Health Care Reform Making Sense of the Debate
What are the FACTS? • Both parties agree: The current system must change. • But the debate is distorted by rumors and lies. • How do we know who to believe?
What are the FACTS? • The internet has provided people with the ability to spread misleading information at rapid speed through e-mails, blogs, text-messaging and “tweets.” • Never before has there been such a way to reach out to as many people as efficiently as is being done today. • How does this affect the health care reform debate?
What are the FACTS? • Health care reform has serious consequences to people’s lives. • For a true debate to occur, it is necessary for as many people as possible to understand what the actual proposals are about. • The rise of the Internet and the decline of the mainstream press as our prime source of information is putting this prospect at risk.
Adding to all this confusion? • President Obama is sharing his overall goals for reform, but is leaving it up to Congress to work out the details. • The result: a number of committees, each developing and announcing scores of proposals, which change as negotiations progress
Adding to all this confusion? • As proposals are refined into a single bill,(currently there are 5) which could happen this fall, Americans will get a better handle on what matters to them, such as: • Will my personal health care costs rise or fall under reform? • Will taxes increase to pay for it? • What impact will it have on the deficit?
Will the government take over health care so we end up with socialized medicine? • No! Neither… • Obama has rejected the idea of a “single payer” system • NONE of the leading proposals in Congress even considers this… • “Socialized medicine?” • Even farther off the table than…
What do the current proposals say? • President Obama • “Public Plan” • The House and Senate Health C’s • A national public plan • The Senate Finance Committee
Will private insurance be outlawed or wither on the vine? • No! Both O and C.C.’s say their objective is to build on the current system • Supporters of a “Public Plan” option argue… • Opponent’s of the “Public Plan” option argue…
What do the current proposals say? • Each of the proposals call for national or regional health insurance exchanges. This would allow… • Subsidies would be available for people unable to afford the premiums • People with existing insurance…
Will the government encourage euthanasia to save costs? • NO! (House Bill pg. 425) • Betsy McCaughey (July 16) • Rep. John Boehner of Ohio (July 24)
What does the current proposal say? • The clause on pg. 425 would require Medicare to pay doctors for their time if beneficiaries chose to consult them for information on advance care planning, such as • Making a living will • Appointing a health proxy • Hospice care
Will Medicare be eliminated or gutted to pay for reform? • NO! • It’s inconceivable that any lawmaker would commit political suicide by proposing to get rid of Medicare. • Dick Morris
What do the current proposals say? • ALL proposals seek to save BILLIONS from Medicare costs - NOT by cutting benefits, but by • Setting up new ways to pay doctors more fairly • Reward providers for quality of care*** • Reducing waste and fraud • Reducing preventable hospital readmissions
What do the current proposals say? • ALL proposals would cut the amount of subsidies now paid to Medicare Advantage private plans • The proposals also add benefits to Medicare, such as covering more preventive services.
Will the government ration care? • NO! • Rumor’s run rampant….
What do the current proposals say? • Under EVERY proposal, insurance companies would no longer be able to deny coverage on the basis of current health or preexisting medical conditions. • The proposals also would require plans to offer benefit packages with a comprehensive range of medical services equal to those in typical employer-sponsored plans.
An independent advisory board would recommend new specific services to be covered based on scientific evidence. • Annual or lifetime limits on coverage would be prohibited. • NONE of the bills place any age limits on receiving medical care.