Health care reform will put more decision making in the hands of patients and doctors. It will NOT enable the government to make individual treatment decisions.
The health reform legislation before Congress preserves choice and decision-making for patients and would improve the coordination of care for patients. Every proposal being considered would allow individuals to choose their own health plans, providers, and hospitals; none of the proposals would prevent patients and their doctors from choosing the best possible care.
THE REAL TRUTH: Health care reform will require insurance companies to offer a minimum level of benefits. It will NOT result in socialized medicine.
None of the major health reform proposals under consideration propose a government-run health care system in which the federal government is the single payer or provider of health insurance. Proposed legislation allows the government to set a standard level of covered benefits that all insurance companies must provide. This standard would establish a minimum on benefits but would not preclude insurance companies from offering additional benefits if they so chose.
Health care reform will expand Medicare benefits. It will NOT lead to euthanasia for senior citizens.
Health reform proposals look to expand Medicare benefits and reduce out-of-pocket costs for certain Medicare services. In fact, the House bill proposes to enhance Medicare benefits by closing the coverage gap for prescription drugs in the Medicare Part D program. The bills before Congress also would create a way to pay physicians for talking to patients about advanced care planning. Patients regularly consult now with their health providers to plan for end-of-life needs, such as advance directives and palliative care. Under the proposals before Congress, these consultations would continue to be voluntary, would not promote euthanasia (which is illegal in 48 states), and would allow physicians to get paid for the helpful information they already provide to patients.
The National Health Council is the only organization of its kind that brings together all segments of the health care community to provide a united voice for 133 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. Made up of 115 national health-related organizations, its core membership includes 50 of the nation’s leading patient advocacy groups. Other members include professional and member- ship associations, nonprofit organizations with an interest in health, and major pharmaceutical, medical device and bio- technology companies. The National Health Council brings together diverse stakeholders within the health community to work for health care that meets the personal needs and goals of people with chronic diseases and disabilities.
Learn more about the National Health Council at www.nationalhealthcouncil.org.