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US Health Care Bill

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Source Reuters
Here is a more in depth article from Wikipedia.


* Insurance companies will be barred from dropping people from coverage when they get sick. Lifetime coverage limits will be eliminated and annual limits are to be restricted.
* Insurers will be barred from excluding children for coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
* Young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26. Many health plans currently drop dependents from coverage when they turn 19 or finish college.
* Uninsured adults with a pre-existing conditions will be able to obtain health coverage through a new program that will expire once new insurance exchanges begin operating in 2014.
* A temporary reinsurance program is created to help companies maintain health coverage for early retirees between the ages of 55 and 64. This also expires in 2014.
* Medicare drug beneficiaries who fall into the “doughnut hole” coverage gap will get a $250 rebate. The bill eventually closes that gap which currently begins after $2,700 is spent on drugs. Coverage starts again after $6,154 is spent.
* A tax credit becomes available for some small businesses to help provide coverage for workers.
* A 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services that use ultraviolet lamps goes into effect on July 1.


* Medicare provides 10 percent bonus payments to primary care physicians and general surgeons.
* Medicare beneficiaries will be able to get a free annual wellness visit and personalized prevention plan service. New health plans will be required to cover preventive services with little or no cost to patients.
* A new program under the Medicaid plan for the poor goes into effect in October that allows states to offer home and community based care for the disabled that might otherwise require institutional care.
* Payments to insurers offering Medicare Advantage services are frozen at 2010 levels. These payments are to be gradually reduced to bring them more in line with traditional Medicare.
* Employers are required to disclose the value of health benefits on employees’ W-2 tax forms.
* An annual fee is imposed on pharmaceutical companies according to market share. The fee does not apply to companies with sales of $5 million or less.


* Physician payment reforms are implemented in Medicare to enhance primary care services and encourage doctors to form “accountable care organizations” to improve quality and efficiency of care.
* An incentive program is established in Medicare for acute care hospitals to improve quality outcomes.
* The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the government programs, begin tracking hospital readmission rates and puts in place financial incentives to reduce preventable readmissions. WHAT HAPPENS IN 2013
* A national pilot program is established for Medicare on payment bundling to encourage doctors, hospitals and other care providers to better coordinate patient care.
* The threshold for claiming medical expenses on itemized tax returns is raised to 10 percent from 7.5 percent of income. The threshold remains at 7.5 percent for the elderly through 2016.
* The Medicare payroll tax is raised to 2.35 percent from 1.45 percent for individuals earning more than $200,000 and married couples with incomes over $250,000. The tax is imposed on some investment income for that income group.
* A 2.9 percent excise tax in imposed on the sale of medical devices. Anything generally purchased at the retail level by the public is excluded from the tax.


* State health insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals open.
* Most people will be required to obtain health insurance coverage or pay a fine if they don’t. Healthcare tax credits become available to help people with incomes up to 400 percent of poverty purchase coverage on the exchange.
* Health plans no longer can exclude people from coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
* Employers with 50 or more workers who do not offer coverage face a fine of $2,000 for each employee if any worker receives subsidized insurance on the exchange. The first 30 employees aren’t counted for the fine.
* Health insurance companies begin paying a fee based on their market share.


* Medicare creates a physician payment program aimed at rewarding quality of care rather than volume of services.


* An excise tax on high cost employer-provided plans is imposed. The first $27,500 of a family plan and $10,200 for individual coverage is exempt from the tax. Higher levels are set for plans covering retirees and people in high risk professions.

About the Author:

Dr Wiens created the very first chiropractic information page on the web in Nov 1994. In 1995 he joined as chief designer. He lives in Canada.


  1. Vacaville Chiropractor March 22, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    I would love to see a detailed analysis of this legislation as it affects chiropractors! I hope the ACA or someone is working on that…

  2. Hugo Ayala March 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    i was just wondering the same thing, but i dont think anyone is gonna sit down and read that whole bill at the moment

  3. John

    Thanks for posting this.

    I’m sickened by all the fearmongering going on, as certain individuals pretend that an insurance mandate abridges civil liberties…perhaps these people forgot that mandated car insurance didn’t “destroy” the Republic?

    As for reading the whole bill, our form of government is “representative”, so if you trust the politician to do your will, then leave them to it. If you want more input in the system, you have to get involved in the “grassroots” of politics. That’s how it works.

  4. This is a great summary. Thanks for the post. I’m curious how “quality of care” can be rewarded. It sounds kind of subjective. Anybody have any details?

  5. Seattle Chiropractor March 24, 2010 at 1:02 am


    You’re right there has been waaay too much fear mongering, but it doesn’t mean some of the problems are not real.

    In my opinion, based on the actual number of uninsured, this health care bill does nothing but add to pharmaceutical companies profits, and give insurance companies customers.

    The statistics about the uninsured are skewed, as a large percentage are covered by medicaid but have not signed up(they are allowed to sign up once something happens to not pay the premium.) Another large group are people who CAN afford insurance and are choosing not to pay for it. Another group are people who have briefly lost insurance coverage while changing employment, and the average time of this lost coverage is 4 months.

    The total of uninsured is approx. 35 million, and the vast majority are made up from these groups.

    BTW, I do believe everyone should have coverage, and would love a universal plan that didnt pander to two huge corporations.

  6. Chiropractic Supplier March 24, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    This a great run down on the bill, but we won’t know how it is going to work until it starts getting implemented. Many times Congress has passed legislation and it did not have the outcome that they had planned. So it may be wait and see right away.

  7. Provo Chiropractor March 24, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    It will be interesting to see how the health care bill affects chiropractors in general. Like the first commenter, I’d like to see the legislation related to chiropractic care.

  8. Pittsfield Chiropractor March 25, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    It seems like the “new bill” will be chiropractic friendly, but it may take time for the fall out to see how it will affect chiropractic as a whole

  9. Dr. Chiropractor April 5, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I own a chiropractic clinic, and I think you are spot on. This is my first time visiting your website, but I will most likely be back. Keep up the good work!

  10. seattle chiropractor November 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    It will be interesting to see what changes are made to the law now that Republicans control the House of Representatives.

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