Thank you, Barb, for posting your questions and personal experience in response to our last post about Health Care Reform. We will address questions today regarding the affect on those who have coverage now and funding for health care reform. I would encourage others to share their questions as well, by commenting on this post.
Q: Will I be able to keep my current health insurance coverage if I want to?
A: Yes. If you currently have health insurance coverage and you like that coverage, you’ll be able to keep it. We recognize, as does President Obama and Congress, that most Americans who are currently insured receive their coverage through their employer and two-thirds of them are satisfied with that coverage.
Q: Will the health care reform bills mean that I will pay more if I have good coverage now?
A: The goal of health care reform is to make health care more affordable for individuals and families as well as for our nation. Americans pay more for our health care than any other country, in part because we are covering the uninsured in a very inefficient way after they get sick and seek care at an emergency room. Some estimate that individuals with insurance pay up to $1,100 more per year through higher premiums and taxes because of uncompensated care received in public hospitals and emergency rooms.
Q: I’ve heard that health reform will cost at least $1 trillion – is this true?
A: The $1 trillion cost that has been reported in the media is the cost over a 10-year period (an average of $100 billion a year). It is also important to note, however, that Congressional budget rules require that the health reform bills be fully paid for so that they won’t add to our national debt. The cost estimate also doesn’t take into account the private savings that would result from health reform through such provisions as improved care coordination and a greater emphasis on preventing disease. Finally, we need to consider the cost of delay and inaction. Without reform, costs are projected to continue to escalate, 16 million more Americans are projected to lose their coverage over the next decade, and millions more will have their out-of-pocket health costs rise substantially.
Stay tuned for answers to more questions over the next few weeks. In the meantime, share your questions with us by commenting on this post!