Friday, July 23, 2010

Congressman Bob Etheridge on Health Care Reform

One thing I have repeatedly said about the Health Care Reform bill that passed this year is that if people really knew what is in it the vast majority would be all for it. The one thing President Obama failed to do was to explain the law in clear terms. Perhaps a month ago Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-NC) did precisely that on an oversized postcard sent to constituents. I live in Mr. Etheridge's district so I received the mailing. I've decided I should share it.

For the skeptics out there: yes, this is campaign literature. Having said that, fact check the statements Congressman Etheridge made and you will see that everything he says is true. Here is the text:

Better plans at lower costs.

Brings down costs. Limits premiums, reduces out of pocket costs, and bands caps on benefits. In North Carolina, family premiums will be $1,570 - $2,240* less than without health reform.

Takes care of children. All insurance will cover maternity benefits, eliminate pre-existing condition exemptions for children, and allow young adults to stay on their parent's plans until 26.

Ends discrimination. Currently, women and minorities pay as much as 50% more for coverage. Reform makes it illegal to charge more for some groups than others, and expands access to preventative care.

Lower out of pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

No Co-Pays For Checkups. Covers 100% of the cost of preventative care to keep you healthier.

Makes Medicine Affordable. Immediate 50% discount on brand name drugs and a $250 rebate if you enter the "donut hole." Over time it totally eliminates the coverage gap.

Strengthens Medicare. Reduces average cost for Medicare beneficiaries by $400 and extends the life of the trust fund by a decade so beneficiaries get the benefits they were promised.

*Senate Finance Committee estimate based on CBO, 11/30/09

There it is in simple terms. There is no government take over of healthcare. There are no "death panels" and it won't kill granny. It does NOT increase the deficit. It is simply much needed regulatory reform.

Please, don't believe Fox News or right wing talking heads. Look into it for yourself. You'll see that Congressman Etheridge is doing what the President should have done all along: laying out the facts.

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