Advocates Mark 6 Months of Healthcare Reform 

Catherine Pegram

Advocates of the President’s healthcare reform law gathered in Orono today to mark the six-month anniversary of the legislation and talk about new benefits now available. Members of the Maine People’s Alliance, Consumers for Affordable Healthcare and local lawmakers took part in the event. Several key provisions are in effect, starting today. Among them, young adults can stay on or return to their parents’ health care policies until the age of 26. That’s mean people like Tim McGuire can continue to go to the doctor.”You can’t afford to go, so you’re not going to go. You have rent to pay, food to buy, if I couldn’t go back on it, I’d just continue to go without insurance.”State representative Emily Cain adds, “Another piece of the law is that insurance companies can’t put lifetime caps on policies anymore. That’s crucial for someone who gets sick – really sick – people who have cancer, people who need long term treatment.”Cain also says other benefits taking effect today – children can’t be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions and all new plans must cover certain preventative services, like mammograms and colonoscopies, without a charge. All of the healthcare reforms will be in place by 2014.