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[report整理] SENEWS-2010-03-26

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This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

President Obama has signed legislation to reform the health care system in the United States. The main goal is to ensure about thirty two million additional people. That is about ninety five percent of Americans who are not already covered by medicare the government insurance program for old people. About sixteen million people will be added to medicaid, the government health plan for the poor. The law will require Americans do have health insurance with a few exceptions or pay a fine starting in four years. Also in four years, employers with more than fifty workers will have to offer their employees a health insurance plan. Employers with pay a fine for each uninsured worker. Smaller businesses will receive tax credits to help pay for health plans.

People not covered by employer plans, medicaid or medicare, could buy health insurance in marketplaces called exchanges. The idea is that competition among plans will drive down costs. States will provide these exchanges by twenty forteen. The law is the biggest change in the American health care since nineteen sixty five. But it is not a government operated health care system like the ones in other countries. President Obama says it provides limited reform. "This is * reform, but is major reform. This legislation would now fix everything to ills are health care system. But it moves us the * in the regu*tion."

Berry O* is chief exective of the non-profit * care health system in * vally California. He says the law gets the issue of health reform moving. But he notes it is mainly health insurance reform. He says lawmakers will have to reform the way health care is provided. That means finding ways for hospitals, doctors, and other providers, to work together more effectively. Mr. O* also would like to see more attention on prevention. So fewer people need costly medical treatment.

The law is expected cost about nine hundred forty billion dollars over ten years. However, the Obama administration says the plan will cut the nation's budget deficit by more than one hundred billion dollars during that period. Last year, the Untied States spent two and a half trillion dollars on health care. This was an increase about almost six percent from the year before.

And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, written by Mario Ritter. I’m Steve Ember.

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