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HomeLast Word → Challenging conservative truisms about HCR

Challenging conservative truisms about HCR Print E-mail
Written by Bernd Wollschlaeger, MD   
Monday, 27 December 2010 11:47

     An article published recently in the Miami Herald entitled, PolitiFact Lie of the Year: 'Government takeover of health care', summarizes the falsehoods attributed to the overhaul of America's health insurance system.

PolitiFact editors and reporters have chosen ``government takeover of health care'' as the 2010 Lie of the Year. Uttered by dozens of politicians and leaders within organized medicine, it played an important role in shaping public opinion about the health care plan and was a significant factor in the Democrats' shellacking in the November elections. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also falsely called "Obama Care", was passed  by Congress, and relies largely on the free market:

  • Employers will continue to provide health insurance to the majority of Americans through private insurance companies
  • Contrary to the claim, more people will get private health coverage. The law sets up ``exchanges'' where private insurers will compete to provide coverage to people who don't have it.
  • The government will not seize control of hospitals or nationalize doctors.
  • The law does not include the public option, a government-run insurance plan that would have competed with private insurers.
  • The law gives tax credits to people who have difficulty affording insurance, so they can buy their coverage from private providers on the exchange. But here too, the approach relies on a free market with regulations, not socialized medicine.

PolitiFact reporters have studied the 906-page bill and interviewed independent health care experts. They  concluded it is inaccurate to call the plan a government takeover because it relies largely on the existing system of health coverage provided by employers. It's true that the law does significantly increase government regulation of health insurers. But it is, at its heart, a system that relies on private companies and the free market.

I encourage you to  respond accurately to your patient questions regarding this law and impact on their lives and our profession.  Let's remember that facts should rise above cheap talking points and ideological gibberish.

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 January 2011 15:00
 


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