August 21st, 2009
04:49 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Truth Squad: Will health-care reform start right away?

The Statement: A citizen asked U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Arkansas, at an August 14 town meeting in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, "How soon can you do something about our health care that has to be fixed? ... When will this take place? When will this reform take place? Do you have a goal in mind?"

(Get the facts and the verdict after the jump)

The Facts: If the health-care overhaul is enacted in October, it will take several years for the plan to go into effect, according to the bill. But some benefits would start immediately, including provisions that would require private insurers to provide a minimum level of coverage, Medicare improvements, provisions to decrease administrative costs and targeted assistance for certain people ages 55-64.

"Wholesale reform can't happen overnight. We've got to create a new Health Insurance Exchange through which people will be able to purchase their insurance, and we've got to create a Health Benefits Advisory Committee to make recommendations on the essential benefits package. These changes will take some time," according to Frequently Asked Questions on the House Ways and Means Committee's Web site.

Dr. Kenneth Thorpe, chairman of health policy and management at Emory University, agrees that the process of making such changes would be laborious.

"Setting up these insurance exchanges takes awhile," he said. The public health insurance plan would start going into effect in 2013. In that year, the Health Insurance Exchange - which offers a menu of private insurance plans and a public insurance program - would open to people without other coverage and to small businesses with fewer than 10 employees.

In 2014, the exchange would be opened to small businesses with up to 20 employees. In that same year, the plan would open the health insurance exchange to people who are eligible for employer-sponsored coverage but can't afford it.

The bill says the employee's share of premiums for employer-based coverage must absorb more than 11 percent of a family's income for the family to be eligible for affordability credits in the exchange.

In 2015, the exchange would be allowed to expand to include larger employers.

"As a reference, it took two years to fully develop the Medicare prescription drug program after the Republicans passed it - and that was a limited benefit just for Medicare beneficiaries, rather than reforming our entire health-care system, which touches the lives of each and every American," the FAQ said.

The Verdict: True. Logistical issues require a gradual enactment of health-care reform.

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. rc

    The Statement: ... "How soon can you do something about our health care that has to be fixed? … When will this take place? When will this reform take place? Do you have a goal in mind?"

    The Verdict: True.

    Haha... CNN at its best... Try an actual statement in dispute or an actual question that requires a true of false answer.

    August 21, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  2. Enough

    We can only hope it doesn't start for a very long time.

    August 21, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  3. phil

    I have read HR3200 as well as another heath bill that is floating around thanks to out elected officials.. Obama came on the news the other day claiming that none of the bills give free health care to illegal folks in America.. I guess he doesnt think we can read. In both bills I read it mentioned that all non Americans living in the US would get free health care.. Add a zillion illegal people to our health rolls and you can see the mess. I read the Bill.. I wont believe another word out of his mouth.

    August 21, 2009 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  4. diridi

    it should pass with public companies are robbing, the nation....hospitals, doctors, and AMA and pharmacy companies are robbing the nation and poor care is a must and public option is a it..

    August 21, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  5. They call me "Tater Salad"

    Ask yourselves this, is the Health Insurance Industry spending 1.4 million dollars a DAY on negative ads and lobbyist's against a public option for YOUR benefit or THEIR'S? No problem spending that kind of money daily on advertising, but, a big problem with spending that kind of money to do the job they're their PAID (premiums) to do! Wake up fools!!!

    August 21, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  6. Gary

    Keep the government out of healthcare. Nothing is for free and socialized or government healthcare will be a disaster and bankrupt us. Everyone needs to work and everyone needs to pay for their own housing, food and healthcare. We need to stop promising free stuff to people. We need to balance the budget.

    August 21, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. annie for Palin

    Let's do a gradual enactment of removing obama, pelosi, reid, frank, etc from office!

    August 21, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  8. Sam Sixpack

    Lately, truth has become so malleable.

    August 21, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  9. Carl Justus

    Who expects for someone to just snap their fingers and all of the changes to just immediately are set up with all the necessary rules and verifications necessary for such a plan to go into effect.

    August 21, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Richard-Arkansas

    If we can't get a public option, then stop the process and let it fester and get worse until healthcare consumes 25% of our GNP and the Defense Budget is cut to half of what it is now.

    You aren't ging to get rid of Medicare so they are trying to scare people with suggested cuts into the program. If they ever start to cut the program, we will have an entirely new group in Washington in 6 years in the Senate and 2 years in the House.

    August 21, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  11. Dan, TX

    Solution – run the government option as a capitalistic for-profit venture and use all profits to pay off the national dept. If the government plan is too expensive because of it, people will buy private insurance. If the government can make a profit and is still cheaper than private insurance, we don't need private insurance.

    August 21, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  12. Rob

    BY 2015, the fix will be in place and all the things we were told weren't in the bill will begin to ooze out between the lines. The language in the house bill leaves way too much open to interpretation. Those death panels do exist in this legislation and would stand up in the Supreme Court. If they were created, there isn't a thing any American would be able to do about it.

    August 21, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    Greedy Obstructionist Party just wants to say NO NO NO NO NO, and then they expect us to vote them back into the power seats. So they can start more useless wars for us to waste money on?????

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    August 21, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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