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More Health Care nonsense

Just received a nice form letter response from “representative” Hagan. I thought I’d share with y’all my reply to her response:

Senator Hagan – I would like a response to the issues I raise to the reply I received today. My comments are marked with asterisks(**). Thank you.

Each year, costs associated with our current system increase. North Carolinians are struggling to afford insurance coverage, and the unprecedented economic crisis facing our nation has made it still more difficult for working families to manage medical costs while making ends meet. In North Carolina alone, the number of uninsured has risen to approximately 1.8 million, which represents 22 percent of the state’s population.
**Can you tell me how much of that 22% chooses to be uninsured for non-financial reasons?**

The United States spends more per capita on health care than any other developed nation, over $2 trillion per year, yet this fact is not reflected in our health outcomes. A Commonwealth Fund report compared the American health care payment and service delivery system with that of six other developed nations. The report found the United States to have poorer health indicators and outcomes, as well as a more fragmented and unstable system with substantial delays, waste, and paperwork.
**How on earth will a Federal system bring about any improvement to an “unstable system with substantial delays, waste, and paperwork “? The Federal “Cash for Clunkers” mistake is a perfect example of an unstable system with substantial delays, waste, and paperwork. I am terrified to think of the fallout of a Federal program dealing with life and death care.**

As you know, there are various opposing views within the health care reform debate, and I would like to address a few here. When crafting the Affordable Health Choices Act, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee bill, we went to great lengths to ensure that if you have a health insurance plan that you like, you can keep it. Moreover, no one will be required to participate in the Community Health Insurance Option, including individuals, employers, and health care providers.
** EVERYone will be required to participate – our tax dollars will be used to pay for it. There is no way for us to designate tax dollars.**

I recognize that medical liability reform has the potential to reduce medical malpractice insurance premiums for health care providers and decrease defensive medicine practices. Accordingly, I am in favor of President Obama’s plan to implement demonstration projects to evaluate medical liability models being used and implemented around the United States.
**Why must we rely on a Federal “plan” for this? Why not allow each State to implement their own plan?**

In addition, concern has been raised about illegal aliens being able to receive medical services under health care reform. The Affordable Health Choices Act defines an eligible individual as a citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States. Illegal immigrants would be explicitly barred from receiving services under the legislation.
**How will eligibility be determined? How will it be enforced?**

Also, some believe abortion services could be covered under health care reform. This is inaccurate, due to a long-standing federal law that includes a broad prohibition against using federal funds for abortion services. Health care reform would not change that prohibition, which is known as the Hyde Amendment.
**Contrary to popular belief, the Hyde Amendment does not ban all federal funding for abortion. The legislation only bans funds from appropriations for the Health and Human Services budget from going to that purpose.**

Furthermore, it has come to my attention that some believe there would be rationing of health care services under health care reform. The Afforable Health Choices Act would not do anything to limit the ability of your doctor to pursue the course of care he or she believes is most appropriate for you. While the bill would fund research into the comparative effectiveness of various treatments, that information will simply serve as a tool for practioners to use as they see fit. The Affordable Health Choices Act specifically states that any recommendations made under health care reform shall not be construed as mandates for payment, coverage, or treatment of health services.
**And who is to say there will not be future “incentives” for practitioners to follow the Federally “recommended” treatment, even if it is detrimental to the patient’s health? This “recommendation” sounds ominously like the H.M.O. method of doctor coercion.**

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