The Affordable Health Care for America Act Passed

The U.S. House of Representatives passed The Affordable Health Care for America Act on November 7th, 2009, with a vote of 220 to 215.

| Nov 19, 2009

Whew! We received a landslide of comments recently when we published an article called Demand Health Care Reform Now! Some people complained that politics should stay out of our publication. Unfortunately, healthcare is a political issue, and we at Diabetes Health are interested in healthcare. We believe that healthcare should not be tied to employment and should be available to all, regardless of how healthy or wealthy they are. As always, though, we encourage dialog and welcome all points of view. Please keep telling us what you think.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed The Affordable Health Care for America Act on November 7th, 2009, with a vote of 220 to 215. (Reportedly, several members of Congress told stories about people with diabetes during the debate.) The bill would affect people with diabetes by preventing insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and websites, it would remove annual and lifetime caps on medical benefits, limit out-of-pocket expenses, and subsidize people who cannot afford insurance. The bill provides resources for prevention (something that is not reimbursed right now) through the creation of a "Health and Wellness Fund" and by funding evidence-based workplace wellness programs.

You can find out how your Member of Congress voted by visiting the ADA Health Care Reform website and entering your zip code. From there, you can send a message to your congressman or congresswoman and let them how you feel about their vote. (You can send your own email in your own words or use the words in the ADA template.) It couldn't be easier to make your opinion count.

The House of Representatives will vote one more time on the final healthcare reform bill before it is signed into law.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Health Reform released a report recently on diabetes and health reform, "Preventing and Treating Diabetes: Health Insurance Reform and Diabetes in America." The ADA announced that it is "very pleased with the report and agrees with its premise, which is that health reform is a critical step in stopping diabetes." The report notes that the current health insurance system offers some protection, but that "many people [with diabetes] fall through the cracks." COBRA coverage and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) help some people, but it's very hard to negotiate the system and not lose coverage and/or pay the full price of insurance without employer contributions. The report says that many "people suffering from diabetes are unlikely to find meaningful insurance coverage in the individual insurance market."

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Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Government & Policy, Health Care, Type 1 Issues, Type 2 Issues

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Posted by Anonymous on 19 November 2009

Wow. Everybody needs to change their way. Ima hippie tree hugger. kay? I love tree more than I love my mother

Posted by Jerry1423 on 20 November 2009

There are not words to express the sadness that I feel if this health care reform bill gets passed. I say that as a type 1 diabetic for the last 34 years.

To include the government in the care of such a fragile issue as my health is very scary. I do not need government officials, with influence from activists (that I may not belive in), voting on how my health care is administered. In all the years that I have been a diabetic the current system has never let me down.

I know people who are diabetic and are very low income. They are getting the care that they need. If you cannot afford your meds then check the manufacturers website - they should have an application someplace on there for free meds. If you cannot find what you are looking for then write to me, and I will try to help you.

I am currently unemployed (and in the process of a divorce, and going on COBRA) and my doctor told me to come to her if I need to for meds (but I do not think I will have to). It is insane to imply that diabetics are not getting the help that they need in this country if they don't have enough money - it may take some work, but you will get it.

As far as the comment that this publication needs to stay out of politics ... that was a very small issue of the many comments that were posted. If you have not read them yet then please do, and add your own comments ... positive or negative.

Here is the link to the original article with the 23 (mostly negative) comments: This link is also in the green section along the right of this page.

It will be a very sad day if this health care reform bill is finalized. It contains well over a thousand of pages of issues - some related to giving up my freedom, and that is what I value more than anything.

Please don't give to the ADA if you believe what they are doing with the money (see their web page) does not reflect your values.

Stay healthy.

Posted by randeg1 on 20 November 2009

Good for you! That is why I love your website so much because it speaks its mind. Besides, affordable health insurance for all is everybody's business. We can't just sit around and watch somebody die because he does not have health insurance. Besides, the Americans are known all over the world for their generosity. They are the first ones to jump in and offer help for people when they are in trouble. So why not for health care for your fellow Americans?

Evelyn Guzman (If you want to visit, just click but if it doesn’t work, copy and paste it onto your browser.)

Posted by Anonymous on 20 November 2009

I just had my "evil" private insurance company approve, in 3.5 months a gastric bypass for treating my type II diabetes. The total bill is close to $40K. No problems whatsoever. How is it that I doubt that would be the case under "socialized medicine". I also went to one of the lowest risk surgeons in the country. How is it that I doubt I'd have that option under Obamacare.

I agree, the liberal bias shown by this publication on this matter goes in the face of everything that otherwise makes this the best Diabetes magazine out there. Please be impartial. I think Diabetics and everyone else is going to take it in the shorts if/when this bill is law.

Posted by Anonymous on 20 November 2009

We are in desparate need of health care reform in this country. Insurance companies make obsense profits while premiums skyrocket and the level of care drops. Pharmaceutical charge extortionate prices for their medications even when you factor in their research costs. And, as anyone who has lived the insurance wars knows, anyone who has a pre-existing condition is playing Russian Roulette as to whether they will be able to get affordable coverage. And for the icing on the cake, if you make the slightest error, any time you need expensive care, your company dig through every word in your application and your medical records to see if you missed saying you had Acne as a teenager. If you did, boom there goes your coverage (recission), and here comes a pile of massive medical bills because they drop you retroactively.

That said, I too worry about what the plan will mean for us. My spouse is on a state plan for those who can't otherwise get insurance. The premiums are close to $800 a month and will get worse as he gets older. So far, by the skin of our teeth, but we are the lucky ones. Also the coverage is decent (we even got approval for a CGMS).

The question is, under the new law will states decide they don't have to provide this kind of safety net and will the new ones provided give the same level of coverage as we have now.

So, I am concerned after what our fate will be. But one thing I know for certain is that our current system is unsustainable. It will bankrupt the country within a few years. Already the vast majority of individual bankruptcies are cosed by massive medical bills, and many companies that want to provide coverage are either having to drop it or provide vastly less coverage to their employees for much larger premiums.

The devil is in the details and we won't know them for a while. But the current system is broken beyond repair and a few promises from the health insurance industry are meaningless. So, we have to take the plunge and plan on adjusting as needed.

We have lived in terror of going without insurance for 30 years. I don't know how much longer I can live with this fear.

Posted by Beverly on 20 November 2009

If you think this is about healthcare and not politics you are in for a rude awakening. If you think diabetics are going yo get better care think again. All the advances are expensive and the plan will NEVER approvbe them for routine care. Forget it if you are over 65. They want you die.

Posted by Jerry1423 on 20 November 2009

I hear and read so much about people who are suffering and dying because of the lack of proper health insurance, but I do not see them ... and believe me, I get around and see plenty!
If the argument about the need for government controlled insurance was based on honesty then I would listen to it more, but it is based on total lies and misleading statements (as most political arguments are) so I just hope that this nonsense does not get passed.

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