In 10 lesser known effects of health care reform law, CNN examined the 2,700-page health care reform law, which created more than 90 specific changes, and highlighted 10 of the lesser known changes:
- Drug, device & medical supply companies will be required to report payments & gifts to physicians and teaching hospitals, including speaking fees, consulting fees, meals and travel.
- Employers must provide a private place for mothers to breast feed or to express breast milk.
- Restaurants with 20 or more locations must list calorie content information for standard menu items on menus and drive-through menus.
- The law renews $50 million per year funding for five years for state abstinence-only education programs.
- Flexible spending accounts will be restricted to prescription drugs and will no longer cover over-the-counter drugs and vitamins.
- A 10% tax will be assessed to visits to tanning salons with UV-emitting tanning devices.
- Incentives to start wellness programs are extended to small business with <100 employees working at >25 hours/week.
- Preventive care services will be fully covered by insurance companies with no copay, including mammograms, physical exams, colonoscopies, and vaccinations.
- As a preventive measure, early childhood home visitation is funded for people expecting children and families who have young children.
- Health insurers must make it easier to compare one plan to another with concise and understandable information about the plan and its benefits.
As the US Supreme Court this week debates healthcare reform and the individual mandate, you might be interested in these CNN videos that I include here with no advertising. The first video compares US healthcare spending versus that of other leading nations and ranks us dead last. Thailand, which a few years ago decided to start from scratch and create an entirely new healthcare system, studied what other nations were doing and found nothing useful in the US system. The new system they created now provides exceptional outcomes at the lowest cost in the world — 7% of GDP, versus over 17% of GDP in the US. They generally concluded that a nation must either have an individual mandate for buying insurance or provide a single payer model based on tax dollars.