Health Care Myths Debunked
Let’s put some of the myths about the health care plan into perspective. Media Matters checked the facts.
Myth: Health care reform will provide health insurance to illegal immigrants.
Fact: No federal benefits go to those who are not legally in the United States.
House Bill: “No Federal Payment for Undocumented Aliens.” According to America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, Page 143, Line 3, Section 246: “No Federal Payment for Undocumented Aliens. Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.” [America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009]
Myth: A government-run plan will encourage seniors to choose an early death.
Fact: Counseling will be offered to seniors on a voluntary basis.
“Sec. 1233 of the bill, labeled ‘Advance Care Planning Consultation’ details how the bill would, for the first time, require Medicare to cover the cost of end-of-life counseling sessions. According to the bill, ‘such consultation shall include the following: An explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to; an explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses; an explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.'” [PolitiFact.com, 7/16/09]
MYTH: The government-run plan will allow taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.
Fact: Private insurance companies decide whether or not to cover abortions and consumers can choose a plan in line with their own beliefs.
Abortion Is Not Mandated In The Reform Legislation. According to Planned Parenthood: “Nothing in any of the current health care reform bills mandates abortion coverage – or any other type of medical procedure – in the Exchange. Abortion is not mandated any more than any other medical procedure in health care reform.” [PlannedParenthood.org, accessed 7/30/09]
MYTH: We don’t need an overhaul of health care.
Fact:…there are millions of people who can’t get health insurance. And those people cost you, and everyone else with insurance, more because they often can’t pay for the care they do receive. Your premiums go up each year in part to help cover the cost of those who can’t afford to go to the doctor and end up having to go to the emergency room instead.
MYTH: A public option will result in Americans being forced out of their current plans.
Fact: House Bill Allows For Continuation Of Current Coverage. According to PolitiFact.com: “The House bill allows for existing policies to be grandfathered in, so that people who currently have individual health insurance policies will not lose coverage.” [PolitiFact.com, 7/22/09]
MYTH: A government option will result in health care rationing for Americans.
Fact: Health care is already rationed by insurance companies.
Private insurance companies ration care to Americans every single day. They reject applications based on pre-existing conditions and family history. They rescind coverage after an illness has been diagnosed. Their premiums and deductibles are so high that millions of Americans are forced to delay care or declare bankruptcy due to high costs.
MYTH: Government-run health care will put a bureaucrat between you and your doctor.
Fact: There is already a bureaucrat between you and your doctor. It’s called the insurance company.
The private health insurance industry bureaucrats are standing between you and your doctor right now. They hire outside firms to determine how much you might cost them. Private insurance companies make decisions on who does and does not get health care based solely on how much they value your life.
MYTH: A government option will force private insurance companies out of business.
Fact: It will provide competition for insurance companies where there is currently a lack of competition.
The introduction of more competition in the health insurance market will not put private companies out of business – it will force them, in true free-market style, to meet the demands of consumers and to start providing quality coverage to all Americans.
Senate Democrats Have Proposed That Public Health Care Should “Comply With All The Rules And Standards That Apply To Private Insurance” To Ensure That Private Insurance Can Compete. According to the New York Times: “In an effort to defuse the most explosive issue in the debate over comprehensive health care legislation, a top Senate Democrat has proposed that any new government-run insurance program comply with all the rules and standards that apply to private insurance. The proposal was made Monday by Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, in a bid to address fears that a public program would drive private insurers from the market.” [New York Times, 5/5/09]
MYTH: An employer mandate will hurt small businesses.
Fact: Recently, the two Senate Committees currently working on the health care bill removed the mandate for employers to provide health insurance coverage to their employees. And the House bill has specific provisions to exclude very small businesses from the mandate as well as providing a simple description for what would occur if the employer did not provide health coverage.
MYTH: Democrats in Congress keep trumpeting the benefits of a public option, but refuse to accept the plan for themselves and their families.
Fact: Senate HELP Committee Passed Amendment To “Require Members Of Congress To Enroll In The Government-Run Public Plan.” According to Congressional Quarterly, “the panel adopted by 12-11 an amendment by Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that would require members of Congress to enroll in the government-run public plan created by the legislation. ‘We should take the lead, sacrifice and demonstrate our faith on how good we think this will be, Coburn said.” [Congressional Quarterly, 7/14/09]Click here for reuse options!
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