Healthcare NY and NJ

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Now that President Obama has signed the new health care reform bill into law, what does it mean for people from New York and New Jersey? Greg David, director of the business and economics program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president of Health Initiatives at the Community Service Society, explain.


Elisabeth Benjamin and Greg David

Comments [32]

Eugenia Renskoff from Williamsburgh, Brooklyn

The Health Care Reform is doing nothing for me personally. I am still unemployed, still without the money I need for my chronic back problem and the root canal I need. It’s same old, same old as far as I am concerned. Eugenia Renskoff

Mar. 24 2010 03:54 PM
Yvonne from Park Slope, Brooklyn NYC

How will this health reform legislation affect me?

As a 62 year old female, I had one impression listening to Trudy O'Neill, president of NOW, on your program yesterday morning as she made it clear her negative response to alleged discriminatory pricing targeting both women and older Americans.

However, yesterday evening, I attended a meeting of Organizing for America led by Tim Foley, a representative of Greater NYC for Change, and the exact opposite was said and he explained that what Trudy O'Neill was saying was outdated information.

Please clarify for me and your other listeners.

Mar. 24 2010 02:19 PM
Jane Celwyn from Bronxville

I believe that some important uses for Flexible Spending Accounts were omitted from today's discussion. Many people use that means of saving for help with updating eyeglass prescriptions as well as to pay dentist bills. I don't understand why hearing, sight and teeth are not included in discussions about healthcare needs; treatments in all of those areas are extremely costly.

Mar. 24 2010 10:54 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

Lots of people will lose their insurance between now and 2014 (I will be among them -- my parasite has bled me dry).

How many will die between now and 2014 when the exchanges begin to appear? Die and suffer from lack of any insurance and from junk insurance, in which to make the premiums the insured can't afford the co-pays and deductibles and thus can't afford CARE? The mandate to buy or pay fines will mean more must purchase junk insurance.

This is not a health CARE bill; it is a protect the for-profit health insurance companies' viability and profitability.

For this administration, HCR means High Corporate Returns.

I am just one tapped out insurance purchaser; there are many, many more and will be many more.

So sad, the lost opportunity to have universal care, something like Medicare Comprehensive for All...with greater savings than this bailout for insurance companies.

Mar. 24 2010 10:37 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Sari #22: Have you checked out any of the programs in NJ? NY has a "mini-cobra" plan that extends COBRA to 36 months. Maybe NJ has something similar.

Mar. 24 2010 10:30 AM
Doug from Manhattan

I have a small business with 12 employees who are not hedge-fund managers, but have an average age over 50 and an average salary of $65,000. So, even though $65K is not a lot for living in NYC at age 50, and my costs and other premiums are higher in NYC, having a set threshold for the whole U.S. above which there are no subsidies, does not make sense.

I pay 95% of their premiums. This bill, which does a lot of good for others, only makes things more expensive for my business, as Medicare taxes go up, and likely the HI premiums will go up per usual -- nothing to stop them.

Mar. 24 2010 10:29 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Sari #22: Sadly, it does not really help people like you until 2014.

Mar. 24 2010 10:28 AM
Karen from new york city

I am an independent consultant and have to buy an individual plan. I have fears that my premium around 800.00/individual/month will continue to rise. Does this bill really address rising insurance premium rates?

Mar. 24 2010 10:28 AM
mc from Brooklyn

The Cadillac tax will only apply to individual policies that cost over $10,000 a year and family policies that cost over $27,000 a year. Of course by 2018, who knows what these policies will cost?

Mar. 24 2010 10:28 AM
Paul from NYC

Where on the vast federal web site will the final regs be located, so that people can research on their own how the bill will impact them?

Mar. 24 2010 10:25 AM
Sari August from Montclair

I have been unemployed for 1.5 years. My COBRA has just expired. My unemployment is about to expire. I've recently purchased individual health insurance, having been dropped from Empire BCBS because I do not live in NY. I don't see how the reform assists the many, many people in my position.

Mar. 24 2010 10:25 AM
Sarah from Sunnyside Queens

If this bill is bad for Insurance Companies long term does that mean they will fight harder against reimbursing people than they already do?

Mar. 24 2010 10:23 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Naomi #14, in 2014 you will be able to buy it on an Exchange. What is not really clear is how much of a subsidy you will get. I think that you are expected not to pay more than 8% of your income and that if you earn up to 400% of Federal Poverty Level you will be subsidized.

Mar. 24 2010 10:22 AM
HK from harlem

i keep hearing that we will 'get' health insurance.

but we will have to 'buy' the insurance

especially in nyc, we didn't just get a windfall

i was a waiter for many years(now a temporarily working artist) and i was making around 55K a year. by mandating me to buy health insurance, living in nyc, i would have to either work more hours or give up something else, say the gym!

i am a progressive and this bill seems crazy.

i wish i was an insurance company

Mar. 24 2010 10:21 AM
James Hellmens from New York

Medicare, Medicaid and Insurance FRAUD are a growing sector in NY...

How will this effect this industry?

Mar. 24 2010 10:21 AM
small busness owner from brooklyn

Anyone know if small businesses with no employees qualify for subsidies? (We are two partners in a tiny company and currently buy our own health insurance).

So I guess this is a question about self employed people in general.


Mar. 24 2010 10:20 AM
Heather Dewey-Hagborg from Brooklyn

I second Megan's question, how will the legislation effect freelance workers, self-employed, adjuncts, part-time workers...?

Mar. 24 2010 10:20 AM
Holly Kaye from NYC

I run a small nonprofit. How will the 35% tax credit apply to me since we don't pay taxes. Will it be a tax credit towards payment of payroll taxes?

Mar. 24 2010 10:20 AM
Naomi from Brooklyn

I'm an independent contractor. I think I will be forced to buy insurance through an exchange. I haven't had insurance in 5 years. Honestly, I can't afford it right now.

Mar. 24 2010 10:17 AM
Tyler from Brooklyn

I thought this was supposed to be a non-political conversation...Elisabeth Benjamin seems quite the opposite.

Mar. 24 2010 10:17 AM
Megan Piontkowski from Brooklyn

I am a freelance worker. How will the new legislation affect freelancers?

Mar. 24 2010 10:17 AM
mc from Brooklyn

James #9 Hopefully the pilot programs put into place will test alternative ways to compensate providers and will show ways to bring down costs. This is essential.

Mar. 24 2010 10:16 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I thought the Medicare tax was simply extended to investment income and that the cap was lifted so that incomes above $100,000 would be subject to it. I don't expect to pay more Medicare tax.

Mar. 24 2010 10:15 AM
James L. Murphy from upper west side

These low income subsidies we keep hearing about - are they based solely on income, or do they consider existing assets, as Medicaid already does?

Mar. 24 2010 10:14 AM
James Hellmens from New York

How will this bill deal with outrageuod medical bills?

Mar. 24 2010 10:13 AM
mc from Brooklyn

The COBRA subsidy was extended to March 31. They will likely extend it to the end of 2010.

Mar. 24 2010 10:13 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I don't expect this to have any effect on me at least for a very long time. I am insured (barely) so that makes me ineligible for the exchanges which don't start until 2014 anyway. I don't have a pre-existing condition, don't have kids age 23-26 and I am not on Medicare.

Mar. 24 2010 10:12 AM
the truth from BKNY

Who are "the immigrants"?

Mar. 24 2010 10:11 AM

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money." Margaret Thatcher.

There is no incentive in health care for people to take care of themselves. I've got an idea that will save at least 25% on health care. It's called healthy lifestyle. Sure lets take care of the people who get ill. But if you insist on destroying yourself by smoking, overeating, no exercise etc., then you assume the responsibility for your actions. I want to save my money to give my children a better life than I had, not give it to adults who elect to self destruct.

Mar. 24 2010 10:04 AM
Calvin from New York

How does NYS's Family Health Plus program differ from Medicaid?

Mar. 24 2010 09:43 AM
School Budgets Tweakwatch

Will this reform reduce health care costs for teachers and if so is this something for school boards (and other strapped employers) to find hope in?

Mar. 24 2010 09:20 AM
Teresa from New York

Hi Brian, Could your guests clarify changes to the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) under the new healthcare bill? After the Senate bill was initially passed in December, there was concern that no new funding would be available for CHIP beyond 9.31.13.

Also, some New York elected officials were concerned about $1 billion in increased Medicaid costs (or lower Medicaid payments?) to New York under the new healthcare bill. Could your guests also address Medicaid costs/payments? Many thanks!

Mar. 24 2010 07:12 AM

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