Fair Health Insurance For All!
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All Americans deserve equal and fair access to affordable health insurance. Today, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has enabled more Americans access to insurance than ever before. In fact, the number of uninsured Americans has dropped more than 6 percent since 2013. Yet, the House, the Senate and President Trump want to completely replace the ACA or get rid of it (repeal it). What could that mean for you?
- Have A Pre-Existing Condition: You may not qualify for insurance or would have to pay a much higher premium.
- Earn A Lower Income: You may lose Medicaid coverage.
- Have A Lapse In Coverage: You may be penalized for the gap in coverage (longer than 2 months).
- Have Insurance Through Your Employer: Penalties for employer provided coverage may be dropped. They will no longer have to provide insurance. Your out of pocket costs will increase.
- Are A Senior: You may pay a higher price for insurance.
- Receive Medicaid or other Subsidies: Funding may be reduced significantly forcing you to pay for those services instead.
Completely replacing the ACA is not necessary. We need to keep the good parts and address what needs fixing. When your car has a check engine light on, do you take it the junkyard or do you take it to a repair shop? It's the same thing here: Take the ACA to the repair shop and not the junkyard.
Any solution should simplify and seek to reduce costs while maintaining and increasing benefits.
Addressing Health Care Costs:
Health insurance costs are still a challenge for many Americans and help is still needed there. Healthcare expenditures were projected to reach $3.2 trillion in 2015 - or about $10,000 per person (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2015).
So instead of looking to cut benefits, we must find other ways to cut expenses such as introducing "legitimate pricing" (full cost disclosure), which would result in an annual savings of 33% or $1 trillion. And that would be a win for everyone. There are many more in "A Health Insurance Roadmap" including terminating employer health insurance ($250 billion savings) and reducing fraud (ranging from $68 billion to $320 billion).
Please sign my petition to ask the Senate for Fair Health Insurance For All!
A Health Insurance Roadmap must be followed to provide a baseline of easy to understand and cohesive health insurance for all Americans. Then the next step is simplifying and standardizing all of the different types of health insurance out there. Details can all be found in A Health Insurance Roadmap.
The Senate needs to address these issues:
Expansion of Medicare to Everyone:
At some point all Americans go on Medicare either through age or disability. Currently 15% of Americans are on Medicare. The concept is simple: Medicare Part A is free and in place for most Americans (this includes hospital and facility care). Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act of 1995, all hospitals are required to treat individuals in need of emergency care. Medicare Part B, Preventative Services could be adjusted to match the ACA's Essential Benefits. Part D covers prescription drugs. Part C, Medicare Advantage allows private insurers to offer Medicare Parts A, B & D and is currently at 37% of new enrollees in Medicare and growing. Insurance companies also offer Medicare Supplement Plans.
Medicare is not going to go bankrupt. This is a common fallacy. The 2016 report of Medicare’s trustees finds that Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund will remain solvent — that is, able to pay 100 percent of the costs of the hospital insurance coverage that Medicare provides — through 2028. Even in 2028, when the HI trust fund is projected for exhaustion, incoming payroll taxes and other revenue will still be sufficient to pay 87 percent of Medicare hospital insurance costs. The share of costs covered by dedicated revenues will decline slowly to 79 percent in 2040 and then rise gradually to 86 percent in 2090. The Medicare hospital insurance program will not run out of all financial resources and cease to operate after 2028, as the “bankruptcy” term may suggest. Medicare Part B & Part D cannot go bankrupt due the way they are funded through premiums and the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust.
Medicaid Expansion Must Be Continued:
Medicaid is the largest insurer with more than 70 million beneficiaries. And more states are considering expansion (currently 31 states have already expanded Medicaid). A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2016, that looked at survey data for three states and found Medicaid expansion “was associated with significantly increased access to primary care,” as well as “fewer skipped medications due to cost,” among other factors.
It is important that no one is left behind because of bad luck. It is estimated that over 27% of Americans have pre-existing conditions and that 60% have a chronic medical condition. Why should those with chronic illnesses that occur through no fault of their own be penalized?
My son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes last year at the age of 11. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune virus, which happens randomly and for which there is no known clear cause. Type 1 Diabetes results in the Pancreas ceasing to work and create insulin. It is organ failure. Type 1 Diabetes is a 24/7 chronic illness that requires constant maintenance and expensive supplies. Even with the ACA, life is hard for many people with type 1 Diabetes as insurance companies make it difficult to get devices and supplies that allow them live. Under the AHCA, anyone with Type 1 Diabetes or other chronic illness or cancer history or heart issues would most likely not ever be able to get health insurance except possibly through an employer.
Please sign your name if you agree that, now more than ever, we must move the senate to introduce a "Fair Health Insurance For All".
The Bottom Line:
What we are talking about here is beyond a luxury; it is necessity and a quality of life issue. This is neither a game nor a question of political party, this a matter of life and death for real people who are in our lives.
As a community, our collective voices can make a difference. Sign the petition to Senator Lamar Alexander (and other key senators) then share it.
Thank you for taking the time to sign this petition to make sure that all Americans including you have Fair Health Care Insurance. We all deserve affordable health care.
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