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ACROSS THE BOARD
A smart health care marketplace
7
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The Journal Sentinel Editorial
Board’s blog on the day’s
happenings as they happen.
By Steve Kagen
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Feb. 22, 2013
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In 2006, I ran for public office for the first time in my life to end discrimination against my patients with preexisting medical conditions - and I succeeded.
After a century of trying, we finally established that health care is a civil right. Beginning next January, no
insurance company, anywhere in these United States, will be allowed to decline insurance coverage to any
citizen. In other words, if you're a citizen, you're in. As a physician, I know this is a really big deal.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law nearly three years ago, yet most families
and small business owners are still unaware of the new freedoms they've won. Families can now have peace
of mind, for no longer will they go broke and lose their home just because a loved one becomes seriously ill.
Small business owners are now receiving tax credits to help pay for their employees' insurance coverage.
Simply put, the Affordable Care Act is good for your health and your business.
(4)
Sand mining bill needs adjusting
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Our new law puts patients first, holds insurers accountable, strengthens Medicare and levels the playing field
for small businesses. Putting patients first means physicians may do what is best for patients. No thoughtful
person can oppose the freedoms we've won. But your new freedoms are yours for only as long as you can
hold onto them.
We have begun to improve upon what we already have, but there is much work to do. This year, we must
create a truly competitive health insurance marketplace in Wisconsin. Gov. Scott Walker had the authority
to do this, but he refused to do so even though the Wisconsin Regulatory Review Report of 2013 that he
commissioned found the cost for health care is the top concern of small business owners. Our governor
turned his back on my patients and small business owners, so it is up to us to write the rules for Wisconsin's
new Health Care Marketplace.
To guarantee we receive the care we need at prices we can afford, critical questions must be answered.
What do you want Wisconsin's health insurance marketplace to look like? What piece of the pie should
insurance executives be allowed to take? Would you like to see the price of a pill before you swallow it?
Consider these questions:
Whose side do you want your doctor to be on, yours or the insurance company?
Should every insurance company have to sell the same health benefit plan so we can compare their quality,
price and service apples to apples?
Should every business selling health care products and services have to openly disclose all their prices, so
we can shop for the highest-quality care at the best possible price?
Should all patients be treated equally and at the same price for the same service?
Do you want to be rewarded for living a healthy lifestyle by paying less for your health insurance?
Do you want to be free to choose your personal physician, hospital and insurance plan?
Do you want to be free to go to any physician or health facility that accepts the same terms of your
insurance plan?
Should insurance companies be allowed to write their own rules?
Answering these and other questions will help responsible officials to establish a patient-centered and highly
competitive medical marketplace, one in which we will all have the freedom to choose our own caregivers
based upon their quality, price and service.
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Now is the time to think things all the way through. Take time today and visit these informational websites:
www.Healthcare.gov and www.sba.gov/content/health-care.
Senate scales back
Medicaid payback rules
for the elderly
As a practicing physician and co-author of our nation's new law, I am convinced today more than ever that
we can fix what is broken in our health care delivery system state-by-state by putting patients first and
creating a truly competitive medical marketplace.
Biologists begin
searching Sturgeon
Bay for Asian carp
evidence
Steve Kagen is a physician and a former congressman from Appleton.
***
(3)
Worry about asbestos-like minerals, not
the messenger
(20)
Gunman in downtown
Milwaukee shooting
ID'd as 17-year-old
Wisconsin bill would
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Wisconsin bill would
legalize raw milk, with
caveats
WHAT'S AHEAD
Health care is a civil right.
Kenosha casino
decision could take
months, Gov. Scott Walker says
Families can choose their own physicians and insurers.
Standardized insurance benefits.
Wisconsin Supreme Court considers stay in Act
10 case
Small business tax credits.
Filipino expats in US seek news after typhoon
Coverage for young adults on their parents' plan through age 26.
ABOUT THE EDITORIAL BOARD
A competitive marketplace.
Editorial Board: Who we are and what we
do
David D. Haynes: Our job - Keep the
marketplace of ideas stocked
Equality for women.
Coverage for prevention services.
Medicare doughnut hole will be closed.
No annual or lifetime caps.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
Higher pay for Wisconsin caregivers.
Write a letter to the editor
Submit an opinion piece to Perspectives or
Crossroads
Guaranteed insurance renewal.
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