What does the passing of the Obama health care bill mean for me? Resources and information 

NowPublic News - The new health care bill has been passed in the House of Representatives, but according to the CBS poll held on Sunday only 42% of people in the United States say they have a good understanding of how the bill is going to impact them. That means every second American is still confused about what the new health care bill means for them and their family.

The long debate that preceded the House vote on Sunday has often been marred by controversies, taking the focus off the central issue of explaining to voters what the health care bill really entails.

Big stats have been thrown at voters by both proponents and opponents of the new health care bill. President Obama said 30 million uninsured Americans will get coverage through the new health care bill. Meanwhile, the Republicans threw in the 40% excise tax on excessive health care benefits and the $695 penalty for forgoing the purchase of insurance.

But, at $940 billion, the new health care bill is enormous, and the number of changes is hard to track for an average consumer whose daily life will ultimately be affected.

So, government agencies and media outlets are scrambling to put together resources to help average Americans make sense of the health care reform. Here is a list that we have come up with:

  • The White House has a page entirely dedicated to health reform that explains Obamas's health care policy state by state
  • Another White House resource titled "What will the President's proposal mean for you?" lets users choose the scenario that applies to them - i.e.: "I own a small business" or "I buy my own insurance." The site than offers FAQs for each of the scenarios offered with more information.
  • New York Times has a nice click-through graphic explaining the new health care bill option by option.
  • Washington Post also offers an online questionnaire to narrow down consumer's situation and show how the health care bill is likely to affect them.
  • Wall Street Journal provides a point-by-point comparison of the Senate Democratic Bill, House Bill, President Obama's proposal and the White House/ Congressional Leadership Reconciliation Bill outlining the evolution of the health care bill.
  • One of the most extensive resources on health care reform is Kaiser Health Reform Gateway website. The site tracks opinion polls, provides historic background, does side-by-side comparisons and provides online health reform subsidy calculator that does annual plan premium calculations.
  • Some U.S. Senators have helpful demos on their sites, including that of Senator Debbie Stabenow.
  • The OpenCongress Blog provides the breakdown on the HR 3590 vote. They also provide the full text of the HR 3590 version of the bill with all the legal language retained.
  • The Republican Party website offers an alternative look at the health care bill with summaries, fact sheets and side-by-side comparison of Pelosi health care bill and GOP alternative.

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Sudha Krishna

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