From the Washington Post:
President Obama on Wednesday will take his plea for health-care reform to audiences in North Carolina and southwest Virginia, armed with a bullet-point-style message that his aides are hoping will be persuasive.
The re-tooled pitch highlights eight ways that, the White House says, health-care consumers would be treated better by insurance companies if reform efforts pass. It isn’t exactly prime sound-bite material — the catchiest title we could come up with is ‘Eight No’s, an Extension and a Guarantee,’ which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
But the message is the latest attempt by the White House to cut through dense policy discussions in a way that busy, distracted citizens can understand.
Obama is also increasingly adding personal details to his pitch, telling an audience of retirees Tuesday about the experiences of his late mother and grandmother when they were seeking health care and revealing that he and first lady Michelle Obama both have living wills.
As the president tries to sell his reform message, lawmakers from both houses of Congress continue to debate different proposals for how to reform the health-care system. House leaders emerged from nearly seven hours of closed-door talks late Tuesday without a deal, while a bipartisian group of senators
moved closer to consensus.
Obama has struggled mightily to articulate why he believes that people who already have insurance will benefit from changes to the system, which would cover millions of uninsured people and attempt to lower overall health-care costs to the government and society.
On his travels Wednesday — to an audience at a high school in Raleigh, N.C., and at a supermarket in Bristol, Va. — the president will unveil the eight-part message, designed to convince the insurance masses that reform will be good for them. Here, according to White House aides, are the key points:
* No Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.
* No Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
* No Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
* No Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
* No Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.
* No Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
* Extended Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
* Guaranteed Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won’t be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.
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