Top Five Myths About H.R. 3200

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Myth #1: Hospitals will receive less money and will be forced to decrease nursing staff.

Truth: There is a concern that due to a potential change in the hospital payment system that hospitals may be forced to implement changes which could negatively impact staffing. Although this fact remains unclear, it is one of the reasons why ANA has been working with the “Stand for Quality” coalition, a 200 plus nationwide multi-stakeholder coalition representing patients, consumer advocates, labor, clinicians, hospitals, employers, purchasers, researchers and more who are working together to improve the quality and delivery of health care services. ANA knows that quality health care happens at the bedside and that nurses are an essential component of the patient care equation and believe that hospitals will continue to require an adequate number of registered nurses in order to assure that quality care is provided and that care is efficient, effective and patient-centered.

Myth #2: Health care will be rationed.

Truth: The bill discusses the “essential benefits package” and limits on what Americans will have to spend on health care under this minimum standard. In no way does this section stipulate the rationing of care.

Myth #3: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free health care services.

Truth: This is false. This section prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against persons when issuing coverage, and has nothing to do with government subsidized coverage to illegal immigrants.

Myth #4: The government mandates a program for orders for end-of-life; the government will have a say in how your life ends. The government will specify which doctors can write an end of life order and will decide what level of treatment you will have during end-of-life care.

Truth: The bill does not mandate government involvement in end of life decisions, and there is NO truth to rumors that you would be required to come before a government panel to discuss end of life plans. What H.R. 3200 does do is allow Medicare to pay for a voluntary visit with your health care provider to discuss advanced directive planning and your wishes regarding orders for life sustaining treatment this informed discussion with your provider will ensure that your wishes will be followed should you no longer have the capacity to speak for yourself. Again, the bill only ensures that such a discussion with your provider would be a covered service under Medicare, and any choices you make regarding orders for life sustaining treatment are yours. HR 3200 does not specify which provider the patient must choose; rather, it specifies which categories of licensed health care professionals (including nurse practitioners) can write end-of-life orders.

Myth #5: The government will have access to your individual bank account.

Truth: This is false. The Health Choices Commissioner can receive taxpayer return information from the Internal Revenue Service in order to assist in determining subsidy eligibility. This is the only allowable use for this information. 

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