Health Care Reform: Get the Facts
MYTH:House health insurance reform legislation will lead to out-of-control deficit spending
FACT: The Affordable Health Care for America act contains several cost-control measures, including rewarding quality instead of quantity of care, payment bundling, reducing hospital readmissions, negotiating drug prices, investing in prevention, cracking down on fraud, creating a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and promoting accountable care organizations.
MYTH:End-of-life provisions in House health insurance reform bill will lead to "Death Panels"
FACT: The bill never requires anyone to discuss end-of-life care. Nonpartisan Politifact.com calls the suggestion that the bill would encourage anyone to end their lives sooner an "outright distortion."
MYTH: Health insurance reform plan will lead to cuts in Medicare benefits and services
FACT: Nothing in the bill would cut basic Medicare benefits. Instead, the bill strengthens Medicare by reducing inefficiency and rooting out and eliminating waste and fraud. In it’s October newsletter, the AARP said of the House bill “the changes actually aim to strengthen Medicare and improve beneficiaries’ care and access to physicians.”
MYTH: Private Plans Outlawed
Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) claimed on his website that individual private health insurance plans will be outlawed in 2013 under the Democratic health care plan.
America's Affordable Health Choices Act
On Sunday, March 21st 2010, the House achieved a historic victory for American families by passing the comprehensive health insurance reform. Throughout the legislative process, House Democrats fought tirelessly to bring real change to America by fixing our broken health care system.
Below are some critical reforms enacted by this landmark legislation:
- Reduces cost by creating competitive health insurance exchanges where consumers can small businesses can buy affordable coverage much like large companies do today
- Creates tax credits and subsidies to help low and middle income Americans afford quality care
- Closes the Medicare prescription “donut hole” by providing an initial $250 rebate and then deep discounts on prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries in the donut hole
- Extends the solvency of the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund by at least nine years
- Ends insurance company practice of discriminating and denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, health status or gender
- Increases access to care by investing in Community Health Centers
- Expands eligibility for Medicaid
- Eliminates copays for preventative Medicare benefits such as cancer screenings and provides free yearly exams for Medicare beneficiaries
- Gives Americans they tools and information they need to make informed decisions about their health insurance coverage
- Reins in unwarranted, egregious premium increases by empowering the Department of Health and Human Services and state insurance commissioners to conduct thorough annual reviews
- Creates incentives for health care providers reimbursed by Medicare to base decisions on quality rather than quantity of care and to move away from a fee-for-service system.
- Promotes transparency by cracking down on waste and fraud in Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and private insurers
- Cuts the deficit by more than $100 billion in the first ten years, then one trillion in the second ten years
- Constitutes the biggest deficit reduction package in more than a decade
- Restores fiscal responsibility by reining in health care costs across our economy
While some provision of the bill will be phased in over time, the following provisions will take effect as soon as President Obama signs the bill:
- Tax credits for small businesses
- Preventive care covered 100 percent by Medicare
- Closing the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole”
- Temporary coverage for early retirees, ages 55-64
- Insurance companies can no longer drop people from coverage when they get sick
- Ends discrimination against children based on heath status or pre-existing conditions
- Ends restrictive annual limits on benefits for new insurance policies
- Allows adult children to be covered under their parents’ plan up to the age of 26
- Ensures that insurers spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical care
- Eliminates copays for preventive care under new private plans
- Provides temporary coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions until Exchange is implemented
- Expands enough funding for community health centers to double capacity in five years
Help us show that the American people support health care reform: Sign our thank you card to Speaker Pelosi.