I am tired of misinformation so I thought I'd share a resource

Monday, August 17, 2009

Got this today from a friend and am passing it on.

Dear Friend,

This is probably one of the longest emails I’ve ever sent, but it
could be the most important.

Across the country we are seeing vigorous debate about health
insurance reform. Unfortunately, some of the old tactics we know so
well are back — even the viral emails that fly unchecked and under the
radar, spreading all sorts of lies and distortions.

As President Obama said at the town hall in New Hampshire, “where we
do disagree, let's disagree over things that are real, not these wild
misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that's
actually been proposed.”

So let’s start a chain email of our own. At the end of my email,
you’ll find a lot of information about health insurance reform,
distilled into 8 ways reform provides security and stability to those
with or without coverage, 8 common myths about reform and 8 reasons we
need health insurance reform now.

Right now, someone you know probably has a question about reform that
could be answered by what’s below. So what are you waiting for?
Forward this email.


David Axelrod
Senior Adviser to the President

P.S. We launched
k this week to knock
down the rumors and lies that are floating around the internet. You
can find the information below, and much more, there. For example,
we've just added a video of Nancy-Ann DeParle from our Health Reform
Office tackling a viral email head on. Check it out:

8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage

Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies
will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical

Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays:
Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they
can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.

Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully
cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you
prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for

Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will
be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for
those who become seriously ill.

Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited
from charging you more because of your gender.

Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be
prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you

Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be
eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.

Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to
renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in
full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because
someone became sick.

Learn more and get details:

8 common myths about health insurance reform

Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It’s a myth that
reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to
"rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of
rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.

We can’t afford reform: It's the status quo we can't afford. It’s a
myth that reform will bust the budget. To the contrary, the President
has identified ways to pay for the vast majority of the up-front costs
by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse within existing government health
programs; ending big subsidies to insurance companies; and increasing
efficiency with such steps as coordinating care and streamlining
paperwork. In the long term, reform can help bring down costs that
will otherwise lead to a fiscal crisis.

Reform would encourage "euthanasia": It does not. It’s a malicious
myth that reform would encourage or even require euthanasia for
seniors. For seniors who want to consult with their family and
physicians about end-of life decisions, reform will help to cover
these voluntary, private consultations for those who want help with
these personal and difficult family decisions.

Vets' health care is safe and sound: It’s a myth that health insurance
reform will affect veterans' access to the care they get now. To the
contrary, the President's budget significantly expands coverage under
the VA, extending care to 500,000 more veterans who were previously
excluded. The VA Healthcare system will continue to be available for
all eligible veterans.

Reform will benefit small business - not burden it: It’s a myth that
health insurance reform will hurt small businesses. To the contrary,
reform will ease the burdens on small businesses, provide tax credits
to help them pay for employee coverage and help level the playing
field with big firms who pay much less to cover their employees on

Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform: It’s myth that Health
Insurance Reform would be financed by cutting Medicare benefits. To
the contrary, reform will improve the long-term financial health of
Medicare, ensure better coordination, eliminate waste and unnecessary
subsidies to insurance companies, and help to close the Medicare
"doughnut" hole to make prescription drugs more affordable for

You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you
out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To
the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.

No, government will not do anything with your bank account: It is an
absurd myth that government will be in charge of your bank accounts.
Health insurance reform will simplify administration, making it easier
and more convenient for you to pay bills in a method that you choose.
Just like paying a phone bill or a utility bill, you can pay by
traditional check, or by a direct electronic payment. And forms will
be standardized so they will be easier to understand. The choice is up
to you – and the same rules of privacy will apply as they do for all
other electronic payments that people make.

Learn more and get details:

8 Reasons We Need Health Insurance Reform Now

Coverage Denied to Millions: A recent national survey estimated that
12.6 million non-elderly adults – 36 percent of those who tried to
purchase health insurance directly from an insurance company in the
individual insurance market – were in fact discriminated against
because of a pre-existing condition in the previous three years or
dropped from coverage when they became seriously ill. Learn more:

Less Care for More Costs: With each passing year, Americans are paying
more for health care coverage. Employer-sponsored health insurance
premiums have nearly doubled since 2000, a rate three times faster
than wages. In 2008, the average premium for a family plan purchased
through an employer was $12,680, nearly the annual earnings of a
full-time minimum wage job. Americans pay more than ever for health
insurance, but get less coverage. Learn more:

Roadblocks to Care for Women: Women’s reproductive health requires
more regular contact with health care providers, including yearly pap
smears, mammograms, and obstetric care. Women are also more likely to
report fair or poor health than men (9.5% versus 9.0%). While rates of
chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are
similar to men, women are twice as likely to suffer from headaches and
are more likely to experience joint, back or neck pain. These chronic
conditions often require regular and frequent treatment and follow-up
care. Learn more:

Hard Times in the Heartland: Throughout rural America, there are
nearly 50 million people who face challenges in accessing health care.
The past several decades have consistently shown higher rates of
poverty, mortality, uninsurance, and limited access to a primary
health care provider in rural areas. With the recent economic
downturn, there is potential for an increase in many of the health
disparities and access concerns that are already elevated in rural
communities. Learn more:

Small Businesses Struggle to Provide Health Coverage: Nearly one-third
of the uninsured – 13 million people – are employees of firms with
less than 100 workers. From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of
non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell
from 66% to 61%. Much of this decline stems from small business. The
percentage of small businesses offering coverage dropped from 68% to
59%, while large firms held stable at 99%. About a third of such
workers in firms with fewer than 50 employees obtain insurance through
a spouse. Learn more:

The Tragedies are Personal: Half of all personal bankruptcies are at
least partly the result of medical expenses. The typical elderly
couple may have to save nearly $300,000 to pay for health costs not
covered by Medicare alone. Learn more:

Diminishing Access to Care: From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of
non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell
from 66% to 61%. An estimated 87 million people - one in every three
Americans under the age of 65 - were uninsured at some point in 2007
and 2008. More than 80% of the uninsured are in working families.
Learn more:

The Trends are Troubling: Without reform, health care costs will
continue to skyrocket unabated, putting unbearable strain on families,
businesses, and state and federal government budgets. Perhaps the most
visible sign of the need for health care reform is the 46 million
Americans currently without health insurance - projections suggest
that this number will rise to about 72 million in 2040 in the absence
of reform. Learn more:

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for good information.
    3710 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Thanks for sharing this with us!!!
    3710 days ago
    I too believe we need to look out for 'We, the People' which is why I posted this.
    My personal preference is to work with an eye on prevention instead of reaction.
    SparkPeople works both with action and prevention - that's why I love this website.
    I wonder if it is plausible to expect our government, regardless of party, to do the same? I sure hope so.
    Thanks for your comment, Sharon.

    3710 days ago
  • 11-RENEWAL-20
    We need to study both sides to the best of our ability and not rely too much on either "side" to tell us what it all means for our future health care. Time will tell who is looking out for 'we the people' and, personally, I just hope someone is...regardless of their party affiliation. Good health is something we must all work for in our own personal way, and many of us are doing it here at SP. Good luck...Sharon
    3710 days ago
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