Hopefully all of our hearts will keep beating for a long time…

I must admit I’m a bit of a political junkie. I was eagerly tuned in tonight to my Tweetie app while at LMU’s senior banquet and ball. I had seen the #hcr hashtags percolating and I knew a decision was eminent. As soon as the story hit the LA Times Twitter stream, I told our table. Then we danced. (Note: While exciting, the dancing was exclusive of the health care decision.) In what seems like the longest political process in the history of the planet, the United States has passed health care reform. Readers from other countries who have had similar measures for nearly a century, bear with us while we make sense of this.

But here at HackCollege the question is: What does this mean for students?

Extended Insurance Coverage

If you didn’t know, you will be dropped from you parents’ insurance plan the day you turn 23 in Washington state. Or the day you graduate from college. For me, both of those dates are fast approaching. I have employment secured after graduation, but there will still be a gap in my health insurance between graduation and employment.

The bill passed tonight will give you a little bit more leeway. According to the bill,

Young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26. Many health plans currently drop dependents from coverage when they turn 19 or finish college.

It’s too bad this won’t be enacted by the time I graduate. You try shopping around for 3-weeks of health insurance and tell me what you find.

Systemic Changes by Graduation

While the previous point was explicit to younger folks, most of the changes will be felt down the road. Portions of the bill go into effect in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018. For example, insurance companies will have to stop denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions in 2014, but tax credits for small businesses providing health insurance will go into effect within the year.

Source: This amazing Reddit thread

Extended Reading:

Healthcare reform: Now serving Students [Feministing]

Well, what do you think about the health care reform? Are you adamantly for it? Or bitterly against it? Let’s get a discussion going in the comments!