Health Summit Cheat Sheet
A glossary of health reform words, phrases, and slogans.
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"One size fits all." Republican characterization of Obamacare. It isn't true. Obamacare imposes minimum benefits on four or five different levels of private health coverage within the exchanges. (See "Benefit tiers.") It imposes almost no new requirements on employment-based insurance offered outside the exchanges.
Orszag, Peter. The White House budget director and a major evangelist for health reform as deficit reduction, which may have been the wrong approach.
Pelosi, Nancy. House speaker.Rumored to be somewhat disaffected by Obama's leadership style.
Pre-existing condition. Any health problem you know about the day you sign your health insurance policy. It doesn't have to be big to screw you out of coverage. All Democratic versions of health reform would prevent insurers from excluding anyone based on a pre-existing condition.
Premium credits. Subsidies enabling lower-income people to purchase health insurance through the exchanges. They are offered in the form of a refundable tax credit.
Primary care. A visit to your general practitioner or internist.
Providers. Hospitals and doctors.
Public option. A government health insurance program established under the House health reform bill to compete with private health insurers in the exchanges. It's absent from the Senate bill and the Obama proposal. There is some movement to put the public option into a reconciliation bill, but Sen. Jay Rockefeller, one of the public option's strongest supporters, is dubious that can be done without wrecking health reform's chances of passage.
Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.
Photograph of President Obama by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.