Report: Health reform would improve care for most Nashvillians

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 11:45pm

Some 436,000 people in U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper’s 5th district would “improve” their health insurance coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care bill that’s moving through Congress, according to a report released Wednesday by a key House Democrat.

(Read the report here.)

Statistics, supplied by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, came from a combination of sources, including the U.S. Census, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Congressional Budget Office. 

U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., a leading engineer of the health bill, chairs the committee, and issued the fact sheet for each congressional district Wednesday, presumably trying to build final support for a bill he says would “make health care affordable for the middle class.”

Cooper, who voted for the House reform bill in November, is waiting until a final version of the latest bill is released before revealing his position. 

“Jim doesn't take positions on legislation until he has language to review,” said Peter Boogaard, Cooper’s spokesman. “He wants to see what changes are being made to the overall proposal and won’t make a decision until he has the opportunity to read the final bill.”

Sixty-three percent of Cooper’s district, which includes all of Davidson and parts of Cheatham and Wilson counties, currently receive health coverage from an employer or through policies purchased on the individual market, the analysis says. For those 436,000 residents, the report continues, “individuals with insurance can keep the coverage they have now, and it will get better.”

“The insurance reforms in the bill prohibit annual and lifetime limits, eliminate rescissions for individuals who become ill while insured, ban coverage denials for pre-existing conditions, and reduce the cost of preventive care,” according to the report. “To rein in soaring insurance costs, the reforms also limit the amount insurance companies can spend on administrative expenses, profits and other overhead.”

Waxman’s report says the bill would also:

• Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 184,000 families and 16,000 small businesses to help them afford coverage

• Improve Medicare for 86,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole

• Extend coverage to 54,000 uninsured residents

• Guarantee that 12,100 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage

• Protect 2,100 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs

• Allow 56,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents’ insurance plans

• Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 26 community health centers

• Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $45 million annually

10 Comments on this post:

By: reality on 3/18/10 at 12:40

I tried to read the report, but message said the file is damaged. So much for checking the report for accuracy.

Lets take a reality check. The government is going to force insurance companies to prohibit annual and lifetime limits, eliminate rescissions for individuals who become ill while insured, ban coverage denials for pre-existing conditions, and reduce the cost of preventive care,to rein in soaring insurance costs, the reforms also limit the amount insurance companies can spend on administrative expenses, profits and other overhead. Guarantee that 12,100 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage. and numerous other new costs to insurance companies.

What happens when a company has increased costs? They raise their prices or go out of business. If insurance companies go out of business the only place left to get insurance will be the government.

The same government that runs Social Security. It is now spending more than it is taking in. The same government that runs medicare and medicaid. It is going, if not already, bankrupt. The same government that runs the Post Office. It
lost 7 billion dollars last year.

The health care bill has a provision to fine you if you don't buy insurance. Guess who gets the fine? The government. That won't do anything to lower insurance rates. That just gives the politicians more money to waste.

The President is now bribing and twist arms to try to get people to vote for this bill. What makes people think he will keep his promise after the bill is signed into law? He promised to close GITMO. It's still open. He promised transparancy. The healthcare bill was put together behind closed doors. I could go on about his broken promises, but those two should be enough to let people know he changes his mind after he gets what he wants.

The President knows the insurance companies will have to increase their rates to cover additional expenses forced on them to the point that no one can afford to buy it and then will take over the insurance business. Then there will be no choice. The President has said, you have to start small and build to get a healthcare system like Canada. Where do Canadians go when they need life saving madical care? The U.S.

He knows now that he is going to be a one term president and he is going to throw anyone that gets in his way under the bus to get what he wants before he is voted out of office in 2012. The bad part is, the Democrats are getting in line and saying throw me first.

I hear the President tell the sob stories about people that have lost their insurance and were devistated from the bills. Let me tell you about a friend I used to know. She was diagnosed with cancer. Her and her husband had to live with her mother because they didn't make enough money to afford an apartment. She applied for medicare so she could get life saving treatment for her cancer. She died before she could be approved. That is what you can expect from the government when you need them. If you don't believe the government drags its feet, call a Social Security attorney and ask them how long it takes on average to get approved for Social Security Disibility. If you become totally disabled it can take 1 to 2 years to get approval and most of the time it will require an attorney because you will be constantly denied..

I am going to give one more example how well the government works for its customers. I purchased a money order for $9 to purchase an item by mail. The Post Office lost the money order in their mail. They charged me $5.40 to trace it and find out it wasn't cashed and issue a new one. That was $5.40 to replace a $9 money order that they lost.

Do you really trust the government to reform healthcare? Believe it or not, if you trust the government to take control over your healthcare, you are betting your health and your life that they get it right. In reality they are betting your health and your life that they get it right.

By: richgoose on 3/18/10 at 6:46

The health care bill will allow worthless people to live longer.

By: Dragon on 3/18/10 at 6:51

"...reduce the cost of preventive care..."

A false statement. What is does is forbid insurance companies from applying copays to preventive care. The cost remains the same and will be added to your monthly premium.

By: stlgtr55@yahoo.com on 3/18/10 at 8:23

This is just the Socialists in this country trying to create a "Nanny State." They want entitlements from cradle to grave. Socialism failed in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc of Europe. Now they want to implement it here. I wouldn't trust Henry Waxman any farther than I could throw him.

By: everloyal on 3/18/10 at 10:22

Obamacare if passed, will basically bankrupt this country. With all the monies that Obama and Congress have spent/are spending, this will just increase our national debt that our children and grandchridren will have to pay for. I don't see any where in the constitution where healthcare is a right. Kill this terribly flawed and expensive bill now!

By: pswindle on 3/18/10 at 12:24

My parents said that the same type of people that are fighting healthcare reform are the same type that fought SS and Medicare. How many would let their benefits go? I would bet not many. If we do not do something, American will become so imbedded with poverty that we may become a third level country. SS and Medicare are the only income and healthcare that a lot of Americans have. The republicans have been trying for years and years to take it away or give it to Wall Street to manage. If we had done what Bush wanted to do, the stock market crash would have taken the whole sercurity blanket away from millions of Americans. I know many poor republicans that depend on SS and Medicaid, but they fight healthcare reform because they only listen to Fox News. A lot do not understand that they are government run agencies. American needs to be educated and not lied to.

By: reality on 3/18/10 at 9:38

To pswindle

You brought up a good point about SS and Medicare. What you aren't looking at is how the government is running it. Medicare is going bankrupt. What does the government do? They take a half billion dollars from it to start a new healthcare entitlement. The government wants to start an new entitlement in hopes of saving medicare. How will this new program save Medicare? They raise taxes to pay for it. The increase in taxes will also pay for healthcare reform and reduce the deficit. that is what they say. Remember when they said they had to raise the cost of stamps 4 years ago, because the post office was loosing money? Then 3 years ago because they were loosing money, then 2 one and half years ago because they were loosing money then 2 years ago then a year and a half then a year ago the same thing. Now they are 7 billion dollars in the hole still bleeding taxpayers money. Fedex and UPS are making a profit, the Post Office is going broke. One is run by the government the others are run by corporations. Maybe if you watched more programs like Fox news you might learn that included in the healthcare bill are billions of dollars unrelated to healthcare reform. Special backroom deals for the congressmen and senators to make them vote for the bill. What does the government taking over all student loans have to do with healthcare reform? There are hundreds of other amendment like that one that have nothing to do with healthcare reform, but if the bill passes the taxpayers will have to pay for it. Now for the good news. The IRS will be responsible for making you pay for the new healthcare programs. They will be the ones that go after taxpayers for the fines and premiums that are imposed by the government. Would you like to deal with the IRS when someone makes a mistake and your insurance if some how it gets messed up? There are provisions in the healthcare bill to have people prosecuted and put in prison if they don't purchase healthcare that meets the government guidlines.

37 states are now in the process of passing laws that will prevent the government from forcing their residents to purchase mandatory healthcare. If they don't go along and pay, the government can't collect the revenue they need and if they can't collect the revenue, they will have to raise taxes higher and higher or go broke. The same path SS Medicare and Medicaid are now going.

The government is in the business of spending money. The taxpayer is their source of income.

If you would take the time to read the 2700 + page bill, I don't think you would be so anxious to defend it. It is actually a government takeover of healthcare not healthcare reform..

By: shef2 on 3/18/10 at 10:20

I was able to read the report. Don't know why you couldn't...
Medicare will not fail.
We need this.
We don't need a new convention center, or a new baseball stadium. Now that's wasting money.

By: tomba1 on 3/19/10 at 1:36

How can waxman make such statements when, supposedly, the final legislation was not available at the time he released his information? This is just more disinformation which continues to be the hallmark of this congressional and presidential cycle.

Go figure this one. Cooper is withholding his position statement until he has received and read the new legislation which, according to the speaker, was released on Thursday. Waxman released his district by district in-depth statistical analysis of the bill on Wednesday. He says his sources included several agencies but NOT the bill itself. So when did the circulation of the document actually begin and who was on the recipient list? Come on, Cooper's had the document and is just playing hard to get. He's been swamped with responses and loves the attention he's getting but I don't see any circumstance under which he goes against his party, regardless of what path they lead him down or the damage to our country and the Constitution. Come on Congressman, prove me wrong, please!

This is all for show and geared to do one thing and that's find a few more votes. Let's recall that last Fall, Cooper voted yes on the house bill just to "force the senate to do something". That was his response in emails as well as in the media. I guess he got his wish.

By: reality on 3/19/10 at 7:41

There are 256 democrats in the house that are up for re election this year. I am sure the President has promised each one, that if they vote for health care, he will help each one to help them raise campaign funds and work with them to get elected. If he spent 1 day working for each one, he would still be working on their campaigns after the elections are over. There aren't 256 days left before the elections.

He invites them one at a time into his office and makes them feel like they are his priority. After the bill passes he will just throw most of them under the bus and concentrate on saving Queen Pelosi and Dirty Harry from being voted out.

I think everyone should email Jim Cooper and use Donald Trumps words and tell him YOU"RE FIRED! As a matter of fact, we should do that to every person that wants to vote yes on the bill. Maybe then, they will get the massage. Hopefully, before they vote.

Give them a taste of reality!