Friday, July 17, 2009

"Interested in Health Care Reform? If so, the Hill is THE place to be this summer!"

Written by Kathleen MacDonald, Policy Assistant

"Have you ever read an epic novel, oh say, "Gone With The Wind", and found that you really dug the length of the novel --all 1,037 pages of it? Well, if so, then may we suggest some comparable reading? "America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009", the House version of this the "Health Care Reform" bill keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last page! (page 1,018 to be exact.)

Well, OK --maybe the "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009" doesn't "keep you on the edge of your seat" and maybe it might never be remembered for a singular line comparable to, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" --but I promise you every page matters to us!

Yesterday Jeanine and I visited offices of some Members of the House to talk about the FREED Act (HR 1193)and then dropped in on the hearings for 'Health Care Reform' (the short-and title referring to "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009"). We sat in on the Education and Labor Committee hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building. We happened to walk in during the debates centered on the potential "public health insurance option". Interesting were the statements from Members who described some of the disconnects currently present in Medicare and how that might transfer to the "public health insurance option" currently laid out in this draft of the bill. One of the most notable comments came from Congressman Andrews (with whom we'll follow-up directly) who detailed the unnecessary, yet continuing, reality of patients who face re-admission to hospitals/treatment centers because of the lack of proper care. He noted the particular reason for the high number of re-admissions as: lack of adequate (including length of stay) treatment. I think Jeanine and I were about to jump up and down shouting, "Yes! Yes --we 'get' that! People with Eating Disorders deal with this ALL the time!!"

I left the hearing curious to know: How many of you know someone who was prematurely discharged from eating disorder treatment due to lack of adequate care, only to need readmission at a later date? We'd love to hear from you on this, so please feel free to comment --and feel free to forward this blog post onto others!

We're looking forward to attending more hearings and mark-ups and will keep you posted as we do.

from Capitol Hill

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