Countering Health Reform Misinformation…

I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with this post, but I feel pretty strong about health care reform and thought it was worth posting on my blog.

This was forwarded to me but it’s original copyright is from the Center for Medicare Advocacy.



As the debate over health care reform continues, special interest groups have begun spreading rumors and misinformation designed to make the public doubt, or even fear, reform.  Below are real facts about our current system and proposed reforms.

Why Health Reform Works for You


Our Current System – You currently have health insurance through your employer, Medicare, Medicaid, VA, the military, or some other source.

Proposed Health Reform – You will be able to keep the health insurance that you have.


Our Current System – You may be, or may become, uninsured because: your employer can change or end your health insurance coverage at any time; you lose your job and are not eligible for or can’t afford COBRA health care continuation insurance; you do not have insurance through your work place; you cannot afford private insurance or no private insurance company will sell you a policy.

Proposed Health Reform – You will be able to purchase health insurance through a Health Insurance Exchange: you will have a number of health plans from which to choose; if you have limited income, you will receive assistance with the cost of the premium.


Our Current System – You have a pre-existing condition: health insurance companies can refuse to sell you health insurance; If health insurance companies sell you insurance, they may not cover services they decide are related to the pre-existing condition.

Proposed Health Reform – You have a pre-existing condition: health insurance plans will not be able to deny you insurance; health insurance plans will not be able to deny coverage of claims based on pre-existing conditions.


Our Current System – Health insurance companies can charge you a higher premium based on gender or health status.

Proposed Health Reform –      Health insurance plans will NOT be able to charge you higher premiums based on gender or health condition.


Our Current System – Health insurance plans can charge exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses: high deductibles; high co-pays; limits on how much they will pay in a year and over a lifetime.

Proposed Health Reform – There will be limits on out-of-pocket costs: no cost-sharing for preventive care; annual out-of-pocket caps; no annual or lifetime limits on how much coverage your insurance will provide.


Our Current System – Insurance premiums and health care costs are rising rapidly.

Proposed Health Reform – Mechanisms will be in place to help contain costs.  A public health insurance option that competes with private plans will keep costs low as it encourages innovation and efficiency in health care. Other health system reforms, including a focus on prevention and coordination of health care, will help reduce costs.


Medicare IS Public Health Insurance

44 years ago Medicare was enacted into law.  All of today’s dire warnings about a public health option – socialism and government barring the doctor’s door – were made in opposition to Medicare.  Despite such opposition from “conservative,” leaders, Medicare passed because of some courageous, principled law-makers.

Before Medicare, 50% of everyone 65 or older had NO health insurance. Now, as a result of Medicare, almost all older people are insured.  Medicare, which is national, government-run health insurance, succeeded in insuring older people where private insurance failed. Further, until the Bush Administration privatized Medicare with huge subsidies to private “Medicare Advantage” and Part D plans, Medicare was also remarkably cost-effective. It’s private Medicare, not the traditional, public program, that’s bleeding taxpayers of billions of dollars.

Medicare has been a success, fiscally and morally.  It took on the job of insuring health coverage and care to people that private insurance had abandoned.  Since 2003, on the other hand, private Medicare plans have cost us all tens of billions of dollars that went to support the private insurance industry, not to providing health care.  In addition, private Medicare plans have too often engaged in marketing abuses and restrictive coverage practices.

As numerous studies have shown, people with Medicare love it.  They do not want government to fool around with the traditional program. Ironically, some people with Medicare are arguing against a public health care reform option ? while also telling the government “to keep its hands-off their Medicare!” They, and their family members, (which accounts for pretty much all of us), forget that the traditional Medicare program is a public health insurance option.

Meet Medicare:  Our 44 year-old public health insurance option that provides care to all its enrollees everywhere in the country, and that has provided health and economic security for millions of older people, people with disabilities, and their families.  For two generations, the public Medicare program has shown what a true public insurance program can offer: health insurance for the otherwise uninsured, at a price that taxpayers can afford.

Now, for all generations, we need a public option in health reform!