Crossposted on Stafford County Sun…Grumbling about health care reform is a regular topic on cable TV to the point that I’ve decided to devote my column this week to the positives of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While researching the topic, contrary to my expectations, I came across the headline “Poll shows opposition to health care overhaul declining (The Washington Post, 7/29/2010).” So opposition to reform actually declined in July from 41 percent of those polled to 35 percent. The poll was conducted by Kaiser Family Foundation and showed that 50 percent of respondents had a favorable view of the new law, up from 48 percent one month earlier. That was the highest rating given since the law was enacted in March. Conservatives mouthing off their prescribed talking points — intended to plant dissatisfaction in voters’ minds prior to November’s Congressional elections — seem to be impacting the tone of discussion. Even moderate commentators are dwelling on negatives. When we hear claims that insurance premiums are going to rise because of the bill, I think, “Well, if you hadn’t opposed the public option, there would have been cost control built into the legislation!” We hear complaints about how involved it is for the states to figure out how to comply. Yes, there are many options, in an effort to be democratic, not dictatorial. Virginia is considering its options while also suing on constitutional grounds regarding mandatory coverage. The Kaiser poll shows that the public gives bipartisan support to the reform act with the exception of the mandate for individuals to buy insurance, even though the intention of that is to reduce costs born by all of us when the uninsured get free treatment in emergency rooms. The complexity of the bill is a direct result of efforts to please everybody and to get enough votes for passage. A single-payer, universal plan, like a Medicare for all age groups, would have been much simpler, and perhaps not as vulnerable to lawsuits. Our federal government provides a useful website that can help you see how the new health reform bill impacts you. Go to energycommerce.house.gov. Then click on “Health Care Reform Web Tools.” Here are some positives of reform that benefit residents of the First Congressional District, of which Stafford is a part, even though our representative Republican Rob Witman voted “no” on the legislation: Improved coverage for 556,000 residents in the district; tax credits/assistance to up to 138,000 families and 16,000 small businesses to help them afford coverage; extended coverage to 12,000 uninsured residents; guaranteed coverage for 8,200 residents with pre-existing conditions; protection from bankruptcy for 1,400 families due to health care costs; and 64,000 young adults eligible for coverage under their parents’ insurance. Additionally, millions in new funding is provided for six community health centers in the district and about $35 million annually to compensate hospitals and health care providers for uncollectible bills. Thankfully, the Democratic Congress and our President care enough to try to make health care affordable and accessible. Alane Callander is a south Stafford resident active in many local causes. Reach her at email@example.com. Alane Callander has been active on health care reform and other issues through Virginia Organizing.
Callander: Health care reform deserves praise
Callander: Health care reform deserves praise Reviewed by VA ORG Admin on . Crossposted on Stafford County Sun...Grumbling about health care reform is a regular topic on cable TV to the point that I’ve decided to devote my column Crossposted on Stafford County Sun...Grumbling about health care reform is a regular topic on cable TV to the point that I’ve decided to devote my column Rating: