Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Conngressman Frank Pallone's Twitter Town Hall

This town hall was so much better than the town hell this summer in Red Bank. I had a few questions asked but am still not sold on the mandates. We'll see where reform leads us. Like I've said before, I have not been paying as close attention to national issues as I have to state issues over the last few months so I'm not as up to date on healthcare reform as I should be. For now I'm posting the transcript from Congressman Pallone's town hall. I've edited all the Twitter names except for his and mine to protect the privacy of the other users and instead they're referred to with initials so readers know which user the Congressman is responding to.

FrankPallone Welcome everyone to my first ever Twitter Town Hall on health care reform - I look forward to answering all of your questions. #ttpallone
JWMC @FrankPallone thank you for your tireless work for NJ and being the best person to intern for! Proud to call you my congressman #ttpallone
SH @frankpallone Congressman, thank you for doing this...do you remain committed to seeing a public option one day?#ttpallone
FrankPallone @SH - I intend to push for the public option and insist on the House version as we go to conference. #ttpallone
DMR Are you concerned about the big premium tax revenue loss for NJ if we have a public option plan #ttpallone
tabbycat331 @FrankPallone Question- Can u clarify about mandates? How can there be mandates w/o a public option to keep ins companies honest #ttpallone
FrankPallone @tabbycat331 -The exchange operated w/ private plans administered by fed gov't wld act like a lrge group plan & keep premiums low #ttpallone
FrankPallone @p1974 - By reforming health insurance we'll also improve access to health care & encourage prevention & wellness. #ttpallone (Original question was deleted from Twitter)
tabbycat331 @frankpallone what about the mandates? Are there penalties/fines like in the MA health plan that does not work #ttpallone
JL @frankpallone Do you know there are gays and lesbians who are uninsured because we can not get married? #ttpallone
RD How are the ins. companies going to be regulated so they're not raising rates unfairly?#ttpallone
FrankPallone @tabbycat331 - A penalty would be paid through your income tax if you don't have insurance. Mandating coverage lowers premiums. #ttpallone
LW What did you think of the idea of lowering Medicare to age 55 ?? #ttpallone
CM @FrankPallone what if people can't afford the mandated coverage but are still under the mandate rules? #ttpallone
FrankPallone @p1974 - Without SCHIP, kids will now be covered by Medicaid or the health exchange. #ttpallone (original question no longer available)
CM @FrankPallone also on mandates, even if premiums are lowered, would the quality of coverage be expanded or remain similar to now? #ttpallone
FrankPallone @RD - The health exchange will increase competition that didn't exist before and that will keep rates down. #ttpallone
FrankPallone @LW - Its a good idea, but the Senate has now dropped it so I don't see it happening as part of this reform package. #ttpallone
a23 @FrankPallone What is your view on low Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement in NJ & what's being done to ensure seniors are protected? #ttpallone
FrankPallone @CM - People should be able to afford coverage b/c of the expansion of Medicaid & the subsidies through the health exchange.#ttpallone
FrankPallone @a23 - In general the bill significantly improves reimbursement rates for both Medicare & Medicaid. #ttpallone
LW What happens 2 health bill after Senate votes on it? If it goes to conference committee could there be changes need to vote on #ttpallone
CM @FrankPallone would you vote for a final bill that contains much of the Senate provisions, Stupak amendment and no public option? #ttpallone
FrankPallone @JL - The House Bill changes the tax code and helps provide equal access to health care for civil union partners. #ttpallone
FrankPallone @JL - However, I support Marriage Equality. #ttpallone (personal note-- GREAT!! Now please fire up the Democrats in Trenton)
FrankPallone @CM -I am determined to fight for the House version in Congress & expect compromises to be made between the House & Senate. #ttpallone
a23 @FrankPallone Do you think premium tax fees incl. in Senate bill will ult. result in increase in cost of premiums for individuals #ttpallone
DG @FrankPallone Does the health bill cover outreach costs 2 uninsured Americans, who may not b following the news as closely as me? #ttpallone
FrankPallone @LW - The House & Senate will negotiate a conference report bill which both houses would vote on. #ttpallone
FrankPallone @a23 -I will work to strip the tax on insurance plans from the Sen bill during conference bc of these types of concerns. #ttpallone
a23 @FrankPallone Do you believe the final HC reform bill will do enough to address underlying causes of rise in healthcare costs? #ttpallone
FrankPallone The CLASS Act will help elderly & disabled get community based longterm care & support. An important part of the House & Sen bill #ttpallone
cm @FrankPallone Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. This was a great idea. #ttpallone
wtu I am swm 38, earn $30k in NYS. I have Health insurance, but I cannot afford treatment (due to co-pays). Any help in this bill? #ttpallone
FrankPallone @dg -Over 30 million now uninsured Americans will be covered under this bill; near universal coverage.. #ttpallone
FrankPallone Thanks to the folks at @BlueJersey for live blogging the town hall: http://tinyurl.com/ygmswa5 #ttpallone
jl @FrankPallone that was pretty cool! #ttpallone
FrankPallone Sorry for the delay - my lunch just came. @wtu is next to be answered. Thanks for all the questions. #ttpallone
wtu @FrankPallone I am 38/s, earn $30k.I have Health insurance, but I cannot afford treatment due to co-pay. Any help in this bill?#ttpallone
FrankPallone @wtu - The House & Senate bill caps out of pocket spending & makes health insurance more affordable. #ttpallone
wtu @FrankPallone what is the out of pocket spending cap in the bill? Affordable 4 single earning $30k? My co-pays will be less? #ttpallone
FrankPallone @wtu -The caps depend on income levels & the size of your family, if you need more info call my office, 732-571-1140 #ttpallone
SS @FrankPallone, are you going to be on the conference committee that smooths differences between the House and Senate versions? #ttpallone
FrankPallone @SS -Its not clear if there will be a formal conference committee. House & Senate may work out the differences informally. #ttpallone
la @FrankPallone How will the health care reform bill affect medicare? #ttpallone
LW what would you change in the Senate version if you could? #ttpallone
SS @FrankPallone, can you appoint House pages? If so, can I apply through your office because my Congresswoman cannot. #ttpallone
FrankPallone @LW -I would replace the tax on insurance plans w/ the House millionaire surcharge & I would add the public option. #ttpallone
LW where can we read the latest version of bill and Reid's manager version?
LW Thank you for doing this Twitter town hall & thank you for answering my questions =) #ttpallone#ttpallone
FrankPallone @wrb - Yes, I believe #HCR will cover the uninsured, lower costs, and eliminate discriminatory practices. #ttpallone
FrankPallone Please visit my website to learn more: http://pallonefornewjersey.com/healthcenter.php #ttpallone
FrankPallone I want to thank everyone for participating in my first Twitter Town Hall. Thanks and I'll be back again for another one. #ttpallone
FrankPallone If you have any more questions you can contact me here: http://tinyurl.com/ykx9ttq #ttpallone - Thanks again!

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