Virginia Organizing Project Hosts Community Conversation on Health Care Bill With Congressman Tom Perriello
Martinsville, VA –The Virginia Organizing Project hosted a Community Conversation on the health care reform bill with Congressman Tom Perriello at Ladies and Gents Beauty and Barber Center on Thursday. The Community Conversation encouraged local residents to ask Congressman Tom Perriello their health care reform questions and find out how the health care bill will affect local small businesses, young people, Medicare recipients and others.
During the last year and a half the Virginia Organizing Project has been active statewide on health care reform and has held nearly a dozen community conversations and town hall meetings. The Virginia Organizing Project strives to work with local communities on the issues directly affecting their lives. In the Danville/Martinsville area, the Virginia Organizing Project knocked on 13,000 doors last summer to determine the issues most important to local residents. Over 80 percent of local residents said that health care ranked at the top of their list and thousands have taken action by calling their legislators, writing letters and attending local events.
Now that historic health care reform legislation has passed, the Virginia Organizing Project will continue to work with local residents to understand the ways that the legislation will affect their families and community.
Below is a breakdown of how health insurance reform will improve health insurance for the people in Virginia’s 5th district:
Give tax credits for up to15,200 small businesses to help them afford coverage.
- Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will get tax credits covering up to 50% of employee premiums.
Guarantee that 10,700 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
- Health Insurers cannot deny children health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. A ban on the discrimination in adults will take effect in 2014.
- A temporary high-risk pool will be set up to cover adults with pre-existing conditions. Health care exchanges will replace the program in 2014.
Allow 55,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans until they are 26 years old.
- The cut-off age for young adults to continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance rises to the age 26.
Improve coverage for 409,000 residents with health insurance.
- Insurance companies can no longer cut someone off when he or she gets sick.
- Insurers must now reveal how much money is spent on overhead.
- Any new plan must now implement an appeals process for coverage determinations and claims.
- Non-profit Blue Cross organizations will be required to maintain a medical loss ratio — money spent on procedures over money incoming — of 85 percent or higher to take advantage of IRS tax benefits
Improve Medicare for 130,000 beneficiaries.
- Seniors will get a rebate to fill the so-called “donut hole” in Medicare drug coverage, which severely limits prescription medication coverage expenditures over $2,700.
- As of next year, 50 percent of the donut hole will be filled.
- Medicare payment protections will be extended to small rural hospitals and other health care facilities that have a small number of Medicare patients.
Protect 1,200 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
- New plans must cover checkups and other preventative care without co-pays. All plans will be affected by 2018.
- Lifetime caps on the amount of insurance an individual can have will be banned. Annual caps will be limited, and banned in 2014.