Saturday, August 1, 2009

Keeping Up with the National Health Reform Debate

As an American health care provider, I have a vested interested in the health care reform debate as it will impact the future state of health care in the US. I am especially concerned about my clients understanding and having a voice in the issues.

Unfortunately, it can be very confusing to try to get a grasp on the various permutations and iterations of the proposals and track their progress. It can also be frustrating to have ideas and opinions, but feel unclear as to how and where to voice them. I am providing the following resources in an effort to help clients and other health care professionals stay abreast of the debate, track progress and voice their opinions.

Summaries
House Committees on Ways And Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor (July 14, 2009) summary of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act

American Psychological Association Health Care Reform Priorities

Resources
PolitiFact is a Pulitzer prize winning website that can help you check the accuracy of things you hear about the health care reform debate. It "is a project of the St. Petersburg Times to help you find the truth in American politics. Reporters and editors from the Times fact-check statements by members of Congress, the White House, lobbyists and interest groups and rate them on our Truth-O-Meter."

The Kaiser Family Foundation has several resources for following comprehensive health reform efforts available through their gateway page
The government's "Reality Check" website attempts to get the facts straight regarding its views on health care reform.

FactCheck.org
is a nonpartisan, nonprofit "consumer advocate" for voters that monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.

Track Progress
Track progress, comment on and share H.R.3200 - America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

Speak Out
The following is a list of key players in the health reform debate and how to contact them.
  • The White House Ph: (202) 456-1111 e-mail
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Ph: (202) 225-4965 e-mail
  • House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio Ph: (202) 225-6205 e-mail
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Ph: (202) 224-3542 e-mail
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Ph: (202) 224-2541 e-mail
  • Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Ph: (202) 225-3976 e-mail
  • Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee Ph: (202) 225-2002 e-mail
  • Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Ph: (202) 224-2823 e-mail
  • Sen. Michael Enzi, ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Ph: (202) 224-3424 e-mail
  • Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Ph: (202) 224-2651 e-mail
  • Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee Ph: (202) 224-3744 e-mail
  • Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Ph: (202) 225-4365 e-mail
  • Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee: Ph: (202) 225-3561 e-mail
  • Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Ph: (202) 225-2095 e-mail
  • Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., ranking member on the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee Ph: (202) 225-4501 e-mail
The Importance of Mental Health Care
Said President Obama at a town-hall meeting in August in Portsmouth, N.H.,"...you know, mental health has always been undervalued in the health insurance market. And what we now know is, is that somebody who has severe depression has a more debilitating and dangerous illness than somebody who's got a broken leg. But a broken leg, nobody argues that's covered. Severe depression, unfortunately, oftentimes isn't even under existing insurance policies. So I think -- I've been a strong believer in mental health parity, recognizing that those are serious illnesses. And I would like to see a mental health component as part of a package that people are covered under, under our plan."

Please also visit my website http://www.kctherapist.com/ for more information and resources regarding a variety of mental health issues and concerns.