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10. Will health care reform make my medical care better or worse?

This is the big question. The answer depends in part on your current situation. If you’ve been denied insurance for years because of a pre-existing medical condition -- or you’re self-employed and haven’t been able to afford health insurance -- health care reform will probably improve your access to care.

Experts believe that most people who have insurance through an employer won’t notice much of a difference in their medical care. But over time, you may see changes to your benefits. For instance, policies that don’t meet the new minimum level of benefits will change or be replaced. Depending on the options available once health care reform takes effect, some employers will probably choose to offer different policies.

The hope is that costs can be reduced in a smart way that won’t sacrifice the quality of care - by improving performance and  doing things like reducing unnecessary tests, ineffective treatments, and medical errors. The insurance companies will decide what’s necessary and what isn’t, according to proposed legislation. The government won’t weigh in on those decisions. Of course, it won’t be easy. A treatment that one person considers unnecessary, might seem crucial to another.

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