What's At Stake in November for Health Reform & Medicare: Know the Facts

As a nonpartisan organization, we do not endorse specific candidates, nor do we tell you how to vote on the issues coming before you on November 6. But we can ask you to separate myths from facts as the debates touch on health reform and Medicare—and to help your friends and neighbors do the same. Here are tools for doing just that.

What you can do:

1)  Review the
uncanny similarities between RomneyCare and ObamaCareSo why all the fuss?  If you think the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a reasonable first step in a multi-year process of reform, you’re in good company.  There was a time, only 4 years ago, when Utah leaders felt the same way. That’s how Utah came to be the second state in the nation to build a health insurance exchange (now called Avenue H, in part to distance the state’s exchange from ACA exchanges). All of that happened before health reform became a political blood sport. 
2)  Check out this YouTube video about the ACA and what’s in it:
3)  Read here about what’s at stake in the November election for health reform and the future of Medicare.
4)  Separate myths from facts in candidates’ remarks on Medicare and the ACA…

Myth: Romney-Ryan proposes no cutbacks for current Medicare beneficiaries.
Fact: R-R cuts prescription benefits for seniors and people with disabilities with high medical costs and eliminates free preventive services like annual check-ups and mammograms.

Myth: ObamaCare’s $716 billion cuts to Medicare will take away senior’s benefits.
Fact: Actually no benefits will be touched—the cuts to Medicare’s budget result from reducing waste, fraud and abuse currently rooted in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Read
more about the Romney-Ryan plan for Medicare.

Myth: 20 million people will lose health insurance under ObamaCare.
Fact: Actually the Congressional Budget Office states ObamaCare will bring health coverage to over 30 million of the 50 million Americans now uninsured, whereas R-R proposals will increase the uninsured to 78 million in 10 years.

Medicaid Expansion: The Most Critical Health Policy Decision in 2013 

Utah’s decision about whether to go forward with the Medicaid expansion may be the most critical decision of the 2012 Legislative Session.  Saying YES brings affordable health insurance to over 100,000 Utahns.

Read more here.

Medicaid Accountable Care to Launch January 1, 2013

Utah is taking the first big step toward reforming its Medicaid program as the new health plan contract goes live the first day of 2013.

Read more here

Announcements and Meetings

Medicaid Autism Waiver Open Enrollment
October 1-30
More info: Josip Ambrenac:

Medicare Open Enrollment Begins
Monday, October 15

Click here to compare plan choices
Click here to learn about health reform changes for seniors

Utahns for the Medicaid Expansion (Full Coalition)

Thursday, October 25 2:00 PM
Catholic Diocese, 27 C St.
Focus: Re-calibrating for post-November Scenarios

Health Care Reform:  Medicine, Myths, and Realities (Panel Discussion)
Monday, October 29 7:00 PM
Salt Lake City Main Library Auditorium

Health System Reform Task Force
Tuesday, November 1 9:00 AM
Room 30 House Building
Likely topic: workgroup recommendations

Election Day—please vote!
Tuesday, November 6

Your polling place (click for location)

UHPP Post-Election Forum on the Future of Health Reform
Thursday, November 15 4:00-5:30 PM
Location: TBD

For more information and Interim topic and meeting times click here.

Utah's Health Exchange Moves Uptown: Avenue H

For some of us summer was a time to kick back, visit family, or tend tomatoes—but not for Utah’s Exchange team! All summer they worked with Love Communications to rebrand the Utah Health Exchange. Utah’s new online marketplace for health insurance is…wait for it…Avenue H.   

Read more here

Take Care Utah Extends It's Reach Into the Community

Take Care Utah, the UHPP-based consumer health assistance program, is moving at a fast clip.

Read more here

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