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Health Care Reform: What’s in it for You?

April 21, 2010

Congressman John Garamendi had the privilege to vote for a comprehensive health insurance reform bill that will expand coverage to 32 million Americans. As your former State Insurance Commissioner and a long time state legislator, Congressman Garamendi has long been an advocate for reforming our broken health care laws.

Under our new health care laws, many important reforms will come into effect this year:


  • Seniors stuck in the Medicare Part D donut hole will receive a $250 rebate and next year will see their prescription drug costs in the donut hole reduced by 50 percent.
  • Small businesses will receive up to a 35 percent tax credit to help pay for health coverage for their employees.


In 90 Days:

  • Early retirees aged 55-64 will see additional relief to help them afford health coverage.
  • Out-of-pocket health expenses will be capped at $6,200 for individuals and $12,400 for families who have insurance through small businesses.
  • Adults with preexisting conditions will be able to enroll in a high risk pool to make sure they finally have basic health care protections in preparation for full integration into our insurance system.


In 6 Months:

  • Discrimination against children with preexisting conditions will end.
  • Insurance companies will not be able to kick people off of their insurance because they are sick.
  • New insurance plans will be required to offer free preventative care. 
  • Young adults up to the age of 26 will be allowed to stay on their parents' health plan.
  • Bans lifetime and restrictive annual limits on coverage for all Americans.


By 2014, many more important reforms will be implemented, including:

  • People will be able to join state exchanges that allow them to participate in the same competitive insurance markets that members of Congress participate in.
  • One plan in every exchange must be nonprofit, and the exchanges provide individuals the same purchasing advantages available to workers at large corporations.
  • People with preexisting conditions in high risk pools will be able to transition to the same insurance policies available to every other American.
  • Small businesses will see their small business tax credit increased to 50 percent.


The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that the bill will be the single largest deficit reduction bill in 17 years - a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction over 20 years. And this is one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in U.S. history.

California’s 10th Congressional District will see many major improvements in health care delivery. Specifically, the bill:

  • Improves coverage for 497,000 residents with health insurance
  • Extends health coverage to 24,000 uninsured residents
  • Provides coverage to 9,000 residents with preexisting conditions
  • Gives tax credits and other assistance to up to 106,000 families and 13,100 small businesses to help them afford coverage
  • Improves Medicare for 96,000 beneficiaries, including the complete closure of the Medicare Part D donut hole by 2018
  • Protects 1,400 families from bankruptcy
  • Allows 52,000 young adults to stay on their parents health insurance plans


As always, if you have any questions, feel free to call Congressman Garamendi’s office at 202-225-1880 or 925-932-8899. We also welcome your visit at our Antioch, Fairfield, Walnut Creek, or Washington, DC offices.