Throughout the year, our blog will feature AHA volunteer stories of survival and hope. We know there are thousands of stories like these - thats why we want to say “Thanks” to all of you for giving your time and sharing your lives with us. You can’t spell CURE without U! Thank you for all you do to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. YOU’RE THE CURE!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Healthcare Reform Questions Answered

There are lots of rumors flying around and plenty of misinformation available regarding the health care reform proposals currently before Congress. Today's questions address some of the confusing things you may have been hearing.

Q: Will health care reform lead to a “government takeover” of health care or result in “socialized medicine,” as some claim?
A: No. The bills before Congress preserve our nation’s current employer-based private health insurance system, with public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid continuing to be available as a safety net for older and low-income Americans. The “government takeover” concern is largely based on the public health insurance option that may be available as a choice under some of the bills. It’s very important to note, however, that each person, not the government, would decide whether a private plan or a public plan is the right plan for him or her – if the public plan choice is available at all.

Q: Will health reform lead to rationing of care, as some have said?
A: No. This concern is based on provisions in the bill that authorize “comparative effectiveness research.” This is research that evaluates which drugs or other treatments work best for different medical conditions and different patients. The American Heart Association supports this research because it will provide doctors and their patients with more and better information to help them decide the best course of treatment. Ultimately, however, doctors and patients − not insurance companies or the government −will decide what treatment is best.

Q. I’ve heard claims that health care reform will deny older Americans end-of-life care. What is this about?
A. Nothing could be further from the truth. The House health reform bill includes a provision that would provide reimbursement to physicians who provide counseling to Medicare patients about the care they choose to receive if they have a living will or an advance directive. These consultations are not mandatory, occur only upon the request of the patient, and in fact are designed to make certain that the patient’s wishes come before those of insurance companies or hospitals.

Take Action by Signing our Petition for Healthcare Reform by following the link below:

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Stroke Bill Signed by Governor Quinn TODAY!!!

We just received word that Governor Pat Quinn signed House Bill 2244 into law earlier this morning. This law provides for designation of Primary Stroke Centers by the Illinois Department of Public Health and significantly advances the process of dramatically improving stroke care and reducing death and disability throughout the state of Illinois.

Follow the link below to thank Governor Quinn for signing our stroke bill into law:
Thank Governor Quinn for Signing the Stroke Bill!

Culminating over four years of effort by countless stroke survivors, volunteers and staff of the American Stroke Association as well as health care providers and other stakeholders, this was a true team effort. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to this effort for always keeping the best interests of the patient first and foremost.

There are three people who deserve a special mention. First, our chief legislative sponsors, State. Representative Bob Biggins, a stroke survivor, and State Senator Heather Steans, provided the leadership, commitment and legislative muscle needed to advance such a complex and far-reaching bill through the legislative process. We could not have done this without their passionate support. Also, kudos and thanks to Brittan Bolin. In her capacity as our Springfield lobbyist, she is the team quarterback. Much of our legislative progress can be attributed to Brittan’s tireless legwork, wise council and steady leadership.

Thousands of emails, letters, phone calls and legislative visits went into this victory. On behalf of the American Heart Association and its division, the American Stroke Association, thank you everyone for your advocacy and for your continued support!!!

You're Invited!! SSEEO to Host Annual Conference

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Strike Out Stroke Event TOMORROW, Aug.13th!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

U.S. Representatives to Hold Healthcare Reform Town Hall in Naperville TOMORROW, Aug. 12th!


10th District Congressman Mark Kirk (R-Arlington Heights) and 13th District Congresswoman Judy Biggert (R-Willowbrook) will be hosting a town hall meeting on health care reform in Naperville.

The event is hosted by the Naperville Chamber of Commerce. Due to the recent furor at public meetings across the country, the sponsors have created a registration page on their website for free tickets. You can sign-up here. Or visit the Naperville Chamber of Commerce website at .

If you are interested in attending, RSVP to Melissa Horn at .

Wednesday, August 12
11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M.

Arista Hote Grand Ballroom (Naperville, IL)
2139 City Gate Lane
Naperville, IL 60563

I-355 to I-88W to IL-59 Exit. Take IL-59 N Turn right at Westings Ave, Turn left at City Gate Ln. Arista Hotel will be on the right.

Monday, August 10, 2009

IL Legislators Speak Out on Healthcare Reform

Last week in Chicago, Governor Quinn and U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky were among several legislators speaking out in support of healthcare reform. Your American Heart Association is also monitoring the healthcare reform discussion very closely.

The health care reform debate can be confusing– the current health insurance system is very complex and there are several different bills to reform it. Many people are left with questions about the different proposals and just what the bills mean for them.
Why does the American Heart Association support health care reform?
We believe that the bills before Congress, while not perfect, will make care more available and affordable for the millions of individuals with heart disease and stroke who are uninsured or have inadequate coverage. The bills preserve what works in our current healthcare system; include an important and long overdue emphasis on preventing illness; and will help to improve the quality of care that everyone receives. The bills also make sure that individuals are protected from insurers that evade their obligations to pay for needed care.