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Health Care Reform Question & Answers

2014 February 20
by Sarah Fields

Ken asks…

What are some alternative ideas for health care reform?

Since many people are in opposition to the health care reform that Obama is proposing, what are some alternative ideas to health care reform? If there really is a problem with our medical system, what are some other ways of fixing it besides creating one centralized insurance company?

Sarah Fields answers:

Health care savings accounts are one big aspect of it. People have an account that is created from which they can draw when they need health care. Since they are put in charge of their health care, they become “informed shoppers” because they get to KEEP the money they save. Once doctors, hospitals, clinics, therapists, etc., must “compete” like a REAL business, costs will drop.

Of course, we can’t talk about REAL reform without talking about tort reform… Something which is glaringly lacking in the current bill.

Another (partial) solution is to make it possible for drugs to become generic faster. Let the government fund pharmaceutical research so the drug companies don’t have the overhead they want to recoup once a drug is discovered.

Sandra asks…

How will the new health care reform affect medical assistants?

I am doing a report in my Medical Administrative Practice class. We have to include how the new health care reform will affect medical assistants? Also how will it affect obesity in America? Will it help?

Sarah Fields answers:

Unfortunately, there are NOT supposed to be too many jobs for MAs (or medical billers or coders) despite what those private overly priced For-profit schools proclaim.

Regarding health care reform, this site has more information: http://www.healthreform.gov/index1.html

Maria asks…

What does the passing of the Health care reform mean to me?

Im 16 years old, and just wanted to know how the Health care reform effects me?

Sarah Fields answers:

There are two main parts…

_1_ changing the regulations on health insurance companies
_2_ requiring almost everyone to have health insurance

Part 1: the most significant regulation is that insurance companies can no longer deny you coverage for a pre-existing condition. So even if you have asthma or dangerous allergies or a history of childhood cancer, you can’t be denied health insurance. That might not affect you directly but I bet it affects more than one of your friends.

Part 2: This works like a tax. If you have health insurance, you don’t pay the tax, but if you don’t have insurance, you get taxed and the government essentially buys insurance for you.

All insurance is still through private companies. That means there is no new “public option.” Truth be told, since Medicare and Medicaid are both government health insurance, there is already a very large “public option” in our country, but it is mostly reserved for people 65 and older, and those programs are essentially unchanged.

If you already have health insurance through your job or school or whatever, health care reform won’t make much difference to you. If you have no insurance, you’ll have to get it. If you are poor it will be subsidized. If you are super rich (earn over $200,000 per year), you will pay higher taxes.

Here’s a summary of when the major benefits take effect:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1914020220100319

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