During the August recess, please urge members of Congress to keep working on comprehensive health reform. We also need to educate/form our selves and neighbors on some important aspects to this debate, informed by the Catholic moral tradition, rather than rely on blasts by various interests.
Here are some issues in health reform legislation that need to be considered:
- Support Health Care Coverage for All :
- Expand Medicaid to everyone under 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL);
- Cover immigrants, both documented and undocumented;
- Provide subsidies for low-income individuals and families up to 400% FPL;
- Reform the health insurance market, by prohibiting preexisting condition exclusions, requiring guaranteed issue of insurance, and establishing premium rating restrictions;
- Ensure access to preventive care and chronic care management;
- Provide support for long-term care services by including the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act.
- Preserve Provider Conscience Protections and Support “Abortion Neutrality” — Not an Abortion Coverage Mandate:
- Support an “abortion neutral” approach by continuing longstanding and widely supported policies protecting provider conscience rights; prohibit the use of federal funds for abortion; and not mandating abortion as part of any benefit package
- Support Delivery System Reforms that improve quality of care, patient outcomes, and efficiency, but do not arbitrarily reduce reimbursement rates:
- Support a targeted Medicare hospital readmissions policy focused only on the top 8 to 10 conditions for readmission;
- Support a Medicare Value Based Purchasing program that reimburses hospitals based on improved quality of care, implemented in a budget neutral manner;
- Test the feasibility of bundled hospital and post acute care payments through pilot projects and a study prior to considering a bundled payment system;
- Ensure any public plan, if included, provides adequate payment rates for providers.
- Ensure Sufficient and Fair Financing with “shared responsibility”:
- Protect Medicare and Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments by ensuring that any DSH payment reductions are tied to and occur after demonstrated reductions in the number of uninsured.
- Visit the Catholic Health Association of the United States for more details. Catholic health care is one of the largest providers of health services in the US and throughout the world. Our moral tradition is very much connected to the practice of medicine and ethics that have been a hallmark of the Christian tradition for centuries. Health care practice and policy have been a concern of the Catholic Church for centuries.