You are on page 1of 11

Vision and Mission……………………………………………………3 What is Health Care Reform?......................................................................

3-4 Five Things You Can Do To Win Health Care Reform………..…………......5 Fact Sheet on the Health Care Reform………………………………...6-7 Sample Op/Ed Letter……...………………………………..………..8-9 Letter of Support………………………………………………….…10 Organizational Endorsement…...……………………………………..11

Vision Statement The Young Democrats of America will fight to ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable Health Care. Mission Statement The Obama administration, Democratic leaders in Congress and Americans the nation over have chosen the next six months as an important window in which we can enact reforming Health Care legislation. As members of the largest bloc of uninsured Americans, Young Democrats believe quality, affordable Health Care to be a fundamental human right. In our communities and alongside friends, family, coworkers, classmates and neighbors, we will fight to enact farsighted Health Care reform.

A frequent topic of debate during the 2008 General Election, Health Care reform is a very real issue affecting over 40 million Americans. Our goal is to provide first class Health Care to all Americans at a price they can afford.
 Components of “Health Care” – The term Health Care includes all aspects of the Health Care industry. This includes Health Insurance, both government and private, Hospitals and Clinics, medical technology and doctor patient relations. Health Care Costs to Government – Almost half of Health Care costs in the US are paid for by Federal, State and Local Governments. Government spending on programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP etc. currently account for over 6% of America’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By 2040, without reform, Government programs could account for over 15% of GDP. Health Care Costs to Families – Health Care Costs are usually included in a worker’s overall compensation package, alongside salary, sick days etc. A worker’s take home pay will be lower when health care expenses increase. Between 1996 and 2006, average health insurance premiums for a family of four went up 85%, from $6,424 to $11,941. Without reform, premiums for the average family will be over $25,000 a year by 2025.

Inefficiencies in Health Care – The U.S. spends 50% more on Health Care than the next highest, developed nation. Our infant mortality and life expectancy rates, however, are near the bottom of the list compared to other wealthy, industrialized countries. This demonstrates the inefficient nature of America’s Health Care system. These inefficiencies include high cost/low value treatments, preventable mistakes and high administrative costs, among others. President Obama’s reform plan will bring these costs down by as much as 1.5%, saving the nation curbing the deficit and increasing GDP by nearly 16% in 2040. The Uninsured – Over 45 Million Americans are currently uninsured, and another 20 million are underinsured. Nearly a third of youth ages 18-19 lack any sort of health insurance. These people have no access to preventative care and must use emergency services to treat minor ailments, increasing costs. President Obama’s plan expands Health Care to include these uninsured. This will provide needed preventative care and avert expensive emergency treatments.

1. Get petitions signed supporting the passage of the Health Care Reform. These cards can allow you to grow your list of activists and supporters. We encourage you to add the signers of your cards to your data bases for those who support Universal Health Care and to follow up with them by letting them know what else they can do in your community to support Health Care Reform, giving them updates on local, and national efforts. 2. Pass a resolution supporting expanded coverage, increased efficiency and greater innovation. 3. Organize educational events such as presentations, work shops, or teachins, or educational segments in your regular meetings informing your members of the plight of the uninsured and Health Care reform. 4. As you conduct lobby visits to your state and federal legislators educate them on the plight of uninsured people in your community and encourage them to support the Health Care reform. 5. Get your chapter to sign on to the Health Care reform support letter and ask partner organizations and community organizations in your area to sign the Health Care support letter

Fact – More than 45 Million Americans are uninsured and another 20 Million are underinsured.
With the rising cost of Health Care, hard working American families are increasingly unable to afford insurance. If current conditions persist (and they will likely only get worse), more than 22% or 72 million Americans will be uninsured by 2040. Health Care is a fundamental human right, and that a single American in uninsured is reprehensible.

Fact – In the last decade, Health Care costs have increased 85% for the average family of four. Without reform, this same family will pay over $45,000 a year in insurance premiums.
These rising costs keep small businesses from offering Health Insurance and make it virtually impossible for individuals to purchase their own coverage. Increased premiums also drive down take-home wages, decreasing family savings, increasing debt and preventing social mobility.

Fact - Nearly 5% of Americas Gross Domestic Product is eaten by inefficiencies in the Health Care sector.
Americans spend 50% more on Health Care than other industrialized nations, yet we are not healthier. Doctors are incentivized to prescribe high cost, low-value treatments and tests unnecessarily. The complexity of American Health Care has caused enormous administrative costs. A patient shouldn’t have to pay more, to receive less.

The Obama-Biden Health Care Plan Would:
Insure all Americans. It requires Health Insurance providers to cover pre-existing conditions, allowing people to get comprehensive benefits at affordable prices. It creates a new National Health Care Exchange that will allow any American to enroll in a new public plan, or any of a number of approved private plans at affordable rates on an income based sliding scale. It also requires children to be covered, expands Medicaid and SCHIP and provides a tax credit to small businesses and families.

Lower the cost of Health Care. The President and Vice President’s plan will invest $10 billion over the next five years into Health Care information technology. It aligns reimbursement to the quality and efficiency of serves, rather than their volume. It allows patients to import cheaper drugs, prevents the blocking of generic drugs and increases competition in the Health Care industry. Finally, it incentivizes preventative medicine, rather than reactive, emergency treatments. Increase worker productivity, lower unemployment and grow GDP. If working Americans suffer less from illness, they will miss fewer days of work and produce more. The Obama-Biden Health Care Plan will reduce Health Care costs by 1.5% annually, thereby growing the GDP by 16% by 2040, and preventing the rapid explosion of the national debt. It will increase household income $23,000 in 2040, over what there income would have been without reform.

What Can You Do To Help Enact Health Care Reform?
• Get petitions signed supporting the passage of the Health Care Reform. • As you conduct lobby visits to your state and federal legislators educate them on the plight of the uninsured in your community and encourage them to support the Health Care reform. • Pass a resolution supporting universal, public Health Care that lowers costs, encourages innovation and covers all Americans. • Organize educational events such as presentations, workshops, or teach-ins informing students of the plight of the uninsured and the underinsured in the U.S and Health Care Reform.

For More Info
www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/CEA_Health_Care_Report.pdf www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/HealthCareFullPlan.pdf www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/ www.healthreform.com

The op-ed should be signed or co-signed by a local Health Care worker and community or faith-based movement leader.

It’s easy enough to say that the costs of Health Care reform outpace the benefits – if you’re insured. Think, for a moment, of all the people you know and love. Divide them by six. Those who remain are likely uninsured. The reality is, the youth population are the largest uninsured demographic in America, with only 1 in 3 living with health insurance. For these 45 million Americans without health insurance and at least 20 million more who are underinsured, the benefits of Health Care Reform far outweigh the costs. For our national debt, the benefits of a new Health Care system will check growing costs. For American workers, there is nothing but benefit. Perhaps the single largest, domestic challenge of our time, Health Care reform promises to solve a plethora of serious problems facing America and Americans – if we do it right. Even before this recession began, analysts projected that as many as 72 million Americans will be uninsured by 2040. For those who remain insured, the picture is equally as bleak. The average annual premium for a family coverage obtained through employers in 1996 was $4,462. Ten years later, that figure had risen by 85% to $11,941 and, without reform it could reach over $45,000 by 2040. With this explosion in Health Care costs, the American workers’ take home wages will stagnate, or, worse, decline, leaving our economy broken and our society immobile. Nearly half of all Health Care costs are paid by Federal, State and Local governments, and the coming eruption of Health Care costs threatens to burden our nation with insurmountable debt, bankrupting our children’s future. Already, 18% of the United States’ Gross Domestic Product is eaten up by Health Care costs. Of this, Medicaid and Medicare expenditures alone are 6% of GDP and will rise to 15% by 2040 if we do nothing to control costs. Young people are especially vulnerable to the rising costs of Health Care. Currently, 1/3 of youth between 18 and 29 are uninsured. With the price tag of individual Health Coverage expected to reach over $16,000 in 2040 and already sprinting past $5,000 annually, more and more young people will be incapable of purchasing necessary Health Insurance. This raises worker absenteeism due to preventable illnesses, decreases production and results in poorer economic performance.

The Obama-Biden Health Care Plan presents the best possibility of reforming our Health Care system and solving the double threat of rising costs and falling coverage. It puts in place a farsighted plan to cover all Americans with quality, affordable Health Care. The Whitehouse’s plan will require private insurers to cover pre-existing conditions, provide tax credits to families and small businesses to help with their premiums, mandates that all children have health insurance and expands the Medicaid and SCHIP safety net programs. Perhaps the most important and farsighted proposal in the Obama-Biden plan is the creation of a new, National Health Exchange in which all Americans can choose between private insurers and a new Public Health Care option. It will require that private insurers issue policies at least as generous as the public option and at a price equal to the same. This will ensure that all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable Health Care. The Whitehouse’s plan doesn’t end there, though, in an effort to control costs, it will actively remove inefficiencies in the Health Care system. A conservative estimate places the cost of inefficiencies at 5% of America’s GDP. Already, an expansive group of Doctors, Hospitals, Health Insurers and other Health Care industry agents have agreed to reduce Health Care costs by 1.5%. By digitalizing patient files, incentivizing efficient and quality care rather than volume and increasing preventative medical practices, the Obama-Biden plan will limit the costs of administration and inefficiency. This plan not only benefits families and uninsured Americans, but curbs the national debt and grows GDP. Where a reform-less system would expand to 34% of GDP in 2040, the Obama-Biden plan will limit it to 26%. This frees up 8% of America’s Gross Domestic Product to be used elsewhere. Moreover, the added savings slow our deficit’s growth by 6% by 2040. Not only will America be in less debt, but it will have to pay much less in interest on this debt which in turn will incur less debt. Finally, this plan will increase the average annual family income by a remarkable $24,000 in 2040. Now is the time for Americans to stand up and demand a fair, equitable and affordable Health Care system. President Obama and Vice-President Biden have proposed a new system which will cover all Americans with affordable, quality Health Care, grow our prosperity and minimize our debt. Health Care is a fundamental human right. We must commit ourselves to ensuring that all Americans are guaranteed that right, so that one day soon, we can think of all of the people we know and love, and be comforted knowing they will all receive the care they need, when they need it.

Recognizing the fundamental right of all Americans to have Health Care, We, the undersigned organizations and individuals pledge our support for The Obama-Biden Health Care Plan. The current Health Care system in this country is broken. 47 million Americans are without health insurance and another 20 million are underinsured. Health insurance premiums have increase over 85% in the last decade and Health Care costs are projected to eat up 34% of America’s GDP by 2040. Without reform, another 30 million Americans will forgo Health Coverage by 2040 and the national debt will be unconquerable. This broken, foundering system is dragging down America’s economy, bankrupting our future. With the average cost of health insurance premiums for a family of four projected to hit $45,000 in 2040, American’s will have less money to spend or save and youth entering the labor market will face insurmountable obstacles between them and properity.

In an article in The New England Journal of Medicine, Michael E. Porter, Ph.D wrote: True reform will require both moving toward universal insurance coverage and restructuring the care delivery system. These two components are profoundly interrelated, and both are essential. Achieving universal coverage is crucial not only for fairness but also to enable a high-value delivery system
The Obama-Biden Health Care Reform Plan helps fix the current system by providing universal access to all Americans at affordable rates while reducing costs. It increases competition, reduces inefficiencies and reaffirms our commitment to life saving, cost cutting innovations. The Obama-Biden Health Care Reform Plan will bring much needed fundamental change to our Health Care system and ensure that all Americans have access to high quality, affordable Health Care. We urge our legislators in Congress to act NOW and enact farsighted Health Care reform, so that America can be a beacon of health and affordability, where no American will go without the Health Care they need.

We, the undersigned organization, are concerned about the increasing millions of Americans who lack basic Health Care. Comprehensive Health Care Reform is the first step to fixing this badly broken system. Health Care Reform will: - Ensure that every American has access to affordable, high quality Health Care. - Contain the exploding costs of Health Care. - Grow America’s prosperity and minimize America’s debt. Our organization endorses Comprehensive Health Care Reform and permits our organization’s name to be used on materials that may be reproduced and distributed to the press and the general public. PLEASE TYPE or PRINT CLEARLY: Name: _______________________________________________________ Title: _________________________________________________________ Organization: ___________________________________________________ Address:_______________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________ City: ______________________State: ___________ Zip:_________________ Phone: _______________________________ Fax: _________________________________ ***Return to chapter@yda.org or fax (202) 318-3221***