To begin, what is health care reform?
According to the White House's official site, HealthReform.gov, the Administration believes that comprehensive health care reform should accomplish the following:
To understand these goals and the terms used in the debate over how to achieve them, check out some of these user-friendly glossaries.
At the very root of the health care reform debate lies the issue of insurance: who needs it, how to improve it, and how to fund it.
One goal of healthcare reform is to improve current systems of insurance by mandating insurance providers to do the following:
As it stands now, more than 30 million American citizens are uninsured. Therefore, another proposal of the reform plan is to set up a "public option" healthcare system which would be a federally funded insurance program that any citizen can access and buy into, regardless of age, employment, or pre-existing conditions.
Ideally, the low-cost government program would compete with existing insurance companies in order to drive costs down and quality of care up in pre-existing insurance programs.
There's no doubt that health care reform is a hot-button issue. There are a lot of claims made on all sides of the debate. If you're having trouble separating the fact from the fiction, check out the Health Truth-O-Meter on PolitiFact.com, a Pulitzer Prize-winning political fact-checking website.
Follow the links below to find Missouri's federal legislators' positions and to contact them with your own questions and comments.