Celebrating our no fears conversation, part 2

posted in: Celebration, CYJ Blog, Lifeskills

Here we are again, hopefully having a no fears conversation about one topic that affects us all each and every day, healthcare. Were you able to read through the task force report proposed June 22, 2016 (http://abetterway.speaker.gov/?page=health-care)? If not, you can get started with the snapshot, Fact Sheet, or the FAQ page. Yet, you will get a better glimpse of what this report claims to offer by reading the report. Then be sure to highlight what is important to you.

There are seven sections to the report:

• High-Quality Health Care for All
• Obamacare Has Not Worked
• More Choice, Lower Costs, Greater Flexibility
• Protecting and Strengthening Coverage Options for All Americans
• Medicaid Reform: Empowering States and Increasing Flexibility
• Promoting Innovation in Health Care
• Protecting and Preserving Medicare

As you highlight, write down any questions you would like to ask them about each section. I know I have many questions and will be sending them my representatives shortly. How about you? To seek, reach, and achieve a comprehensive, fully accessible 21st century healthcare system what do you want to see as part of the package? As a quick repeat, as quoted in their Fact Sheet, Congress is proposing what their plan will mean for our families:

• More choices and lower costs. Our plan gives you more control and more choices so that you can pick the plan that meets your needs—not Washington’s mandates.
• Real protections and peace of mind. Our plan makes sure that you never have to worry about being turned away or having your coverage taken away—regardless of age, income, medical conditions, or circumstances.
• Cutting-edge cures and treatments. Our plan clears out the bureaucracy to accelerate the development of life-saving devices and therapies.
• A stronger Medicare. Our plan protects Medicare for today’s seniors and preserves the program for future generations.
My first question here is “how do they intend to extend these principles into practice?” Again, to repeat, some hints as to the “how’s” are mentioned in their FAQ sheet. Here is their 30 second explanation consisting of “. . . a step-by-step approach to give every American access to quality, affordable health care”:
• Lower costs – Helps people get better health care at a lower cost by ending expensive mandates and getting rid of over $1 trillion in taxes on health care.
• More choices – Provides patients with access to financial assistance to choose a plan that fits their needs, as well as more pooling mechanisms, coverage options, and access to wellness programs by getting Washington out of the way.
• Peace of mind – Protects those with pre-existing conditions and the most vulnerable, while ensuring every American has financial support to buy the coverage of their choice.
• Reforms Essential Health Security Programs – Strengthens and secures Medicare for current and future retirees, and provides Medicaid flexibility for the states.

Since they seem to be taking a step-by-step approach, instead of one big legislative bill, they say they are now “. . . taking these ideas to the country, so we can give the people a clear choice . . . .” Here’s your chance to engage in the process before anything becomes law. Before it’s too late, want to become part of the solution for the 21st century healthcare practice and patient?

Reading through the report I come up with these questions related to each section:

• High-Quality Health Care for All
QUESTION: With a “wholly integrated system” and the 21st Century Cures Act, how are you going to specifically promote better choices, flexibility, and innovation while protecting our nation’s most vulnerable?
• Obamacare Has Not Worked
QUESTION: If you are going to repeal Obamacare, how are you going to specifically preserve the good parts, such as precondition protection, coverage on dependents, and others?
• More Choices, Lower Costs, Greater Flexibility
QUESTION: With the eight recommendations listed and the “ . . . imperative to move in an entirely new direction that reflects a 21st century approach to health care . . .”, how will you not just make insurance plans more available and cost effective for families and employees but also have insurance companies provide more comprehensive coverage for preventative, wellness, and integrative programs and therapeutics (the word “integrative” in the question does not refer to “the system” but to the type of healthcare provided via integrative/functional medicine practices)?

What questions have you come up with so far? The concluding four sections of the task force report and my questions will be covered in the part 3 article, next week. I hope you are giving some time and thought to this very important part of your life and your family.
And if you are wondering where to send your questions for a response, I recommend you contact your Congressional representative for your district. You can then either submit your questions to your representative or request, if possible, they connect you with Congressman Kevin Brady’s office (representing 8th Congressional District, Conroe, Texas). Brady is the Chair for the House Ways & Means Committee and helped author A Better Way task force report.

Please be courteous and respectful as you indicate your interest in offering input, have questions about the task force report and the step-by-step process for healthcare reform.