Posts Tagged ‘congress’
Aug 12th, 2010 | by
On behalf of the 844,000 Medicaid consumers we serve, we thank you, Congress, for extending $16 billion in enhanced Medicaid funding to assist states who are experiencing the worst budget shortfalls in history. Our government did what’s right and necessary for people who are desperate for help today.
Nearly 3.3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid in June 2009 when compared to June 2008 (based on Kaiser Commission on Medicaid) and states are financially strapped – three-fifths of them have expressed a critical need for assistance with its Medicaid programs. Plus, many families continue to feel the burden of the Great Recession as demonstrated by the U.S. unemployment rate of 9.7% (June 2010). It is our obligation as a country that believes in providing opportunity for all to take care of those that need help. And that’s what Congress did this week by a vote of 247 to 161.
Again, thank you, Congress for leading our nation out of the Great Recession.
Mar 23rd, 2010 | by
On behalf of the 15 million Americans who will be eligible for Medicaid as a result of health care reform…we thank you.
On behalf of the children that need health care to support every possible opportunity for a successful and productive life…we thank you.
On behalf of Americans who must choose between buying food and getting health care…we thank you.
On behalf of the senior citizens who are wondering how to maintain their health on a modest budget…we thank you.
Despite the contentious year-long debate, Congress has done what’s right for the American people. Making health care a right – not a privilege – is a fundamental element that has been sorely missing from the ideals of our nation…until now!
Was this the best possible outcome? Probably not.
Does the new legislation fix every problem that ails the current health care system? No, not really.
But it is definitely a start. We elected our leadership to do what is best for the American people given the challenges our country is currently facing. Right now, what is best has arrived in the form of a new and improved health care system that will turn away no one; that will take care of our children; and most importantly, that is in reach to all Americans.
- Expansion of Medicaid to everyone (under age 65) below 133% of the Federal Poverty Level by 2014– removing categorical eligibility which currently forces many individuals in poverty to go uninsured.
- Creation of state-based health exchanges through which individuals can purchase coverage, with premium and cost-sharing credits available to individuals and families with incomes between 133 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level, or $14,404 to $43,320 for individuals and $29,326 to $88,200 for a family of four.
- An individual mandate for all to ensure all Americans participate in the insurance risk pool resulting in lower cost coverage options for all. Requires insurers to cover those with pre-existing conditions, removes lifetime limits, prohibits rescission of coverage and mandates prevention services be covered at 100 percent.
- Equalization of treatment of managed care and fee-for-service under the Medicaid drug rebate program.
- Closure of the Medicare prescription drug “doughnut hole” by 2020.
- Reauthorization of the Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan program.
- Improved coordination for Medicare and Medicaid dual-eligibles.
Each of these provisions propels our country into a new era in health care for which we should embrace and build upon. There are many that vow to fight the passing of this bill, and that’s to be expected. But we should applaud all of our policymakers for remembering why and how this nation was created…to be a land of opportunity, of freedom, and of equality. Thank you, Congress, for doing what’s right for all people.
Article Tagscongress • cost of health care • drug rebate program • Federal Poverty Leve • fee-for-service • health care costs • health care exchange • health care reform • health insurance • individual mandate • managed care • Medicaid • Medicare • Medicare Advantage • michigan medicaid eligibility • ohio medicaid eligibility • poverty level • state based health exchanges
Feb 11th, 2010 | by
We all hear “Presidents Day” and think “Washington and Lincoln.” Banks and post offices are closed and for some, another well deserved federal holiday. But that’s just habit.
This year, we might do well to remember another group of presidents–those who have done their best to establish a better health care system for the nation. Every president for the past 75 years has been part of the struggle, yet we still have a system that not only bankrupts individual citizens without regard, it decimates state budgets and paralyzes the federal government from making substantive improvements to the nation’s economy.
While Lyndon Johnson gets much of the credit for getting Medicare and Medicaid passed into law, the true hero of Medicare was John F. Kennedy, who worked, negotiated, and hammered out a solution that would help Americans – and actually found a way to get it approved by Congress.
Medicare has worked fairly well for fifty years—but at the time, the same doubts were voiced that we are hearing today—the bill’s imperfections were too great. At a rally in New York to support health care for the elderly, Kennedy confronted the question: “We’ve got great unfinished business in this country,” he said, “and while this bill does not solve our problems in this area, I do not believe it is a valid argument to say ‘This bill isn’t going to do the job.’ It will not, but it will do part of it.”
The comprehensive health care reform we need today is even more critical than when Kennedy spoke those words in 1962. No, it may not be entirely accomplished by the plans now being discussed in Congress. Yes, it’s imperfect, but the cost of doing nothing is unacceptable. Turning our backs now, when we have a solid plan that insures over 90 percent of Americans; that bends the health care cost curve; that brings down premiums and that strengthens Medicare for seniors, is simply irresponsible. This plan is the closest we’ve ever come to true reform.
There’s no need to give up. Let’s call upon Congress to deliver a bill to the President in recognition of President’s Day. Moreover, for all the presidents before him who have fought tirelessly to get Americans a health care system that will move us one step closer to handling this country’s “unfinished business.”
What do you thing has been the most significant achievement in reforming health care up until now, and which President do you think gets the most credit?”
Article TagsAbraham Lincoln • congress • George Washington • health care • Health Care Presidents • health care reform • JFK • John F. Kennedy • Lyndon Johnson • Medicaid • Medicare • Medicare costs • michigan medicaid • Ohio medicaid • Ohio medicaid program • Presidents' Day • reforming health care • support health care
Jan 26th, 2010 | by
There’s really only one thing that worries me about the Massachusetts election. I’m not troubled by the fact that the Democrats lost filibuster-proof control of the Senate. Control shifts back and forth as often as who is going to host the Tonight Show on NBC.
It doesn’t worry me that Senator Elect Scott Brown will try to block any potential of health care reform. We’ve come too far over the past year…really over the past half century…to turn back now.
I’m also not concerned that the Democrats will try to force through a health care reform policy -just to get it done. Forcing through policy doesn’t always go over well to voters in an election year – especially those with long-term memories. However, a recent poll by the Kaiser Foundation indicates the American public, including skeptics, become more supportive of health care reform after being told about many of the major provisions in the bills.
But what is worrisome…troubling…concerning to me is that momentum will waver, and the true ideals of health care reform will be lost. We must be sure the following elements of health care reform stay in place:
- Increase Medicaid eligibility – whether its 133% or 150% (which I would prefer), we need to make sure reform protects our most vulnerable citizens
- Protect our children – CHIP programs work…that’s why so many of our policy-makers rose to the occasion to protect in the current bills – Sen. Casey, Sen. Rockefeller, Sen. Reid, etc.
- Affordable Coverage for All – Don’t let purchasing health insurance be burdensome to the majority – continue with plans to provide government assistance through subsidies to those under 400% of the national poverty level
- Use of a state based health care exchange to act as a transparent clearinghouse for consumers to purchase coverage
- Cost containment to bend the unsustainable curve of health care costs
- Medicare & Medicaid benefit integration and financing for dual eligibles within a managed care model to rebalance the long-term care system to increase use of home and community based support services. Shifting more of this high-need population into coordinated managed care arrangements could produce significant savings while ensuring options for consumers where they desire to reside.
Sure, CareSource is a non-profit health plan that believes there is always room for improvement, but we support health care reform. Give non-profits wider opportunities to control costs, enable insurance companies to accept anyone with pre-existing conditions, include an individual mandate so that we all pay our fair share and, reimburse for positive outcomes, etc.
So to do my part in making sure Congress knows that I don’t want the momentum to subside in Washington, I used this source to send Congress – and my local newspapers – a letter:
This one is for Ohio citizens…but if you live outside of Ohio, you can go to FamiliesUSA to send your own letter to Congress.
Please let Congress know that we cannot afford to take our eye off the goal just because of one election. We must move forward with health care reform. Our country deserves it.
Article TagsAffordable Health Coverage • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) • congress • exchange • health care reform • Health Coverage • Kaiser Foundation • Massachusetts Miracle • Medicaid • Medicare • michigan medicaid • Ohio medicaid • Ohio medicaid program • poverty • Scott Brown • Senator Scott Brown • Senator-elect Scott Brown • support health care reform
Aug 24th, 2009 | by
Title: The Heart of Health Care Reform
Location: Live taping at COSI/WOSU Studios (invite only); Airing on ONN – check cable provider for specific station
Description: CareSource is sponsoring a panel discussion with Ohio Congresspeople and State Administration delegates about health care reform. The panel discussion is being facilitated by long-time TV personality Eve Mueller, and will include Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, Rep. Zack Space, Rep. Betty Sutton, Director of Ohio Department of Insurance Mary Jo Hudson and Director of Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services Doug Lumpkin. Questions for our panelists will be taken from man-on-the-street interviews from around Ohio.
The primary focus of the panel discussion will be around what our elected officials have learned from their constituents during the August recess. Our Congresspeople have been hard at work meeting with people around the state, and we believe a discussion about what they have learned from citizens, how this will affect their decisions when they go back to Washington D.C., and their overall outlook and opinions around health care reform will make an informative and insightful conversation. Ms. Hudson and Mr. Lumpkin are key panelists as they can provide a look into our own state government’s assessment of health care reform.
- Sunday, 9/6/09 at 9am and 8pm
- Monday, 9/7/09 at 8pm