Thursday, December 10th, 2009 | Author:

Robert Tracinkski has written a nice one-page summary of the 2000-page health care bill that the Senate is “debating.”  First, he says, ignore the abortion-funding issue because the left will accept restrictions on that to get moderate democrat votes for passage.  And debating the “public option” is only a distraction, because they don’t have the votes to pass it.

The three real issues, he contends, are as follows:

1.  guaranteed issue and community rating By requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, and regulating the rates they can charge for them, it will drive up the cost for everybody else.

But why spend years paying these inflated premiums for insurance you’re not using, when you can get exactly the same benefits by waiting until you actually fall ill? The obvious result is that million of people, especially healthy young people, will quickly realize that there is no reason to buy health insurance until they get sick.

Obviously, this will drive private insurers out of business and leave us to go crawling back to the government for health care – and you’re a dreamer if you think the democrats don’t know this.

2. individual mandate So that people can’t do this, everyone will be required to purchase insurance or pay an unconstitutional tax just to exist.  Because this isn’t very popular, they’ve set it at $750 a year.  But if insurance cost $3000 a year, and you have no incentive to buy it until you’re sick, which will you choose to pay?

3.  Health “Choices” Czar

But the biggest power-grab in the bill is the government takeover of the entire market for health insurance. The bill requires all new policies to be sold on a government-controlled exchange run by a commissioner who is empowered to dictate what kinds of insurance policies can be offered, what they must cover, and what they can charge.

Right now, your best option for reducing the cost of your health insurance is to buy a policy with a high deductible, which leaves you to pay for routine checkups and minor injuries (preferably from savings held in a tax-free Health Savings Account) but which covers your needs in catastrophic circumstances-a bad car accident, say, or expensive treatment for cancer. This is the kind of coverage I have.

But the health-insurance exchange is intended to eliminate precisely this kind of low-cost catastrophic coverage. Its purpose is to force health-insurance companies to offer comprehensive coverage that pays for all of your routine bills-which in turn comes at a higher price. So under the guise of making health insurance more affordable, this bill will restrict your menu of choices to include only the most expensive options.

So there we have the real essence of this bill. It restricts our choice of which insurance to buy and pushes us into more expensive plans. At the same time, it destroys the economic incentive to purchase insurance in the first place and replaces insurance with a free-floating tax on one’s very existence.

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2 Responses
  1. JOE cICCARELLI says:

    But what about seniors who have to pay $97/month for medicare plus $89/month for HMO coverage for what Medicare doesn/t pay (ie, Dental, Drugs.) e also mustr pay Copays of up to $500 for non-generic drugs, plus $!500 when we reach the “Coverage gap” (the amout (($2700)) that includes what both you and the insurance company together have paid YTD?))

    There are also hugh copays for ER Specialists and hospital visits. Most people (like yourself) are not aware of what seniors go through. Many have to make a decision to buy food or medicine prescribed by the doctor. There are many generic drugs that doctors cannot prescribe because they are not precisely what he/she thinks are necessary for a paticular patient.

    Insurance companies OWN Washington. Period

  2. akagaga says:

    Joe, I have great sympathy for seniors who spent their productive years believing that the government would provide for them in their later years. But applying that lie to the rest of the population will only make things worse.

    It’s a complex issue and I don’t pretend to have all the answers. One thing that would definitely help long-term is for governments to rescind the protection laws that prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. Competition always brings prices down.

    For the short term, are there any churches in your area that you could turn to for help? Contrary to what you believe, I do know what it’s like to have to decide between food and heat – I’ve been there on more than one occasion in my life. It’s not a fun place to be when you have to live without any extras like internet or cable for long periods of time.

    As for Washington? They’re whores available to anyone with deep pockets, not just the insurance companies.