As you may recall, the health care bill that was recently signed into law included provisions for the extension of dependent health insurance to those under 26. Specifically – “Young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26. Many health plans currently drop dependents from coverage when they turn 19 or finish college.”
As you’ve no doubt heard, last night the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3590 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in a vote of 219-212. 3590 then heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature into law. The House also passed HR 4872 Reconciliation Act of 2010, which now heads to the Senate for a vote, needing only a simple majority. Regardless of how you feel about health care reform in general and the bill specifically, it’s important to understand what’s inside because it will affect you and your family.
Fortunately, we can rely on a straightforward recap by Reuters plus a few details from the Tax Foundation. There will be no commentary on my part to get in the way of the facts, just what’s in the bill if it’s signed by law.
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Last night was a historic night.
However, it’s historic not just because Barack Obama, the first African American nominee of a major political party, was elected President, thought that certainly was historic, or because the margin of victory was so great, there have been bigger.
It was because we saw what hard work and dedication in America can accomplish. So many people, my parents included, come to America seeking a better life for themselves and their children. My dad bought a one way ticket from Taiwan to the United States to go to college. He could have stayed in Taiwan and been quite comfortable. He could speak his native tongue, live where he grew up, worked with people he’s known his entire life, but this was America. The land of opportunity.
Many people point to Barack Obama’s achievements as inspiration that the American dream is still alive, to which I cannot disagree. However, I argue that John McCain’s ascension to the Republican Presidential nominee is equally impressive. Age discrimination is very real in this country, though less offensive to many for a variety of reasons, and we were not far from electing the oldest President of the United States. John McCain was a tireless public servant, a hard working American, and no one can doubt his patriotism – and he was rewarded with the Republican nomination. It did upset me to see him upset last night, you almost never want to see someone of his caliber of character see defeat in that way (McCain’s brief bio on Wikipedia).
Barack Obama’s story is pretty well known (Wikipedia has a quick recap of that) so I won’t rehash it but the fact that he was the Democratic nominee is also impressive. I thought his acceptance speech was clear – this was only the chance to begin the work, not the work itself. It contained all the usual political stuff but I thought the story about Ann Nixon Cooper was very touching. You can read the transcript of the speech here and listen to it here (I’m sure video will be available later if you search for it).
Hard work still pays off in America, that was something we lost faith in for the last few years. Now it’s time to build on it.