After a long and drawn out battle over the country’s future health care system, the historic health care bill was finally passed and signed. The bill’s passage could have an impact not only on health care-related exchange traded funds (ETFs), but well beyond that.

President Barack Obama signed legislation on March 23 to overhaul the health care system, which will provide coverage to an estimated 30 million who currently lack it and cost the government about $938 billion over 10 years, reports Emanuela P. Lima for Tribuna. The measure will ad 16 million to Medicaid rolls and subsidize private coverage for low- and middle-income people. It will also regulate private insurers. [5 ETFs for Obama’s Health Care Overhaul.]

Changes that will immediately take into effect include:

  • Small business will receive a tax credit to help cover workers.
  • Exclusions of pre-existing conditions for children.
  • Prohibiting recessions – the practice of carriers dropping patients because of small errors on applications –  will be eliminated.
  • Extend dependent coverage till the age of 26.
  • Provisions for a $250 million rebate for seniors on Medicare to help pay for prescription drugs. Next year, there will be a 50% discount on all brand-name drugs, and by 2010, the government will cover it all.

By 2014, Medicaid will extend to people earning less than 133% of the federal poverty level and include childless adults. Additionally, most citizens, legal residents and immigrants with papers will have to purchase “minimal essential coverage.”

Christian Magoon, former president of Claymore Securities, discussed what the bill means for health care providers, drug companies and insurers with Cinthia Murphy for IndexUniverse. [Why Health Care ETFs Are Waiting to Exhale.]

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