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Answering your questions on health reform

We had hundreds of questions submitted via the web and twitter for our conference call on Tuesday. (For those who missed it, you can listen to the entire call here.) We couldn’t get to them all, so I wanted to answer a few more.

From Melinda in Bay City, MI:

Where can we get factual information on health care reform?

For general information about how health reform will help you, read this piece. Also, the House committees have a ton of helpful fact sheets where you can find out what’s in their bill and what it will do for you. The House bill is the best version of health reform in Congress yet, so it is a good guide to what reform should look like. The fact sheets are available here.

From Rebecca in Pulaski County, VA:

Where can I read the proposal that was passed by the house?

The full House has not passed a bill yet, but HR 3200 was passed by all three committees in the House. When the House returns from recess in September, they will be voting on HR 3200. You can read HR 3200 – America’s Affordable Health Choices Act – here. The House committees also have a ton of helpful fact sheets where you can find out what’s in the bill and what it will do for you. They are available here.

For those who are interested, the HELP bill in the Senate is available here [pdf].

From Brian Smith in Ellington, CT:

What would you say to the right wing morons who are disrupting town hall meetings?

This goes for all right-wing misinformation: First, check out our rebuttal of most of the right-wing smears about the bill here. Next, stay informed. Reading this blog will get you a lot of the rebuttals of health care smears. If you hear anything you don’t know the answer to, leave a comment and I’ll see if I can track it down. Lastly, Media Matters Action Network does a wonderful job debunking the right wing. Check out their website often for the latest.

From Brenda in Greenlawn, NY:

Assuming (hopefully) that there will be a public option in the final version of a health care bill, I wonder why it will not take effect until 2013?

Building a public health insurance option and an insurance exchange is a lot of work. There are people to hire, regulations to be written and approved, systems to design, infrastructure to set up (filing, billing, claim forms, etc…), and doctors to recruit and/or train to participate in the new system and to handle the influx of newly insured patients. Considering the bill will likely not be signed until just about 2010, three years of lead time ensures we can get this program off the ground and working smoothly as soon as it opens.

From Michelle in Riverview, FL:

I am interested in hearing Dan Heck’s input regarding everyday people like us countering the concerted right-wing effort to destroy healthcare reform. What specific ways can you recommend for us to fight the right-wing media and misinformation in our own hometowns, neighborhoods, and local media outlets?

There are a few things you can do in your community to right the right wing. First, you can attend town hall events in your area and make your voice heard. Click here to search for events near you. While at town halls, you can follow the steps we’ve laid out here to make sure you’re heard over the shouting. And bring friends!

Second, Rep. Doggett suggested folks write comments on the blogs of their local newspapers. Lastly, you can sign up for the Health Care for America Now email list. About once a week, we’ll email you things you can do to help out. Click here to sign up.

From Norman in Middlesex County, MA:

What’s the most effective way to counter the disruptive tactics being taken at town hall meetings?

We’ve put together a document on how to counter the right at town hall meetings. You can read it and download it for your use here.

From the South Florida Tea Party Patriots, via Twitter:

Why do you want to kill grandma?

We don’t. (See here for a full rebuttal of that lie.) Why do you want to shout at Members of Congress at town halls? Or lie about health reform? Or more importantly, why do you want to keep the status quo, which does nothing but make the insurance industry rich?

If you have other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll try and answer them.

I’m proud to work for Health Care for America Now

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Jason Rosenbaum

Jason Rosenbaum

Writer, musician, activist. Currently consulting for Bill Halter for U.S. Senate and a fellow at the New Organizing Institute.