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Understanding the Language of Affordable Health Care Reform

As affordable health care continues to be one of the top priorities of American families, many new terms are being added to our daily vocabularies. To keep on top of the changes in health care and medical insurance, you need to understand the terminology used by health care officials and politicians as they discuss reform to know how it will affect your family medical insurance.

To begin with, health care reform is a catchall phrase for the wide variety of proposals discussed by various players trying to create affordable health coverage for Americans. The public option for health care reform refers to the federal government joining the health care industry by becoming a medical insurance provider by offering different plans to compete with private insurance. Another option being considered by the federal government is the single payer option. With the single payer option, the government would be the sole provider of medical insurance for all Americans. The government run program would likely allow individuals the option of purchasing private medical insurance as well for additional benefits beyond the single payer program. Medicare for All is another term that means the government would provide medical insurance for everyone, through the existing Medicare program. The Medicare for All has two potential outcomes: either private medical insurance would be eliminated altogether or it would be a public option medical insurance program in competition with private insurance, allowing people younger than 65 to pay a more affordable health coverage premium to participate in Medicare for All.

A twist on the single payer option is state run medicine. State run medicine takes things a step further and involves the government actually providing not just medical insurance, but actual medical care. In a state run medicine program the government would pay health care providers, much like in the current Veterans Health Administration Program.

There are a couple of terms used in health care reform with two different meanings. The first is mandate. A mandate to purchase insurance could mean everyone must purchase some type of medical insurance coverage. It can also mean employers are required to provide affordable medical insurance for their employees. Another use of the word mandate in the health reform debate is mandated coverage. Mandated coverage would require all health insurance companies to provide specific benefits to everyone.

Another term with two different meanings is health insurance co-op. A health insurance co-op can refer to a group of people or perhaps a group of companies that form a group for the purpose of purchasing more affordable health insurance. A health insurance co-op could also refer to a health insurance company operating as a non-profit in order to provide more affordable affordable medical plans to members.

Many people have difficulty getting affordable medical insurance because they have certain pre-existing conditions that cause them to be at a higher risk for medical problems than the average American. Pre-existing conditions are medical conditions that are already present before someone obtains health insurance. Health care reform measures could require insurance companies to provide coverage to these patients through a high-risk pool.

Having an understanding of these terms can help you understand the debate and discussion regarding health care reform. The goal of health care reform is to provide affordable health coverage for everyone, whether they can afford medical insurance or not. works today to help everyone find medical coverage they can afford so they can receive the medical care they need to keep their families healthy and strong.

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