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March 22nd, 2010
12:00 PM ET

How could the health care bill impact you?

(CNN) – The health care bill opens the floodgates to 32 million Americans who did not have health insurance before. How will this impact all of us?

Our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explains who will be paying less, and who may be paying more for health insurance.

Filed under: Health
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. larry from ky

    Well its don't ask don't tell time in america, i was in the army 1966-68 their were gays in the military then, not many but they were there -talked to army women in basic traning who told me she had a lisiban sergent who told her if she didn't go to bed with her -she would make it hard on her-by giving her hard details on weekends when they were supposed to be off!!!!I say don't change don't ask don't tell its the right thing for our military!!!!If they want to serve in military keep don't ask--don't tell ----it works so if something works why change it????

    March 25, 2010 at 8:12 am |
  2. larry from ky

    Well the bill pased and NO_ republican showed up for the signing that figures , they never show up thats the problem in washington these days!!They run their mouths but get nothing done for the american tax payer -we deserve better people in washington who have common sense and who work for the better of our people!!!They are mad because the president got in office and now he is trying to help america do things right for a change!!It will take time to fix this goveriment because its in a mess thanks to the republicans of Mr. Bush error–war costing 14 trillion dollars for starters!!! He has a rough road ahead to fix all the problems they started!!!!go big blue!!1

    March 24, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  3. Carol

    I am so happy Health care was passed, and Obama kept his promise of Health Care, and thanks to Ted Kennedy for his help. Now my daughter, husband and 4 small kids will not be turned away for pre-existing conditions, all from a bad car wreck on the evening of Dec 24, 2000. They have been through alot, so thank you President Obama. Now the pre-existing conditions are covered. Thank you again.

    March 23, 2010 at 10:55 pm |
  4. Ronald Preston

    Question: if a small business owner opts to cancel employee health insurance now and leave it up to the employee to get insurance, what options are available to the employee between now and 2014? and availability of equal (substitute for employer paying) funding support?

    March 23, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  5. JB

    Give the bill a chance to work and stop being chicken little.

    March 23, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  6. Your Mom

    Somehow the Dems have tricked the middle class into thinking that the things they do benefit the middle class.

    They mean well, but in this case, everyone's taxes will go up and so will their health coverage. The rich guy with a few planes, maybe a yacht and Ferrari doesn't mind paying an extra $100/month. That makes a bigger dent on the middle class.

    Oh yeah, another Obama promise broke. I guess he will raise taxes on the middle class afterall.

    March 23, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  7. Dave

    I am a father of 6. My employer based health insurance creates a situation where we are what is classified as vastly under insured. I am a Type 1 diabetic and require an insulin pump to delay my health worsening. I also have a wife and children who need health care. We can not afford to get the care we need even with the employer based health coverage because our policy has a $7000 out-of-pocket deductible. I can not replace my insulin pump when it fails, my wife and one of my children need surgery to help them with painful orthopedic problems in their feet. I was given prescriptions for three tests that I can not afford to get to check my heart, look for colon cancer. I was just told our premium will be going up by 20% with no coverage for what we need.
    When will the plan help family's like mine who are so under insured that we are treated as if we have no insurance?

    March 23, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  8. Joe


    If you're self employed, as it appears you are, there are provisions for small businesses which you apparently are, to receive incentives to provide insurance. The incentives are in the form of tax relief. You might want to look into that.

    March 23, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  9. John Boney

    This morning John Roberts erroneuosly said that social security is mandatory. I don't have a job, I don't pay social security, and social security won't pay me.

    March 23, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  10. Bill from Rotonda West Florida

    The healthcare bill is not going to do anything for me. I retired 5 years ago and I am finding that the economy is not friendly to the retired. What I am seeing now is the insurance companies (mine is included and is Aetna) making sure that they get all the rate increases in place before any legislation affects their bottom line. They are using the time honored tradition of robbing Peter to pay Paul. In effect, they are using people who have worked hard all their lives to provide themselves a nice retirement, to pay for the healthcare that they do not want to fund in any way shape or form. They are robbing me of my retirement by raising my rates (as we speak) 20% in the last 6 months, while putting more of the burden on those people who have had their rates raised. It isn't fair and not what Obama promised us. The retired are soon to become the next major issue, but by that time, there will be no money left in the coffers for us.


    March 23, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  11. Steve V (Atlanta)

    Between do-nothing and this bill, the bill is the lesser of 2 evils. As a self-employed, self-insured individual, I already pay more for less coverage. I don't have an employer sharing in the cost of my healthcare. With this bill, it appears my premiums will go UP since I'm self-insured and I will not see any additional benefits. So while this might be good for many, it's a horrible situation for me.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  12. David Lieb

    I am not very happy with many of the provisions of this health care bill. It is kind of like waiting and being really exicted about the birth of a child only to find out your spouse had cheated and your new child has a dfferent skin color. You may love your spouse and feel betrayed but you work it out and learn to love the child. You still do everything you can to see the child will succeed in life.

    Those of us who really wanted real health care reform that included things like a public option, tort reform, immediated acceptance of pre-existing conditions and such didn't get all we wanted. But, our baby will survive and prosper with proper care and parenting.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  13. Kris

    I can't see that this health bill will help me at all. I am 61 and have been out of work for two years, so my COBRA benefits have expired. I have been denied coverage by three companies based on pre-existing (but not chronic or life threatening) conditions. High risk coverage from now until I qualify for Medicare would, at a minimum, cost $42,000, which does not include co-pays or the inevitable increase in premiums, should I deign to use health care. I cannot afford this. From here, I can't see that the new health bill has anything for me.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  14. mary

    It means my daughters will finally be able to buy affordable health insurance. Neither of them have it from their employers. Do people not know that young people on limited incomes will be able to get help from the government to purchase health insurance? And that if they choose not to, the penalty is minimal?

    And when my husband fully retires and goes on Medicare, I will need to buy my own health insurance for several years. Right now he is still working because his preexisting condition...high blood pressure...makes it impossible for him to get health insurance. I have a preexisting condition too....arthritis and back I will be denied insurance unless this health care bill allows me to have it, despite preexisting conditions.

    Once people learn all the benefits in this bill, they will not want to give them up. And if the Republicans keep screaming that the majority of people don't want health care, maybe it is time that someone in the media points out that voters chose Obama and his health care agenda by 53% of the vote. That says a lot more than a bunch of screaming, foulmouthed Teabaggers attacking Congressmen and John Boehner having a pathetic meltdown on the floor of the House..

    March 23, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  15. Jalen White

    I lost my job and health insurance 2 years ago shortly after being diagnosed with Prostrate Cancer.

    To pay for treatments and my household expenses, I had to exhaust all of my 401k and investment money. I am an unemployed engineer who is on the brink of loosing everything I have worked for including my home.

    How will the Health Care Bill President Abama will sign into law today affect me especially when I need help now. I am a supporter of the new law but I can't wait until 2014 for it to kickin.

    Jalen White

    March 23, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  16. John

    As a person that pays for his own health care insurance it will cost me more . Those of us who work hard and take care of ourselves are once again forced to support the rest. Thanks a lot.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  17. andrea

    it means my son who has cerebral palsey will finally have decent health insurance. yes our premiums will be higher, maybe even our taxes..but that is ok as long as he gets care.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  18. SeaLoveNJ

    What happens to thoses that are unemployed and cannot afford insurance, will the Unemployment increase the benefits in order to get insurance?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  19. Cheryl Jensen

    Regarding the interview you just did with the woman from Colorado. Kiran, you made a big deal out of the fact that she would have to pay $500 a month for the high risk pool and $100 more for her medications, like that was so horrible.

    My husband and I pay more than $1,500 a month in premiums for just the two of us!

    She shouldn't be complaining. $500 is nothing. Her savings would be depleted much more quickly if she were in our position.

    You need to get some perspective, Kiran.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  20. larry from ky

    to all americans, if you want to see how rude republicans are watch the debates comming up today and the rest of this week!!!You will see how these republicans are for the rich-not middle class or the poor!!!!!!Republicans party is mad because the president got into office and now he is trying to help america get back on its feet BUT it will take time BECAUSE BUSH and the republicans got us in a 14 trillion dollar war!!!!We as americans must back the president he will get the job done IF the REPUBLICANS don't HOLD UP everything !!!! Larry in ky-go big blue and GO- Mr. President!!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  21. Joe


    Being 20 is wonderful. I was 20 52 years ago, it was that time when I knew everything and had all the answers. Soooo, the government is forcing banks to make bad loans. Apparently you need to take a look at what caused this recession. The Investment banks created ficticious mortgage loan priducts that they made tons of money on by securitizing them and mixing the worthless loans with the good ones in their securities. Then they created and marketed dirivitaves that had absolutely no collateral and sold those. All that happened between 2002 and 2006 at its' peak. No one could pay the ficticious loans that were offered by the UNREGULATED Investment banks and the "Too Big To Fail" banks provided the money to close the loans. When the money flow stopped the "Too Big To Fail" banks were stuck with loans that no one would secruitize because NO ONE WOULD BUY the securities.

    Soooo, # 43 gave these same stupid bankers money to keep their doors open and then let the fools that screwed it up stay in control of the banks.

    I'm glad you have a good credit score but if the "Too Big To Fail" banks used the # 43 money to buy more banks, which is what they did, now you won't be able to get a loan because the banks have just plain decided not to lend our taxpayer money to anyone. Of course, their bonuses and stock options remain intact.

    You'll eventually learn how the system is supposed to work, I've worked in it for over 40 years. It's broken and it'll take a few years to fix. Hang in there and try to learn what actually happened.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  22. Your Mom

    This bill is mostly benign, that's the whole point of it... to make people wonder why you wouldn't want this, and like some of the people above see some sort of small benefit for themselves. The problem with the bill is two fold, one it sets up a situation that's not sustainable and that brings about something that is un-american.

    The goal is a single payer system (like most of Europe and Canada), and most of those systems have serious flaws, and result in either requiring more funding or rationing of services. This bill sets the stage for current providers to go out of buisness, leaving the government option the only option. That's the problem with this bill.

    Ask yourself, if this bill is so good, why did 34 of the dems and no republicans not vote for it? Why was there all this back room bribery? Why are a majority of the states challenging this bill? Don't be so giddy because you got universal health care. Follow the money.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  23. larry from ky

    Hi, just like to say that this is the first president who did anything for healthcare and all americans will have some kind of ins!!Just like to add something about Rush Limbaugh–i heard him call the democrats b--- and should be voted out, i say rush should be taken out behind the barn and give him an attitude ajustment!!!!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  24. Renee

    The question of how this bill is going to immediately effect "me" is not as much of a concern to me as how it is going to effect my children and grandchildren. It would be nice if the government had a magic money tree hidden away somewhere, but alas, it does not. I'm no financial genius, but I don't believe it takes one to see that there is no way to pay for this except to drain the pocket books of the ones that actually have the drive to acheive success through hard work and creativity.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  25. larry from ky

    Hi just like to say i am 65 retired and i am glad the bill passed, i was tired of republicans saying NO- NO _NO they make me sick, they are a bunch cry babies–never seem to want to help americans get anything that cost money, i say raise taxes ,bush lowered them to low, rich need to pay at higher rate!!thanks Larry ky

    March 23, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  26. Keondra S Crump

    I wanted to know how soon can we take action, As far as going into a hospital and receive the care that we need? I'm a recent graduate, I cannot afford Health Insurance, How does this new bill help me exactly?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  27. Matt W

    I am a 20 year old and have had my own insurance for 6 years. I also have an amazing credit score and have actually paid off more than you beleive.

    Obama has made the point of paying for insurance while im healthy completely pointless since now I can cancel my insurance and refuse to pay, only to pay a much smaller fine until i need healthcare then I may start paying it depending on the severity of my soon to be "pre existing condition."

    Building a good credit score seemed to be very important but since they force loans onto banks and are spending us into oblivion, my established credit score is hardly relevant, its easier to be unemployed and illgal to get a home loan/housing help. Ill be sure to remind you guys why we no longer have a good healthcare system in 10 years when we have no more specialists or skilled doctors around since they will get paid like our teachers, very liitle compensation regardless if you live or die on the table.

    Thanks for helping spread communism and tyranny CNN. When it's my generations turn to finish off the USA im going to make sure to help keep you guys in business so your drones can get a first hand look at their own stupidity.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  28. kdw

    We are nearing retirement so we are not likely to be impacted directly. Our company-subsidized health insurance has been getting more expensive and more capricious, so I'll be glad to graduate to Medicare ASAP.

    But our daughters both are members of the 'working poor', and have been battling with health issues for years, exacerbated by lack of reliable and affordable health care. One of them was recently booted out of a state program because her 17 year old daughter got a part-time job at McDonald's, which meant that the family now has LESS net income. People who work hard deserve better of this country.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  29. Martha Kearns Leighty

    I am offered excellent health care at reasonable (but increasing) prices by my employer. The health care bill will undoubtedly cost me money, but I am happy to pay additional taxes so that others may have coverage. My students at a community college, often too old to be on their parents' policies, suffer from neglect of illnesses and other medical conditions, and their children suffer too. In time, this bill will be as important to the social fabric as Social Security, Medicare, and Civil Rights legislation. All were reviled at passing and their proponents paid steep political costs, but their actions left this country a better place.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  30. Tammy

    I voted for Obama for a reason. I sure am glad I did. It is funny to me that the people who did not want this health care bill are the same ones who already have great coverage with their employer. I pay for my family out of my pocket. For those who think $200 a week with a $4000 deductible is good I'll trade you. Thank you Dems for sticking to your guns.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  31. Dan Barrett

    I am on SS but under 65. I can not get supplemental Ins. without paying twice what someone 65 or older. This would be because of pre-exsisting conditions. Will that change now and allow me to be treated as and pay the same as someone 65 or older ?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  32. Evan Jones

    Health care has been the biggest scam of our century; insurance should be for catasphrophies or life threatening illnesses. Do auto insurance carriers pay for your blown radiator or tire? Great; Now I'm gonna have to split the bill for 32 million radiators and 128 million tires when I take care of mine.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  33. wael yacoub, M.D

    The bill passed but noone explained how much is it going to cost per individual to get coverage?
    insurance companies cannot deny coverage for pre-existing condition, but is there a limit on the premium?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  34. JD Gold

    I am a student in my second year of law school. Last august, when I turned 23, I was dropped from my parent's insurance, and I have essentially been uncovered since. As I understand it, this bill will now allow me to be covered by my parent's plan until I am 26. I can understand the policy debate, and this is certainly an issue that will likely be polarizing for a long time. However, for someone like me, this bill is a huge blessing, and a step forward in the right direction.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  35. Jon Olson

    We need to move to take the excessive profit incentive out of health care decisions. This bill may be a small step towards that in the future, and even baby steps are good. The Republican's have proven once again that they are the party of 'no', fear, lies, and that they are on the side of the health insurance companies. Democrats need to get creative at combating all those Republican lies on a simple level that people can relate to.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:03 am |
  36. Dan Samani

    Get Real? Alan.....wait until your state is faced with new medicaid mandates from Obama and Co. Who is going to pay for that when Medicaid is unfunded already in your state and every other state! And then again Alan, maybe you will be part of massive employee layoffs because of the injury to business this bill brings. Maybe too you will be affected by the massive new taxes required to pay for this unfunded Obama is a liar....EVERYBODY will pay for this one buddy!

    March 23, 2010 at 7:38 am |
  37. Alan Clark

    I am so proud of our President for following through....What I am not proud of is my state of Utah's Attorney General, threatening judicial action against it.

    My state already is in a budget deficit, laying off school employees and now wants to spend money on this...get real!

    March 23, 2010 at 7:32 am |
  38. Dan Samani, MD

    Hey John ,

    what is the difference between auto insurance mandates and health insurance? DUH....

    You are required to purchase auto insurance to the extent you would injure someone else...not for yourself!

    You purchase health insurance for YOURSELF and not anyone else. Unless you are a liberal or socialist and think everyone else should pay for your health care, your transportation, your apartment, your food(stamps) and everything else that others think you should work for!

    March 23, 2010 at 7:25 am |
  39. Joe

    CNN just read a piece on TV that said the American people need to remove all those who voted for health care reform. The author seems not to know that we did elect those who passed the bill. It's called democracy and it apparently still works over the objections of those who were losers in the last election. Get over it, you lost and we, the American voting public, won.

    March 23, 2010 at 6:47 am |
  40. Jeff

    How will this bill assist rural fire departments that write off ambulance transport bills due to being unpaid due to no insurance–. Will this bill now change this, since there will be coverage?

    March 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  41. vic

    isn't there going to be a flood of people who avoided elective surgery when they had to pay for it out of pocket who will now (even though they've now just barely paid a penny into medical insurance coverage) demand immediate treatment now that the bill is being footed by others (who have been paying their insurance premiums all along)?

    since there is no pre-existing condition stipulation any longer, they cannot be denied, even tho' they lived with the problem up to that point (for example, one can go without an ACL knee replacement - but now, they can decide they want to have it done - on somebody else's dime)

    sounds like they will quickly overwhelm the hospitals (and deplete the funds) now that somebody else is paying for their treatment

    March 22, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  42. Butch Leger

    Cohen, I am a victim of post surgical infection for almost 14 years. I hope I am down to the last area but it seems to have a Toyota gas petal-type problem keeping it going. What I have noticed is the popularity of the crime shows loaded with high tech forensics, the "Checklist" on the bestseller list, and scientists tell us how King Tut died. I think a good move would be for you to lineup a supposed surgery but when they are ready to commit- a forensics team enters the surgical area and fences it in with yellow tape and goes to work on some crimes not yet committed. It may be the start of a TV series with you as the director.

    March 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  43. Robert

    What happens to the cost of insurance to the company that is providing the insurance to the employee? Is there a set amount or percentage of the total premium that the employer is required to pay? Will it change the mix that already exits between employer and employee responsiblity?

    March 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  44. Thelma


    March 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  45. Kyle Clayton

    This Health Care Reform bill will impact me positively in two ways.

    As a graduating college student, this June I will be dropped from my parents insurance policy. I will have no other health care options after that. This bill gives me a year to be covered while I find health care. Graduation in May and being dropped in June does't leave much time to find new care.

    Working for and owning a small business, I cannot afford to pay for health insurance for myself or my three employees. This bill will help me buy into a plan with my small network of employees, giving us all the health care coverage we deserve.

    As an American I am willing to pay taxes in certain places to help myself and millions like me get the insurance that we need. This isn't a thing of vanity or rhetoric it is a need for every American because we will all face health issues', its a fact of life.

    This bill is a step in the right direction. Lets work together to make it even better in the future.

    March 22, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  46. kelli mckee


    March 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  47. Dfrom NOLA

    Most college educated 2 earner families make over 88K so that they can afford a family and a home ( and pay back school loans and save for kids' college, etc)!
    So since the projection from budget office is that those making over 88K will have increases in the healthcare premiums they pay with the new bill, how is that a victory for America?
    That sounds like another middle class burden to me.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  48. Dfrom NOLA

    How are 20 somethings with educational debt and no job supposed to buy health insurance????
    They can't even pay their own rent!
    How does this "help"?

    March 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  49. Dfrom NOLA

    Ms Cohen says that new healthcare bill will result in greater waits for primary care but that since all will have insurance the wait times for ER will be less.
    That's not true and shows that Ms Cohen has not done her homework on drivers of ER use.
    The biggest users of ER for non emergency issues is Mediciad a population which -although "poor" by income standards, are very "rich" in their health benefit and pay nothing to go to ER when and where ever as more convenient than waiting for a primary care visit or scheduling a next day visit vs walking into ER.
    When we all have insurance and no constaints on ER use, we'll all have delays in primary care and still have an ER glutted with non emergencies.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  50. Leah Margolis

    Happy Bill passed. Want to know if medicare will do away with limits on skilled nursing homes.

    March 22, 2010 at 12:16 pm |