By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldiva, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The first changes under the new health care law will be easy to see and not long in coming: There'll be $250 rebate checks for seniors in the Medicare drug coverage gap, and young adults moving from college to work will be able to stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26.
But the peace of mind the president promised — the antidote for health care insecurity, whether you favored or opposed his overhaul — is still a ways beyond the horizon, starting only in 2014. Insurers then will be barred from turning down people with medical problems, and the government will provide tax credits to help millions of working families buy coverage they can't afford now.
Health care overhaul will bring real change, but it's going to happen slowly.
President Barack Obama plans to sign the main legislation Tuesday in the White House East Room after a bitterly divided House approved it Sunday night. That will cap a turbulent, yearlong quest by the president and congressional Democrats to remake the nation's health care system, fully one-sixth of the U.S. economy.
Obama's signature will start the Senate considering a package of changes the House also has approved. But the main overhaul will already be officially on the books.
Still, if Obama wants to actually preside over the expansion of coverage to more than 30 million people, he'll first have to persuade a majority of Americans to re-elect him in 2012.