Status Update: Health Systems Reform Legislation
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Thursday, August 13, 2009
As the summer recess for Congress continues, the rhetoric addressing the health systems reform legislation continues to escalate. False claims about some provisions in the health reform legislation are being spread by opponents in an attempt to derail reform legislation. Among the claims being spread are that under the House Bill (HR 3200), the government would determine end-of-life care and that all undocumented immigrants would receive health care services at no cost. Bill Adair, editor of PolitiFact, said, "I think much of the dialogue [about health reform] is being set by the critics who are making some very strong claims about this, and when we check them out, we find that many of them are exaggerated or completely false." The Chicago Tribune and the New York Times published primers on details of the more contentious proposals included in the health reform legislation.
A USA Today/Gallup poll found that U.S. residents often have conflicting views on health care reform depending on their age, ethnicity, region, insurance status and health. The survey found that less than 50% of seniors wanted health reform enacted this year, making them the most resistant group to the efforts. In addition, the poll found variations on what people believed the priority for reform should be. Two-thirds of blacks and six out of 10 Hispanics saying it should be expanding coverage, while six in 10 whites say it should be controlling costs.