Anne-Marie L. Reynolds: Health care discussions demand compromise | SteamboatToday.com

Anne-Marie L. Reynolds: Health care discussions demand compromise

As we have discovered since January, health care reform is a moving target and must have bipartisan support. Compromises need to be made while protecting what we already have that is working.

Ever since it was announced, the future of the bipartisan deal from Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray to stabilize the ACA has gotten muddier. Bernie Sanders’ bill for single payer has some support from both sides, but not enough.

Our Senator Michael Bennet and Senator Kaine from Virginia are proposing legislation that would create a public health care option called Medicare-X. It would allow people in areas that have only one or no insurers to buy into a publicly provided plan using the network of Medicare providers and physicians, at similar rates, with lower-income workers receiving tax plan credits for the plan. This plan would be especially welcome in Northwest Colorado.

A bipartisan group of governors has sent a letter to Congress urging them to pass legislation to stabilize the ACA’s individual health market. Governor Hickenlooper signed this letter.

Current discussions demand compromise. Compromise demands that both parties work together.

Whatever the current Congress creates, we must demand that it not take away the ten essential benefits already in place with the ACA. In a nutshell, by the current requirements, all insurance policies must include the following:

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• Preventive services including counseling, screenings, vaccines to keep you healthy and care for                 managing a chronic disease.

• Outpatient care–the kind you get without being admitted to a hospital.

• Trips to the emergency room.

• Your lab tests.

• Treatment in the hospital for inpatient care.

• Your prescription drugs.

• Care before and after your baby is born.

• Mental health and substance use disorder  services. This includes behavioral health treatment, counseling and psychotherapy.

• Services and devices to help you recover if you are injured, or have a disability or chronic condition. This includes physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, psychiatric rehabilitation and more.

• Pediatric services for kids, including dental and vision care.

Do not let Congress take these away from us. Demand that whatever compromises are made, insurance companies will still be required to provide all ten essential benefits. Now is the time to call our Congress people and let them know comprise is good but do not take away what is working.

Anne-Marie L. Reynolds

Steamboat Springs