I've buried my head in the sand for a while on this one, having wanted to wait until the dust settled a bit.
Health care reform helps people with pre-existing conditions big-time, as in some people will actually be able to get insurance when they couldn't before. Under our old system, people with high-risk conditions like depression, cancer, or heart-disease could be denied private coverage and then not be granted state coverage because the waiting list was too long. Additionally, children will be more protected, not being able to be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, as well as being able to stay on a parent's plan longer.
"High-income earners — families making more than $250,000 — will pay several thousand dollars more in Medicare payroll taxes starting in 2013. Their unearned income, now exempt from the payroll tax, would also be subject to a 3.8 percent levy"  Not cool. And then everyone has to be insured or pay a penalty as of 2014? Seriously? Instead, how about if you need state coverage later you pay more if you weren't insured previously? Gah. It just feels like the penalty is in the wrong place.
My overall opinion? It's a toss up. I like that coverage is going to be more accessible, but don't like the way they're shuffling the money around. Law is iterative, and I'm okay with this being a step in the process, but I'd like more steps to be taken as well.