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Archive for the ‘Polik’ Category

Congress in Session

Today or tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives will pass a bill that repeals the Healthcare Reform Act that was signed into law last year.  That, of course, is the law that has generated so much controversy in this country.  I personally support this much needed law.

If you also support this law, don’t worry at all when you hear that the House has repealed it.  It’s all a big show.

The Republican Party campaigned in 2010 promising to repeal the law.  And they will take this first step.  But that’s as far as it will go.  The next step would be for the repeal to be considered by the U.S. Senate and the Democratic Party still runs things over there.  But, let’s think worst case scenario.  Let’s say that the Senate also repeals the law.    In that case, the next step is the repeal legislation would go to the President and guess what he will do?   He’ll veto the bill.

When a bill is vetoed, it goes back to the House and the Senate.  Both of those bodies can override what the President did but they have to get two-thirds of their body to vote for repeal.  And the Republicans don’t have those numbers.

So, you can watch what is going on with interest if you’ve got nothing to do.   The Republicans are just doing this so they can go back to their constituents and tell them that they “fought” to repeal that “horrible law.”

But, relax folks.  It’s all part of the show.

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John Boehner

At this point, I assume you know that a new health care system is being implemented in this country.  If you don’t know this then…..well, there is no sense in reading this cause, honey, you are on another planet.

We’ve heard all the arguing and seen some of the commercials and watched the elections and all.  We’ve heard how the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner, has vowed to repeal the new law.  Well, that’s a total crock because while the House of Representatives will vote to repeal it, it’s unlikely that the Senate will do the same and, if by some chance they do repeal it, well, Obama-Man is sitting there with his ole veto pen.  End of story.

We’re gonna be living with this new law for some time.  That being the case, I thought I would regularly send you a short explanation of what all of this means to you to cut through all of the stuff that you see and don’t have time to sort out.

A number of the provisions of the law will not take effect for quite a while, but some things are already in effect.  So, right now, here’s the deal:

Any health plan that you get through your job or any new individual plan has to let any kids you have under 19 to have coverage.  In other words, they cannot be denied coverage if they are already sick or have some medical condition.

If your health insurance allows you to have coverage for your dependents, then they can be covered until they are 26 years old.  After that, you kick them out of the house and they’re on their own.

Insurance companies cannot drop you from their plans when you get sick just because you made a mistake on your coverage application.

Many insurance companies say that during your lifetime you can only be covered up to a certain point.  Today, there are no limits.

If your employer offers a health plan, you generally can’t be turned away or charged a higher premium because of your health status or disability.  This protection is called “nondiscrimination.”

If family members are eligible but are not currently enrolled under your health plan at work, you may be able to add them during a “special enrollment” opportunity outside of the usual “open enrollment” period.

Not too shabby, huh?

There’s so much more to come!  Stay tuned.

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A few weeks ago, I was asked by the owners of this website to start providing content for the “Keep Women Healthy” blog.  That sounded simple enough.  Since then, I’ve written about the dangers of tanning machines, abortion and a few other items.  I’ve provided you with facts and figures in an effort to try to keep you up to date on that particular issue.

But I soon found myself getting bored as I just regurgitated a bunch of stuff I found from a variety of sources, stuff that you could no doubt find on your own if you wanted to take the time.  So, I started thinking about how I could make this blog a little different and more useful.  How can we use this page to really help “Keep Women Healthy?”

Then, this morning, over a bowl of Honey Oats cereal (one percent milk- can’t yet make the leap to skim), it hit me.  You see, my background is in political action.  I’ve worked on numerous political campaigns, served as a Legislative Aide on Capitol Hill and am a former lobbyist for a women’s reproductive rights organization.  My experience has taught me that people can influence their government (despite the protestations of the Tea Party and Sara Palin).  You can get things done if you are willing to put in the effort.

So, I’ve decided to use my expertise in political organizing to help “Keep Women Healthy.”

Every day in Washington, D.C., your government is doing something that concerns women’s health.  Or, if they are not doing anything, they could be.  I know it is impossible for you to sort out all of the issues and decide where to put your energy.  You’ve got a life.  That’s where I come in.

In the future, I will use this column to give you some simple ideas.  It may be a suggestion to contact your Member of Congress about a specific piece of legislation.  Or, I may recommend you email the White House to urge the President to take some executive action on some issue.  Maybe the FDA needs to hear from people on a new, woman-friendly drug.

I promise not to overwhelm you.  Personally, I hate it when I get a message (usually in big red letters with lots of exclamation points) from some national organization urging me to do ten things, ten very complicated things.  That just guarantees that I will not do any of them.

So, I will keep it simple.  If we are organized, we can accomplish things.

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