About 55 percent of Americans say they are confused about
the new health reform law and more than half say they don’t yet have enough
information to understand how it will affect them personally according to
Kaiser’s latest tracking poll. As
was clearly evident during the health reform debate, people take their health
coverage very personally. In order to ensure that the promise of health reform becomes a reality for all, we must help people develop an accurate understanding of the
bill and how it will touch their lives.
The following resources are a good place to start:
- The New York Times posted a simple, easy-to use graphic
that is a great launching off point for those trying to figure out how health
reform will impact them.
- The Obama Administration maintains a site that shares
the latest news on health reform and tracks how it is being implemented in each state. The site is also the place to go for weekly webchats on health reform. This Friday at 2:30 EDT, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and
other health reform experts will focus on how stronger insurance company
oversight will protect consumers.
You can submit questions by clicking here and watch it live here.
- PICO, a national network of faith-based community organizations, created an informative poster to help community leaders and others reach out to help people understand and benefit from the new health reform law.
- Consumer Reports hosts a website dedicated to helping
consumers navigate the changing health care system. Award-winning reporter Nancy Metcalf
accepts questions from consumers and posts the answers online.
For those of you who are more concerned about the
question of “what’s in it for others”, there have been a number of touching
personal stories that demonstrate how the new law is already transforming
The McClatchy News wrote about a 12-year old boy from
Fort Worth Texas with a seizure disorder whose family was unable to obtain insurance
coverage for him from a private insurer.
His father agreed to a 50% cut in pay so that his son would qualify for
CHIP coverage. The enactment of
health reform means the boy will either be able to move to private coverage
under the elimination of pre-existing condition discrimination or a high-risk
pool. This will free up his father
to earn a fair salary and start saving to buy a house (not only good news for the family but for the Ft. Worth housing market and U.S. economy).
The Delaware News Journal ran an extensive story on the
benefits of the new law and how it could help a single mother and her son who was diagnosed with
diabetes just a few months before she lost her job.
The Fiscal Times provided a very interesting snapshot of
how the new law would impact coverage for individuals and families in a variety
Finally, I was really impressed with the example set by a
county councilwoman in Washington state who used her weekly column to help her constituents develop a better understanding
of the new law. Instead of
passing the buck to federal and state lawmakers, her column demonstrates that
she understands that we all have a part to play in making the promise of health
reform a reality.
All of us at CCF would be interested in hearing about what’s going on in your communities to help people better understand and benefit from the new health reform law. Please send us your comments.