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Discovering the Truth about Health Reform

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Monday, July 9, 2012   

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Republican leaders in the U.S. House plan to vote on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act this week because, they say, it's not good for the country. Experts say Americans are still confused about whether the law will help them or hurt them.

That's why Craig Eichelman, state director for AARP Missouri, directs people to an online tool called the Health Law Guide. You answer a few questions and it lets you know your benefits and responsibilities. He says it's just been updated and your privacy is protected.

"There are six very simple and basic questions so that the report can be individually tailored for you, and that information doesn't go anywhere."

Opponents claim the Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare benefits. AARP and several other groups have clarified that it does not cut benefits or increase costs to the individual. Spending cuts would affect hospitals and some insurers but not seniors.

Eichelman says you can try different scenarios to see how the law would affect you and various members of your family as well.

Some have said the Affordable Care Act will weaken Medicare, but AARP fact checkers say it will strengthen Medicare and make prescription drugs more affordable. Eichelman says you can check for yourself.

"Let's say you are getting ready to retire in 2014. You can do another scenario and you can make decisions for yourself or your family based on that information."

While many websites do a good job explaining the Affordable Care Act, Eichelman says the Health Law Guide explains it in more than one language.

"It's the only one that's available in the country that is both in English and Spanish."

To find out the truth about the Affordable Care Act, Missourians can access many non-partisan sites. The Kaiser Family Foundation has an interactive tool called Health Reform Hits Main Street and a quiz that helps you find out how much you know about the law. FactCheck.org sorts out the truth from fiction. If you want to read the law for yourself, you can go to HealthCare.gov.





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