Health Care Reform – Busting The 3 Biggest Myths Of ObamaCare

In the last few months we’ve seen a lot of Health Care Reform rules and regulations being introduced by the Health and Human Services Department. Every time that happens, the media gets hold of it and all kinds of articles are written in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the TV network news programs talk about it. All the analysts start talking about the pros and cons, and what it means to businesses and individuals.

The problem with this is, many times one writer looked at the regulation, and wrote a piece about it. Then other writers start using pieces from that first article and rewriting parts to fit their article. By the time the information gets widely distributed, the actual regulations and rules get twisted and distorted, and what actually shows up in the media sometimes just doesn’t truly represent the reality of what the regulations say.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about what is going on with ObamaCare, and one of the things that I’ve noticed in discussions with clients, is that there’s an underlying set of myths that people have picked up about health care reform that just aren’t true. But because of all they’ve heard in the media, people believe these myths are actually true.

Today we’re going to talk about three myths I hear most commonly. Not everybody believes these myths, but enough do, and others are unsure what to believe, so it warrants dispelling these myths now.

The first one is that health care reform only affects uninsured people. The second one is that Medicare benefits and the Medicare program isn’t going to be affected by health care reform. And then the last one is that health care reform is going to reduce the costs of healthcare.

Health Care Reform Only Affects Uninsured

Let’s look at the first myth about health care reform only affecting uninsured people. In a lot of the discussions I have with clients, there are several expressions they use: “I already have coverage, so I won’t be affected by ObamaCare,” or “I’ll just keep my grandfathered health insurance plan,” and the last one – and this one I can give them a little bit of leeway, because part of what they’re saying is true — is “I have group health insurance, so I won’t be affected by health care reform.”

Well, the reality is that health care reform is actually going to affect everybody. Starting in 2014, we’re going to have a whole new set of health plans, and those plans have very rich benefits with lots of extra features that the existing plans today don’t offer. So these new plans are going to be higher cost.

Health Care Reform’s Effect On People With Health Insurance

People that currently have health insurance are going to be transitioned into these new plans sometime in 2014. So the insured will be directly affected by this because the health plans they have today are going away, and they will be mapped into a new ObamaCare plan in 2014.

Health Care Reform Effect On The Uninsured

The uninsured have an additional issue in that if they don’t get health insurance in 2014, they face a mandate penalty. Some of the healthy uninsured are going to look at that penalty and say, “Well, the penalty is 1% of my adjusted gross income; I make $50,000, so I’ll pay a $500 penalty or $1,000 for health insurance. In that case I’ll just take the penalty.” But either way, they will be directly affected by health care reform. Through the mandate it affects the insured as well as the uninsured.

Health Care Reform Effect On People With Grandfathered Health Plans

People that have grandfathered health insurance plans are not going to be directly affected by health care reform. But because of the life cycle of their grandfathered health plan, it’s going to make those plans more costly as they discover that there are plans available now that they can easily transfer to that have a richer set of benefits that would be more beneficial for any chronic health issues they may have.

For people who stay in those grandfathered plans, the pool of subscribers in the plan are going to start to shrink, and as that happens, the cost of those grandfathered health insurance plans will increase even faster than they are now. Therefore, people in grandfathered health plans will also be impacted by ObamaCare.

Health Care Reform Effect On People With Group Health Insurance

The last one, the small group marketplace, is going to be the most notably affected by health care reform. Even though the health care reform regulations predominantly affect large and medium-sized companies, and companies that have 50 or more employees, smaller companies will also be affected, even though they’re exempt from ObamaCare itself.

What many surveys and polls are starting to show is that some of the businesses that have 10 or fewer employees are going to look seriously at their option to drop health insurance coverage altogether, and no longer have it as an expense of the company. Instead, they will have their employees get health insurance through the health insurance exchanges.

In fact, some of the carriers are now saying they anticipate that up to 50% of small groups with 10 or fewer employees are going to drop their health insurance plan sometime between 2014 and 2016. That will have a very large effect on all people who have group health insurance, especially if they’re in one of those small companies that drop health insurance coverage.

It’s not just uninsured that are going to be affected by health care reform, everybody is going to be impacted.

Health Care Reform Will Not Affect Medicare

The next myth was that health care reform would not affect Medicare. This one is kind of funny because right from the very get-go, the most notable cuts were specifically targeting the Medicare program. When you look at Medicare’s portion of the overall federal, you can see that in 1970, Medicare was 4% of the U.S. federal budget, and by 2011, it had grown to 16% of the federal budget.

If we look at it over the last 10 years, from 2002 to 2012, Medicare is the fastes

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2018 BC Health Care Awards Recipients Revealed

VANCOUVER – Recipients of the 12th annual BC Health Care Awards were announced today at a gala luncheon in Vancouver. Twelve Gold Apple and six Award of Merit recipients were honoured.

Presented by the Health Employers Association of British Columbia (HEABC), the awards recognize British Columbians who are providing outstanding care and support. Awards are given in 11 categories to projects improving delivery through innovative and collaborative approaches and to people making a positive impact and inspiring those around them.

“BC’s medical professionals – including support staff – genuinely care about delivering quality care to British Columbians,” said Michael McMillan, HEABC’s President and CEO. “The BCHC Awards are an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the individual and team contributions made by these individuals.”

New this year – Dianna Mah-Jones Award of Excellence in Person-Centred Care

Named in honour of Dianna Mah-Jones, this award is for a team or project that makes use of leading practices to improve care for patients, residents or clients by focusing on the needs of the person rather than the needs of the system or service. Dianna Mah-Jones, an occupational therapist at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, was tragically killed, along with her husband Richard Jones, just three months after being named Provincial HC Hero at the 2017 awards. Our hope is that this ward will help to keep her memory and legacy alive by recognizing others who strive to deliver care that is respectful of the needs, values and preferences of individuals.

2018 Gold Apple winners

Provincial HC Hero & HC Hero – Provincial Health Services Authority

Glenn Braithwaite – District Supervisor, Emergency Coordinator, BCEHS

Glenn Jay Braithwaite is a Paramedic and District Supervisor at BC Ambulance Service, recognized for providing exceptional emergency response and for his clinical leadership abilities. He’s received several professional accolades for his heroic actions, and his outstanding commitment to patients, colleagues and the broader community.

Provincial HC Hero & HC Hero – Island Health

Dr. Ramm Hering – Physician Lead, Primary Care Substance Use, Island Health

By passionately and effectively advocating for improved services for patients dealing with substance use and addiction, Dr. Hering has inspired his colleagues to work together to develop new programs and create an efficient, client-centred system of addiction services.

HC Hero – Affiliate

Dr. David Agulnik- Emergency Physician, St. Paul’s Hospital

HC Hero – Fraser Health

Mits Miyata – Pharmacy Manager, Lower Mainland Pharmacy Services

HC Hero – Interior Health

Lynda Martyn – Registered Speech-Language Pathologist, Coordinator Kelowna Cleft Lip/Palate Clinic

HC Hero – Northern Health

Debbie Strang – Health Services Administrator, Quesnel

HC Hero – Provincial Health Services Authority

Dr. Faisal Khosa – Associate Professor, Radiology, Vancouver General Hospital

Dianna Mah-Jones Award of Excellence in Person-Centred Care

International Seating Symposium – Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, Provincial Health Services Authority

The International Seating Symposium has created an international forum that fosters an exchange of ideas and a network of consumers, rehabilitation therapists, physicians, designers, and manufacturers of positioning and mobility equipment. This has inspired improvements in rehabilitation equipment and technology that have improved mobility, comfort and quality of life for people with disabilities.

Dianna Mah-Jones Award of Excellence in Person-Centred Care

Residential Care for Me: Megamorphosis – Seniors Care and Palliative Services, Providence

The goal of Residential Care for Me: Megamorphosis is to change the residential care culture from an institutional to a social model of care, and improve quality of life for residents by rapidly testing and implementing changes that focus on emotional connections, allow residents to direct each moment, and create the feeling of home.

Top Innovation

SNIFF: C. Difficile Canine Scent Detection Program – Vancouver Coastal Health

An innovative and dedicated team of people and a growing roster of pups known as the C. Difficile Scent Detection Program is pioneering a cost-effective method to improve and enhance C. Difficile surveillance and improve infection control and prevention practices.

Workplace Health Innovation

VGH Emergency Department Healthy Workplace Initiative – Vancouver Coastal Health

Vancouver General Hospital’s emergency department formed a multi-disciplinary team with the goal of working together to improve workplace health and safety, leading to an improved working climate where staff report feeling engaged and better able to provide the type of quality care that emergency patients deserve.

Collaborative Solutions

Improving Indigenous Cancer Journeys: A Road Map – BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, BC Cancer (Provincial Health Services Authority), First Nations Health Authority, Métis Nation BC

The Indigenous Cancer Strategy is a collaborative strategy that will improve indigenous cancer outcomes by addressing all steps of the cancer journey, from prevention and treatment, through to survivorship and end-of-life care.

This year’s Awards of Merit recipients are:

Dianna Mah-Jones Award of Excellence in Person-Centred Care

• Resources and Needs Review – Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Island Health

Top Innovation

• Symphony QuickCall – Workforce Management Solutions, Provincial Health Services Authority

• Fall-unteers: A Volunteer-Based Falls Prevention Strategy in Residential Care – Holy Family Hospital Residential Care, Providence

Workplace Health Innovation

• Reducing Workplace Injuries through Leading Practices – Menno Place

Collaborative Solutions

• Regional Strategy for Reducing Ambulance Turnaround Times – BC Emergency Health Services, Provincial Health Services Authority, Fraser Health

• Vancouver Shared Care Team – Doctors of BC, Providence, Vancouver Coastal Health

Since the awards launched in 2007, more than 200 Gold Apples and Awards of Merit have been awarded to health employees who are improving BC’s healthcare system and patient care.

The 2018 BCHC Awards are generously supported by Great-West Life, Healthcare Benefit Trust, and Pacific Blue Cross.

Visit BCHealthCareAwards.ca,to learn more about the 2018 awards winners.

The Health Employers Association of British Columbia (HEABC) is the

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