What does it mean?...
Permit me to pause the apocalyptic predictions for a moment to point out some of the best information I have found to decipher what HCR means for each of us.
First, this interactive table from the NYT: How the Health Care Overhaul Could Affect You.
[BTW - have you noticed the emergence of these Flash animations as powerful tools for explaining complex information. We need this kind of communication for farm bills and crop insurance, IMHO]
The chart version (click to embiggen):
A time-line for events.
There are many possible ramifications for rural America in this legislation. A good start is to see what it will mean to your family, especially when something goes wrong: serious disease/accident, loss of the benefits-providing job, whopping premium increases, or insurance company failure (it happens).
Then think what these changes will mean to your children, and how they will view employment differently. The bill also has provisions specifically for rural health care that could keep your small clinic open.
It will cost us, to be sure. I will pay more taxes, and so will others. We will begin to control costs clumsily and bureaucratically, but surely. And we will find other items in the budget we will cut before we pull back these promises, I'll bet.