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Health Care Reform’s first anniversary

LAS VEGAS – Today, Wednesday, March 23, marks the first anniversary of Health Care Reform – the much debated, most controversial, and most contentious law ever passed by any administration in recent memory.

With the state of Nevada leading the nation in the number of people without health insurance, estimated at close to 600,000, it was but natural for Majority Senate Leader Harry Reid to go to his home state and tout the success of the Health Care Reform law, of which he was one of the major architects.

Senator Reid visited Las Vegas to commemorate its passage and remind the nation, and Las Vegans in particular, of the positive impact the one year old law has generated in the lives of ordinary citizens and small businesses. Although the program has yet to take effect in full until 2014, the Healthcare Reform Bill Republicans loved to call “Obamacare” was passed by U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. Until this day, Republicans in Congress were still hot on its heel to repeal it in forthcoming sessions.

In a televised coverage by Channel 3-Las Vegas, Sen. Reid, a Democrat, was quoted as saying that “the health care reform law is working” and cited the tax incentive component that helps small businesses to afford health insurance for their employees. On the other hand, pro-health care reform law advocates insist that the continuing criticism on Affordable Healthcare Act, lukewarm support and apathy by the majority of Americans, stem from the lack of public understanding about its goals, and misinformation about its costs and implementation.

Anti-health care reform critics contend that the law was passed in haste and lacked enough time to study and debate on its merits and demerits, and short in detailed information about its implementation and procedures.

The other senator from Nevada, Republican John Ensign, insists that the health care reform law is “driving up costs of healthcare and is not doing what it promised it would do.”

Sen. Reid also shared that Congress had mailed out some 44-million flyers to small businesses and households to explain that “the reform is working…” and that small businesses can now afford to provide their employees with health insurance and keep on hiring. However, the Senator thought that like most mailers, recipients must have thrown the flyers away thinking that they were “junk mails.”

Still, the veteran Senator said he has high hopes that in due time, the public in general would be able to grasp the importance of health care reform law in the lives of ordinary citizens and small businesses. The said law is expected by media and other political observers to play a large part again in the 2012 national elections. (Zen S. Laluna)

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