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How HHS is Stoking the Fires of Healthcare Reform Controversy

Jeff Elliott, for HealthLeaders Media, January 26, 2011

As you read HHS' statement further, a bit more reality enters the equation. The department goes on to say that "anywhere from 50 to 129 million (19 to 50 percent) of Americans under age 65 have some type of pre-existing condition," with heart disease, cancer, asthma, high blood pressure, and arthritis cited as examples.

Well, what is it? Fifty or 129 million? That's quite a disparity.

In case you read me wrong, this column isn't about reform bashing or sticking up for the little guy, if that's what ACA has made health insurers. But I was a bit taken aback on how loose HHS was with statistics that, whether intended or not, paint one of its most vital partners in healthcare reform in such a negative light.

There really is no debate surrounding pre-existing conditions or other parts of healthcare reform—it's a done deal with little chance of repeal, at least in the near term. But perhaps HHS, which really holds the cards, should spend less time antagonizing and more time building bridges with those constituents vital to successful reform.

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2 comments on "How HHS is Stoking the Fires of Healthcare Reform Controversy"


Patrick Plemmons (1/27/2011 at 10:42 AM)
Let's be clear about the HHS statement: it was not "bold", it was a lie. A lie meant to deceive the public. Propaganda pure and simple. The obama administration is not interested in "reforming" healthcare, they want to own it and run it. This monstrosity of a law is their means to do so. Calling it "obamacare" is actually quite mild. An accurate description would be unprintable.

Just One of the ('Bad') Guys (1/26/2011 at 1:32 PM)
On behalf of the good folks who make their living turning the cogs and gears for the bad guys, thank you for sticking up for us. We're not perfect...far from it...bit the vast majority of us are in this industry for the same reasons as attending MDs, covering RNs and all other clinicians and their business and operational partners on the delivery side...to try and do the right thing. Sebelius is a hack, pure and simple...I have infinitely more respect for Dr. Berwick...who SHOULD be in Sebelius' chair...