I spent several days reading the 1000+ current health care reform bill with the goal of breaking it down into digestible pieces. The truth is, the thing is clunky and refers to other bills that have to be cross referenced to get it, this does not impact the actual healthcare reform but makes it hard for me to just throw up some bullet points to the blog. There have also been several promised changes to the bill since written, and there is a 4 member bi-partisan group in Congress meeting with the goal of slimming down the current bill’s budget by a $100,000,000 with the goal of submitting a modified bill for review on Sept. 4, 2009. So it also seems like breaking down the bill at this point is a little dubious b/c it isn’t likely to be the bill they vote on.
Instead, here is a handy chart from Cure This about who is covered and how:
Note that the bottom bubble is empty because the debate is still raging about a public option. As we know, the President has been waffling on the public option and several Democrats, including Speaker Pelosi have said that they will not vote for reform and/or it cannot pass without the public option while Republicans have argued both against the public option and against most of the reforms proposed.
Flow chart not your thing? Here is a basic explanation of how insurance currently works and how health care reform involving a government option would help avoid these problems:
Here are some basic corrections to misinformation about what is covered:
- There may or may not be a public option when the bill finally goes to a vote, the president has waffled on this
- pre-existing conditions will be done away with so you can get and keep your insurance no matter what
- people will not be dropped from coverage for sustaining injuries leading to chronic conditions or the discovery of costly health issues
- it provides insurance to uninsured and does not require that ensured people switch plans
- it was projected to save money over time while initial costs were high
- The bill does not cover reproductive health like abortion
- it does not cover undocumented immigrants regardless of their age or years in this country
- it no longer provides for end of life counseling – which was suppose to pay for people to have conversations about what kind of care they wanted in their final days and/or write out a living will, sign donor cards, etc.
- things like elective surgeries , dental, etc. are not covered by this plan
For those concerned about the coop option replacing the universal health care plan:
- for those familiar with coop grocers or child care facilities coop should make more sense – you buy in as a group and have say in what and how things are covered – to learn more about coop basics click here
- coop will not cover all people who need health care in this country – see flow chart
- coops are less likely to hold down costs of health care
- coops do not offer a wide range of plans but do offer members the chance to ask for and vote on what they want to be covered
- only examples of solvent coops we have are actually based on the HMO model – managed care has been managing to keep us from care for far too long as it is
- coops do not have a very strong track record of survival – they were sponsored by the government in the 1930s and 40s but were riddled with problems including doctor strikes, failing to cover certain procedures and patients, etc. and ultimately lost government confidence
Obviously, I think several of the things and/or groups not covered by the current plan should be covered. I don’t think we can afford to skimp on the health of the N. American people regardless of citizenship or gender identity nor do I think that the government should be providing competitive health care that does not provide comprehensive women’s health, including reproductive choices. For me, it seems fairly simple: take out the clause in the medicare bill that says medicare is only for people 65 and older and replace it with a clause that says it is only for people, regardless of age, without alternative coverage. Problem solved.