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Friday, December 31, 2010

Health Care Reform To Ring In The New Year

President Barack Obama speaks at a rally on health care reform, in College Park, Md., in 2009. (AP)

President Barack Obama speaks at a rally on health care reform, in College Park, Md., in 2009. (AP)

Key parts of the new health care law go into effect on January 1st, including a requirement that health plans that spend less than 80 percent of premiums on health care services must provide rebates to customers.

Additionally, people will no longer be able to use tax-free flexible spending accounts to pay for over-the-counter drugs, and seniors who fall into the so-called “doughnut hole” Medicare coverage gap for drugs will receive greater discounts on brand-name prescriptions.

But repeal fights loom in Congress. Republicans who rallied the public with talk of “death panels” in 2009 may try to repeal one quietly-inserted provision of health care reform that allows Medicare to pay for end-of-life planning in seniors’ annual wellness visits. We speak with Jason Millman, health care reporter for The Hill.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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