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Reading Spam from My Congressman

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posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 12:37 PM
Found this quite interesting:


The healthcare system in our country is in desperate need of reform. The average American family already pays an extra $1,100/year in premiums to support a broken system with 46 million uninsured. We need a uniquely American solution to build on what works and fix what’s broken. We need a solution that lowers costs for consumers and one that offers greater choice of healthcare options.

The plan we are currently reviewing in Congress requires that health insurance companies cover people with pre-existing medical conditions. It also requires all but the smallest employers to provide health coverage for their employees, or pay a small percentage of their payroll to help fund coverage for the uninsured. Families and individuals with lower- and middle incomes would receive tax credits to help them afford insurance coverage. The details of the plan are still changing and being finalized in Congress. Some of the funding for this plan could come from raising taxes on wealthier Americans, among other ideas.

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act Works for Seniors

For more than 40 years, Medicare has offered critical health and financial stability for senior citizens, people with disabilities and those with end-stage renal disease, providing coverage for over 45 million individuals this year. It is important to note that the bill will not harm the relationship between the patient, their doctor, and Medicare. America’s Affordable Health Choices Act contains substantial payment and delivery system reforms that reward efficient delivery of quality care and change the incentives in today’s health care system to encourage value instead of simply volume. It makes investments that will enable beneficiaries to continue to access high-quality, affordable care, while encouraging prevention and care coordination for those with chronic conditions. These efforts will help modernize the program and strengthen Medicare’s financial health, protecting both beneficiaries and taxpayers.

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act includes several key provisions that improve Medicare benefits and health care for seniors, including the following:

* All your health care decisions will be between you and your doctor.

* The bill will eliminate Medicare co-payments and deductibles for preventive services.

* Nothing in this legislation negatively affects VA or TRICARE benefits. These are federally-run insurance programs and, like Medicare, would meet the new insurance mandates. In addition, the bill has been amended to allow veterans and members of the armed service to obtain coverage through the Health Insurance Exchange if they choose, providing them even more healthcare options.

* This legislation does not affect your absolute right to life. Nothing in this bill forces you to choose an end-of-life plan. The AARP supports the provision in the bill which allows Medicare to pay for end-of-life consulting between an individual and their health care provider, if they choose to have one.

* Medicare Part D - Help for seniors with drug costs in the Part D donut hole. Each year, 5,200 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(Through a phase-out process beginning in 2011)

* This bill will not harm the relationship between you, your doctor, and Medicare. The changes to Medicare are on the provider side. Meaning they payment structure between Medicare and providers(hospitals, clinics, physicians) will be improved. The improvements to the payment system between Medicare and providers will result in better services and more covered benefits.

* Nothing in this bill rations health care. The bill defines MINIMUM benefits and standards that insurance companies must provide and prevents them from denying based on preexisting conditions. This does not affect Medicare, which is federal health insurance, and already meets all of these minimum benefits and standards.

* Medicare Advantage – The bill will not end your quality Medicare Advantage coverage. The bill will reward high quality Medicare Advantage plans that can demonstrate better outcome for its beneficiaries.

* Medicare Advantage plans will be ranked so you can know which plans perform the best.

As the debate moves forward, you can expect to receive more updates from my office on what healthcare reform will look like. Please contact my district offices and share your opinions and ideas. Thank you for your time and I look forward to continuing my service.

What are your thoughts on this?

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 12:50 PM

Originally posted by Lemon.Fresh
What are your thoughts on this?

My thoughts are the same on pretty much all information I've been receiving or have been reading about the health care: Don't believe anything until you research it yourself.

I 100% support health care reform because our current system is obviously broken. I'm not even against socialized medicine for all people as long as there is still an option for a private sector.

But I have been disheartened by the amount of disinformation from both sides. Instead of focusing on facts, it seems both sides are more interested in a smear campaign against the other or are only supporting which ever opinion their party supports. It's frustrating.

So I tried to look it up myself and will admit ignorance because the bill was very 'legal-speak' and I had difficulty understanding it. So that makes me depend on others explaining it to me. The problems arise because it's one bill, but two different interpretations. One gloom and doom and the other acting like it will be a miracle for the country.

So I'm frustrated and kind of stuck. It would be nice to really get to the bottom of things from an unbiased third party instead of the typical red/blue back and forth distortions. Instead what I've been trying to do is listen to the blue and listen to the red, then compare for truth as best as I can.

What would be nice if we had an ATS thread where we could collaborate together breaking down the bill. Very civil- no slander or propaganda. Then we could really dissect what's in it ourselves, bounce interpretations off each other, keep each other in check to guard against error, and get to the heart of it.

From what I've been able to understand so far is that there are some good things about the bill and some downright frightening things. But then after trying to hear the refutations from another side, I find myself back at square one because there is so much haggling over what is actually in it and what it actually means.

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 01:24 PM
reply to post by AshleyD

My thoughts as well

That is why I posted it

posted on Aug, 12 2009 @ 07:38 PM
reply to post by Lemon.Fresh

I cannot make heads or tails of this, if you would like to take a stab it it I would appericate your ideas.
COST-SHARING.—The term ‘‘cost-sharing’’
includes deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, and similar charges but does not include premiums or any network payment differential for covered services or spending for non-covered services.

Pg. 412
NO COST SHARING.—Limited English proficient
Medicare beneficiaries shall not have to pay cost-sharing
or co-pays for language services provided through this
demonstration program.

Pg. 28/29
(A) ANNUAL LIMITATION.—The cost-sharing incurred under the essential benefits package with respect to an individual (or family) fora year does not exceed the applicable level specified in subparagraph (B).
(B) APPLICABLE LEVEL.—The applicable
level specified in this subparagraph for Y1 is $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family.
Such levels shall be increased (rounded to the nearest $100) for each subsequent year by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (United States city average) 3 applicable to such year.

Next are just some things that bothered me, any comments would be welcome.


PREFERENCE.—In awarding grants or contracts under this section, the Secretary "shall give preference to entities that have a demonstrated" record of the following:

(1)Training the greatest percentage, or significantly improving the percentage, of health care professionals who provide primary care.

(2)Training individuals who are from "under represented minority groups" or disadvantaged back grounds.


pG 891

PROGRAMS.—In awarding grants and contracts under subsection (b)(2), the Secretary "shall give preference to entities that have a demonstrated" record of training:

‘‘(1) a high or significantly improved percentage of health care professionals who provide primary care;

‘‘(2) individuals who are from "under represented minority" groups or disadvantaged backgrounds.


pG 896
PREFERENCE.—In awarding grants or contracts under this section, the Secretary "shall give preference to entities that have a demonstrated" record of the following:

‘‘(1) Training the greatest percentage, or significantly improving the percentage, of oral health professionals who practice general, pediatric, or public health dentistry.
‘‘(2) Training individuals who are from "under represented minority groups" or disadvantaged back grounds.

pG 915/916
PREFERENCE.—In awarding grants or contracts under this section, the Secretary "shall give preference to entities that have a demonstrated" record of the following:

‘‘(1) Training the greatest percentage, or significantly improving the percentage, of public health professionals who serve in underserved communities.
‘‘(2) Training individuals who are from "under represented minority groups" or disadvantaged back grounds.

I have been studing this proposed bill for a while now there is a lot I understand and some things I don't but at this moment in time this is what is on my mind.

But if there is anything that I might be able to find or help with let me know.

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 10:42 AM
Gee, my congressman sent out the exact same op-ed and didn't even bother to change the details to his own district before he slapped his name on it!

Or is this your congressman too?

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 11:31 AM
reply to post by AshleyD

Socialist here too.

The reason it's BS in the bill is that very reason that it's unclear.

One of the powerhouses of US government is clarity in it's bills. Once that's gone, you have nothing stopping you from rampant government expansion.

I support the socialist method of simply paying doctors to do their job. I've explained the philosophy that no, government shouldn't be in the private sector, but your life should not be a private sector to begin with.

Bureaucrats and insurance companies are highways to failure. Pay the doctor to do his job and leave the government out of it. And inspector once a year to make sure no corruption is occurring is good enough.

How to pay for it? It costs 380 billion in medicare today. Eliminate that, the insurance companies, and all the other bureaucratic BS and you save billions. Paying directly to doctors will solve the problem. If we need any more money, we go energy independent and fix other sections of this decaying country.

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