Making history, President Obama signed into law the healthcare bill yesterday, making it the first time that there is healthcare coverage for every American. Well, this certainly made the Republicans unhappy, they citing that the phenomenal costs involved will drive the nation deeper in debt.
Also not looking forward to the new law will be all the private health insurance companies, who for years have been making handsome profits, mainly by including various escape clauses to exclude payments for health expenditure where it mattered most, such as in claims for pre-existing illnesses.
Even so, one of the more unpublicised facts from the new law, hidden within the massive pages of the bill, is a requirement that will make calorie counts mandatory for thousands of restaurants. More than 200,000 fast-food and chain restaurants will now have to state the number of calories each item on their menu has, the idea being to inform the consumer the number of calories they are consuming.
Grumblings are also being heard from doctors. The new law introduces curbs on doctor-owned hospitals and promotes an independent payment advisory board that does not include doctors, However, it does not include a performance-based payment system and does not address reforms meant to reduce medico-legal litigation costs (this being arguably one of the main reasons why heathcare costs are so high).
While the healthcare bill has become law with the President’s signature, storm clouds are looming – attorneys general from 13 states – 12 Republicans and one Democrat – have begun legal proceedings against the federal government seeking to stop the reforms on the grounds that they are unconstitutional. So it does look like the ‘victory’ is not yet sealed in stone..
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