What took 99 years to come about was celebrated this morning at Hartford’s Capital Community College. US Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Us Representative John Larson (D-CT1) were greeted by a jubilant crowd of health care supporters, as all celebrated the passage of this historic legislation.
Opponents of reform have been quick to make gross misrepresentations about this historic legislation. The GOP, which often is referred to as the “party of no” is also being referred to as the “party of lies” because of the constant claims about this new law which are just not true. Some claim that the health care legislation will increase our national debt causing the deficit to skyrocket and that the law represents a government take over of health care.
Sen. Dodd emphasized that according to the Congressional Budget Office, this legislation will reduce the national deficit by $130 billion in the first ten years, and potentially by $1.2 trillion in the second decade. He added that if you like the health insurance plan you have, you can keep it. Moreover, each member of the US House and Senate have a government-run health care plan and none have given their plan up. Sen. Dodd then went on to highlight some immediate changes that will take place starting now through the next year:
- Small businesses can receive tax credits of up to 35 percent of their premiums if they decide to offer coverage to their employees
- Medicare fixes that include the beginning of closing the donut hole on payment of prescription drugs, and does away with co-payments for preventive services and exempts preventive services from deductibles under Medicare (starts 1/12011)
- Insurance reform fixes: stops health insurer providers predatory practices of dropping people when they become sick
- Allows parents to continue coverage of their children up to age 26
- Bans health insurers from discriminating against children with pre-existing conditions
Kevin Galvin, a small-business owner and organizer, talked about what this new law will mean to him. He shared his delight that for the first time, he will actually have a means to offer health coverage to his employees.
Our task now is to share this critical information to everyone in our community. It is sad that the GOP is determined to not participate in making this great country even greater, and what is worse, to lie to the American people. Regardless of the party, our elected leaders in Congress have a lofty mission. To lie and resolve to do nothing is unacceptable. By the same token, we cannot be silent to the lies and negative rhetoric. We owe it to ourselves, our families and to those left behind by the 42,000 people who have died each year due to lack of health insurance, to the 750,000 American citizens who were forced into bankruptcy, to tell the truth! And often.