ABC's of how healthcare reform would work

August 12, 2009 3:22:30 PM PDT
One man at U.S. Senator Arlen Specter's raucous town hall meeting yesterday said, "This is the most important legislation of my life."

Many Americans feel the same way, and they are concerned about its impact.

Action News invited viewers for their input on the issue, and we heard from many of you!

"If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan."

We've heard President Obama say this several times, when explaining his plan to reform healthcare.

For the most part, that's correct. However for some, things could potentially change.

For example -

Take Mary Smith. She works for a mid-sized furniture company, and gets her health insurance through her job. Once health care reform kicks into gear, it may NOT affect her.

As long as her plan meets government standards set by the current proposed House bill it can remain the same.

However it's not required to stay the same.

If her company feels they can get a better deal offering the government plan, her employer could make a change.

Her employer could also choose to not offer coverage anymore....and instead pay a fee to subsidize the government plan.

But on the other hand, take Lou Lopez. He works for a mega-corporation.

Under what's proposed now, his large employer would have to offer private health insurance. So while he may see small changes in his benefits, overall his plan would most likely stay the same.

Third, let's look at Tom Washington. He's owns a small sandwich shop.

Right now his employees are not offered health coverage. And based on the size of his company, under the new plan that wouldn't change.

However, with healthcare reform, his employees could get assistance to buy coverage.

David Grande, Ph.D., a healthcare policy expert at the University of Pennsylvania, says, "and so the idea with having the affordable options available is depending on your income, the government would kick in a certain amount of money towards the price of that premium."

Lastly is Carol Collins, a single mother of three who works part-time at two jobs.

She gets assistance to get care for her kids, but for herself it's too expensive.

If she gets sick, she goes to the E-R, and taxpayers foot the bill.

With healthcare reform she'd get a subsidy from the government to buy either a private plan OR a government plan.

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