Congresswoman Ileanna Ros-Lehtinen is asking constituents to fill out her Health Care Survey Form.
I have to admit, it's less biased than I would have expected. But then my expectations were very low.
Nevertheless, there are a few good questions on there like if you support the public option, so if you live in Florida's 18th district, might as well fill it out.
Full text of the survey — with some comments — after the jump.
It is undeniable that our country’s current healthcare system is in desperate need of comprehensive reform. There are over 50 million Americans lacking health insurance and many more who are underinsured. In Florida alone, 21% of the population is uninsured, average premiums have increased about 88% since 2000, and the number of Floridians with employer coverage is declining. It is increasingly clear that we can no longer maintain the status quo. Americans deserve affordable high-quality health insurance, regardless of their socio-economic background, and I am deeply committed to the development of a feasible and inclusive system that will improve the livelihood of all our nation’s citizens. As you may know, Congress has already launched various initiatives to tackle the issue of health care. As your representative, I truly value your input on this significant matter. Please take the time to fill out this short survey and let me know your thoughts.
1. Do you currently have health insurance? Yes No
2. If you have health insurance, are you satisfied with your coverage? Yes No
3. Would you want to keep your current healthcare insurance, no matter what health care reforms are enacted? Yes No
4. Are you generally supportive of healthcare reform? Yes No
5. Do you support a government run health care option? Yes No
6. Are you in favor of employer mandated health insurance? Yes No
This is one that could be spun. It's not yes/no but compared to what…
7. Is your health insurance provided by your employer? Yes No
8. Are you concerned that your employer may opt for a government insurance program because it may be less expensive than the one currently offered? Yes No
I think this is a little loaded — it presumes that the government plan is worse, or else why be 'concerned'; if it's cheaper and better we all win.
9. Are you in favor of a tax exemption for firms with fewer than 25 employees? Yes No
10. Under the existing health care system, do individuals have the necessary information to make informed and appropriate health care decisions? Yes No
11. Do you support individuals keeping their health care coverage when changing jobs? Yes No
12. Should individuals who do not have health coverage be required to buy it? Yes No
Again, it depends what they are able to get. It may be good to expand risk pools, but it would be bad to make people pay for worthless insurance — and that can happen.
13. Do you believe that individuals should receive tax deductions for their health insurance premiums? Yes No
14. Should there be a government sponsored health insurance option for all Americans? Yes No
I was impressed that the question was put that neutrally.
15. Should health insurers have simpler, cheaper, and fairer contracts in order to allow them to compete with each other? Yes No
16. Do you think that government sponsored health insurance will be of lower quality than that of a private insurer? Yes No
I wish it had asked if we thought it would be of HIGHER quality, or HIGHER QUALITY FOR THE MONEY … again the presumption is government plans must be worse.
17. Do you think there would be increased competition created by the introduction of a public health insurance option? Yes No
18. Would a public health insurance option drive down costs and make health insurance more affordable? Yes No
19. Should the government subsidize business that cannot afford to provide health insurance to their workers? Yes No
20. Do you support encouraging doctors and hospitals to list their prices? Yes No
21. Would you be concerned with Washington making your medical decisions, instead of you or your doctors? Yes No
This may be the worst question on the list. It should say “instead of your insurance company.” Because that is who decides now, not the doctor.
22. Do you want doctors to be protected from expensive lawsuits so that they can reduce unnecessary tests and procedures? Yes No
This is a loaded question. An equally loaded question the other way would be “do you want doctors to be protected from the life-destroying expensive consequences of their mistakes”.
23. Are you concerned that access to specialists would be limited or based only on referrals under a government plan? Yes No
Again, this fails to say, 'compared to the limits of your private insurance, or lack of insurance.
24. Should resources go to expanding and improving the health care workforce through more physician training, scholarships and loans for those healthcare professionals entering areas that have shortages? Yes No
25. Do you think that a public health care option would limit diversity in treatment? Yes No
What's that mean?
26. Should insurance companies be prohibited from refusing coverage or renewing policies based on pre-existing conditions or health status? Yes No
27. Would you support insurance market reforms that prohibit rate increases based on health status, gender, or occupation and age? Yes No
Is that on the table?
28. Are you in favor of premium discounts for those who engage in health behaviors such as maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and managing chronic illnesses like diabetes? Yes No
29. Do you support a federal funded expansion of Medicaid and Medicare? Yes No
30. Medicare currently compensates doctors on how many tests and procedures they order: is evaluating treatment efficacy a better option? Yes No
31. Are you in favor of states capping health care spending by reducing Medicare payments in areas where spending is above the national average? Yes No
32. Are you in favor of a fee ($750/employee, $375/part time) for businesses that do not pay at least 60% of the cost of healthcare coverage? Yes No
33. Would you support higher taxes on alcoholic beverages and soda drinks to raise funds for health care reforms? Yes No
34. Would you support a refundable tax credit for the working poor in order for them to receive health insurance? Yes No