Going Gluten-FreeMarch 26, 2010

Living Without’s News Brief: Historic Health Care Bill and Celiac Disease

Earlier this week, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. This historical legislation will significantly reform the nation’s health care system. There is considerable controversy surrounding the legislation, with critics citing its cost to taxpayers and concerns about the expanded role of government in administering it. There is also significant criticism about the procedural tactics used by Congressional Democrats to pass the bill.

Controversy and politics aside, Living Without talked with attorney Andrea Levario, executive director of American Celiac Disease Alliance, about the impact of this legislation on people with celiac disease.  
    

Living Without: Generally speaking, what does this new law mean to the celiac community?

Andrea Levario: There is no question that this law will have a profound effect on the millions of Americans with chronic medical conditions like celiac disease. It puts an end to the practice of denying health insurance to individuals who have celiac disease, high blood pressure, type 1 and type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

LW: Can you give a quick summary of how health care is going to change?

Levario: Within the next year, health insurers will not be able to deny coverage to children because of pre-existing conditions. Young adults will be able to remain on their parents' health insurance until age 26. Existing health insurance plans will be barred from placing lifetime caps on coverage. Insurance companies will no longer be able to cancel insurance retroactively unless there is proof of fraud. All new insurance plans will be required to cover preventive care.
In addition, a temporary high-risk pool will be created for adults with pre-existing conditions, like celiac disease, so they can obtain insurance coverage.

Once all the reforms are fully implemented, it is estimated that an additional 31 million Americans will have health insurance. The number of uninsured is estimated to be 46 million.

LW: What about serious food allergies and anaphylaxis? Does the law cover these conditions?

Levario:  Having food allergies would be considered a preexisting condition, as would anaphylaxis. Persons won’t be denied insurance because they have such conditions.  

LW: Because of Congressional procedures, the law is being “fixed.” What does that mean?

Levario: Additional reforms have been included in a reconciliation package, H.R.
4872, which was cleared by Congress yesterday, March 25, and will be signed into law by the President in the next couple days.

Comments (80)

I have had Celiac disease plus a thyroid condition for years and have never been denied coverage. In a few years I will be on Medicare and unfortunately I'm thinking that I will have much less coverage and my costs will escalate for sure. I certainly wouldn't cancel my subscription to Living Without because of someone's opinion. The magazine has a lot of good information which is lacking elsewhere and it's getting better all the time.

Carolyn

Posted by: Skyland | April 21, 2010 1:03 PM    Report this comment

So many of the posts are on the same level as that man at the Town Hall meeting who aggressively told the senator, "Keep your Government hands off my Medicare!" Such widespread failure to fact-check and think critically tells me that our public education system is in even worse crisis than our healthcare.

Those threatening to cancel a subscription: LW provided a service to their customer base. They asked the executive director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance to comment on how the new law will affect celiacs. Neither LW nor ACDA took a political position on what the law should/shouldn't be -- only about what it IS.

Ask yourself honestly -- if LW ran an article explaining how to claim the tax deduction for the extra cost of gluten-free food (which already exists, Heidi M), would you still be offended?

Posted by: Patricia M | April 2, 2010 12:19 AM    Report this comment

I believe the outrage is due to this health care bill being shoved down our throats. We were not given an opportunity to express our interest (or lack thereof). Information regarding this bill is quite hard to find. There is a lot of rhetoric and speculation and NOT a lot of facts. What IS a fact, sadly, is that our rights are slowly and deliberately being taken away from us. If it really is such a good thing, I question why congress has their own health care.

I wish us all luck; I think we're all going to need it!!!!

Posted by: Unknown | March 31, 2010 4:03 PM    Report this comment

We are all fine if we Just watch out for each other. Our health is up to us and the medical books do help. Follow the family tree and you will see what you will have and get by the family. Both sides will tell you all. The government needs to stay out of what we do and where we go. The health of each and every one of us is the hands of those that really care to get to the truth of the problems. Thank you

Posted by: Louise E | March 31, 2010 3:43 PM    Report this comment

Joy O, My health care is just fine the way it is. It doesnt need to be FIXED by the government. I dont need a RULER telling me how to live. A lot of complaining about the health care in Canada are from the Canadians that are now living here in the US. My daughter works in a store in town and hears it all the time. Has anyone actually read the 2000 pages of this bill?

Posted by: Diane D | March 31, 2010 9:23 AM    Report this comment

For the sake of all of those with celiac disease, and any other food allergies, I think the government needs to focus more on passing stricter laws about how food companies label their products. The most frustrating thing for me, since being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, is reading and interpreting labels. It's like having to learn a foreign language. Also, even when the ingredients are safe, you still don't know for sure if there was cross-contamination at the factory where the product was made. I would like to see consistency in the way all food products are labeled. A small chart below the ingredients with "Gluten Free," "Dairy Free," "Peanut Free," etc where there is a check mark next to each that applies would be really nice. They should make this mandatory, just like they make it mandatory to list calories, fat, sugar, and ingredients. Wouldn't that be nice?

Posted by: CAMERON W | March 31, 2010 8:09 AM    Report this comment

Living in Wisconsin we have Badger Care for low income families as well as those with pre-existing conditions. While my insurance representative recommend I go on that because of the Celiacs, we stuck it out with our regular insurance. I went through a waiting period where I did not see a doctor for any complications derived from the Celiacs. But what I don't understand is...if our state already provides for those in need...why does the federal government have to step in too. It feels like we are getting taxed twice for the same thing! This article didn't say anything we all haven't heard before. There are a lot of questions about this bill that have not been addressed by the media that should have been asked, such as how is it going to be funded? And what are some of the other things covered? It obviously is generating a lot of feedback but I think the title alone would have done that. The time it took me to read the article was totally wasted.

Posted by: Geri Z | March 30, 2010 12:13 PM    Report this comment

This is a terribly biased interview!!! This woman is so obviously one-sided that she not capable of exploring the the horrible impacts of this bill in its entirety. I am very disappointed in Living Without for publishing such an article. - I feel like I have just read a child's reporting of the subject.

Posted by: Stephanie T | March 30, 2010 7:52 AM    Report this comment

I can't believe what I'm reading here. Wow.. So many of you are over the edge with your ranting, and sorry to say, almost outright hatred. I'm a Canadian & I've always had excellent health care coverage so don't know where some of the comments about our health care system being bad are coming from?

To Ranay Q & Frances E Ballard. If you are not knowledgeable about Canada or our health care system, then please refrain from spouting your ignorance. Ranay Q, Canada has ONE Prime Minister, the same as you have ONE president. We do not have MULTIPLE Prime Ministers as you make it sound. You don't even have your facts straight. Canada's Prime Minister did NOT travel to the US for treatment, you have the wrong person entirely, so please do some reasearch before you make untrue statements.

Frances E Ballard you say Canada has an extremely rationed health care system. My god, where do get your information from? Have you lived in Canada? Did you have coverage while you were here and not get taken care of right away perhaps? If not, then why make statements you no nothing about? You're relying on simple family gossip & hearsay, nothing more.

My health care has never been "extremely rationed," What a rediculous statement! If I'm sick & need to visit my Dr. my visit is covered. If I need to go to hospital for an operation, which I have had to do, the room, doctor, specialists, & follow up outpatient visits are also covered. Why is that, to some of you on here a bad thing?

I fail to see why some of you are so insanely against having proper health coverage which you should have had long long ago as it is. Perhaps some of you might want to do a bit of research on the many Americans that have moved to Canada that now enjoy our health coverage system too. They seem to be quite happy..

Posted by: Joy O | March 29, 2010 10:24 AM    Report this comment

I do not understand why people make such a fuss about this. They should be greatful that this Administration is concerned about covering Americans with a fair health insurance. People, please, do not be misguided, try to understand the truth.

Posted by: CLAUDIA G | March 29, 2010 10:02 AM    Report this comment

I do not understand why people make such a fuss about this. They should be greatful that this Administration is concerned about covering Americans with a fair health insurance. People, please, do not be misguided, try to understand the truth.

Posted by: CLAUDIA G | March 29, 2010 10:02 AM    Report this comment

I am originally from Scandinavia and used to socialized medicine; so I am not afraid of the new healthcare changes. I really don't see what all the fuss is about. In the Scandinavian countries they do much more preventive care, and they have up to a 50% detection rate of CD! We could really use better preventive care in this country. I know I had CD since childhood; but sadly was not diagnosed until I was in my fifties. Now totally GF, I believe I would have been spared many of my still remaining symptoms of celiac Disease if I had been diagnosed sooner. Healthcare for everybody and swift diagnosis for future celiacs is important. I can only applaud the latest changes in this country. We are far from universal healthcare; but we are getting there.

Posted by: Mona N | March 29, 2010 9:32 AM    Report this comment

I'm stunned at some of the comments. First, those of you who talk about canceling the subscription because it is a "political" article or slanted probably should cancel..you can't read anyway! The article simply recites what has happened; it's the posts that delve into that, so if you don't like those, don't read them.

The posts that have the nerve to question someone who has been denied coverage, just because YOU haven't been denied health insurance or canceled, doesn't mean someone else hasn't; ah, but then, everything is really about YOU anyway. Comments like Marily A's that claim the administration supports aborting a healthy 9 month old baby and "terminate its' life just inches before it is born" would be frightening if it wasn't so comically stupid. Where do people come up with this kind of garbage. Apparently education has been provided by our government, but some people didn't take advantage! READ people. Not just one site or magazine, but everything you can get your hands from all sides. Stop just listening to your radio showboaters, stop picking up bits and pieces here and there and taking it as the gospel. Comments like "death panels" and such started the panick similar to when "War of the Worlds" was aired. CREDIBILITY. What happened to it? If I'm against something, I want my thoughts to be based in FACT, not some hysterical fiction.

I challenge everyone of you to pick up the bill, read it for yourself. Make up your own mind, but stop just repeating what doom and gloom or conversely, rosey outlook you find that "summarizes" or comments on the bill.

Posted by: Unknown | March 29, 2010 7:59 AM    Report this comment

Thank you, Barbara, for being a voice of reason and experience citing the main purpose of this bill, to afford the luxury of health insurance for all Americans. Over 90% of doctors I personally know also agree that it is high time this country votes in universal health coverage and, hopefully, this new legislation is a step in that direction.

Politics aside, I do wish this magazine would do just that - leave politics out of Living Without. No self-respecting journalist would write about a controversial issue without giving both sides of the story, as this blogger decided to do. Why only state the criticisms? Why not tell us why the proponents are for the bill? And, as I write this, I must be bombarded with an anti-Obama ad from newsmax.com. Living Without, tell Google this ad is irrelevant for this magazine. Being sent this notification in my email, plus the author's slanted view, and this anti-Obama ad has me re-thinking my respect for this magazine. How sad.

Posted by: Jill C | March 28, 2010 10:09 PM    Report this comment

"Unknown", have you ever lived in a country with socialized medicine?

Posted by: Gina M | March 28, 2010 8:42 PM    Report this comment

In light of Lori and Deborah's comments, I want to cast my vote in support of Living Well. I've been reading their magazine for a while and appreciate that they go to the trouble of finding experts and doing research. It seems to me like they did the same thing here, too. Too bad the topic is so politically volatile. This comment section has become a shouting match.

Posted by: Unknown | March 28, 2010 4:34 PM    Report this comment

I agree 100% with another poster here named Deborah. I am seriously disappointed that Living Well believes the promises set forth by Obama Care. I lived in a country with socialized medicine, and it is not pretty. There is no way the government cares about your health. So, before celebrating this new government provision, please realize there will be a trade-off between the quality of care and the quantity of care.

Posted by: ByGrace | March 28, 2010 3:05 PM    Report this comment

I have insurance and I take personal responsibility for my own health. I have Celiac and would much rather follow a gluten free diet than take pills (and I do just that). However, I am very glad someone is doing something to make sure that I can still have insurance if I lose my job. Most of the issues in HCR has been in previous attempted legislation in one form or another by both parties. It is silly that we were the only civilized nation to have people sick and dying for lack of health insurance! Get into the 21st century already! Instead of taking the talking points from either side, do some research on neutral websites and you will find that, while not perfect, it's a good start to getting coverage for everyone. Just because you don't know someone that has been denied coverage does not mean it's not a problem. Four of my family members can not get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

This article doesn't discuss the politics of the law, it discusses the changes that we will all have to live under. Thank you LW for the sane and concise synopsis as it relates to those of us that have to live a bit more carefully due to Celiac or other issues.

Posted by: Karen2B | March 28, 2010 1:13 PM    Report this comment

I am amazed by how many people say they have been denied insurance coverage because they have Celiac. I was diagnosed with Celiac disease over 10 years ago and I have never been denied insurance coverage. I am honest on all questionaires and have never hidden the fact that I have Celiac. I take personal responsibility for avoiding Gluten and do not look for the government to "give me" anything because I have an auto-immune disease, through no fault of my own. If I suffer a "set back" because I have inadverdently eaten something which contains Gluten, I do not blame anyone but my self for not being vigilant enough or for giving into a temptation to have a slice of bread or a piece of cake. More people need to take responsibility for their actions and not be so ready to blame circumstances for their failures.

Posted by: Beverly W | March 28, 2010 11:04 AM    Report this comment

to Posted by: Unknown | March 26, 2010 3:56 PM..do tell...SSD for having celiac???How did you?

Posted by: leslie f | March 28, 2010 7:51 AM    Report this comment

Everyone needs to remember: what the government GIVES us, the government can also TAKE AWAY. All these entitlement programs are bringing our country to ruin, and ushering us right into the open arms of Socialism.

Why should I look to government to solve a problem I can solve myself by avoiding wheat and gluten? I never even got tested for Celiac disease (the key to avoid being stamped as "pre-existing"). A simple experiment is all I did to figure out I have a wheat/gluten problem: I quit eating bread for 2 weeks, then tried to eat it again--my problems reappeared. What more does a CELIAC label get you? It's not like there's a special medication for it! By testing, all you do is alert the insurance company, giving them a reason to kick you out.

It would be nice to get a tax credit for all the different flours and ingredients we have to use to bake, but singling out one disease for tax credits is unfair and impossible.

The solution to all this health insurance crap is this: we need to do more for ourselves and rely less on insurance and doctors to do it for us. Most ailments in this country stem from too much salt, too much sugar, and too little exercise--all doctors and insurers can do for us is give meds to correct the situation. WE should be the ones cutting salt, sugar, and exercising more! Why is it we've become a nation of people falling back on pills to make us healthy again, when health is as close as your nearest grocery store's produce section?

Produce is cheaper than pills any day, and you don't need insurance coverage to get it. Best of all, it doesn't include wheat and gluten!

You want health care reform? You gotta care about your health FIRST! Reform YOUR OWN health before imposing your individual insurance woes/needs on others.

Posted by: Heidi M | March 28, 2010 7:00 AM    Report this comment

Karen's comments saddened me. What does she mean that the government can't do anything right? Should we give up post office, FAA, defense, highways? All of the developed companies have relied on government coverage and most have done well.

We are on medicare with a supplement. My husband has had two very expensive surgeries in the past two years. We haven't paid a dime! How can that be bad????

How can we morally complain that we as a nation "can't afford" health care for the poor? How would you like it if your family said it was too expensive to take you to the doctor when you are sick??? Aren't we all "family."

I don't think anyone without health care is bitching about the new laws.

Republicans had every chance to contribute but they continually said they wanted Obama to fail, sadly. That doesn't seem like it is taking care of their constituents.

And lasty, I've been uninsurable all my life. First with allergies, then with lupus and celiac disease. I have Hillary Clinton's health care changes to thank for Cobra and state plans for the uninsurable (though they are very expensive.).

Let's give this health care change a chance and keep tweaking it as needed.

Posted by: Michele M | March 27, 2010 5:05 PM    Report this comment

With all the rhetoric being thrown around about this health care legislation, it's difficult to get a clear reading on the matter. I, personally, am very uncomfortable putting the future of my health care in the hands of government, any government. Previously honest and moral people seem to loose those qualities after they get elected. I also am vehemently opposed to my tax dollars being used to pay for abortions and health care for people who can find the money to buy illegal drugs, but not health insurance. Every Democratic administration, including this one, is just too anxious to "give away the store". I am not happy that the system of checks and balances created by a two party system has been rendered null and void by this administration. How can a Democratic President and a Democratic controlled Legislature be good for America?

Posted by: Beverly W | March 27, 2010 2:15 PM    Report this comment

This healthcare bill is hardly perfect, but it is a start. I am grateful to Obama for having the audacity to continue to push for passage of this bill. His experience of seeing a mother denied medical treatment for lack of insurance undoubtedly fueled the fire behind his courage to stand toe-to-toe against the horrible anti-government rhetoric of the tea-party bunch. I respect that this courage may make him a one term president, but he will stand in history as a president who fought for fairness and equality for all Americans.

Posted by: jerri b | March 27, 2010 12:39 PM    Report this comment

Why do people think this whole health care reform was so difficult? MONEY. my fellow americans, the insurance industry, pharmacutical industry, and support companies might have to actually treat people even when they don't have congressional insurance coverage. Wake up people, why aren't the rest of us entitled to the same coverage as our politicans get while they are in office or retired from office? Why is that? Are they better people? Are they healthier? Get real, they control the legislation that controls how much money everyone can make. No politician has even come close to ANY kind of reform since Hilliary tried way back when. The PR money alone spent on mis-information on this topic would pay for all of us to have decent coverage. I'm so tired of people not getting it, go after the nay-sayers with fact, and a positive plan of action to benefit all of us..

Posted by: Angela W | March 27, 2010 12:13 PM    Report this comment

If you think the "deals" made to get this bill passed were terrible, you have your head in the sand. That sort of deal making has been going on since the beginning of this republic.

Posted by: San60 | March 27, 2010 10:32 AM    Report this comment

Anyone who says that insurance companies don't turn you down (or place you in an assigned risk pool with prohibitive premiums) because of severe allergies and/or celiac, has their head in the sand. I am 68 and the only health insurance I have is Medicare because I am deemed uninsurable. I've had to contend with that my ENTIRE life. I've had some health insurance in the past through employers, but my deductible was always higher than other employees. Definitely not affordable! I've also lost good positions for which I was eminently qualified because I couldn't "pass" the physical and the employers' insurance companies wouldn't approve me for hiring--even though I am in excellent health otherwise. The premiums I would have to pay today to get supplemental insurance would eat up close to one-half of my Social Security check.

Posted by: Mary Ann W | March 27, 2010 9:30 AM    Report this comment

Deborah B - I have celiacs as do both my children, my sister and her children and my father also did. I purchase this magazine for its non political discussions and recipes.

Although I feel strongly about the legislation under discussion (I am not saying whether I support or disagree with it), I also feel strongly that political discussions, points of view and name calling are not why I purchase this magazine. I can get that in many places. But it should not be here.

I am seriously considering cancelling my subscription if this continues.

Posted by: Deborah B | March 27, 2010 9:24 AM    Report this comment

It's still just as confusing as always but the only difference I see as a health care worker and recepient is that now the government says I HAVE to have health insurance and I no choice about this. I feel that my choices are limited enough without this law and now even more so! I recently lost a job and my insurance and have had to depend on VA for health care now and have new job that at present does not offer health care because I only work 24 hours a week. I was also diagnosed with gluten intolerance las year and depend on my Chiropracter for most of health care because for th past nine plus years, She has helped me more than any MD has to feel better with supplement, dietary changes and adjustments. I feel that most MD's dont understand a lot of the effects of lifestyle on persons health and are unwilling to practice the proper change in healthcare to truly help poeple to improve their health. Will the insurance companies cover the practictioners who do the Wholistic Practices? I feel this remains to be seen and will have a profound effect on the health our nation in the future!

Posted by: Carol L | March 27, 2010 9:14 AM    Report this comment

i had to pay a $3,000 deductible with Blue Cross because of asthma & celiac's. my employee who SMOKES got better insurance than i. this was also because i am older. the old system stinks. it does not work! i don't know if the new system will be as good as it could be with universal health care as in england & france but this is a start. i visited both paris & london & the citizens rave about their healthcare systems.

Posted by: susan t | March 27, 2010 9:03 AM    Report this comment

I'm impressed with those who have stated they have taken the time to read the bill. It has well over 2,000 pages! That's a lot of reading and a lot of time. Too bad those who were responsible for actually voting on the bill didn't take the time to read it. But then, when something doesn't apply to you personally, I guess there's really no incentive to read it, is there?

Posted by: Laura M | March 27, 2010 9:03 AM    Report this comment

Take heart.. ignore the uninformed tea party talking points. Stick to your guns.

Posted by: Unknown | March 27, 2010 8:42 AM    Report this comment

This is a great article- Is there any way to share this to my facebook page? so many people are confused about the facts, ultimately our nation was in desperate need to have health care reform, I am glad it passed and stand behind president Obama.

Posted by: Katherine H | March 27, 2010 7:47 AM    Report this comment

Since I'm retired with full insurance coverage, the new Health Care Law provides me only with the satisfaction of knowing that I live in a country that values their citizens enough to make sure that they are able to get the medical care they need. When I think back to family days with the responsibility of caring for our children, I cannot imagine being without the insurance resources needed for their medical well-being because of an unavoidable illness. This law was long-overdue and we should be proud to be here to support it. The billions of tax dollars collected can be spent on nothing more valuable and meaningful than the health of our citizens. We were the only industrialized nation in the WORLD whose citizens were not assured of health care and now we are where we belong -- with other civilized, caring nations. Thank you, President Obama, for leading the way!

Posted by: Edith H | March 27, 2010 12:08 AM    Report this comment

Whacky that this wouldn't take my post. Let's try it one more time! IRS in charge of penalizing you for not carrying/providing health ins is BIG federal gov't and therefore is socialism Seat belt laws, drunk driving, etc. are set by and enforced by states (where it should be) HCR necessary, but NOT the way it is being done now. The federal gov't is implementing this, not the states, where it should be. Some 2010 changes have good intentions but again NOT the federal gov't responsibility and they have no means to enforce this at this time other than fining people through their income taxes. Socialist medical care already exists in U.S. and SUCKS for many reasons (Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, a coverage for children) Congress should have made themselves aware of this and reformed this first before thinking they know what they are doing to tackle the entire country. Ins coverage for medical entities and personnel is ridiculous for liability therefore costs are high. Why couldn't this be looked into first instead of bombarding the way and rights of the people first? Really now, this is an administration who has repeatedly helped companies who have royally screwed up, so why couldn't they start by helping hospitals/doctors with their liability coverage? This kind of HCR was not the only option out there but the damage has now been done. Hopefully reversible at some point. There are already plenty of regulations on health ins companies and obviously that hasn't helped, so why is this something new and grand?

Posted by: BluDrgnfly | March 27, 2010 12:02 AM    Report this comment

IRS in charge of penalizing you for not carrying/providing health ins

Posted by: BluDrgnfly | March 26, 2010 11:55 PM    Report this comment

IRS in charge of penalizing you for not carrying/providing health ins

Posted by: BluDrgnfly | March 26, 2010 11:53 PM    Report this comment

Karen, When my daughter aged out of our insurance, she was turned down for health insurance because of celiac disease. It was very scary for her to not have any insurance until she found a job with benefits. I also know of others where this happened. I don't know yet how I feel about the law, but I do know that something has to be done about people not being allowed to purchase thier own insurance just because they have celiac disease.

Posted by: Mary W | March 26, 2010 11:19 PM    Report this comment

I had a conversation with one of my co workers after the house approved the health care bill. She asked me how I felt about it. I indicated I thought it was a good start and explained why. She listened to what I had to say and she said she would have to talk to her husband to find out why they (she and her husband) were so opposed to the bill. I think it would help if people stopped listening to all the rhetoric, and read what is actually in the bill. If you are happy with the insurance you have now, you will not need to change. All those people who have no insurance will now have a place to go to get affordable insurance. We all currently pay for the cost of treating uninsured sick people in our hospitals and emergency care facilities in the form of increased costs. Everyone agreed our health care system was broken. Lets move forward from here. Lets looks at the needs of the people, all the people.

Posted by: Unknown | March 26, 2010 10:29 PM    Report this comment

The only thing I know for sure is there is gluten in the reform bill, process or the post bill debate because I've been sick since it was signed.

Posted by: Kathy F | March 26, 2010 10:18 PM    Report this comment

Please, you should not get political. Your magazine has its purpose, please stay on that task. I will cancel my subscription if you continue to share crap like this, shame on you!

Posted by: denise b | March 26, 2010 10:01 PM    Report this comment

BTW, Alicia, thank you for the clear, factual post!

Posted by: Carol H | March 26, 2010 9:24 PM    Report this comment

AM talk radio appears alive and well. Instead of reacting in fear, let us decide this is one positive STEP toward a change for the better. I am not happy with the political shenangigans that occurred in Washington, but don't blame the President. It is our 'democratic' system and has been like that forever. Please note ali n's comment above, I agree, totally. My son does not carry insurance because it is outrageously expensive. It's not the government we need to attack... it is our silence that is allowing the insurance companies to do what they want. Our silence and ignorance that allows genetically modified foods into our lives, again, we are controlled by the corporations. Ah, yes, captialism! So, let's step back and really look at all sides here. I hear fear of the unknown and it is showing itself as anger. This needed to happen, it is a step in the right direction.

Posted by: Carol H | March 26, 2010 9:23 PM    Report this comment

This health care reform was NOT rammed down MY throat. I donated thousands of dollars and many hours of my time to work FOR this historic moment. So first, let me ask, which of you will be refusing your medicare when you turn 65 because it is a government-run health care program? I thought not. Personally, I have a son with the preexisting condition of cancer. We now can keep him on our health plan till he is 26 without having to be a full time student. But better than that, we now know that he cannot be refused insurance when he does have leave our plan. Additionally, let me tell you how this bill will benefit just the people of my home state of Hawaii. The health care reform bill will: Ban discrimination against 6,500 residents with pre-existing conditions; Provide tax credits and other assistance for up to 120,000 families; Extend coverage to 12,500 uninsured residents; Save 600 families from health care related bankruptcy; and Get full prescription drug coverage for 91,000 seniors on Medicare.

Change can be scary, but let's try to think of the good of the whole, shall we?

Posted by: Lisa D | March 26, 2010 8:34 PM    Report this comment

Everyone is covered by the bill, including the President, congress members & their staffs. For some it's the same as any other working American: they can opt to keep their employer's coverage or to choose one of the policies sold through the state exchanges. President Obama, for example, has pledged to get his coverage through an exchange. The ONLY people who don't get a choice are members of congress & their main staff, who're required by the bill to get their coverage through an exchange. This is covered in some detail on Politifact. I'd link to it but this system dumps any message with a link. If it's off the front page when you go search on "Health bill appears to exempt some congressional staff" This is being spun as some are opting out of the program but that's not the case. They've just not included non-permanent staff in the lists of those who are required to use the exchanges instead of keeping their employer's coverage.

Posted by: superreader | March 26, 2010 7:47 PM    Report this comment

Everyone is covered by the bill, including the President, congress members & their staffs. For some it's the same as any other working American: they can opt to keep their employer's coverage or to choose one of the policies sold through the state exchanges. President Obama, for example, has pledged to get his coverage through an exchange. The ONLY people who don't get a choice are members of congress & their main staff, who're required by the bill to get their coverage through an exchange. This is covered in some detail on Politifact.com. I'd link to it but this system dumps any message with a link. If it's off the front page when you go search on "Health bill appears to exempt some congressional staff" This is being spun as some are opting out of the program but that's not the case. They've just not included non-permanent staff in the lists of those who are required to use the exchanges instead of keeping their employer's coverage.

Posted by: superreader | March 26, 2010 7:46 PM    Report this comment

Would you prefer that the government not have passed seat belt laws, drunk driving laws, car insurance requirements, medical licensing requirements, laws that ensure police and fire coverage in your towns? Oh the horrors, the government says that people NEED health insurance, just like they said that cars needed to be safer and that to drive one you need to have a driver's license and provide insurance to protect you and your fellow citizens and it's against the law to drive without it. Did airline safety regulations lead to a government run air travel system?

If anyone of you could tell me why every citizen of the United States doesn't deserve the right to health insurance, I would love to hear it. I have Celiac, I pay $1000 a month for COBRA coverage and when that runs out, what am I going to do? I should be denied coverage because I was laid off from my employer's group plan? Why is it that conservatives and anti government protesters view this legislation as a handout, I don't want you to pay for my insurance, I want to be able to get it!

Finally, the government didn't take over anything and they certainly aren't "running" your healthcare, for those of you that actually are interested in the facts and not parroting the conservative party line, this legislation just introduced 30 million new private customers into the marketplace and it gives those giant healthcare companies that you all love so much the chance to make record profits from them like they have from you. There's no government healthcare plan, just a few regulations that are supposed to help your fellow citizens, not that a conservative has ever cared about their fellow citizens right?

Posted by: Ciara S | March 26, 2010 7:40 PM    Report this comment

P.S. I have needed a colonoscopy for a couple of years now. I think Monday, I'm going to walk into my Drs. office and tell him to give me, because our president says I'm entitled to it :) Think it'll work lol!

Posted by: Ranay Q | March 26, 2010 7:08 PM    Report this comment

The Government has NO business being involved with ANY private industry, be it healthcare, banking, auto industry, education, ect.. They have now taken over 16% of the economy. It's VERY SCAREY!!!!

And to chime in on Frances post, (Good point :) A Prime Minister from Canada not too long ago came to Miami FL. USA! for heart surgery and recovered in Sarasota FL. USA! Many of the richest people in the world come to the United States when they have a serious condition because they can Afford to & we "do/did?" have the best care available. Ummmm now what does that tell any of you people that don't get it yet?!

Posted by: Ranay Q | March 26, 2010 6:59 PM    Report this comment

Wow, people look at these posts. How are we ever going to work this out?

Posted by: CJ | March 26, 2010 6:32 PM    Report this comment

I have listened to all the pros and cons and I'm sick of all of this. I wish there were not democrates or republican. I wish people would stick to what they think is right, and not vote because there party is telling them how to vote.People need to grow up.

Posted by: Cecelia M | March 26, 2010 6:28 PM    Report this comment

I have listened to all the pros and cons and I'm sick of all of this. I wish there were not democrates or republican. I wish people would stick to what they think is right, and not vote because there party is telling them how to vote.People need to grow up.

Posted by: Cecelia M | March 26, 2010 6:28 PM    Report this comment

Amen to you Frances Ballard - if its good enough for us - why do they deserve something different - I agree something needs to be done - but ramming it thru the way they did is terrible - and as far as Obama - he is so arrogant with his armageddon comments - God don't like pride!!!!

Posted by: Rebecca D | March 26, 2010 6:12 PM    Report this comment

This is the law as of today and it does NOT cover everyone with pre-existing conditions, only children:

Immediate changes

Small businesses will immediately be eligible for tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums for offering health coverage to employees. In 2014, the tax credits rise to 50 percent of premiums.

For seniors, the bill begins to close the prescription coverage gap, called the "doughnut hole," for Medicare recipients beginning in 2010. Next year, it brings a 50-percent discount on brand-name drugs in the "doughnut hole." It completely closes in 2010.

In 90 days

Immediate access to health insurance is available to families who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary, high-risk pool. This takes place three months after the bill's enactment.

In six months

Children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health insurance six months after enactment. In 2014, the prohibition extends to all persons.

Young adults up to 26 will be allowed to remain on their parents' insurance policies starting in six months.

It bans insurance companies from capping lifetime coverage.

Within six months, it restricts the ability of insurers to place annual limits on health-care coverage. In 2014, it will prohibit annual limits completely.

Posted by: Gerry B | March 26, 2010 5:52 PM    Report this comment

If this Healthcare Bill (rammed down our throats) is supposed to be soooo good for us, the citizens, why did Obama, Congress, and all his other flunkies opt themselves out of it? I'd like to hear a valid reason why. I'm a Senior Citizen who's worked for many, many years as a teacher, have paid all my own bills, taxes, etc, and for my own healthcare. I don't want the Government telling me what I can and cannot do to maintain my health. And, yes, I'm a Celiac, and have multiple allergies to other foods. I also have relatives in Canada and they hate the Canadian Healthcare System. It is basically a "no care" and/or an "extremely rationed system". Sadly, this is a rapid move into socialism. Wake up, America!

Posted by: Frances E B | March 26, 2010 5:22 PM    Report this comment

I keep wondering if all the people who are saying "it costs too much" were part of the group who sent our boys to war, and the reasons for that war were bogus, and did they then or ever since, say, "War costs too much?" And yet each day of that war has had so many terrible costs, not only in money, but in human life and in the engendering of generations of enemies. These costs will never be recovered. They used up three trillion dollars in surplus and sent us three trillion dollars into debt. The health care bill will begin building the surplus. Don't they get it? How can they keep saying, "We're for fiscal responsibility" when they are the very ones who took away the surplus to go to war, a war that never should have been fought.

Posted by: ali n | March 26, 2010 4:56 PM    Report this comment

This health care bill is the worst thing that has happened to our country in decades. I fear for my grandchildren and for people who own small businesses. This is a mess and it will only get worse. Obama must be a one term president. Anna R.

Posted by: Anna R | March 26, 2010 4:44 PM    Report this comment

I am always amazed at people who make comments but don't bother to read the actual bill. I have and it does cover pre-existing conditions. And the temporary pool is until the rest of the reforms start up with STATE defined co-ops in 2014. The Bill gives the time for states to set things up. The co-ops will probably be run by private insurance companies. The part about the Government running the system was not inacted, that was the public option which was removed from the bill.

Posted by: Twila L | March 26, 2010 4:35 PM    Report this comment

Just because everyone has health insurance, doesn't necessarily mean that everyone will be given treatment. We will no longer have a choice, for the government will decide if, what, and when you receive treatment. I agree that there was a need for health care reform, but this is an administration that believes its OK to take a 9 month old, healthy, baby in the womb, partially deliver it, and terminate its' life just inches before it is born. Do you really want them in charge of your health care?

Posted by: Marilyn A | March 26, 2010 4:26 PM    Report this comment

I cannot believe the lack of civility around this issue. We have to start somewhere!!! This is just a beginning and it will not cover everyone and it will not make evreryone happy, but we can still be civil and kind and do without the name calling and innuendos. What if we start with ths and then tweak it as it need tweaking???? I am a senior on Medicare so this bill will not impact my life to any great extent, but at 60 I needed back surgery and had to wait until 65 for medicare to kick in, and I know severl people way too poor for medical help or insurance. One of my daughters pays $600 mo for insurance ( a group plan) to cover her and 1 child. On a bar tender's income. There definetly are other areas that need some control, the insurance companies are getting rich off everyone, and some we love dearly and we ARE paying through the nose. Folks this is a beginning, it is long overdue, and it WILL save lives, maybe even someone you love. We can tweak it later, but we do have beginning.

Posted by: Joy D | March 26, 2010 4:16 PM    Report this comment

I'm for REFORMING the healthcare system as much as anyone, and, yes there are some good points in the bill. But there is NOTHING in the bill that addresses any of the current problems that are causing healthcare to be so expensive. Why not actually REFORM the system and then maybe more people could afford to pay for their own coverage. And all the people who have CHOSEN NOT to buy coverage? Maybe they wouldn't be FORCED to buy something they don't want. And anyone who thinks that just because I don't think this bill is a good idea, or that it is the RIGHT way to fix the system, that I don't care about other people is wrong. I'm a Christian and I am not a 'wolf in sheep's clothing.' When the government is totally bankrupt, how is it going to help anyone?!!!!

Posted by: melissa t | March 26, 2010 4:03 PM    Report this comment

If and when this law takes root, we will be seeing the growth of government intrusion into our lives like never before. Do you think this is the answer? Do you want "only" conventional treatments? Do you want the government deciding what treatments you get or whether you get treatment at all? Do you want to pay 13% or more above your already high insurance rates? Are you ready for a VAT tax? Do you truly want all this? We teach our kids that they can't spend what they do not have and yet our government hasn't learned that discipline. They are creating program after program and bill after bill only to discuss how it's going to be paid for LATER! My husband lost a six figure job with no future prospects because he is overqualified and age discrimination, we lost our home, I have an autistic child ... I am scared out of my mind what's coming next. Ladies and gentlemen This is NOT the Solution to our healthcare problems. It is making an already broken system Much Worse. Fight this and look for True preventative care Solutions ... which doesn't come out of a med bottle. Our representatives didn't listen to 67% of us. VOTE THEM OUT!

Posted by: Unknown | March 26, 2010 4:03 PM    Report this comment

I'm for REFORMING the healthcare system as much as anyone, and, yes there are some good points in the bill. But there is NOTHING in the bill that addresses any of the current problems that are causing healthcare to be so expensive. Why not actually REFORM the system and then maybe more people could afford to pay for their own coverage. And all the people who have CHOSEN NOT to buy coverage? Maybe they wouldn't be FORCED to buy something they don't want. And anyone who thinks that just because I don't think this bill is a good idea, or that it is the RIGHT way to fix the system, that I don't care about other people is wrong. I'm a Christian and I am not a 'wolf in sheep's clothing.' When the government is totally bankrupt, how is it going to help anyone?!!!!

Posted by: melissa t | March 26, 2010 4:03 PM    Report this comment

For those of you saying that they have never heard of a person being denied health care coverage because they have Celiac Disease, I can vouch for the fact that it happens quite frequently. Thanks to my first born son insisting his paternal grandmother see a doctor after a rather serious blackout spell (her speech was slurred when she regained consciousness), she found out 2 weeks before Thanksgiving of 2001 that she indeed has Celiac Disease. This came after years of a gastroenterologist continually misdiagnosing the problem because he didn't even know what Celiac Disease was! Her Chiropractor has family with it and he knew what was wrong so had her properly tested. Well, when her insurance company found out about her condition, they dropped her like a hot potato. She has not been able to find or gain any health insurance yet. My young children (turning 8 in April and 10 in September) are lucky to have coverage but that is only because they are on SSD due to their Celiac Disease linked disabilities (which they have had since birth). I found out recently that I have Celiac Disease as well, and I am also being denied health coverage as a result of it. I know there are some things in the bill I don't necessarily agree with, but right now my health and well-being are more important and need taking care of more than the petty stuff. I am glad it has been passed - regardless of the things that friends and family are saying - since it means FINALLY I will get the care that I deserve and need for once in my life.

Posted by: Unknown | March 26, 2010 3:56 PM    Report this comment

I am very disgusted by the lack of common decency in some of the above responses. To stick your head in the sand and think that health care reform was not in need of fixing is both ignorant and selfish. While I am blessed with good health care coverage, I know plenty who do not and are NOT leaches in society. They work hard and struggle to provide coverage for their kids. I FIGHT and SUPPORT this bill for those kids. For kids everywhere who DESERVE a right to a healthy life and healthy parents. How dare you disregard or assume that you or your family is better or more deserving than anyone else. Everyday I come to realize that those that "claim" to be christian are really wolves in sheep's clothing. Shame on you all!

Posted by: Stephanie K | March 26, 2010 3:44 PM    Report this comment

Insurance company's denied our family for years. My three old son has been denied heath care his whole life. This new health care plan might have him excepted, but there is nothing that says it won't cost us a lot of money. We have been paying high premiums for years and I am afraid it's not going to get any better.

Posted by: Julie C | March 26, 2010 3:21 PM    Report this comment

To Barbara L., when you speak of our 'high' infant and maternal death rates, you need to be aware that we in the US count each and every delivery in the infant death rates. Other countries don't start counting these children in their statistics until they are as much as a year old. Each country gathers their statistics differently. We are the ONLY country that includes every delivery, live birth or still-born, in out infant mortality statistics.

Posted by: Lucinda B | March 26, 2010 3:09 PM    Report this comment

Bravo Barbara L. If people would realize what the insurance industry paid to subvert the process through inaccurate advertising they might look differently at this issue. People have been frightened into thinking the government will be legislating health care when what they really have done is to keep the insurance industry from bleeding us dry. I am a proponent of universal health coverage. It has been enormously successful in other countries. I was pleased for what managed to pass and hopeful that more comprehensive coverage will be available in the not too distant future. If people wondered what hit them with the housing/lending disaster (due to deregulation), they would do well to make a mental note. The insurance industry is headed in the same direction. I hope this reform bill really reforms and is more than just a band-aid.

Posted by: Mary B | March 26, 2010 3:02 PM    Report this comment

You can be denied if you try to get private insurance.My three year old son has been denied several times. The only way we could get insurance is threw a group.My husband had to quit his job of 16 years so he could get us on a group plan.But just because this health care plan says they have to except him now does not mean it is not going to cost us and arm and a leg.As far as I know there is nothing in the bill that says they can't charge you more. We have been paying high premiums and I am afraid it's just going to get worse.

Posted by: Julie C | March 26, 2010 3:02 PM    Report this comment

Would Andrea Levario please advise what is covered under the new law regarding pre-existing conditions. I was under the impression the insurance companies could not deny coverage across the board based on the new law. If that is not the case, when did that change, and what is the exact law with regards to pre-existing conditions. I see it as a huge issue for those age 26-64. Once they hit 65 medicare kicks in. It is workers ages 35-64 who have pre-existing conditions are are affected the most. If pre-existing conditions are not waived, I now have a huge problem with this law.

Posted by: Paulette N | March 26, 2010 2:50 PM    Report this comment

This coverage will be anything BUT affordable,and certainly not reliable. I like having my Rights,now the government has control over my decisions. Reform???definately..but this bill is a nightmare and nothing close to what this nation needs.

Posted by: Annette S | March 26, 2010 2:49 PM    Report this comment

I personally have family members who have been denied insurance - which we could pay for - because of pre-existing conditions! One of these family members is 21 ... she could not get any insurance coverage because during an exam they found an abnormal venous structure at the base of her skull ... no problems from it, she is healthy and active ... but - denied coverage. Completely. No option, no recourse, no appeal ... no insurance. Another is a now healthy male - 51 - who at the age of 35 had an artery dissect resulting in a CVA ... now, he has low cholesterol, low blood pressure, healthy weight, and a 16 year clean record of health ... yet - no insurance company will cover him ... no option, no recourse, no appeal ... same story. We need health care reform, we need controls, we are the ONLY developed nation that doesn't consider health care a right or cover all of it's citizens. We have an embarrassingly high rate of infant and maternal death - especially when compared to all the other developed nations. Having worked in the health care field for over 17 years I can attest to the need of many, many people for affordable, reliable health care and health care coverage. I supported reform as did everyone I know - The BRAVE legislators followed the wishes of many who voted them into office specifically because they promised to reform the failing health care system ... don't make broad sweeping statements about not supporting 'the people' ... I am one of 'the people' and they did precisely what I voted them into office to do! Thank you all of you legislators who had the courage to fight the lies (do the research!) and misrepresentation (again, do the research) from all of the special interest groups trying to subvert the democratic process!

Posted by: Barbara L | March 26, 2010 2:26 PM    Report this comment

I know a lot of Celiacs and individuals with allegies and I do not know anyone who has been denied coverage. This "health plan" scares me to death. We needed health reform - not this! I also am extremely concerned about the tactics used to get this bill passed. To me, it means high taxes and a much lower quality of health care then I am currently receiving. I also believe that the mortaility rate of the United States has just been decreased! Canadians come over here to get quality health care - where will the ones who can afford it go????????

Posted by: bteshka | March 26, 2010 2:21 PM    Report this comment

no - the children will not benefit either. no one will. we can kiss our loved ones good-bye god forbid they have a SERIOUS health issue to deal with. rationing health care??!! NOT what the US is about. We have the best doctors and health care in the world - or used to - and thanks to Obama, he just threw the US in the tank again. everyone - please take care of yourselves - its all you have!

Posted by: Jennifer S | March 26, 2010 2:16 PM    Report this comment

Please notice she states that a "temporary high-risk pool" will be created for adults with pre-existing conditions. What does that mean? My husband is the one with the problem and we are seniors. This may be great for children but we have NO assurance that there will be help for adults. I feel mislead on this point. It is the children who will benefit.

Posted by: Gerry B | March 26, 2010 2:08 PM    Report this comment

Ugh from everything I have read, pre existing conditions are NOT covered under the health care bill. It seems Congress Ugh I don't know FORGOT to put it in the bill. Oh they also FORGOT to add themselves to this wonderful health care plan as well. And hey you know it has to be good when Communist Dictator FIDEL CASTRO praises Obama for getting this bill passed. So don't worry everyone we are covered! Yep covered with more taxes as far as the eye can see. Not Health Care!

Posted by: Felice S | March 26, 2010 2:08 PM    Report this comment

I am very concerned about this tactics done to get this bill passed. Name one government run entitlement that is run efficiently? This is a wake up call for all to begin eating right, exercise and do what is in our power to maintain or achieve good health. After all, it is our responsibility not the governments.

Posted by: Ellie T | March 26, 2010 2:02 PM    Report this comment

The applause and cheers for Karen's comment resound through out the nation!! It's readily apparent that Alicia is wearing the same brand of clothing the Emperor is. Pity.

Posted by: Pamela Y | March 26, 2010 2:01 PM    Report this comment

Karen, you dont' spend much time on the message boards like SillYaks or the Delphi Forum then bc I read about it all the time.

Posted by: BRIDGET C | March 26, 2010 1:58 PM    Report this comment

I have never heard of any one being denied health insurance because of Celiac Disease. This health care reform legislation is NOT what this country or Celiacs need. The government can't run anything efficiently, what makes anybody think that they can run health care. Add to that the fact that our legislators acted cowardly, voting with their party as directed, instead of representing the people. They acted completely the opposite of the wishes of the people, their people, the people who voted them into office, pay their salaries, and whom they are supposed to represent. Shame on them, and you for following the pied piper.

Posted by: Karen S | March 26, 2010 1:54 PM    Report this comment

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