~by Rev. Linda Hanna Walling, Faithful Reform in Health Care
Truth is witness to the whole. One short sound-bite taken out of context — even if it’s a fact — does not necessarily represent the whole truth. We denounce the use of such sound-bites (from any party!) when they are intended to pervert truth for electoral gain. In the end, we acknowledge that a manipulation of facts to frighten and confuse vulnerable populations is just plain immoral.
Many people of faith have been guided by A Faith-Inspired Vision of Health Care as they have advocated for comprehensive and compassionate health care reform in the U.S. The statement envisions a society where all persons are afforded health, wholeness, and human dignity and a health care system that is inclusive, affordable, accessible, and accountable. Since health care reform became law on March 23, 2010, we already have made progress in working toward that vision.
VISION: An inclusive system of health care
- Children under age 19 can no longer be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
- Young adults up to age 26 can stay on parents’ policies that go into effect after 9/23/10, unless they are offered coverage at work.
VISION: An affordable system of health care
Senior adults are receiving rebate checks when they reach the gap (doughnut hole) in their prescription drug coverage.
- Key preventive care, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, pre-natal and new baby care will be covered without co-pays or deductibles in new plans after 9/23/10.
- Prior authorization cannot be required for emergency care; higher costs cannot be imposed for out-of-network emergency care in new plans after 9/23/10.
- Small businesses are receiving tax credits for providing health care benefits for their workers.
- 46 states are using resources under the new reform law to pass or strengthen premium rate review laws.
VISION: An accessible system of health care
- Women now have direct access to OB/GYNs without a referral.
- Enrollees in new plans after 9/23/10 must have a choice of primary care physicians.
- Lifetime limits on insurance payouts will be eliminated, and annual limits will be greatly restricted.
- Expanded funding for community health centers will increase access to medical care in under-served areas.
- Persons who have been uninsured for 6 months because of pre-existing conditions now have access to Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans
VISION: An accountable system of health care
- Insurance companies can no longer drop people from coverage because of illness.
- Members of Congress and their staff members will receive their health insurance from the same exchanges.
- Persons will have the right to external appeals of decisions made by insurers.
About the polling data:
Attack ads, debates, and press conferences feature the opposition saying that the American people do not want reform. If just one aspect of polling is considered, it is true that many folks do not like the “caricature” of reform that is based on mis-representation and misunderstandings. However, polling results on some of the benefits outlined above reflect a very different TRUTH about what the public thinks about reform.
There’s no question that the public is confused, in part because health care reform is confusing. But there are many benefits in reform that are crystal clear, and when those facts are known, who would want to give them up — either for themselves or their neighbors?
For more information:
Read What I Like about Health Care Reform from Faithful Reform in Health Care.
View the Kaiser Family Foundation YouToons video, Health Reform Hits Main Street, which highlights the benefits of health care reform.
Visit HealthCare.Gov, the website that was mandated by health care reform, which includes videos and fact sheets about health care reform. Be sure to note the new section with information about finding affordable insurance and/or health care services by zip code.
Read an editorial in the Philadelphia Daily News, The Down-Side of Health Care Repeal: Which of These Features Would Opponents Be Willing to Lose?
Review Kaiser Family Foundation’s Data Note, How Popular is Repealing Reform, a compilation of polling data.
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