Health Care Reform: Information sources

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Information resources

 

 

Healthcare

 

 

 

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 General overview

 The basic source for President Obama's proposals and the administration's analysis of the problems and issues that Health Care reform must address is  the Health Reform site. There you will find an extensive set of  reports on and analyses of the problems these reforms are intended to address.

The White House has also produced a website devoted to providing a Reality Check on the current debates about Healthcare reform.  It provides essential information, as well as very effective video material on the current issues under debate; it is a great source for challenging the opposition's distortions and misinformation.  Go there now!!

The key source for understanding the President's agenda on Healthcare reform  is his address to both Houses of Congress on September 9 2009 . Watch  the full version of President Obama's address on health care  below, or a four minute summary.  Read the full transcript here .   

   On August 20 President Obama held a forum at the Democratic National Committee on Health Care. It lasted 90 minutes.  You can listen to  it though links on this site.  You can watch it here. 

  Short Primers and Quick Talking Points

  Democratic Party sites

 Democratic Party Healthcare site.  In addition, a Call 'Em Out site has been created to 'debunk the lies and misrepresentations about healthcare reform.'

 Democrats Abroad: 

Democrats Abroad Canada has created a great website devoted to Health Care Reform, offering wide-ranging resources.  Go there! Updated

The Democrats Abroad website,  especially the Health Care Insurance Reform Group,  provides useful  information and campaigning resources. Updated news stories

 The Democrats Abroad Mexico site has extensive material on Health Care Reform. 

  Democrats Abroad Japan has created a Health Care Project: Americans Abroad Know about National Health Care  site that enables DA members to post and share their experiences with a range of international healthcare systems. Not updated

 Articles and resources recommended by our members

 Online articles: overviews

 See the Commonwealth Fund report on The Comprehensive Health Reform Bills of 2009 which looks at the key provisions of the House and Senate Bills. Updated.  

 The Kaiser Family Foundation offers a Side by Side Comparison of the Major Healthcare Reform Proposals. updated

On the NPR website Paul Knox has produced What Health Care Overhaul Means for You, which provides specific information on the implications of proprosals for the employed insured, the uninsured, the underinsured and the self-insured.

 

 

 Families USA offers Ten Reasons to Support Health Care Reform. Ezra Klein calls it a 'must read.'  

 The New York Times has produced a Primer on the Details of Health Care Reform and a basic graphic that shows The State of Play in the Health Care Reform process.  Find ithere. 

  Slate has produced  Health Care Reform: An  Online Guide

  Current debates  New and Urgent

The issues under debate, the specific details of proposed legislation, the negotiations are all in flux and change quite rapidly, as do the positions of some legislators. A handy way to keep up to date is to follow Politico.com, The Huffington Post, or Real Clear Politics (this has a regular section specifically on "The Health Care Battle."  

 After the Finance Committee reported out its bill S1769,  the health insurers released a Price Waterhouse Coopers study for America's Health Insurance Plans on October 11.  The White House called it "an insurance industry analysis that is designed to reach a conclusion which benefits the industry, and does not represent what the bill does" and produced a detailed point by point rebuttal

 See the way Zack Cooper unpacks some of these issues in his recent article in The Huffington Post A Health Insurance Mandate and Corporate Monopoly. New

  See the Commonwealth Fund report on The Comprehensive Health Reform Bills of 2009 which looks at the key provisions of the House Bill and the emerging Senate bill New  

International comparisons

  Zack Cooper, Health Economist at the London School of Economics, in English Healthcare in the US Reform Debate: Setting the Record Straight on the Huffington Post site August 14 analyses this role and the accompanying misrepresentations. New

  T.R. Reid. Five Myths About Health Care in the Rest of the World. Washington Post, August 23 2009 covers what the title says.

  Online articles:  arguments for different systemic reforms

 We intend to cover the emerging details of proposals. Ezra Klein's blog for the Washington Post is still a useful resource.

 Paul Krugman's article, The Swiss Menace in the New York Times of August 16th presents an overview of the range of options for reform to achieve universal coverage.  Also follow Paul Krugman's blog for continuing dicussion of health care reform issues.

 

 Ezra Klein is also providing useful commentary in his blog for the Washington Post. Recent articles include Against Giving up on the Public Option, August 19 2009 (a response to Pearlstein).  

  Steven Pearlstein in The Washington Post  offers It's Time to Give up On the Public Option on August 19 2009 . His response to Ezra Klein's critique is here.  A further article on the compromises that he thinks would enable a bill to pass was published on August 28 Kennedy Saw Health-Care Reform Fail in the '70s. New

  Nicholas Kristoff in an op-ed  in the New York Times on September 2 examines the 'paradox' that 'Health care reform may be defeated this year in part because so many Americans believe the government can’t do anything right and fear that a doctor will come to resemble an I.R.S. agent with a scalpel. Yet the part of America’s health care system that consumers like best is the government-run part.'  Good short exposition.

 Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent Vermont) is a strong advocate of single-payer, state-administered healthcare.  You can find links to his publications and appearances on his website.

  The Physicans for a National Health Program support a single payer system.  Its site has links to a range of material supporting this option.

 Senator Kent Conrad (Democrat North Dakota) wants to deliver coverage to the uninsured by starting up new cooperatives modeled on rural electric cooperatives that were founded during the Great Depression. Go to his site for more information and read the August 27 New York Times article Cooperatives Record Weighed in Health-Care Debate by Mufson.

 

 Online articles: on specific issues

  The uninsured

 The New Geography of Health Care, published in the National Journal Online on October 22, 2009 in the National Journal by Ronald Brownstein and Charlie Szymanski uses recently released census data to show that "Many of the House members in both parties who are most opposed to the health care reform legislation moving toward a historic vote represent districts where the share of residents without insurance exceeds the national average, often by substantial amounts..." NEW Great interactive graphics.

Bankruptcy 

This 2005 Harvard study on Illness and Injury as Contributors to Bankruptcy is very  widely quoted. It found  that nearly half of all Americans who file for bankruptcy did so because of medical expenses.  The followup study Medical Bankruptcy in the United States 2007 found that 62% of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. in 2007 were caused by health problems—and  that 78% of those filers had insurance.    

 See Al Franken make some  short sharp points about medical bankruptcies  hereNew

Underinsurance- material needed please!

Healthcare reform, Seniors and Medicare

  Mike Madden has an article at Salon.com, Obama Wants to Kill your Grandmother: Five right-wing myths about healthcare reform and the facts.

  Organizing for America has produced a short  fact sheet on Healthcare and Seniors.

  Anemona Hartocollis, in the New York Times,  examines end of life care in Months to Live - At the End, Offering Not a Cure but Comfort.

  Healthcare reform. economic issues  and the economic crisis

  Atul Gawande,  in his  June New Yorker article The Cost Conundrum: What a Texas town can teach us about health care,  very effectively explores the relation between cost and quality of health care.

  The  Brookings Institution's Engelburg Center for Health Care Reform  has produced  a study  Bending the Curve: Effective Steps to Address Long-Term Health Care Spending Growth. New

  AARP - a nonprofit, nonpartisan memership organization for the over 50s has produced The Costs of Doing Nothing

The role and power of insurance companies

 Bill Moyers has an interview with Wendell Potters, former health insurance insider, on July 10 2009.    Watch it here. The  Bill Moyers Journal site describes the interview as  "Looking back over his long career, Potter sees an industry corrupted by Wall Street expectations and greed. According to Potter, insurers have every incentive to deny coverage — every dollar they don't pay out to a claim is a dollar they can add to their profits, and Wall Street investors demand they pay out less every year."  

 

Potters also testified before the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation on June 24; read that testimony here.

 Healthcare Reform and Overseas Americans

 There is an interesting post on this topic in the Forum - go there and discuss!

 Videos

George Lakoff, professor of linguistics and author (Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate) is well known to activists)  offers some very useful comments on why he thinks that we - Democrats- are not framing the debate effectively.  Watch it here.

Al Franken ( Democrat, Minnesota) had an engaging and illuminating discussion with people at the Minnesota State Fair; it is a clear and effective exploration of many of the issues involved. 

  

Bill Moyers has an interview with Wendell Potters, former health insurance insider, on July 10 2009.    Watch it here. The  Bill Moyers Journal site describes the interview as  "Looking back over his long career, Potter sees an industry corrupted by Wall Street expectations and greed. According to Potter, insurers have every incentive to deny coverage — every dollar they don't pay out to a claim is a dollar they can add to their profits, and Wall Street investors demand they pay out less every year."  Potters also testified before the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce and Transportation on June 24; read that testimony here.

Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films have produced an excellent  video featuring family doctors urging Americans to Heal Health Care Now. Watch it here. Over 450,000 family doctors have signed up to this call.

 Watch Jon Stewarts interviews with Betsy McCaughey about 'mandatory end of life consultations' - the so called 'death panels.'   Watch  Part I and Part II

  Books

  Jonathan Cohn (2007)  Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis and the People Who Pay the Price. Go to the  website about the book

  Think Tanks and Foundations

  The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has a Fact Check project which offers highly relevant material on the current claims and counter-claims in the health care reform debate.

  Center for American Progress

  Commonwealth Fund

  Engelburg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institute

  Kaiser Family Foundation

  National Health Policy Forum

 Campaigning  Organizations 

 Health Care for America Now

 Stand Up for Health Care: a project of Families USA

  League of Women Voters  Check the particular section  on Health Care Reform for information on their activities.

  There are many more news and information items placed in the Healthcare Forum by our members. You need to create an account to view them. New

 

Misrepresentations, lies and fear

  Go to  Reality Check for the most recent information to combat misrepresentations.

FactCheck.Org has produced Twenty-six Lies About H.R. 3200: an essential analysis and riposte to some claims gaining traction through chain emails.

As an antidote to the sensationalist coverage of the town hall debates,  The Democratic National Committee released 'What You Don't See on National Cable News,' a video compilation of what the DNC calls 'civil, productive health insurance reform town halls taking place across the country' -- find  it here.

 The Newsweek article The Truth about Obama's Health Plan offers some interesting points about opponents' fear tactics and their resonance.

  

Disclaimer: The information provided here   is intended for educational use and offered as a public service. Any views expressed should not be understood as representing or reflecting  the views of Democrats Abroad UK, Democrats Abroad  or the Democratic Party of the United States. Links to other organizations or publications imply neither endorsement of their policies nor any association with the Democratic Party or Democrats Abroad - UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Produced by E Capizzi with thanks to Bill Barnard,  Barbara Young, Paul Knutson and Herman Rothberger  for their contributions to research and provision of links.

 

Update October 20 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beverly Bandler has produced an invaluable  Healthcare Reform Information Pack. It contains a careful analysis of the current status of US healthcare quality and coverage, a clear outline of what the proposals for reform are intended to achieve, the process for enactment of  legislation, as well as an extensive bibliography. Read it now!!!

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