health care reform afftects you! 


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Health Care Proposals in the 2008 Elections Affect YOU! 

The following principles highlight AFTRA’s health care priorities which must be addressed in the November elections.

Health care proposals that benefit AFTRA members:

1. The government should assure that all Americans have universal, comprehensive, quality, affordable health coverage.

Why: Uninsured Americans get their health care in the most expensive way – through emergency rooms. This expense is passed along to taxpayers and to participants in health plans such as AFTRA’s. In addition, comprehensive, quality health care for all is not only the right thing to do but it would obviously benefit the many AFTRA members who are not covered by our Health Plan.

2. Allow people to buy into a high quality, comprehensive, affordable public program similar to Medicare or the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program.

Why: Uninsured AFTRA members could buy into a quality, affordable program.

3. Reject plans that tax workers on employer-provided health insurance.

Why: AFTRA members would have to pay taxes on our AFTRA Health Plan.

4. Require participation from employers either through employer- provided health insurance or fees/taxes paid into a public program.

Why: Employers are increasingly dropping employee health benefits and AFTRA needs our employers to continue contributing to our Health Plan. Even if the United States were to enact a national health plan, employers would be an important source of funding.

5. Guarantee a choice of health care provider and benefits that cover all necessary care including preventative services as well as treatment for chronic diseases and conditions.

Why: Whether we have employer-provided health care or a national health plan, these are important principles. Health care coverage is meaningless if it doesn’t cover needed care.

6. Require insurance companies to issue a policy to every applicant and to insure everyone at the same price without considering pre-existing conditions. This is called guaranteed issue.

Why: This is critically important for members who are not currently covered by the AFTRA health plans and have preexisting conditions.

7. Regulate insurance companies with regard to maximum premiums, deductibles, and total out-of-pocket costs. Get rid of “junk” insurance.

Why: AFTRA members who are not covered through the AFTRA plan would be protected from being at the mercy of insurance companies.

8. Ideally, cover everyone through a “single payer” national insurance program.

Why: AFTRA has historically supported “single payer.” A single government sponsored insurer could provide excellent, cost effective health care and relieve AFTRA from negotiating for health plan contributions. This would result in greater leverage at the bargaining table for higher wages.

AFTRA does not endorse any political candidates or parties. AFTRA’s Legislative and Public Affairs Committee is offering this summary of AFTRA’s position on health care reform as a tool to give members a means of making their own judgments about the candidates’ proposals.