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How the healthcare reform would affect the economy

January 16th 2013

The healthcare reform bill has become the 'talk of the town' lately as it is expected to bring significant changes to the country’s distressing economic condition. Let us take a look at the changes that this bill is expected to bring.

Immediate boost to the job market

The reform bill is expected to bring some relief to the distressing condition of the job market as it would offer tax credits to small businesses which would offer health benefits to employees.

The tax credit would reduce the incremental cost on labor by 4%, which might encourage more small businesses to offer health benefits to their employees.

It's likely to cost the rich more

There will be several changes in the tax structure to make it more progressive. The underlying idea of this bill is to increase the cost on the rich so that the additional fund can be used to offer coverage to the 32 million uninsured Americans.

Bigger employers are likely to face penalties if they do not offer health benefits to their employees.

No discrimination for pre-existing condition

The reform is expected to disallow the insurance companies henceforth to discriminate children based on pre-existing condition. It is also likely to eliminate the practice of excluding pre-existing condition for adults by 2014.

Further, the reform would now let the young adults to stay covered under their parent’s policy till the age of 27 years.

Putting end to the lifetime cap

The reform bill would put an end to the lifetime cap on individual health policies and is likely to limit the annual caps on the policies too.

More regulation on insurance industry

Henceforth, the committee of seven members Health Insurance Rate Authority would monitor the changes in premium rate and can deny or limit substantial changes in one's health insurance premium.

It has also promised to implement better screening methods to reduce chances of health insurance frauds.

Health-policy experts and economists, however, are skeptical about the success of the healthcare reform bill. But it might be too early to comment on the effects of the healthcare bill as most of its propositions won't come into effect by 2014. Nonetheless, the American health system needed a complete makeover and this initiative to improve the system is certainly the one constructive step.

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