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December 22nd, 2009
10:25 AM ET

Dr. Gupta answers your health care reform questions

As the Senate health care reform bill moves closer to a full vote by Christmas Eve, people are wondering how it might change their lives, budgets and their quality of care if it passes. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta answers your questions.


Filed under: Dr. Gupta's Mailbag
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. kathy gedmin

    I was so excited when I learned that young adults would be covered "immediately" under this new health care plan. I have a 24 year old son just discharged from the military as the result of a mental health condition. He is not covered under the VA because they rated his condition "pre-existing". Alass, I hear that it will take up to six months for that coverage to be implemented. Is that correct?

    March 25, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  2. Trevor

    Is a 62 year old getting a Social Security Check now qualified for Medicare? I was told before reform that I had to be 65 to get Medicare.

    March 24, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  3. Jerome Calvitti

    There are thousands of homeless people without health ins. I'm sure. How will this affect them? Will they have to buy health ins. or be fined $95.00 if they don't . Who is going to know? If the rest of us have to pay for them because they can't afford it, what about all the people out of work who can't afford ins. Who is going to pay for them?

    March 24, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  4. T.K

    Where is the mystical , magical care coming from? I`m on medicare and have not had a primary care doctor fot three years now, because no one where I live accepts new medicare patients. I pay a premium every month and all I have is a insurance card and NO doctor. So I guess I die with insurance, such irony!

    March 24, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  5. christine williams

    Children can stay on parents policy until age 26. Are there any restrictions? Can they be living elsewhere? Can they be employed?

    March 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  6. paul

    If I am on a fixed disability income and if my wife loses her job due to her serious health problems and we cannot afford to pay for insuranc e for her are we going to be fined under the new heath care bill?

    Also,will insurance companies be able to say that they will cover pre existing conditions but only after a two year waiting period like my wifes plan does now?

    March 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  7. Meg Kranzley

    Our daughter turned 23, Dec. 26th and had to go off of our BC/BS plan the 1st of the year. We had to buy her a plan (she's in a five year program at St. Joseph's Univ.) because she doesn't graduate until May of this year, her new plan ends in August. We're hoping she'll acquire a job with coverage. My question is, since the age has been upped to 26 do we have the right to add her back onto our plan and does the insurance company have to cover her?

    Thank you,
    Meg Kranzley

    March 22, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  8. Shirley Davis

    I was laid off from a job last June, and am currently working on the final months of COBRA benefits. I have still had no luck with finding employment...What happens with my healthcare I provide for my husband and myself if I'm still am unemployed at the end of the 18 allowable months?

    March 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  9. Lanny Sanford

    Dr Gupta my Dad has cancer and the cancer Treatments are working my Dad and Mother has been married for 53 years and have 14 children they have been great Christain parents they have alway give alot up for there children my Sisters and brothers do not understand my Parents have been together for 53 years of marriage his doctors are wonderful with his cancer treatment

    March 6, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  10. Lanny Sanford

    my question is why would the American HIV and Aids doctors and Nurses stay in USA when they are all getting EMails from the African goverments telling the Doctor and Nurses they can make 1million USdollars in a year

    March 6, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  11. Terry

    Ah! Thank you for posting this!| There have been a mass of contradictary
    info out there, this dispells, puts to rest
    much of what I've seen.

    February 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  12. Mister Cox

    Ah, great! This cleared up some confusion I've heard.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  13. Kathy Sandru

    To: "Barbara" and all others opposing healthcare reform: Have you lost your job due to being laid off? If you have, did you file for unemployment? (follow me closely now). In most states, unemployment offices also has a state-run healthcare program & encourages you to apply. BUT, the caveat is you have to be under income guidellines. Which means, if your total income (you & your spouse) exceeds federal guidelines (usually under $60K for a family of four) you AND YOUR KIDS don't qualify. What the Gov't bases it on is your income tax return filed for the PREVIOUS year. Ok, what if your spouse still has his/her job? Well, you & the kids can be enrolled into your spouse's plan, BUT, you have to wait until you receive a termination letter from your healthcare plan BEFORE you are enrolled into your spouse's plan. This means you DO NOT HAVE COVERAGE UNTIL IT GETS APPROVED FROM YOUR SPOUSE'S EMPLOYER. Now, what happens if you have annual visits between the transition time? Right, you either pay out of pocket or reschedule appointments. Oh, let's talk about COBRA! My COBRA insurance for a family of 4 was $2100 per month – around the same cost as our mortgage payment! Humm, now a choice has to be made – do you keep your home, or do you pay for insurance? The previous scenario is why we need healthcare reform, so you and your children won't go without it should you (or your spouse) lose your job. Wonder if the so-called "Teabaggers" thought about this scenario? And forget about applying for government programs to assist you until you can get back on your feet. Their qualification guidelines are primarily geared for low-income individuals. Typical "middle-class" persons need not apply. I find it interesting that we as a nation contribute billions of $ to poor countries (like Haiti) but can't help our own here in the US. Now, don't get me wrong, it's great to help other nations, especially in times of catastrophe, but why can't we do the same for persons here in the US? Where are our telethons to help bail out persons whose homes have been foreclosed upon, or who lost their healthcare?!

    January 23, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  14. OkieDoc

    A. Smith, Oregon:

    Good luck getting that brain tumor treated by your "alternative and complementary practitioner."

    January 23, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  15. David Giese

    Dr. Gupta, Plain and simple, You are a real HEREO.

    January 19, 2010 at 4:22 am |
  16. astonski

    The USA needs a fully government funded system without any influence from bribers (lobbyists). Those who want to be in the current system are welcome to stay there but I think they will move to the government funded system after a while like we have in the UK.

    Americans are paying far too much for healthcare and getting amongst the worst service in the world (i work in healthcare in the USA and UK).

    As a retired person, you are better off taking your money to retire to a third world country and paying for healthcare out of pocket with no insurance!! Now that is worrying for the largest economy in the world!!

    January 6, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  17. david cook

    I wonder how many Americans realize that their new health care coverage is going to cost the average worker $50 or $60 deducted from their paycheck, just like income tax?

    December 23, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  18. nancy

    I, for 1, would like to read what it is possibly going to "do" for us. I hope it passes.

    December 23, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  19. Tommie Pye

    I am age 62 and I no longer work. I have significant pre-existing medical conditions. Cobra was exhausted in March, 2009. What will the Health Care Reform bill do for me? Am I still on my human life quest to year 2012 and Medicare.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  20. Barbara

    What I wan to know, is: how your income has a direct relationship with your healthcare cost?
    I have healthcare coverage provided by my employer, and for me its 5% of my gross income. WHY? and they are looking to raise it to 8%? Hell NO!
    So when my salary goes up, so does my healtcare cost, although my health status remains the same.
    This to me is complete BS. And, now if I decide to opt out from this "benefit", I can be penalized? another BS.
    I think this reform SHOULD NOT PASS!

    December 23, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  21. Big Al

    Will the requirements regarding caps, deductibles, co-pays, and what must be covered apply to people on Medicare?

    December 23, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  22. louis e. burt

    Isn't it wonderful to have a 2 party system where 100% of one party oppose 100% of the other party. Where belonging to one party or the other labels you as a fanatic to the left or the right. And then we invade other countries and ask them to all get along. America has become a joke to the world. Problem is that the joke is on the American People.
    Happy Holidays.
    P.S.
    Democrat for 50 years turned independent
    Protestant turned athiest.
    Proud to be an american – ashamed to be called an american.

    December 23, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  23. A. Smith, Oregon

    Western Medicine as promoted by the AMA is filled with graft, fraud and corrupt. New Western Medical diagnosis equipment routinely costs tens of millions of dollars, which greatly inflates the end costs for day to day Western doctor visits and treatments.

    Americans should leave Western Medical practices in mass for many of their routine medical treatments and Health Insurance company's should be pressured to more fully support alternative medical practices other than those allopathic Western Medical practices who routinely dispense drugs rather than dispense health.

    December 22, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  24. Alison Vuy

    Although there may be subsidies for people who can't afford insurance who is to say that the policies that will be offered will be worth the money that individuals will have to pay. People could possibly have to spend a lot of money for a policy which could provide very little coverage, or require higher deductibles or co-pays leaving many people in the same place we find ourselves now

    December 22, 2009 at 11:44 am |