August 18th, 2009
03:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Getting past the lingo of the health care debate

Don't let the health care jargon confuse you as the Obama administration works toward reform.
Don't let the health care jargon confuse you as the Obama administration works toward reform.

(CNN) - Are you confused by all the back and forth on health care reform? Here's a guide to some of the terms commonly tossed about in the debate.

Blue Dog coalition: The Blue Dog coalition is a group of 52 fiscally conservative Democrats in the House. The Blue Dogs insist that health care reform should preserve patient choice and maintain competition in the marketplace without adding to the national deficit. They'll play a critical role in getting a bill through the House.

Co-op: Nonprofit health cooperatives, or "co-ops," are being proposed as an option to compete with the private sector and as an alternative to a government-sponsored public health insurance option. Co-ops are owned and governed by the same people they insure.

Electronic records: President Obama wants to computerize all records within five years as a way to increase quality of health care and decrease costs. Under his plan to modernize health care, all health records would be standardized and electronic.

What's the "public option"?: CNN Radio explains:


End-of-life counseling: The current version of the House bill contains a provision for end-of-life counseling for Medicare beneficiaries who want it. The House bill allows for coverage of such appointments as long as an individual has not had an end-of-life care or advance care planning consultation within the last five years. The idea has been a sticking point in the health care debate, as critics have likened it to a step toward euthanasia and "death panels."

More health care lingo explained in the full story


Filed under: CNN Radio • Health care
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. alvino

    Why does the religious right of the GOP embrace health care's millionaire lobbyist Dick Armey? He wants to kill social security and medicare for seniors. Why would you support a lousy lobbyist instead of those in need?

    August 18, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    To everyone suggesting that people who favor a public option can move to another country: You better not be the same people threatening others who disagree with you by trying to deny their First Amendment rights. You better not be threatening our President with harm, which is a Federal offense.

    Perhaps you are the ones who should move to a country that does not have our Constitution and rule of law. Because frankly, I'm sick of how violent and nasty our political debate has become.

    Those who engage in it are spitting on our country and everything it stands for.

    August 18, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Phat Elvis

    Dems will get it together in the end, with a public option. Because no matter what concessions are made to the republicans, they will always remained opposed to the idea of Democrats being the party that reformed health care.

    August 18, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Gene

    I still say that we should send out a petition to end all "socialist programs" in this country.

    Those who sign it will lose their access medicare, social security, access to police and fire department protection, access to public schools for their families.

    Imagine how much money this country will save if we just give the right wing nut jobs exactly what they want! :)

    August 18, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Illinoistom

    Give me real life examples of U.S. citizens leaving the country to get medical treatment and I will gladly examine that system to see if we should adopt portions of it. Give me real reasons why tort reform should not be part of an overhaul. Give me real proof that illegal aliens will be cared for by their countries of origin, rather than in our emergency rooms and clinics. Show me how HR3200 deals with the structural deficit in Medicare.

    August 18, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. h sutherland md (retired)

    Why is no one concerned as to where the additional 15,000 primary care doctors are going to come from? rationing due to lack of accessability!

    August 18, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. MCD, SF, CA

    The people who are for private insurance are either ill-informed, work for an insurance company, have stock in an insurance company or some such thing. The execs of those companies are paid millions in bonuses.... where do you think that money comes from? Right from the premiums that are collected and the procedures that are denied. If we have public insurance there wouldn't be any of these million-dollar bonuses.... right there you have a savings!! Couldn't be any simpler!

    Why is this so hard to understand.... if somebody is arguing FOR private insurance try to figure out just what their real motivation is.

    August 18, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Moe, NY

    Hey Blue Dogs...get with the program....HEALTH CARE FOR ALL AMERICANS...anything less will not do!

    August 18, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Here's a few more...

    "Taxpayer" - a small subset of the American citizenry that will be subject to revenue enhancement.

    "Revenue enhancement" - marginal tax rates exceeding 60% when local, state, and federal taxes are combined.

    "Patient" - anyone, legal or illegal, who is not a "taxpayer."

    "Health care provider" - President Obama

    August 18, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  10. Change_Has_Begun

    We don't want co-op's...we voted obama because he promised piblic option...the so called blue dog democrats can just call themselves dogs if they still plan not to support public option...because come 2010 we will make sure you remain just dogs and nothing more...and the hell with republicans we don't need them...and we need to arrest each of these protestors and rip them of off medicaid, social security, medicare, and unemployement checks and than free them...and those toting around with guns in obama's rally should be handpicked and shipped to afghanistan where they can use their guns for a better cause...

    August 18, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. Steph

    The people at these protests and on this site who can only resort to name calling should just sit this one out. There will be other, less important, issues when we can behave like little children. Health care reform is too important. People (with private insurance) are being denied coverage for important tests and treatments that will save their lives on a daily basis. People who cannot afford health insurance (think start up entrepreneurs, people laid off who are attempting to further their education, people working two or three part time jobs to feed their families, etc...) are just one illness away from bankruptcy. This cannot continue. We are a civilized democracy, and we need to create a fair system for all.

    August 18, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. NClaw441

    ThinkAgain: RE Public Option
    It is an option for those who get the insurance. It is NOT an option for those of us who "get" to pay for it.

    August 18, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. donttreadonme

    We need Universal Health care this I know,
    Because my messiah Obama told me so!

    August 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. Greg in MO

    The public plan may be an option but, we will be penalized for not carrying health insurance. Having health insurance is not optional. Allow me to illustrate real fear mongering and misinformation:

    – If you don't have health insurance – you will die!

    – A single-payer system will run much better than the previous examples because Obama is in charge. Despite the fact that everything he has done has failed – besides being elected.

    – Republicans made up lies and rumors about the health care bill to spread on the internet ... Democrats would never make up this story – they are honest and worthy of our trust.

    I hope you folks will one day see that you are being played like violins.

    August 18, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Mississippi Mike

    When people see the facts, the plan looks even worse. Democrats need to stick to lingo because sunlight destroys any chance of their designs being accepted by the general public.

    August 18, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Roger

    Here is the lingo we need to know. RICH INSURANCE COMPANIES WANT TO STAY RICH SO THEY WANT US TO BE AFRAID SO THEY INVENT SCAREY STUFF LIKE HEALTH CARE REFORM WILL KILL GRANNY!!!!! Which most of us hating going to her house growing up anyway.

    August 18, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. a progressive liberal and proud of it

    Perhaps we're not ready to talk about health reform until we talk about ignorance reform!

    August 18, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  18. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    86% of prostate cancer patients at Philly's VA hospital received the wrong radiation treatment. Government – ain't it great

    August 18, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  19. Joanna in PA

    The whole point of reform is to eliminate insurance companies RATIONING DUMMIES!!! GET A CLUE!! Why are so many people for the insurance companies to continue robbing us, keeping us sick and rationing our care.?? It makes no sense.

    August 18, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  20. SD, Michigan

    Here's some lingo for you:
    "MEDICARE= Tyranny", according to Dick Armey, the boss of FreedomWorks, who wants it dismantled because it's Government-run, and apparently, "doesn't work" and "takes away our freedom".
    How about that, Grandma?

    August 18, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. Chris V. - Albany, NY

    Shows ya how informed these people are about the actual health care bill...not all these fear mongering lies that the right is putting out trying to scare people up. The guy in the pic can't even spell GOVERNMENT right!!!

    August 18, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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