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health The Top Health Care Reform Myths  

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Health Care facts and fiction. What is the cost of health care? How many Americans are uninsured? What is the Health Care Bill? Rather than yelling out "YOU LIE" to your friends while debating health care reform, here I've looked at some of the top myths about the proposed Health Care Reform Bill and attempted to debunk them. Obama said in his speech if you continue to push false information about health care reform, he will call you out. Don't get called out by the Prez. Read this list.

There is no health care crisis


There is no health care crisis. And there was no holocaust and there was no landing on the moon. Also, I almost caught bigfoot yesterday.

According to a testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on 2/24/2009 from Cathy Schoen, senior vice-president of The Commonwealth Fund, the number of adults who were insured, but underinsured increased by 60%. It is estimated that in 2007, roughly 25 million adults under 65 were underinsured in 2007.

The underinsured experience closely mirrors that of the uninsured, as over half of underinsured and two-thirds of uninsured do not seek recommended treatment, follow-up care, medications and do not go to the doctor when they are sick. Both of these groups have large numbers experiencing financial stress, including medical debt.


So, yes Virginia, there is a health care crisis.

The United States has the best health care in the world


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While the United States does have some of the best health care available to citizens, it is not available to all under our current health insurance system. Advanced U.S. medical technology has not translated into better health outcomes and neither has increased spending on health. The United States places 2nd in Total Health Expenditures, spending 15.4% of total GDP on health, just behind Marshall Islands at 15.4% (damn Marshall Islands, always trying to .2% up us). In a study examining rate of Total Preventable for Deaths, the United States and 18 other industrialized nations, the U.S. ranked 14th with 110% (deaths per 100,000 data from 2002-2003). (http://www.allcountries.org/ranks/preventable_deaths_country_ranks_1997-1998_2002-2003_2008.html)

There is great health care in the United States, for those who can afford it. But when the rate of death from childbirth is still 1 in 4200, compared to Ireland at 1 in 47,600 and we rank 24th in Healthy Life Expectancy rankings, I'd be hard pressed to say we have the best health care in the world. Then again, anytime I place 37th in a competition, I still consider myself the best.

And while we're on the topic of health in the United States, as long as 74.1% of citizens over the age of 15 are considered overweight, a major risk factor for such preventable and leading cause of death diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, we're going to need to reevaluate our health care system, and our health environment. Maybe this isn't the time for Hardees to introduce the deep fried bologna biscuit?

Government Cannot Run a Health Care Program


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Yes we can!!! And we already do!!!

Critics of the proposed government run health care system have wondered why we would want to trust our health care to the government, when the government has failed in so many other areas. They'll cite other government run programs they see as failures, such as the post office and the DMV, social security, and even Medicare. But the reality is that the government run Medicare (which is the system most often cited as an example of how the new public option would work if passed) is extremely popular. According to a May 2009 Commonwealth Fund study, "elderly Medicare beneficiaries reported greater overall satisfaction with their health coverage, better access to care, and fewer problems paying medical bills than people covered by employer-sponsored plans". That same study reported that elderly Medicare beneficiaries were are 2.7 times more likely than enrollees in employer-sponsored plans to rate their health insurance as excellent , and are less likely to report negative experiences with their insurance plans.

That isn't to say Medicare is perfect, many doctors are no longer accepting Medicare because of declining reimbursement rates. There's been warnings that even more doctors would bail out of Medicare if reimbursement rates were universal. But things are worse in the private insurance industry. Ten percent of Medicare beneficiaries' physicians did not accept their insurance, compared to 17% with employer-sponsored plans.

A 2005 Washington Monthly article titled "The Best Care Anywhere", the Veterans Health Administration was described as being an industry leader in safety and quality measures. It was also praised as having spectacular information technology and its integrated health information system, including its framework for using performance measures to improve quality, is considered the best in the nation.

And finally, I think the Postal Service is great. Where else can you stand in line and hear this conversation:

Customer: Yeah I'mma need 2 one cent stamps.
Clerk: Ok
Customer: Now, how much are those stamps?
Clerk: They would be one cent each.

Obama is Pushing Socialized Medicine


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This is true. Obama also was not born in the United States. Oh, what's that? You've seen his birth certificate? That looks fake. And is Hawaii really a state? Also, did you know he's going to force your children into community service and that the reason he's giving more money to Americorps is because he wants to start his own National Army...of idealistic broke ass people who can only afford to eat beans and rice. They're going to take over this country, one habitat for humanity house at a time. His original speech to school students was to recruit them into that volunteer army and indoctrinate them with his ideas of socialism.

That's all false. Except the part about AmeriCorps volunteers being poor and eating rice and beans. By definition, socialized medicine involves government financing and direct provision of health care services. Health care reforms dating as far back as the 1930s have been smeared as socialized medicine, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt's consideration of government health insurance when crafting the 1935 Social Security Bill; President Lyndon Johnson's 1965 legislation establishing Medicare and the 1993-1994 Health Care Initiative proposed by Bill and Hillary Clinton. (http://mediamatters.org/reports/200903050012)