Posts Tagged ‘Health Care Reform’

Get the Facts Straight on Healthcare Reform

Friday, September 4th, 2009

MYTH #1: Reform doesn’t affect people who already have health insurance.

THE FACTS: Reform affects all Americans who have ever worried about healthcare costs or about losing their coverage if they become too sick, lose their jobs or change jobs. Every day, 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance. Further, one of the driving forces behind government deficits is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid. A public plan option will provide competition with the insurance industry to help keep costs down. If healthcare costs are not brought under control, there will be fewer resources for education and other important public services. In addition, out-of-pocket healthcare costs for every family will continue to climb.

MYTH #2: A public plan option will force all Americans into a government-run health program.

THE FACTS: Individuals with insurance do not have to join the public option. As President Obama has said: “if you like what you have, you can keep it.” Reform will create a health insurance exchange for the uninsured; this will allow individuals to compare prices and health plans to decide which plan (public or private) is right for them and their families. The choice is left up to the individual. The public plan option will benefit uninsured as well as insured Americans by increasing competition and choice in the marketplace. It will hold private insurers accountable, and will lower costs while ensuring affordable healthcare. Surely private insurance companies cannot be afraid of competition from a non-profit group.

MYTH #3: Reforming healthcare will cut Medicare benefits for seniors.

THE FACTS: The president is committed to improving healthcare for all older Americans and to strengthening Medicare. The healthcare reform plan now being considered will extend Medicare coverage and preserve older Americans’ freedom to choose their doctor. It will eliminate wasteful overpayments to private plans (estimated at $160 billion); expand access to and end patient co-payments for Medicare preventive services; increase payments to healthcare providers, which would
prevent doctors from refusing Medicare patients; and phase out the Part D “doughnut hole” that has caused many older Americans to do without their medications so they can afford other necessities.

MYTH #4: Co-ops are an adequate substitute for a national public insurance plan.

THE FACTS: A co-op is not a substitute for a national public health insurance plan, nor are co-ops a new idea. During the 1930s and 1940s, a healthcare cooperative movement was introduced in the United States; it failed. Co-ops were too small and undercapitalized to survive a physicians’ boycott. Today, experts estimate that co-ops would need at least 25,000 participants to be financially viable and more than 500,000 participants to be able to negotiate for lower rates. They would be essentially too small and too fractured to have effective bargaining power against the health insurance industry. For example, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan controls 65 percent of the state’s commercial market and would not be challenged by a “start-up” co-op.

MYTH #5: America’s deficit will increase by $1 trillion due to healthcare reform and force many families to go broke.

THE FACTS: President Obama has said he will not sign a bill that would add to the national debt or deficit. To honor this commitment, he has proposed that two-thirds of the cost of reform be paid for by reducing waste, fraud and abuse in existing programs and ending overpayments to insurance companies. The remaining revenue will come from limiting the itemized tax deductions for couples making more than $250,000 a year.

The current healthcare system results in $700 billion a year in wasteful and inefficient spending—causing financial strain on many families. Placing caps on out-of-pocket expenditures, including co-payments, and limiting extravagant spending by insurance companies are some of the new proposals to hold down rising healthcare costs for many working families.

MYTH #6: Congress is moving too quickly.

THE FACTS: The time to reform our healthcare system is now. Many Americans are uninsured or struggle to pay the soaring costs of care. As costs continue to rise, even those with employer-provided insurance pay a heavy price in forgone pay raises, increases in insurance deductibles and premiums, and greater insecurity about the availability of high-quality healthcare in the future.

Since 2000, employee contributions to company-provided health insurance have increased more than 120 percent, and out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, co-payments for medications, and co-insurance for physician and hospital visits have risen 115 percent. Skyrocketing healthcare costs strain family budgets, burden businesses of all sizes, squeeze state and federal budgets, and are delaying America’s economic recovery.

Send a letter to your U.S. senators and representative and encourage them to reform healthcare now.

Sourced: American Federation of Teachers

Benefits of America’s Affordable Health Choices Act In the 8th Congressional District of Michigan Committee on Energy and Commerce

Friday, August 21st, 2009


July 2009
Benefits of America’s Affordable Health Choices Act In the 8th Congressional District of Michigan Committee on Energy and Commerce

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act would provide significant benefits in the 8th Congressional District of Michigan: up to 15,100 small businesses could receive tax credits to provide coverage to their employees; 7,600 seniors would avoid the donut hole in Medicare Part D; 1,700 families could escape bankruptcy each year due to unaffordable health care costs; health care providers would receive payment for $53 million in uncompensated care each year; and 49,000 uninsured individuals would gain access to high-quality, affordable health insurance. Congressman Mike Rogers represents the district.

Help for small businesses. Under the legislation, small businesses with 25 employees or less and average wages of less than $40,000 qualify for tax credits of up to 50% of the costs of providing health insurance. There are up to 15,100 small businesses in the district that could qualify for these credits.

Help for seniors with drug costs in the Part D donut hole. Each year, 7,600 seniors in the district hit the donut hole and are forced to pay their full drug costs, despite having Part D drug coverage. The legislation would provide them with immediate relief, cutting brand name drug costs in the donut hole by 50%, and ultimately eliminate the donut hole.

Health care and financial security. There were 1,700 health care-related bankruptcies in the district in 2008, caused primarily by the health care costs not covered by insurance. The bill provides health insurance for almost every American and caps annual out-of-pocket costs at $10,000 per year, ensuring that no citizen will have to face financial ruin because of high health care costs.

Relieving the burden of uncompensated care for hospitals and health care providers. In 2008, health care providers in the district provided $53 million worth of uncompensated care, care that was provided to individuals who lacked insurance coverage and were unable to pay their bills. Under the legislation, these costs of uncompensated care would be virtually eliminated.

Coverage of the uninsured. There are 70,000 uninsured individuals in the district, 10% of the district. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that nationwide, 97% of all Americans will have insurance coverage when the bill takes effect. If this benchmark is reached in the district, 49,000 people who currently do not have health insurance will receive coverage.

No deficit spending. The cost of health care reform under the legislation is fully paid for: half through making the Medicare and Medicaid program more efficient and half through a surtax on the income of the wealthiest individuals. This surtax would affect only 2,930 households in the district. The surtax would not affect 99.1% of taxpayers in the district.

This analysis is based upon the following sources: the Gallup-Healthways Survey (data on the uninsured); the U.S. Census (data on small businesses); the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (data on the Part D donut hole, health care-related bankruptcies (based on analysis of PACER court records), and uncompensated care); and the House Committee on Ways and Means (data on the surtax).

WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

The White House, Washington

Dear Friend,

Anyone that’s watched the news in the past few days knows that health insurance reform is a hot topic — and that rumors and scare tactics have only increased as more people engage with the issue. Given a lot of the outrageous claims floating around, it’s time to make sure everyone knows the facts about the security and stability you get with health insurance reform.

That’s why we’ve launched a new online resource — WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck — to help you separate fact from fiction and share the truth about health insurance reform. Here’s a few of the reality check videos you can find on the site:

* CEA Chair Christina Romer details how health insurance reform will impact small businesses.
* Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes tackles a nasty rumor about euthanasia and clearly describes how reform helps families.
* Matt Flavin, the White House’s Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy, clears the air about Veteran’s benefits.
* Kavita Patel, M.D., a doctor serving in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, explains that health care rationing is happening right now and how reform gives control back to patients and doctors.
* Bob Kocher, M.D., a doctor serving on the National Economic Council, debunks the myth that health insurance reform will be financed by cutting Medicare benefits.

There’s more information and a number of online tools you can use to spread the truth among your family, friends and other social networks. Take a look:

Health Insurance Reform Reality Check

We knew going into this effort that accomplishing comprehensive health insurance reform wasn’t going to be easy. Achieving real change never is. The entrenched interests that benefit from the status quo always use their influence in Washington to try and keep things just as they are.

But don’t be misled. We know the status quo is unsustainable. If we do nothing, millions more Americans will be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions, or see their coverage suddenly dropped if they become seriously ill. Out-of-pocket expenses will continue to soar, and more and more families and businesses will be forced to deal with health insurance costs they can’t afford.

That’s the reality.

Americans deserve better. You deserve a health care system that works as well for you as it does for the status quo; one you can depend on — that won’t deny you coverage when you need it most or charge you crippling out-of-pocket co-pays. Health insurance reform means guaranteeing the health care security and stability you deserve.

President Barack Obama promised he’d bring change to Washington and fix our broken, unsustainable health insurance system. You can help deliver that change. Visit WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck, get the facts and spread the truth. The stakes are just too high to do nothing.

Thank you,
David

David Axelrod
Senior Advisor to the President

Visit Whitehouse.gov

President Obama is asking for your help on health care reform

Friday, July 17th, 2009

President Obama is asking for your help on health care!

The Clarkston area location for this Saturday is the home of Melissa Bernardi, please register by following this link:
http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/healthcarecanvass/gpfxg7

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Also, our club will be having a Clarkston area meeting on President Obama’s Health Care initiative on Thursday July 23rd, 7 PM at Red Knapp’s, 6722 Dixie Highway, Clarkston. We will be in a separate meeting room and we will be able to order off their menu for food and drink. Hope to see you there! Map for Red Knapp’s

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Collecting Organizing for America support for President Obama’s health care reform in Leonard, July 18th Map: http://tinyurl.com/mg697d

The Leonard Summer Festival Committee is sponsoring the 19th Annual Arts and Crafts Fair in conjunction with the 57th Annual Addison Township Firefighters Strawberry Festival on Saturday, July 18, 2009.

The North Oakland Democratic Club will have a booth there, so come and visit us!

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Phil

If you could send this out to your list I would really appreciate it.

Organizing for America is currently organizing a state-wide canvass throughout Michigan in order to collect health care declarations affirming the public’s support of President Obama’s agenda. We currently have three teams working throughout Oakland County on Saturday and would love as many volunteers as possible.

In the last 48 hours, the prospects for real, comprehensive health care reform this year have gotten significantly better. On Monday, the President summoned leaders of Congress to the White House to press for his timetable on health care reform. The President’s message: “I just want to put everybody on notice because there was a lot of chatter during the week that I was gone: inaction is not an option.” The message was apparently heard loud and clear. Yesterday, the three chairmen of the House committees with jurisdiction over health care reform formally introduced legislation that does not increase the deficit, would lower premiums, includes a public option, and is estimated to cover 97% of Americans. Then, just this morning, the Senate HELP Committee passed its version of health reform legislation, which also contains a strong public option.

We look forward to hearing from all those who are interested in working this Saturday, additionally, if anybody is interested in finding out more about events around your community please visit http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/health-care-action-center/?source=feature

Many thanks

Bryan J. Zulko
Regional Field Director
Organizing for America- MI