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Health Care Reform Final102509 2


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The healthcare reform debate is very heated and this presentation is our effort to cut through some of the misunderstandings and misinformation. We hope you find it helpful!

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Health Care Reform Final102509 2

  1. 1. Health care reform Talking points for health care conversations 10/25/09 Dr. Deborah Ballard-Reisch, PhD Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Chair in Strategic Communication Professor, Elliott School of Communication, Wichita State University Tammy Allen, Community Volunteer, Wichita, Kansas Lynn Stephan, Community Volunteer, Wichita, Kansas
  2. 2. Why change the current system? It’s working <ul><li>No, it’s not! </li></ul><ul><li>The cost to us personally : </li></ul><ul><li>Health care costs have increased </li></ul><ul><ul><li>119% in the last decade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3x as fast as wages (34%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4x as fast as inflation (29%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Kaiser Family Foundation, 2009) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>We spend 1.5x more per person on health care than any country in the world, but </li></ul><ul><li>our health care ranks 37 th (WHO, 2000) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why change the current system? It’s working <ul><li>In 2007, nearly 2/3 of personal bankruptcies were linked to medical expenses; 80% were people with insurance </li></ul><ul><li>(Journal of American Medical Assn., 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>1.5 million American families lose their homes each year due to medical costs </li></ul><ul><li>(Health Matrix, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Rising Medicare, Medicaid & health insurance costs are simply unsustainable </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why change the current system? It’s working <ul><li>The cost to American business: </li></ul><ul><li>The current system decreases American manufacturers’ competitiveness. We spend: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$2.38 per worker /per hour for health care costs vs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$0.96 per worker /per hour for US trading partners (Heritage Foundation, 2008) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Health care costs are the fastest-growing business expense. They drag down earnings and wages, slow job growth, and decrease $ available for R&D </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why change the current system? It’s working <ul><li>The issue isn’t “how we can afford health care reform.” It’s that we can’t afford to pay for the status quo! </li></ul><ul><li>50 years of free enterprise have failed </li></ul><ul><li>Health care costs must be restrained now! </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why would we want government to run health care? <ul><li>We don’t! </li></ul><ul><li>We want a government / private sector collaboration to offer quality care for all </li></ul><ul><li>For more than 50 years, insurance companies have had the chance to provide high-quality, cost-effective health care </li></ul><ul><li>They’ve failed to do so </li></ul><ul><li>Our current profit-based system has not delivered quality health care affordably </li></ul><ul><li>Competition – a public option – is critical! </li></ul>
  7. 7. How would we pay for all this new health insurance for the uninsured? <ul><li>We pay now for the uninsured – higher premiums to employers & workers – as much as $1000 / insured family / year (Families USA, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Savings will be created through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reducing waste in the current system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: reducing overpayments to Medicare & Medicaid vendors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing health care “best practices” to reduce ineffective treatment </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. I don’t want “death panels” choosing what health care I get! <ul><li>Insurance companies, hospitals & physicians already determine what health care you get </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Insurance companies: through review boards whose decisions are based on company profitability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hospitals: through risk assessment & the decisions of ethics committees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physicians: through a combination of what will be reimbursed & their knowledge of treatment options </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. I don’t want “death panels” choosing what health care I get! <ul><li>The inflammatory phrase 'death panels' implies care would be rationed under a new system. </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, health care is already rationed based on ability to pay, health insurance companies' profitability, and the decisions your health insurance company, physician and hospital make </li></ul>
  10. 10. I don’t want “death panels” choosing what health care I get! <ul><li>In a new system, physician experts would establish & disseminate research-proven “best practices” to improve care & reduce unnecessary or ineffective procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Using best practices to determine treatment (rather than ability to pay or insurance company profitability) would provide more equitable and effective health care for all </li></ul>
  11. 11. England & Canada’s health care systems aren’t working. Why adopt something like them? <ul><li>No one’s suggesting adopting their health care systems. Adding a public option will instead increase competition & provide insurance to everyone at a better cost </li></ul><ul><li>England & Canada don’t have a private option that competes with their public programs </li></ul><ul><li>Infusing competition into the current system is critical to providing quality care at a reasonable cost to benefit consumers </li></ul>
  12. 12. I don’t want my health insurance or doctor to change. <ul><li>Right now, your employer, insurance company & doctor determine the doctors you see & benefits you receive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your employer chooses your insurance & benefit plan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your insurance company chooses health providers to affiliate with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your doctor decides what insurance to accept </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. I don’t want my health insurance or doctor to change <ul><li>In a new system, you would have ANOTHER option in addition to your current one. </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, if your employer or your insurance company kicks out your doctor, you will still have a choice </li></ul>
  14. 14. Top 4 talking points <ul><li>Quality health care should be a right, like education and national security </li></ul><ul><li>People deserve health care </li></ul><ul><li>47 million Americans don’t have health insurance which limits their access to care </li></ul><ul><li>(US Census, 2008) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Top 4 talking points <ul><li>The current system’s skyrocketing health costs are unsustainable </li></ul><ul><li>Change must happen because the alternative is bankruptcy </li></ul><ul><li>The current rate of health care cost increases will bankrupt Medicare, Medicaid and lead to job losses, depress American competitiveness & close businesses </li></ul>
  16. 16. Top 4 talking points <ul><li>A public option supports capitalism by introducing competition into the marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>Competition brings down costs & benefits American business, American taxpayers & health care consumers </li></ul>
  17. 17. Top 4 talking points (How do we pay for it?) <ul><li>We are already paying for the uninsured and paying too much for too little health care </li></ul><ul><li>By increasing competition, reducing wasted health care dollars and realizing savings through preventive care, we can provide higher quality health care at affordable rates for all </li></ul>
  18. 18. Doing nothing about health care reform continues to support these ideas: <ul><li>Health care is a privilege only for those who can pay for it </li></ul><ul><li>It’s OK to pay 1.5x more than any other country for the 37 th -best health care </li></ul><ul><li>It’s OK for 47 million Americans not to have health care insurance </li></ul><ul><li>It’s OK to decrease American businesses’ competitiveness and to bankrupt the Medicare and Medicaid systems through rising health care costs </li></ul>
  19. 19. Are you OK with that? <ul><li>If not, please use these materials to educate others about the facts – and myths – of Obama’s plan for health care reform </li></ul>