Mar 082017
 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has changed the lives of many previously uninsured Americans who can now find affordable healthcare, either as a result of the programs being offered through the government-run marketplace, or through private insurance plans. The ACA provides income-based premium subsidies to those who purchase their own insurance through the marketplace. The groups who benefit the most from the ACA are those who were previously discriminated against and the most vulnerable of society including low-income families and seniors. At least 20 million more Americans now have health insurance than before passage of Obamacare. Criticisms of the ACA include rising costs for young males, higher numbers of uninsured in states that did not expand Medicare, and increased cost for those who lost their health care benefits from insurers not in compliance with the ACA standards.

Pending legislation: S.191 – Patient Freedom Act of 2017

 Posted by at 8:49 am
Mar 082017
 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, has changed the lives of many previously uninsured Americans who can now find affordable healthcare, either as a result of the programs being offered through the government-run marketplace, or through private insurance plans. The ACA provides income-based premium subsidies to those who purchase their own insurance through the marketplace. The groups who benefit the most from the ACA are those who were previously discriminated against and the most vulnerable of society including low-income families and seniors. At least 20 million more Americans now have health insurance than before passage of Obamacare. Criticisms of the ACA include rising costs for young males, higher numbers of uninsured in states that did not expand Medicare, and increased cost for those who lost their health care benefits from insurers not in compliance with the ACA standards.

Pending legislation: S.191 – Patient Freedom Act of 2017

 Posted by at 8:48 am
Jan 152015
 

The only organizations exempt from our federal antitrust laws are Major League Baseball and our health maintenance organizations. The Obamacare reforms of our healthcare industry did little to address this issue. Critics say this exemption allows HMOs to engage in practices such as bid rigging and price fixing which dramatically increase the cost of health insurance. They claim our HMOs often conspire with hospitals and doctors to increase profits. Recent studies have shown that health insurance industry profits are increasing ten times faster than inflation. Industry advocates claim there is little proof of such accusations and that removing the HMO antitrust exemption is unnecessary since these corporations are still subject to state laws and regulations. Antitrust advocates say competition, not collusion, is the key to lowering health care costs and improving the quality of our healthcare services.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.743 – Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act

I oppose reforming current HMO competition policy and wish to defeat H.R. 743

I support repealing antitrust exemption for health insurers by amending the McCarran-Ferguson Act to provide that nothing in that Act shall modify, impair, or supersede the operation of any of the antitrust laws with respect to the business of health insurance; applies prohibitions against using unfair methods of competition to the business of health insurance without regard to whether such business is carried on for profit, and wish to defeat H.R. 743

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

There are at least 20 million mostly low-income Americans who do not have health insurance, many from states which have decided not to implement Obamacare. Most of these people rely on free clinics and emergency rooms when they are ill or injured. Some of these uninsured Americans are also homeless. As its name implies, mobile medical services use vehicles to bring medical personnel and equipment on location to treat our homeless and poor. There are nearly 650,000 homeless people living in this country without access to medical care. All of these people face many challenges, but our elderly homeless endure unique difficulties. These include higher rates of geriatric syndromes, such as functional decline, falls, frailty and depression. There also is concern for the potential of homeless people to transmit diseases such as tuberculosis, which is easily treated if detected.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.29 – Mobile Medical Homeless Health Improvement Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current mobile medical service policy and wish to defeat H.R.29

I support awarding grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements to hospitals or other local health care facilities to improve access of homeless individuals to mobile medical health care services; giving priority to applicants from a geographic area that has a comparatively high ratio of homeless individuals to non-homeless individuals; continuing to provide services to an individual who has received services under this Act for 12 months after he or she becomes a resident in permanent housing, and wish to pass H.R.29

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Ours is the only wealthy industrialized nation that does not provide healthcare for its people. With costs increasing much faster than inflation, many advocates say we should follow Canada’s lead. Our northern neighbor’s publicly-funded healthcare system annually spends about $1,600 per person for healthcare compared to the $6,000 per person we spend. The World Health Organization reports that Canadians are just as healthy as we are, if not more so. Advocates warn that our growing healthcare costs are the biggest single driver of our budget deficit. The passage of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, was the first major change in our healthcare system since 1965. Some Americans do not support this law for a variety of reasons and several states have decided against implementing it. Others object to Obamacare because it forces everyone to buy insurance from HMOs, claiming these firms are the main reason our healthcare system is so expensive and inefficient compared to other nations. However, the ACA’s marketplace health insurance exchanges have been credited with exerting downward pressure on healthcare prices due to increased competition. Supporters claim this law is helping HMO’s become more efficient while prohibiting the abuses allowed by previous HMO policies. If all states participated, 30 million additional people would have healthcare than before the ACA’s passage, and this would increase our population’s coverage to 95%. Even so, nearly 20 million Americans would still be without healthcare coverage. Many say the ACA is not the final solution to our nation’s healthcare crisis. They say that HMO’s are still charging us too much for their services, and that universal coverage and significant savings will only be achieved with a “single payer” or “public option” healthcare system. Canada has a single-payer system in which the government, rather than private insurers, pays everyone’s healthcare costs. Studies show this option would still be cheaper than what our nation is currently spending on all health services. A public option is a healthcare system operated by the government which would compete with private insurers. Supporters claim this competition would compel HMOs to become more efficient and affordable. An example of a public option system would be to allow Medicare to provide free healthcare services for all Americans who wish to participate. Opponents claim the quality of care will suffer with a government-run healthcare system. However, surveys have shown those receiving Medicare and Veterans health benefits are very satisfied with these government-provided healthcare services.

Pending Legislation:

S.177 – ObamaCare Repeal Act

H.R.676 – Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act

I oppose reforming current national health insurance policy and wish to defeat S.177 and H.R.45

I support repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, effective as of this enactment; restoring provisions of law amended by such Acts, and wish to pass S.177 (House version passed)

I support providing all individuals residing in the United States and U.S. territories with free health care that includes all medically necessary care, such as primary care and prevention, dietary and nutritional therapies, prescription drugs, emergency care, long-term care, mental health services, dental services, and vision care; giving patients the freedom to choose from participating physicians and institutions; establishing the Medicare for All Trust Fund to finance the Program with amounts deposited from existing sources of government revenues for health care, increasing personal income taxes on the top 5% income earners, instituting a modest and progressive excise tax on payroll and self-employment income, instituting a modest tax on unearned income, and instituting a small tax on stock and bond transactions; sets forth methods to pay institutional providers of care and health professionals for services and prohibits financial incentives between HMOs and physicians based on utilization, and wish to pass H.R.676

 Posted by at 12:00 am