October 31, 2009 (Washington D.C.) – Many Americans are not aware that The Affordable Health Care for America Act now before Congress has many provisions to help people afford healthcare costs right away. A public option (or choice between government-run healthcare and private insurance) if passed would take time to set up. This week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this list of the top 14 provisions that would kick in immediately:
1. BEGINS TO CLOSE THE MEDICARE PART D DONUT HOLE — Reduces the donut hole by $500 and institutes a 50% discount on brand-name drugs, effective January 1, 2010.
2. IMMEDIATE HELP FOR THE UNINSURED UNTIL EXCHANGE IS AVAILABLE (INTERIM HIGH-RISK POOL) — Creates a temporary insurance program until the Exchange is available for individuals who have been uninsured for several months or have been denied a policy because of pre-existing conditions.