Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Forum on Health Care Reform

Democratic Forum on Health Care Reform

What's the real story? Come find out.

Nationally Recognized Authority on Heath Care Law and Policy
Timothy Jost will conduct our Forum

Congress is in the midst of perhaps its greatest undertaking of our generation, reforming our health care system. Our health care system as it currently exists is unsustainable—fifty million Americans are uninsured and tens of thousands more are losing their insurance every week. Health care expenditures, now at 17.6% of GDP, are expected to be over 20% in ten years. Ever more insured Americans are facing bankruptcy as out-of-pocket expenses continue to climb.

All three House committees with jurisdiction over health care have reported out reform legislation, as has one of the two Senate committees. The legislation they are considering would cover 97% of the U.S. population and could restrain the growth in health care costs. Congress is now in its August recess, and whether or not we will get health care reform depends on what our representatives hear from us during the next month.

Polls show that Americans are confused. They understand our health care system is broken and needs to be fixed. Many Americans profess opposition to the solutions proposed by President Obama or Congress, but at the same time agree with those solutions when the proposals are described to them. Most Americans are also concerned that health care reform will help other people but that they themselves may be worse off under reform.

If you want to hear what Congress is up to in health care reform, if you have questions or comments about reform, if you would like straight answers to the complicated questions reform raises, and, most importantly, if you want to know what you can do to help reform efforts, come to the Rockingham County Democrat’s Health Care Forum, Thursday August 27, at 7:00pm, Board of Supervisors Meeting Room, 20 East Gay St., Harrisonburg, VA.

The discussion will be led by Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, Washington and Lee University Professor, author of over one hundred books and articles on health law and policy, who has been closely following legislative developments throughout this legislative session.

Democratic Forum on Health Care Reform

What's the real story? Come find out.

Rockingham County Democratic Committee
Thursday, August 27, 2009
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Rockingham Co Administration Building: Board of Supervisors Meeting Room
20 East Gay Street
Harrisonburg, VA


Democratic Forum on Health Care Reform Facebook Event


Anonymous said...

"The legislation they are considering would cover 97% of the U.S. population and could restrain the growth in health care costs."

Please explain how the legislation will 'restrain the growth in health care costs'?

Rockdem said...

Why don't you come to the meeting and ask?

Anonymous said...

I have better things to do. I thought, though, since you're pushing this reform you'd be able to enlighten me on how it will, as you said, rein in the growth of health care costs.

Since you said it I assume you know how it will. So, I'm genuinely interested in hearing you back that up by explaining how the legislation itself or certain provisions will accomplish that. As it is, you ought to be well aware that people to tend to use a lot more health care services when they have insurance. So, how does insuring tens of millions more through a gov't option, likely leading to increased use of medical services, lower the cost of those services?

Also, as an aside, if lowered costs are indeed one of the primary goals here, why did the admin apparently negotiate a deal with Big Drug wherein they capped the pharmaceutical contribution to savings at $80 Billion in exchange for $150 million in advertising from the industry in support of this plan? Aren't prescription drug costs high, as well?

Anonymous said...

You have better things to do? Like what? Here you have the opportunity to listen and ask questions and really learn how things will work, and not work, but you don't have time?
I think you don't want to know anything other than what you want to know.
You have a chance to learn, but you just say no.
Dick Cheney had better things to do than go to Viet Nam.

Anonymous said...

"You have better things to do? Like what? Here you have the opportunity to listen and ask questions and really learn how things will work, and not work, but you don't have time?"

Like what? Try a wedding rehearsal that very evening. Sorry, but that's kinda important too. This blog is an opportunity to listen, ask questions, and learn, is it not? All I did was ask RockDem how it will restrain the growth in costs, as he said...if he said that he must know how it will, so what's wrong with asking? Am I not supposed to ask someone to explain how something they said will work?

And how am I saying "no" to a chance to learn when I'm asking for more information on that aspect?

Amanda E. said...

Well Anonymous #1,

People who are uninsured are left with very few treatment options when they are sick and frequently have to resort to the emergency room. It is much more expensive to go to the emergency room where they are equipped for triage, than to get preventative or wellness care. Uninsured people also pay sticker price for health care while insured people have prices negotiated for them by the insurance provider. The public option will negotiate prices for services too, without having to pad the premiums and deductibles with profits for shareholders. So that is the macro level.

For-profit health insurance companies have one primary goal, the annual profits report, which affects health care costs on the micro-level. Profit causes companies to write policies with extra fine print including life time caps on payouts for certain ailments, ridiculous paperwork labyrinths, and other dishonest practices so that they don't have to pay out a claim. This leads to people, like my father being faced with tens of thousands of dollars in health care bills b/c he didn't die from his first battle with melanoma. 60% of people who file for bankruptcy b/c of medical bills HAVE private insurance.

The public option keeps people from being dumped or bamboozled in the health insurance market. There will be growing pains for sure since only 2% of recent medical grads plan to go into family practice. But growing pains should be the reason for maintaining the dishonest and ruthless status quo.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Amanda for the answer...I was beginning to think people were unwilling or worse, unable, to provide one.

There are counterarguments to what you said...for example, there are studies that suggest the increased utilization of most preventive care services actually increase costs overall. But, for the sake of argument lets say I accept everything you said at face value. What gives you confidence the gov't will run this RIGHT and these plans before Congress are the right approach?

I've heard it said that we can't NOT do something, that anything would be better than the status quo. Is that really true?

Rockdem said...

Anon if you have a couple of questions you'd like asked of our guest let me know and I'll see that they're addressed.