About America’s Healthcare Puzzle

About America’s Healthcare Puzzle

MS_Wire_Ed_Tobias
There’s been lots of chatter on social media since the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure last week that’s intended to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) and replace it with a new healthcare law. Lots of us with serious medical conditions are: a) worried, b) angry, c) confused, or d) all of the above.

Here’s a sampling of comments that have appeared on health-related Facebook pages:

“Those of us insured through employers aren’t effected as much as those who are not. I definitely am confused! But I worry for others.”

I don’t think any of us really know what Trump is going to do to our health care.”

I am scared. I have insurance through my work, but I don’t know how Trumpcare would affect it.”

“I am on Medicare so I don’t think it will affect me.”

OK, folks, settle down. This is only Act I.

If the bill that was passed by the House last Thursday were to become law exactly as it’s written, there would be major changes to the healthcare that Americans receive and how much we pay for it. The NBC News website does a good job of explaining what would change, plus who would be helped and who would be hurt. (Other news web sites also have good explanations. If you want to read the entire 124 page bill, you can do that here).

But, here’s the thing that you need to understand. This healthcare bill is NOT going to become law the way it’s currently written. Ask anyone in Congress. Here’s why:

The bill that was passed by the House now moves to the Senate. If the Senate changes the content of the House bill, or writes a bill of its own (and it will do one or the other), and if the Senate is then able to pass its version of bill, that measure would then go to a House/Senate conference committee. There, committee members from the House and the Senate would put their heads together to come up with a bill containing language that would be acceptable to both houses of Congress. That bill would be sent back to the full House, which would vote on it. And, if it passed there, the Senate would also have to pass it. Only then would a bill removing and replacing Obamacare be sent to the president to be signed into law.

This can be a very long process and who knows what kind of healthcare law, if any, will survive. As President Trump has discovered, changing healthcare is “complicated.”

In the meantime, I urge my fellow Americans to phone or email their members of Congress. Demand that those lawmakers craft a bill that will allow you to afford the treatment that you need.

Do your homework. Follow the legislative process, and speak your mind to the people who represent you. You can use your zip code to find your representative’s contact info here. Then, make a call or send an email. We have miles to go before we sleep.

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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Ed Tobias is a retired broadcast journalist. Most of his 40+ year career was spent as a manager with the Associated Press in Washington, DC. Tobias was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1980 but he continued to work, full-time, meeting interesting people and traveling to interesting places, until retiring at the end of 2012.
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Ed Tobias is a retired broadcast journalist. Most of his 40+ year career was spent as a manager with the Associated Press in Washington, DC. Tobias was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1980 but he continued to work, full-time, meeting interesting people and traveling to interesting places, until retiring at the end of 2012.

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