Key terminology in healthcare debate

Published 11:33 pm Saturday, January 21, 2017

Dear editor,

As Congress debates the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare), here are some key phrases to know.

• Access to healthcare:-access is NOT ownership. We can all access a mansion.

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• Modernize Medicare: reduce what it covers.

• State-based healthcare/block grants to states: allows states, such as Texas (who refused to adequately fund roads, public schools, Medicaid) to decide how the funds are spent.

• Patient-centered health care: GOP verbiage to keep the federal government out of healthcare.

• Re-imbursement rates: what doctors and hospitals are paid. If we want good doctors and numerous networks, doctors and hospitals need to receive a decent re-imbursement rate. Currently doctors and hospitals are the ones taking the budget cuts.

• High-risk pools: puts all patients with pre-existing conditions in a pool. Texas does this with luxury cars and windstorm coverage. The prices are exorbitant.

• Buy insurance across state lines-doctor and hospital networks are set up regionally. Customers in Florida will not have access to doctors in Montana

• Tax credits for healthcare: does not help consumers afford healthcare.

• Mandates to buy health insurance: these help subsidize insurance for the poor and lowers rates for those with pre-existing conditions. These mandates are one of the main objections of Republicans.

The ACA expanded Medicare coverage and made it more solvent. If Congress repeals the ACA without a replacement, 18 million people will lose their healthcare and the federal deficit will increase by millions. Candidate Trump promised NOT to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These are now on the chopping block. Let’s see if President Trump delivers on his pledge for affordable healthcare for all.

Submitted by

Sheila Sachitano