Know The Facts on Health Care Reform

It’s no coincidence seven of the top 20 search terms on Google in the past hour relate to the health care reform bill passed last night by the U.S. Congress. Plenty of Americans have feelings about the bill’s passing, but in reality, few understand what it means for them.

Already, there’s a wave of opposition that threatens a single-term presidency for Barack Obama, but it seems silly his efficacy as our leader would be judged on this one bill which won’t entirely take hold until 2014 — two years after the next presidential election.

Here’s what I mean to say: People want to be really, really passionate about health care reform without taking the time to know what it means. Health, I realize, is a very personal issue, but reform can only be looked at through a broader lens. This will provide 32 million previously uninsured Americans with coverage. This means children will no longer be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions. This means college graduates entering the worst job market in decades could still have coverage under their parents’ plan. This means cheaper prescription drugs for Americans.

Stop me if all of these things sound too good. I’d hate to sway your opinion. Besides, it’s my opinion that legislation is never as good as we want it to be or as bad as we fear it might be.

I’m avoiding the soap box today and encouraging each of you to read up on the health care reform bill. This is arguably one of the most important pieces of legislation in a generation and you won’t go long today without hearing a heated debate about it. It’s important you know the facts, and these come from the most unbiased sources I could think of:

From NPR: What Are The Immediate Effects Of Health Bill Passing?

From BBC: Q&A: US healthcare reform

From Toronto Globe and Mail: Obama staked it all on health care — now he’s assured of his legacy

NOTE: If you’ve read any interesting articles from other unbiased sources, please send them this way.

In the past 24 hours, I’ve observed plenty of unrequited adulation and vitriol on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve even been hooked into a few exchanges. This is just one of those topics where passions run high, sometimes without justification, often without constructive dialogue. It seems most of my friends and colleagues working or planning on working in the health sector are virulently opposed to reform. Those of my friends who support seem to be, well, Democrats.

You know I love all of you, but if you’re going to be so embolden to posture an opinion, please be so kind (to yourself and others) to make that opinion an informed one. Anyone can yell. Anyone can come up with a dozen clever ways of saying “I disagree, here’s why you’re wrong.”

All I mean to say, really, is be sure of why it is you support or oppose this bill. I dare you to step away from the partisan implications and come away with an opinion that’s not informed by your voting record alone.

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7 thoughts on “Know The Facts on Health Care Reform

  1. “This will provide 32 million previously uninsured Americans with coverage. “

    Not precisely. We already have a Medicaid system in this country. Most of those currently uninsured are not poor. Some only need a little help. Millions more are uninsured because they’re healthy enough that they made the choice to spend their money on a better car or home. (Free will is not always pretty.)

    So, to put it more accurately, this bill will force millions of uninsured Americans to purchase health coverage.

  2. Andrew, well done. You could have been like every other blogger in the country and spouted your opinion on why the bill is good or bad. Instead, you try to “show people the door” to the information and let them form an educated opinion.

    As a former newsman, it’s blown me away how many people I’ve heard dispute this bill in the last couple weeks but be completely misinformed because they only get their information from viral emails. The myths coming from these debates were usually so off the wall or so partisan that I wouldn’t even engage because I knew it would be an uphill battle with no small victories.

    Hopefully people are actually doing their homework today and realizing this bill won’t be nearly as great or terrible as they thought it would be. But that is democracy, people. To govern, two forms of ideology must compromise otherwise nothing gets done.

  3. If anyone wants to hear some unbiased health care coverage, they should watch Glen Beck tonight. I hear he is gonna do the “tree of evil” map on his chalk board again!

  4. I work in for a healthcare organization in the marketing/pr department, not an actual clinical role. My only beef with a government-run health insurance is if they are going to run it like Medicare and Medicaid which, to my knowledge, is nothing more than unfair business practice. By working in for a “rural hospital” (Mankato), we are only reimbursed about 90% (I think it’s even less now with new Minnesota legislation last year) of costs on M&M patients. The government says they are only paying 90% of the service and that’s it. We lose money and need to make up costs elsewhere, usually by cutting jobs or reducing hours.

    Now, on the flip side, the most expensive portion of a hospital visit is uninsured ED visits. Will requiring health insurance help stem these costs? I hope so, because we are all paying for them now anyways.

    My only other problem with healthcare reform is do we have culture and infrastructure to sustain it.

    Culture: Young people would rather by an iphone, ipad, irun, itouch gadget than health insurance. People in general would rather by anything at all other than health insurance. Americans don’t see it as a priority. Whether this is because of the current structure of insurance in this country or consumerism, I don’t know.

    Infrastructure: So 32 million more Americans have health insurance. Currently, we don’t have enough family physicians to support them all. A friend of mine is going to be a family physician. I call her, and others in her specialty, The Poor Doctors. With mounting med school debt, out of necessisity, most grads seek out a more lucrative profession in medicine.

    That’s my $0.02. I still want the reform because I think the good outweighs the bad. I’ve had to type this inbetween looking busy at work. So if it doesn’t make sense, sorry. And I suck at spelling.

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