WHAT JUST HAPPENED? IS IT OVER YET? Health Care. First Question: What is “health care” and what does it do? FACT: People die. They get injured, they get.
Published byModified over 4 years ago
Presentation on theme: "WHAT JUST HAPPENED? IS IT OVER YET? Health Care. First Question: What is “health care” and what does it do? FACT: People die. They get injured, they get."— Presentation transcript:
First Question: What is “health care” and what does it do? FACT: People die. They get injured, they get sick. Even if you live a healthy life, you may be struck by bad health. Health insurance is designed to mitigate risk—you may not need it, but you pay for it in case you do. There are about 46 million Americans without health insurance. Which means: If any of these people get sick or need medical care, either they can’t get it or they go to hospitals that provide free care. These hospitals charge state governments, which pay them through tax revenue.
Second Question: Do we already have some form of government health care or insurance? Yes. Three kinds: Social Security: founded in 1935, this is the term for several programs that provide social benefits. Money is withdrawn from people’s paychecks, and you get this money back, most commonly, after age 65. Medicare: a social insurance program that provides health insurance coverage to people who are retired and may be younger than 65. Medicaid: the health program for eligible individuals and families with low incomes and resources.
Third Question: What is this “health care bill,” anyway? BASIC ELEMENTS: coverage to an additional 32 million Americans over the next decade by expanding Medicaid eligibility and creating state-run insurance exchanges and federal subsidies for lower-income families who lack access to employer-provided coverage. All Americans would be required to obtain insurance or face an annual penalty of up to $695; employers could face penalties for not offering affordable coverage. In exchange for the new business, private insurers would be subject to an array of rules, including a ban on the practice of denying coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions and a requirement that adult children be permitted to stay on their parents' policies until age 26. To cover the cost of those changes, the compromise would impose a 3.8 percent Medicare tax for wealthy taxpayers. And it would slice an additional $60 billion from Medicare, with the privately run program known as Medicare Advantage targeted for deep cuts, bringing the total reduction in projected spending to more than $500 billion over the next decade. Most of these elements won’t kick in until 2014. What happens right now: ban on insurance industry practices such as dropping people from coverage when they get sick or limiting lifetime benefits. Private insurers would also be required to fully cover preventive care without deductibles or co-payments.
Fourth Question: What are the costs? Total cost: $940 billion Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says it will reduce deficits by about $138 billion over next 10 years, and about $1.2 trillion in the decade after that.
Fourth Question: So…is it over yet? Not quite. The Senate passed their own version of health care reform last year. Senate Democrats now have to accept the House version of the bill, plus some additional “fixes” (ex., changing how much doctors may be paid for treating patients on Medicare). They have promised to do so. That will probably happen within a week.
What would Jefferson say? What would Hamilton say?
What do YOU say? Is health care an essential right? When Jefferson wrote “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” Was he talking, also, about affordable health care?