Opponents of health reform have released a “Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights” – however, their misinformation and misconceptions make this document a farce. If they want to protect Medicare and our nation’s seniors for years to come, then they should actually read the bill. Reform will ensure Medicare is not bankrupt by 2020 and will be around for years to come for our nation’s seniors. Even the AARP agrees that the best way to improve Medicare is to support reform.
Let me take you point by point.
PROTECT MEDICARE AND NOT CUT IT IN THE NAME OF HEALTH CARE REFORM.
Health care reform plans will NOT reduce Medicare benefits. Health reform improves Medicare by decreasing the cost of prescription drugs by closing the “doughnut hole” in drug coverage. The proposed health reform bill also includes investments in Chronic Disease Management and Care Coordination — which is exactly the type of care most seniors need. Reform includes savings from Medicare that address billions of dollars in wasteful overpayments to private insurance companies and eliminating fraud and abuse.
PREVENT GOVERNMENT FROM INTERFERING WITH END-OF-LIFE CARE DISCUSSIONS.
Accusations of "death panels" and forced euthanasia are simply lies. Health reform allows Medicare to reimburse physicians if they spend time counseling their patients about care options for older Americans—important discussions that happen anyway like creating a living will or advance directives to make sure patient’s wishes are honored. There would no interfering with the conversations, simply reimbursing physicians for their time spent on these crucial conversations.
PROHIBIT GOVERNMENT FROM GETTING BETWEEN SENIORS AND THEIR DOCTORS
Health reform makes major investments in the medical workforce to make sure there are enough doctors by training more primary care physicians, increase payments for primary care physicians, and increase loan forgiveness for doctors (any type of doctor) for practicing in a rural and underserved area. There will also be an expansion of the National Health Service Corps.
PROHIBIT EFFORTS TO RATION HEALTH CARE BASED ON AGE
There is absolutely no rationing of health care based on age ANYWHERE in proposed reform legislation. Health reform legislation actually INCREASES patients' access to care. There will be no co-payments for preventive care services, there are subsidies for middle class Americans to purchase health insurance, and there is more regulation and transparency in the insurance market.
The Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research within the HHS Department's Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) will grant funding to research outcomes, effectiveness, and appropriateness of health care services and procedures. However, there are important amendments that prohibit the federal government from using such research to deny or ration care.
ENSURE SENIORS CAN KEEP THEIR CURRENT COVERAGE
Since the writer of this bill of right can be blatantly repetitive in their document (because I imagine it is hard to make new points with the same old misinformation)… I guess I can also be repetitive on this blog. Health care reform plans will not reduce Medicare benefits. Health reform improves Medicare by decreasing the cost of prescription drugs by closing the “doughnut hole” in drug coverage. The proposed health reform bill also includes investments in Chronic Disease Management and Care Coordination — which is exactly the type of care most seniors need. Reform includes savings from Medicare that cut billions of dollars in over-payments to private insurance companies and eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse.