August 21st, 2009
04:49 PM ET
12 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. D. Tree

    Changes wont go into effect until 2014, yet some people still claim we're "rushing" it?.

    This is a completely sensible plan, that will benefit all Americans – including those protesting it!

    August 21, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Sharon Moorhead

    No reason why on, say, Jan. 1, 2010, the pre-existing conditions, dropping sick people, etc., couldn't start. Those are easily removed from policy language and the rules could be changed all at once. JUST DON'T DO IT ANYMORE!!!!
    Or go to jail.

    August 21, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Mike in MN

    My best bet would be it would take longer than 2013 if a bill is passed as described here with a public option and Health Benifits Advisory Committee of goverment appointed officals who will be the sole authority on deciding what tests, procedures and medications can be covered by an insurance plan.
    If this were to happen a majority of voters would be opposed to the bill. They would almost certainly vote Republicans back into power in the House, Senate and Whitehouse in 2010 and 2102 on the promise to gut the public option and the scary Health Benifits Advsiory Committee out. This could set back the start of the exchange that would still include choices of multiple private plans but would still provide affordable coverage for all Americans.

    August 21, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Deuce

    CNN! America??? We can't. We never could control the Atlantic. WW2 says that. So we hide in the pacific, and still try to dominate the rest of the world. How????

    Europe lives in Danger!!!! Every day. You just elected a wimp. How is the rest of American Forces supposed to understand a "None Player"... ????

    August 21, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. S Callahan New York

    When I keep reading all this so called info on the ideas of a Health Care plan I can just see our good Lord sitting on high just tapping his foot, shaking his head.............posslibly saying just a matter of time...just a matter of time lol

    CNN has been good with the truth squad..for that I"m thankful.

    The problem is ...there is no real clear direction on the 'health care plan /proposals'....too much choas can not be good...and all I hear and see is choas....

    August 21, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  6. Matthew 25:36

    Health-care reforms will take time to enact for the American people. That is why it is important to pass this moral legislation with a public option to extend more affordable coverage to those in need as soon as possible.

    August 21, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. A.B.

    Healthcare reform should take no longer than two to three years to go into effect. I would prefer it to go into effect in two years, but realistically it does take time to set up the infrastructure for a new reformed healthcare system and staff the system. I think something can be done in the interim for the uninsured. Prehaps they can be temporarily be covered by medicare or medicaid until the new insurance system is established. This will take an act of Congress to do this.

    August 21, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. carlos

    Why do CNN continue to scrutinize every single thing president Obama does."I mean, every since the transition to the white house, CNN like fox news, focus in and negatively scrutinize every single thing this man has done,his every thought, every word, then you pose a question about it, it is if "what ever the Black President do or say should be in question or debate. i never saw none of this when bush and even Clinton were in office.You never report facts until unsubstantial claims contrary to the truth have been proven false,('ie death panels, the public option is a government take over of health care), and then you want to do your so called fact check, it's more like, "after the fact check. It's obvious that as a newsorganization youlike fox news want to see this president fail.

    August 21, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Objective Thinking

    JUST LIKE the last "Truth Squad" article, the "statement" they verified isn't even a statement. It's a QUESTION.

    Last time, a person asked why don't we just make mandatory health care pricing, and the CNN Truth squad quoted her and said her statement was false. It wasn't even a statement!!!! It was a QUESTION.

    CNN Truth squad lacks basic skills needed to tell the difference between a statement and a question. These skills are learned in the 3rd grade.

    August 21, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. lockeanddemosthenes

    It's just like the stimulus package, it will take time to see results. Only instead of an economy, we're talking about the livelihood of hundreds of millions of people. This plan is fine. The Republicans have done a good job of distracting the public and some Democrats from being on target. That was their job. But it needs to be pushed through or Obama won't have any power left to accomplish anything else.

    August 21, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. Voted4HealthCare

    Rep. Ross is correct. His House Energy and Commerce Committee is to be commended for successfully passing a health-care bill with a public option, including the conservative Dems.

    The Senate Finance Committee needs to pass that same reasonable version with a public option, which is supported by the majority of Americans.

    August 21, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. tom, nyc

    i like people like Deuce. insane ramblings by others make me feel smarter.

    August 21, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. Deuce

    You want a dish-washer? There's a kid down the street, just for a couple of dollars.

    August 21, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Carlos

    In other words the mess they make will be left up to someone else to try to clean up.

    August 21, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Albo58

    Health care can be tweaked, but No to public option which would lead to the government completely taking it over! Only stupid people can't foresee the certain government ineptness in running such a large social program! Furthermore, the rationing of timely and quality health care would definitely be inevitable. Bottomline: the government is NOT the answer to any/all social issues!

    August 21, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. 60's survivor

    why is this so hard to understand? because it makes sense. if we don't start now it will get the point of no return for many Americans now and in the months to come. illness is no respecter of political party , religion, ethnic origin. it strikes and you deal with it as well as your friends and family. if you have no insurance. you just may not make it. that's just the facts. maybe the right wing fear mongers don't care. but I do and president Obama does.

    August 21, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  17. ReBirtherTea Party - Lies Are Us

    No time is soon enough to stop the health insurance companies from denying coverage for preexisting, denying coverage and reaping monstrous profits.

    August 21, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. Kevin in Ohio

    The most important aspect of this whole thing..... if it is passed, the path will be IRREVERSIBLE. It is designed that way, and there will be NOTHING any succeeding Congresses or Administrations can do to halt this program that will bankrupt the country. It is obvious that the dems are rushing ahead with this so that opposing voices will be silenced forever.

    August 21, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  19. Kevin in Ohio

    CNN.... your "Truth Squad" iks sounding less and less like a news item, and more and more like you an arm of the left-wing and the administration. Why don't you try "fair and balanced".... it might improve your ratings.

    August 21, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |

    When will people realize all Republicans really care about is returning to the Whitehouse and getting re-elected. They could give a crap about you, me or anyone else with regards to our health, finances or future. The REAL DEAL is if you don't have your health (and medical coverage should you become ill) YOU HAVE NO FUTURE. (FINANCIAL OR OTHERWISE). The PUBLIC OPTION is a must for the national security of the entire country. Co-ops for medical insurance are a joke and direct give-away to the BIG FAT SLIMES in the insurance companies. This will not protect everyday, ordinary Americans.

    August 21, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  21. ran

    I just received a refund from my utility co-op. It could just as easily have been from an insurance non-profit public/co-op.

    People in a non-profit your money goes toward your health not toward multimillion $ salaries/bonuses or dividends for shareholders or insurance companies' private jets.

    That is the facts not the run around you are getting from the GOP.

    You want affordable health care then demand single payer non-profit.

    August 21, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. Larry

    The CNN TRUTH ??? SQUAD is a joke

    Far to often CNNs truth, is the intelligent persons fiction

    Especially since Obama won

    Truth Squad ... what a joke ... LOL

    August 21, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. Josh

    I am curious how many of these polititians that are against reform are in the pocket of the health insurance company, come onn CNN investigate who is getting campaign money from the big insurance companies and who is paying for the Advertising

    August 21, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  24. Thanks CNN

    CNN please keep up this "truth squad" feature. Clearly it is needed to counter the overheated hype on this subject.

    August 21, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  25. GuyInVA

    Of course it won't go into effect until after the 2012 elections. If socialized medicine passes and Obama wins a second term, I wonder if the next president will spend his first 4 months in office telling us he "inherited this mess."

    August 21, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
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