and/or small business. Then, contact your senator and/or representative in Congress ASAP, and ask them to vote for the triple-win plan this week: http://bit.ly/ElectedOfficials
SOURCES: Congressional Budget Office, HealthReform.gov, USA.gov, The White House [photo], Yahoo! News
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