Report details health care reform by district - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Report details health care reform by district

By Bob Schaper - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MADISON (WKOW) - With what could be a historic vote coming up Sunday, Democrats try to localize the health care debate.

Dollar amounts like $940 billion are simply too big for most of us to get our arms around. Now a Democratic committeeman - and booster of President Obama's reform measures - lists the purported benefits of health care reform by congressional district.

The report from the Committee on Energy and Commerce - chaired by a Democratic supporter of President Obama - lists other benefits as well:

  • Guarantee that 7,400 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
  • Protect 1,100 families from bankruptcy due to health care costs.
  • Allow 68,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents insurance plans.
  • Provide funding for six community health centers.

Dr. Patrick Remington, associate dean of public health at the University of Wisconsin, says the numbers are ballpark figures.

"Sometimes these estimates might be six months old, sometimes they might be a year or two old, and its important to know that," he said. "But what they do is get you into the range of the discussion."

 Meanwhile, Rep. Tammy Baldwin, (D) Madison, predicts the bill will pass.

"I believe we'll get the job done Sunday," she said.

If she's right, 95 percent of Americans will eventually get health insurance. How many is that in Baldwin's district? A new report says 13,500.

"These are estimates, they have some error some variation, but they're pretty good for small communities, and they get you into the ballpark," Remington said.

Across the state at least 172,000 people get health insurance under the plan.

"The rates of insurance are usually done by surveys," Remington said. "The census for example has a continuing survey, where they ask individuals if they've been without insurance, if they currently have insurance."

And there's one number that's not in the report.

"There's been an estimate nationally that looks at the number of lives that are lost each year because of the failure to have health insurance and its on the order of 100,000 people," Remington said.

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