March 23rd, 2010
01:25 PM ET

Health care reform: What is means for real people

Erica Mohamed, 31, is glad that the new bill would help her son to get insurance coverage even if she loses her job.

Elizabeth Landau and Madison Park

About 32 million Americans who don't have health insurance will get access to coverage when the $940 billion health care plan takes effect.

What does that mean for Americans who don't have insurance, or who are in danger of losing it? A few shared their thoughts with CNN about health care reform and how it affects them. Then we sought expert opinions on how reform might really work in their lives.

1. Child with pre-existing condition

The situation: Erica Mohamed, 31, of Houston, Texas, is separated, and has a 6-year-old son, Jeremiah, with a rare congenital heart disease called Tetralogy of Fallot. He has had three open-heart surgeries already, and will need to have another procedure to remove a stent in early adolescence. Mohamed's job, through which she gets insurance, is not secure. Mohamed's mother, Vera Richardson, wrote to CNN's iReport about the situation.

Mohamed says: She is glad that she will be able to keep her insurance for her son even if she loses her job. "Did I get everything that I thought that I wanted in this bill? No, not at all because I still think we need at least a public option. But at least it's something, at least it's moving forward, and it's going to get more coverage to more people," she said.

Expert says: Effective this year, in six months, children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health care, said Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, an independent organization that researches health policy issues. By 2014, children will be covered up to 133 percent of the the federal poverty level. For a family of two, the poverty level is $14,570 in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

Keep reading for: 2. an adult with pre-existing condition, 3. the unemployed and uninsured, 4. a small business owner, 5. a retiree on Medicare, and 6. a college student about to graduate.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care • iReport
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Sue Lincoln

    I still want to know how this is going to be paid for. I am one of those people who hasn't had insurance for several years because of a pre-existing condition. The same is true for my husband. We are fifty years old, and are considered solid middle class earners. We would, by all accounts, directly benefit from this sweeping new healthcare program.

    How am I paying for this? How can I pay for this when I cannot pay now?
    I have three adult children, two in school and one with a family of his own. How will they be affected by this-financially?

    March 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  2. Ratna, New York, NY

    This is just the beginning! The Trillion dollars is worth all the 10 year worth of health care coverage transition. The economic bail out did not reach the pockets of the common folks, but health care will. This transition will improve and give US Health Care system a boost in its development needed after a decade. Yes! it will at least take a decade at least.

    March 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  3. Ashley

    I would love for Anderson Cooper or someone else from CNN to do a special on the new Health Care plan and break it down for Americans. Everyone I ask either has no idea what to think, or if they are of the more conservative type, they think it's the end of the world. We need someone to sit down and tell it to us in laymen's terms.

    March 23, 2010 at 2:11 pm |