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Debunking Health Care Myths


Guest NCHC
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The initial 10 myths in this report can be found on the Heritage Foundation Web site. We

have identified additional myths in this report that have also been receiving considerable

attention.

 

MYTH 1: Millions will lose their current insurance. Period. End of story.

President Obama wants Americans to believe they can keep their insurance if they like, but

research from the government, private research firms and think tanks shows this is not the case.

Proposed economic incentives, plus a government-run health plan like the one proposed in the

House bill, would cause 88.1 million people to see their current employer-sponsored health plan disappear.

 

FACT: These 88.1 million people will not lose anything. This number is based on a study,

conducted by the partisan Lewin Group, which found that as many as 88 million people

could choose to drop their private coverage in favor of the more affordable public option.

Independent of the vast body of evidence refuting this claim, the only thing that would

disappear would be the high premiums that employers and those with private insurance

are paying for their current health coverage.

 

Myth 2: Your health care coverage will probably change anyway.

Even if you kept your private insurance, eventually most remaining plans – whether employer

plans or individual plans – would have to conform to new federal benefit standards. Moreover, the necessary plan "upgrades" will undoubtedly cost you more in premiums.

 

FACT: New federal benefit standards would come into effect and that existing plans must

conform to them. This is to alleviate the struggles felt by the millions of Americans with

sub-standard health insurance that does not provide adequate coverage or preventative

services, such as health screenings, regular check-ups and services for newborns and

prenatal care. Moreover, by homogenizing health insurance plans, the proposed health

insurance exchange will be even more effective at driving down premium costs by

allowing closer comparisons between different plan options.

 

Myth 3: The umpire is also the first baseman.

The main argument for a "public option" is that it would increase competition. However, if the

federal government creates a health care plan that it controls and also sets the rules for the

private plans, there is little doubt that Washington would put its private sector "competitors" out of business sooner or later.

 

FACT: This fear is unfounded. The public plan option will introduce competition into areas

where only one or two providers have monopolized the insurance market. Such

competition can only serve to revitalize the health care market and force insurance

providers to provide affordable health coverage to consumers. If private sector

competitors are unable to compete, it will be because they have failed to meet the

demands of the American people for high quality, affordable health care coverage.

Myth 4: The fed picks your treatment.

President Obama said: "They're going to have to give up paying for things that don't make them

healthier. ... If there's a blue pill and a red pill, and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and 2 works just as well, why not pay half for the thing that's going to make you well." Does that sound like a government that will stay out of your health care decisions?

 

FACT: The President was talking about greater coordination of care and about the

increasingly added expense to Americans for disjointed and redundant health care

services. As with the myth above, the free market is designed to incentivize high quality,

affordable health coverage. If we provide opportunities for coordinated care, which would

reduce the number of doctors visits and testing that one must receive, and if we provide

incentives for the development of generic drug alternatives, which are just as effective as

the more expensive name-brand “red pills,” does the government really need to tell us

which way is better? As the President said, “If doctors and patients have the best

information about what works and what doesn't, then they're going to want to pay for what

works.”

 

Myth 5; Individual mandate means less liberty and more taxes.

Although he once opposed the idea, President Obama is now open to the imposition of an

individual mandate that would require all Americans to have federally approved health insurance.

This unprecedented federal directive not only takes away your individual freedom but could cost

you as well. Lawmakers are considering a penalty or tax for those who don't buy governmentapproved

health plans.

FACT: One of the greatest threats to individual liberty in America today is the threat of

illness, disease and preventable death. By mandating that everyone have and maintain

proper health coverage, we can stabilize and drive down the costs of health insurance,

which will make coverage more affordable of all Americans. This makes possible life and

the pursuit of happiness.

 

Myth 6: Higher taxes than Europe hurt small businesses.

A proposed surtax on the wealthy will actually hit hundreds of thousands of small business

owners who are dealing with a recession. If it is enacted, America's top earners and job creators will carry a larger overall tax burden than France, Italy, Germany, Japan, etc., with a total average tax rate greater than 52%. Is that the right recipe for jobs and wage growth?

 

FACT: Small business owners already carry an enormous burden, with some employers

unable to afford the rising cost of insurance premiums. The proposed legislation would

ease this burden by exempting 76 percent of small businesses from any shared

responsibility requirement and insulating 96 percent of small business owners from the

effects of any tax surcharge. Additionally, the Small Business Majority, an organization

dedicated to protecting the interests of small business owners, recently released a report

which highlighted the savings that would benefit small businesses under the proposed

health care legislation. Together with the health insurance exchange, these reforms will

help small firms’ bottom line, allowing them to focus more of their attention on running

their business and creating jobs.

 

Myth 7: Who makes medical decisions?

What is the right medical treatment and should bureaucrats determine what Americans can or

cannot have? While the House and Senate language is vague, amendments offered in House

and Senate committees to block government rationing of care were routinely defeated. Cost or a

federal health board could be the deciding factors. President Obama himself admitted this when

3 he said, "Maybe you're better off not having the surgery, but taking the painkiller," when asked about an elderly woman who needed a pacemaker.

 

FACT: There is already someone between you and your doctor. It’s called the private

insurance company, and they are not offering you the surgery or the painkiller. Private

health insurance companies place limits on the care they will cover, delaying or denying

care that you need when you need it most. Health care reform clamps down on these

insurance company abuses by making it impossible for insurance companies to deny or

rescind coverage due to a pre-existing condition or chronic illness. Health care reform will

also ensure that every health plan covers the services necessary to promote good health

and will fund research (that compares the effectiveness, benefits and risks of alternative

treatments) to help doctors and patients make better-informed treatment decisions.

Choices about your care will be left to you and your doctor.

 

Myth 8: Taxpayer-funded abortions. Nineteen Democrats recently asked the President to not

sign any bill that doesn't explicitly exclude "abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan" or any bill that allows a federal health board to "recommend abortion services be included under covered benefits or as part of a benefits package." Currently,these provisions do not exist.

 

FACT: Nothing in any of the current health care reform bills mandates abortion coverage

— or any other type of medical procedure. Currently, private insurance companies make

their own decisions on whether or not abortion is a covered procedure. Current reform

efforts will continue in that vein and allow consumers to choose a plan that is in line with

their own principles.

 

Myth 9: It's not paid for.

The CBO says the current House plan would increase the deficit by $239 billion over 10 years.

And that number will likely continue to rise over the long term. Similar entitlement bills in the past, including Medicare, have scored much lower than their actual eventual cost.

 

FACT: The CBO released estimates that H.R. 3200 is deficit neutral over the 10-year budget

window - and even produces a $6 billion surplus. CBO estimated more than $550 billion in

gross Medicare and Medicaid savings. More importantly, the bill includes a

comprehensive array of delivery reforms to set the stage for lowering the future growth in

health care costs, which while perhaps not “scoreable,” are considered by many to be

among the surest forms of cost containment in the legislation.

 

Myth 10: Rushing it, not reading it.

We've been down this road before--with the failed stimulus package. Back then, we also heard

that we were in a crisis and that we needed to pass a 1,000-plus-page bill in a few hours--without reading it--or we would have 8% unemployment. Well, we know what happened. Now, one

Congressman has even said it's pointless to read one of the reform bills without two days and two lawyers to make sense of it. Deception is the only reason to rush through a bill nobody truly understands.

 

FACT: Health care reform is not a brand-new idea. Republicans and Democrats alike have

been trying to pass health reform care legislation for 90 years.

All of the major committees who have jurisdiction on health care in Congress have held

major hearings, town hall meetings and policy summits since 2007 that have informed the

recent national discussion on health care reform. And, with more than 44,000 people losing health coverage each week, the time to act is

now. While we wait, costs are increasing every day, leaving many people with stacks of medical bills they cannot afford and businesses reducing or eliminating coverage. The

longer we wait to pass health reform, the higher these costs will climb. The longer we

wait, the more Americans who will die due to a lack of health insurance coverage and the

millions more who will be harmed by preventable medical errors and accidents.

Other myths being propagated

 

Myth 11: Health care reform will provide health insurance to illegal immigrants.

About 5.6 million illegal immigrants will be covered by health care reform bills. All non-US

citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free health care services.

 

FACT: Illegal immigrants are specifically excluded from coverage. Of course, this means

that they will continue to get their health care from expensive emergency rooms, which

has been a major contributor to rising health care costs.

According to H.R. 3200, Page 143, Line 3, Section 246: "No Federal Payment for

Undocumented Aliens. Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for

affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United

States."

 

Myth 12: A government-run plan will encourage seniors to choose an early death.

The government will force Medicare beneficiaries to decide how they want to die.

FACT: Health reform promotes healthier lives, not premature death. If an individual

chooses to do so, the proposed legislation will help him or her set up a “living will” that

will put him or her in the driver’s seat by letting him or her make the choices about

medical care that he or she wants. Counseling on these private issues will be offered to

seniors only if it is requested on a voluntary basis. It is important to remember that the

current reform movement is about improving choice, not forcing health care decisions.

Myth 13: Some people won't be covered. Health care reform will leave certain populations out of insurance programs.

 

FACT: Except for illegal immigrants, all people will have the opportunity to be covered,

either via employer-provided plans or via the Health Insurance Exchange, which could

include a public plan option similar to Medicare, or a co-op approach similar to rural

electric arrangements that are owned by members. Those who opt out of coverage will be

required to pay a penalty, which will be deposited to the general fund maintained for the

public option. The penalty is intended to offset the cost of "adverse selection"; that is, the

cost associated with those who only choose to purchase insurance when a serious illness

arises. The more people we have with health coverage, the better the outcomes for

everyone.

 

Myth 14: We will have long wait times for health care services if we end up with a public

option. Americans will have to endure long waits to see primary care physicians and specialists under government-run health care.

 

FACT: This is usually tied to an anecdotal report from Canada. The reality is that wait

times vary from area to area, as well as from service to service in Canada and Europe, but

the same may be said of United States. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement estimates

that Americans are waiting nearly 70 days to see a provider, and up to four weeks for lifethreatening conditions. New studies show that Americans wait far longer to receive basic

primary care than their European counterparts.

 

Myth 15: Health care reform protects health insurers due to deals that have been made.

Health care reform actually protects private insurance companies rather than regulating them.

 

FACT: The truth is that the group that is affected most adversely by health reform is the

insurance industry. The proposed legislation is full of new policies and programs that are

designed to keep insurers honest while protecting the American public by providing for

more affordable, high quality health care.

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Guest William1950

I don't doubt the insurance industry will do whatever to whomever whenever it can to keep more money. They are crooks... in the old days we would tar and feather them and run them out of town on a pole. Nowadays we just pay our premiums and doggess when they fight and ignore claims.

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Guest THE WHITE HOUSE

Vice President Biden Asks You to Bust a Myth

 

 

To help us bust the myth that our health insurance system is fine the way it is and that reform isn't important to the American people.

 

Reform will bring down costs generally and make insurance more affordable and accessible, ensuring more choices for quality coverage

 

Reform will allow you to keep the coverage you have if you want to

 

Reform will establish an insurance exchange that will provide easy one-stop shopping to compare rates and services and promote competition

 

Reform will offer tax credits and assistance to families, and to small businesses so they can offer competitive, affordable rates to their employees

 

Reform will require plans to cover basic pediatric services, as well as dental, vision, and hearing needs for children

 

Reform will greatly improve access to pediatric care and address shortages by investing in an expanded health care workforce

 

Reform will promote better accountability for the quality of care children receive

 

Reform will streamline and simplify paperwork and cut the bureaucracy for you and your doctor

 

Reform puts a cap on what insurance companies can force you to pay in out of pocket expenses, co-pays and deductibles

 

Reform will expand coverage for children through their parents’ plan until they’re twenty-six if their parents so choose

 

Reform will prohibit insurance companies from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for you or your family members if you become seriously ill

 

Reform will prevent insurance companies from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive

 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/771

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Here is a health care reality. It has been several months now that I have been trying to get disability services for Joe since he moved from Maryland to the District of Columbia. He has now given the same identification information to three separate agencies within the government. This a waste of time and money.

 

The District of Columbia government should be able to access Joe's information from his DC identification card. Unfortunately they are not allowed to share information. Joe's eligibility service coordinator stated this has to do with the Health Information Act. He used the example of a person with AIDS would not want to share his/her condition if he/she was applying to gain admittance to a group home. I feel so helpless helping Joe through this bureaucratic process. Joe's coordinator stated it is worse in other cities, where a disabled person is forced to go on the Internet and fill out an eligibility form. That is a sick joke.

 

In addition, Joe's DDS service coordinator stated that DC cannot access Joe's records in Maryland due to the Health Information Act. Even when Joe and I signed a personal information release. This means that the District has to use copies of information that we have to prove that he is disabled. It is quite apparent after speaking with him. Once they obtain all this information that is already stored in Montgomery County then they will deem whether Joe was disabled before the age of 18. Then once this is done he will be scheduled to take a medical evaluation by a District of Columbia physician to see whether Joe is disabled.

 

HIPAA Privacy Rule

 

Most health plans and health care providers that are covered by thenew Rule must comply with the new requirements by April 14, 2003.

 

TheHIPAA Privacy Rule for the first time creates national standards toprotect individuals' medical records and other personal healthinformation.

 

  • It gives patients more control over their health information.
  • It sets boundaries on the use and release of health records.
  • Itestablishes appropriate safeguards that health care providers andothers must achieve to protect the privacy of health information.
  • It holds violators accountable, with civil and criminal penalties that can be imposed if they violate patients' privacy rights.
  • Andit strikes a balance when public responsibility supports disclosure ofsome forms of data – for example, to protect public health.

Forpatients – it means being able to make informed choices when seekingcare and reimbursement for care based on how personal healthinformation may be used.

 

  • It enables patients to findout how their information may be used, and about certain disclosures oftheir information that have been made.
  • It generally limits release of information to the minimum reasonably needed for the purpose of the disclosure.
  • It generally gives patients the right to examine and obtain a copy of their own health records and request corrections.
  • It empowers individuals to control certain uses and disclosures of their health information.

 

We need to streamline information, so agencies can share information if the consent is given. The Police, FBI, and Homeland Security already do it. Why can't health care agencies. So much time is being taken to do this inefficient process. Money is being wasted by Joe, DC, and I to make this happen.

 

At this point DC has dropped his medicaid until his disability issue is resolved. Joe is now not able to get his prescribed drugs. He has gone through withdrawal symptoms that includes excessive vomiting. Any help would be appreciated.

 

If you would like to read more about Joe's case please click the link below.

 

http://www.dcmessageboards.com/index.php?showtopic=16714

Edited by Luke_Wilbur
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Guest A Fixed Game

If Congressman can ignore the health insurance lobbyist money, we could instantly increase competition, drive down prices, and start breaking up the monopolies by repealing the McCarran-Ferguson act. That one act allowed the states to set standards for minimum coverage, prevented federal anti-trust laws from applying, and therefore created the virtual monopolies that we see today.

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Guest ALWAYS RED

Here it right from the horse's mouth. President Obama himself back in April:

 

THE PRESIDENT: So that's where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that's also a huge driver of cost, right?

 

I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

 

LEONHARDT: So how do you - how do we deal with it?

 

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that's part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It's not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance.

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  • 6 months later...

In a letter to the CEOs of UnitedHealth Group Inc., WellPoint Inc., Aetna Inc., Health Care Service Corporation and CIGNA HealthCare Inc., U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called on the executives to publicly justify proposed health insurance premium increases. Sebelius’ letter comes after a meeting last week with these executives at the White House.

 

“Last Thursday, I asked CEOs to post online the actuarial justification for premium hikes so consumers can see why their premiums are skyrocketing. Now, it’s time for these insurance company CEOs to do their part to make the system more transparent for the American people. If insurance companies are going to raise rates, the least they can do is tell us why.”

 

The letter comes shortly after a new analysis from Goldman Sachs found that competition in the insurance market is so weak, insurance companies can continue to raise rates even if it means losing customers. The analysis found that “price competition is down” and that “incumbent carriers seem more willing than ever to walk away from existing business.”

 

A copy of Sebelius’ letter to the executives is included below.

 

###

 

Dear__________,

 

Thank you for taking the time to join our discussion about health insurance premium increases on Thursday at the White House. There is no question that our health insurance system is broken, and unsustainable for both the American people and your companies. I appreciated the opportunity to meet with you and discuss these very serious issues.

 

As we discussed, both the President and I continue to hear from concerned Americans who don’t understand why their premiums continue to rise. For many families, these high premiums have made health insurance unaffordable. At the same time, these families have heard reports of insurance companies taking in multi-billion dollar profits.

 

At our meeting, you and your colleagues discussed the importance of addressing and controlling the underlying cost of health care. President Obama agrees, and his comprehensive health reform proposal includes a series of cost-reduction strategies. You noted the need for a larger pool of insured individuals to balance risks. This element is also included in the President’s proposal.

 

In our discussion, we also agreed that we will all benefit by making our health care system more open and transparent. To that end, I am reiterating the request I made at our meeting on Thursday: post on your websites the justification for any individual or small group rate increases you have implemented or proposed in 2010, and continue to post such a justification in connection with any future increases. Posting this information will give Americans the opportunity to learn more and ask questions about rate increases that affect them.

 

At a minimum, I ask that you include the following in your justification:

 

1. Your estimates on medical cost and utilization increases, the assumptions driving these estimates, and the basis for those assumptions.

2. If your premiums increase more than estimated medical costs, a description of what accounts for those differences.

3. The number of people who will be receiving premium increases, as well as the number of people who will be receiving different levels of premium increases, further broken down by characteristics including plan type, age, and sex.

4. Enrollment changes in your different plans since the past year.

5. The number of people on whose experience the rate increase is calculated.

6. Any premium rating variation including rating variation by age and health status.

7. An affordability plan explaining what the company is doing to improve the affordability of health care, and the estimated financial impact of the company's affordability initiatives.

8. An explanation of any cost containment or quality improvement efforts you have made that affect the increase.

9. The expected medical loss ratio resulting from any premium increase.

10. Information on the percentage of premium revenues you spend on medical claims, disease management, quality initiatives, administrative costs, profits, and executive salaries broken down at least by market type.

 

The President is committed to passing health insurance reform that fixes our health insurance system and helps bring down costs for all Americans. These reforms will give American families the peace of mind they need and deserve, and will make our system more transparent. I hope your company will join our effort to make health care in America more transparent, and post this critical information without delay.

 

Sincerely,

Kathleen Sebelius

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  • 6 months later...

Health Care Brought to you by Obama and the Unions;

 

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/09/seiu_pushes_rapists_thugs_as_h.html

 

September 24, 2010

SEIU pushes rapists, thugs as home health care aides in CA

Ed Lasky

 

Now we know - as if the Bell salary and pension scandal has not already taught us - why California is a mess. The bigger the government, the more absurd the taxing and spending becomes.

 

From the Los Angeles Times:

 

 

Scores of people convicted of crimes such as rape, elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon are permitted to care for some of California's most vulnerable residents as part of the government's home health aide program.

 

Data provided by state officials show that at least 210 workers and applicants flagged by investigators as unsuitable to work in the program are nonetheless scheduled to resume or begin employment.

 

State and county investigators have not reported many whose backgrounds include violent crimes because the rules of the program, as interpreted by a judge earlier this year, permit felons to work as home care aides. Thousands of current workers have had no background checks...

 

 

 

In addition, privacy laws prevent investigators from cautioning the program's elderly, infirm and disabled clients that they may end up in the care of someone who has committed violent or financial crimes.

 

"We are allowing these people into the homes of vulnerable individuals without supervision," said John Wagner, director of the state Department of Social Services.

 

And who is fighting to keep the rules and regulations as they are? Need one ask? The public unions. The Times fingers another set of culprits responsible for this mess, "lawmakers with ties to unions representing home health care workers are wary of making changes to a program". Can anyone name the union behind standing foursquare behind this absurd program? Barack Obama and the Democrats favorite one: The Service Employees International Union:

 

 

 

A spokesman for the Service Employees International Union, which represents most of the state's home healthcare workers, referred questions to Wilkins. SEIU is consistently one of the biggest donors to the Democrats who dominate the Legislature, contributing millions of dollars to political committees that the state Democratic Party and its leaders use to win legislative seats, register voters and even fund lawmaker retreats.

 

Members' wages from the home aide program provide millions of dollars in dues revenue that the union can use to fund such operations.

 

California is in the grip of the SEIU. Democratic politicians are in their pockets. Our most vulnerable group of people are in danger. Does the SEIU and the Democratic politicians care, seeing that the are permanently hooked into the spending spigots of unions' Political Action Committees and are addicted to the free labor provided by union members come campaign season? Nope. What the unions care about are dues paying members and what Democratic politicians care about are getting their cut of taxpayer dollars. The fiscal problem has been put on our shoulders since so much of the stimulus program went to paper over problems states - mostly blue ones - have created for themselves.

 

The role of the SEIU, one of the biggest donors to Democrats across the nation and whose former leader boasted of the amount of union dues that went to elect Democrats and Barack Obama (and also noted he expected payback) is a blight across America. Andy Stern, who headed the SEIU for years, was the most frequent visitor to the White House in 2009 and now serves on the commission supposedly created to examine the deficit.

 

Home health aides are a big market for them. The union is trying to get state legislators to force their unionization, As Obamacare is implemented, more taxpayer dollars will flow to such home health care aides. Nice deal - except for the patients and the taxpayers - but who cares about them?

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The SEIU has its fingers where it has NO BUSINESS in being in.

 

The article is Very Disturbing http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/09/seiu_pushes_rapists_thugs_as_h.html

 

Not that I trusted the Nursing Homes to begin with, but still "WOW".

 

This only makes everything worse "Elder Abuse".

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From what I see is SEIU is trying to gain support of the illegals and potheads.

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Guest Soldier of God

I think this all stems from the lack building a relationship with our maker. We need to realize money is not the solution to our problem. Without the belief of a higher power there is only animals that we can relate to. When creatures are no longer useful to the pack they are left to die alone.

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The left wings solution is government= god.

 

It's a perversion of the principles that this country was founded upon.

 

< Unions above all other groups “No matter how much it hurts the country".

They once did good work, but that time is long gone.

 

Remember that old saying? That the path to hell is paved with good intentions.

Well!! The Unions and the left wingers are most definitely on that path.>

 

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think this all stems from the lack building a relationship with our maker. We need to realize money is not the solution to our problem. Without the belief of a higher power there is only animals that we can relate to. When creatures are no longer useful to the pack they are left to die alone.

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