Saturday, March 27, 2010

Universal Health Care

Universal Health Care

Why in the world that the words universal health care would upset anyone is beyond me. Oh there are rumors spread by Fox and on CNN and by Republicans opposed to health care for everyone that would make a bad fiction novel. There were no death panels. There was not any cutting off of grandpa and grandma’s social security. There was no communist plot to take over health care. There was no health care invented by President Obama to take government control of our health care.
Republican and Democratic presidents have said that we needed it.

The truth is the idea of giving all people health care, since we are way down on the list for people dying needlessly and way up on the list for cost according to the World health organization (I know they call the W.H.O. names for publishing the statistics that are accurate.) Now I have seen articles decrying the hostile take over (of duly elected members of the congress and senate) and how it’s being shoved down our throats. And I am grateful for the debate. At least the people writing with some rational mind are not threatening senators and congressmen and women, breaking windows out, call them faggot and n-words like the Tea Party goers are. Or maybe they are better controlled Tea Partiers.

The name Tea Party, brings to my mind the Boston Tea Party where British subjects rebelled against there government (who illegally invaded and took Native American’s lands by force) and then they dressed up like native peoples to commit acts of vandalism in protest. Then came their violent revolution where a lot of people died including Native American people. Why did they dress up like native peoples? To put the blame for their evil acts on Native peoples like they have been falsely attributing violent acts to Native peoples while they perpetuated violent acts against them. And so now we have those who want to violently overthrow a duly elected government because they don’t agree with its policies on health care. That’s a little over the top don’t you think? Let’s take a look at the benefits of what got voted in this time.

Besides Indian health Care finally getting some real funding and improvements, we see the following will happen immediately.

Let's start with how health insurance reform will expand and strengthen coverage:
• This year, children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance coverage. Once the new health insurance exchanges begin in the coming years, pre-existing condition discrimination will become a thing of the past for everyone.
• This year, health care plans will allow young people to remain on their parents' insurance policy up until their 26th birthday.
• This year, insurance companies will be banned from dropping people from coverage when they get sick, and they will be banned from implementing lifetime caps on coverage. This year, restrictive annual limits on coverage will be banned for certain plans. Under health insurance reform, Americans will be ensured access to the care they need.
• This year, adults who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will have access to affordable insurance through a temporary subsidized high-risk pool.
• In the next fiscal year, the bill increases funding for community health centers, so they can treat nearly double the number of patients over the next five years.
• This year, we'll also establish an independent commission to advise on how best to build the health care workforce and increase the number of nurses, doctors and other professionals to meet our country's needs. Going forward, we will provide $1.5 billion in funding to support the next generation of doctors, nurses and other primary care practitioners -- on top of a $500 million investment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Health insurance reform will also curb some of the worst insurance industry practices and strengthen consumer protections:
• This year, this bill creates a new, independent appeals process that ensures consumers in new private plans have access to an effective process to appeal decisions made by their insurer.
• This year, discrimination based on salary will be outlawed. New group health plans will be prohibited from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that discriminate in favor of higher-wage employees.
• Beginning this fiscal year, this bill provides funding to states to help establish offices of health insurance consumer assistance in order to help individuals in the process of filing complaints or appeals against insurance companies.
• Starting January 1, 2011, insurers in the individual and small group market will be required to spend 80 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Insurers in the large group market will be required to spend 85 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Any insurers who don't meet those thresholds will be required to provide rebates to their policyholders.
• Starting in 2011, this bill helps states require insurance companies to submit justification for requested premium increases. Any company with excessive or unjustified premium increases may not be able to participate in the new health insurance exchanges.
Reform immediately begins to lower health care costs for American families and small businesses:
• This year, small businesses that choose to offer coverage will begin to receive tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums to help make employee coverage more affordable.
• This year, new private plans will be required to provide free preventive care: no co-payments and no deductibles for preventive services. And beginning January 1, 2011, Medicare will do the same.
• This year, this bill will provide help for early retirees by creating a temporary re-insurance program to help offset the costs of expensive premiums for employers and retirees age 55-64.
• This year, this bill starts to close the Medicare Part D 'donut hole' by providing a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the gap in prescription drug coverage. And beginning in 2011, the bill institutes a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the 'donut hole.'

You know the way that this president has stood up to the crazies outside and inside congress and has tried to help Native peoples lives improve, we might just thank him instead of throwing so much hate around because this plan will help Republicans to have better health care also. I’m kinda tired of hate. How ‘bout you?

Dave Kitchen
Townsend, Ga.

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