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The passage of health reform last night is a huge step forward for all Americans. It could not have happened if all our Congressional Representatives -- with the exception of Representative Stephen Lynch -- had not put the public interests ahead of powerful Washington lobbies like the health insurance industry.
Now that the political wrangling in Washington is over, we will soon experience for ourselves the bill's immediate benefits. No child will be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. Small businesses will receive tax credits for covering their employees this year, and parents will have the right to keep their children on their plans till age 26.
In the years to come, as this new law is fully implemented, the legislation will begin to lower costs by delivering better, smarter care and increasing competition in the insurance markets. The result will be a $1.4 trillion smaller deficit over the next two decades. Businesses' health costs per employee will be $3000 less than under current law, according to the Business Roundtable. Consumers purchasing their own insurance will find 14-20% lower premiums for the same coverage than without this legislation, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. And at long last, insurers will be prohibited from using pre-existing conditions, errors on forms, and lifetime or yearly caps to drop coverage or price it out of reach.
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