Today, March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the historic health care bill into law. A divisive topic between parties, and the public in general, this new law unearths a number of debates – both for and against this new era in American health care.

The sweeping health care legislation has both short and long-term implications and an uphill battle to climb in the face of Republican adversity. In the meantime, the Metro Detroit has provided something by way of a summary as to what many of us can expect experience in the near future:

If you have no insurance

Uninsured people with medical problems will be able to buy coverage through a high-risk health insurance pool later this year.

If you have a preexisting health condition

Starting this year, insurance companies can no longer exclude coverage for preexisting health conditions. They also cannot suddenly cancel your policy.

If you have kids at home in their early 20s

Beginning this year, they can be covered under your health plan up to age 26 — no matter their status, in school, out, working or idle.

If you have a business with 25 or fewer workers

You may be able to claim a tax credit of up to 35% of the cost of providing health insurance for your employees.

If you are a senior citizen on Medicare

Those in Medicare’s prescription coverage gap will get a $250 rebate this year.

And what happens next?

2011: More money to community health centers treating lower-income and uninsured people.

2012: Nonprofit insurance co-ops established.

2013: New 2.3% sales tax on medical devices — but many items are exempt.

2014: Requires citizens and legal residents to have health insurance, except in cases of financial hardship, or pay a fine to the IRS.

Clutchettes and Gents, we’d love to hear where you sit, stand, or meander on this landmark issue, which will undoubtedly affect the rest of our lives, as well as future generations.

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