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. Operation Crush Rush

    As they say,these dogs will get their day,hahaha.

    August 18, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. yuri

    Let's all put away the firearms, get rid of this pseudo-macho attitudes, and engage in more civil way of conversin' in public.

    August 18, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Jim

    Rest assured, the Rep;ublican answer to Healthcare reform is "Just say No" unless it benefits the overpaid senior executives of the insurance companies.
    Let's make the choices very simple. Whatever health insurance plans are available to the Prostiticians should be available to their respective constituents and paid for by the government by reducing spending in Iraq and increasing taxes on those with incomes over $250,000 per year.
    That wasn't so difficult was it?

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

    If the public option is so bad, our veterans in the VA Hospitals must feel like second class citizens.

    August 18, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. John K

    The inability of so many millions of Americans to grasp the issues, and allow themselves to be whipped up in a frenzy like jihadists is only outdone by their unwillingness to try. Most British Conservatives favor their National Health Service, and by implementing similar economic stimuli to that implemented by President Obama, Franklin Roosevelt saved America's capitalist system by ensuring it did not collapse. I speak daily in my work to people nearly everywhere in this country, and the level of ignorance is both breathtaking and fightening.

    August 18, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. TCM

    NO to HR 3200

    Yes to Tort Reform...and malpractice insurance reform and case awards...

    oops...that would mean Obama would have to "have a teaching moment," with lawyers...of his own kind......

    August 18, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. John K

    Oops, I frightened myself.

    August 18, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Tim

    Love the cross out on the homemade sign!!

    August 18, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Gene

    This is so ridiculous. Rationed health care? Isn't this what we have now? In countries that have socialized health care, it's the doctors that determine what care you need based according to their examinations.

    In our country, it's the insurance companies who decide what health care we need based on how much profit they lose by providing services.

    Have you ever heard of someone complaining that medicare has denied them treatment that they needed? It's always the insurance companies that deny treatment.

    I've worked in the health insurance industry, and have had to fight many times to get treatments covered for patients. We in this country are retarded. We would rather have insurance bureaucrats deciding what's good for our health than medical professionals.. and the republican party is trying to scare us into accepting that as the better way to go.

    In no western "socialized" medicine country does the government decide on whether treatment of an individual patient is covered or not.

    August 18, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Belle Perimetre

    Government needs to get out of meddling into citizens' health care.

    August 18, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Lazzard

    Lead by example not as I say
    Subjection let the government leaders, leads by example. Why can’t the White House, and congressional members all give up their platinum health plan and go on the government health plan.
    This would put an end to all the rumors.

    August 18, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. MLH

    Co-ops are not a way to get past the need for public option. You pay into a co-op. If you can pay into a co-op, then you can pay regular premiums. The public option was going to be for those who cannot afford insurance premiums, such as those who are one or two jobs at minimum wage and can barely cover the rent and food.

    August 18, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. sharon

    you know.........the people holding up those signs with goverment run...............................do they not want medicare?

    If not,turn their checks in..............they will be passed along to those that NEED it.

    could I see the large crowd of people that most be million aires and billion aires.

    boy.................this counrty must have a pocket full of them......
    nah...............only a few.............and they want to keep it that way folks.

    keep every body down........no matter what.......jobs/raises/health care/after all .....those big CEO's of those insurance companies would not know what to do if they did not have their 3.2 million a year......and had to ration food/water/clothes/gas.......and heaven forbid they had to sleep in a carboard box.......homeless? oh my.......what would they do?

    August 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. tom

    That a great idea let Obama say I asking my staff to give up their great health plan and switch to the government health plan

    August 18, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Never Repub again

    Lets just donate to the DNC and Moveon.org and get rid of the obstuctionists.

    August 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. William in San Jose

    One Word,

    "Death Panels"

    - Sarah Palin

    August 18, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. donttreadonme

    You are free to move to the UK, France or Canada if you like it so much. For the rest of us the potential takeover of another industry by an intrusive Federal Government will not be tolerated.

    Obama has already spent all of our Healthcare money on his stimulus paybacks to the Teamsters and Green lobby.

    August 18, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  18. Alfred E. Neumann

    Co-op, another way of having the uninsured remain uninsured.

    Insurance companies and physicians just love "Blue Dog Democrats" – they can continue to raise their fees.

    August 18, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Please take the time to read the health care reform proposals – they are all posted on the Internet, and easily found by doing a quick search.

    Also, please remember these are PROPOSALS – they are not the final product.

    Please, exercise your freedom to THINK and decide for yourself. And do yourself and everyone else a favor, step back and ask yourself, who benefits from all the hysterics coming from Fox and rightwing talk radio? The status quo: the health insurance companies, who pay their CEOs on average $14 million/year; who are continually raising rates, forcing individuals and business to drop health care benefits; and who every day make health decisions based on financial considerations, not medicine.

    August 18, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. ETM

    You are free to move out of the US when we get public health care and to a third world country, probably more to your liking.

    August 18, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. Kevin -- Evansville, Indiana

    Ever notice how the protesters all tend to be old and white? :)

    August 18, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. the real Mike in MN

    The republican argument against health care is based on lies and fear mongering. They would rather have you die then get healthy. They would rather have you pay into a system for years and then as soon as you need it, drop you from the system. How anyone can think a system where millions fall through the cracks, get denied coverage, or are simply dropped from the system is better than a plan that makes it so these things can't happen is beyond me

    August 18, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. Obama Victim

    Socialist.....................Obama

    Dictator......................Obama

    Liar............................,Obama

    National Enbarasment........Obama

    I could go on.....but I am sure you get the idea

    August 18, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. Mark in Atlanta

    Nice spelling on the sign of our angry, terrified, wildly misinformed am-radio listening neighbor. Good thing level-heads are shaping the debate.

    We need a public health care option. We need it now.

    August 18, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    A public option is just that: An option. For those without a dictionary or lack the desire to open one, an option is something you choose; it is not mandatory.

    President Obama is proposing creating a public option which would give people a choice of which health care plan to have. Right now, in many areas across the country, there is no choice in health plans, because one health insurance company has a monopoly on issuing policies. This gives them the ability to charge whatever they want for insurance; to set compensation rates, regardless of cost to the provider; and to deny coverage, since the only alternative would be to pay out of pocket.

    A public option would introduce true competition into the marketplace.

    August 18, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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