POSTED: Sunday, March 21, 2010 - 8:59pm
UPDATED: Monday, March 22, 2010 - 6:18am
Key provisions of the health care reform bill:
> Offers health insurance to tens of millions of Americans who currently cannot afford it.
> Insurance companies cannot discriminate based on pre-existing conditions, health status, and gender.
> New health insurance exchanges will provide coverage to individuals and small businesses.
> Community Health Centers will provide access to health care in communities where it is needed most.
> It eliminates targeted provisions for specific states.
> It softens a tax on high-value insurance plans opposed by organized labor.
> It contains an education provision that is a domestic priority of President Barack Obama. That measure ends government reliance on private lenders for higher education loans.
> It affirms prohibitions in current law against taxpayer money going to abortions. The National Right to Life Committee quickly issued a scathing statement saying the order changes nothing and the bill still contains pro-abortion provisions. And U.S. Catholic bishops say an executive order can't override problems with the bill. The bishops say that requires a legislative fix. The bishops contend that the legislation allows federal funding of abortion.