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