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Here is supposedly "The Plan" as it will be presented today. Reuters News
I guess I must be missing something after reading this I am more confused than before about what it is that Washington is trying to achieve.
The one glaring thing is that this "National Healthcare Plan" allows states to opt out of the public program. I thought we were talking NATIONAL as in the whole country.
This plan is going to be funded with a tax that will produce 460 billion dollars over 10 years. and a few smaller fees and penalties? I guess that the way it comes in under the 900 billion mark is the hope that half the states will opt out?
Nowhere does it mention a tax, or aid from the Insurance Companies. Instead they are aiming at Healthcare Providers, and and 20 billion over 10 years from Medical Device Manufacturers. Having background in Emergency Medicine and a business background, collecting fees from medical device compnaies is only going to pass those on to the end users, the patients, EMS Systems, and healthcare providers. All of the sudden that $48,000 spinal cord stimulator that I have costs $100,000 and my federal insurance plan says No Way That costs too much, here are some magic mushrooms instead. It will drive healthcare costs UP.
Businesses MUST provide healthcare or face penalties. My last employer was a large multi-state corporation with a payroll in excess of $750,000 per year. So the government can spank him to the tune of 8%. Well I know his insurance runs close to that 8% mark if not over. So sitting in his chair, I look at what I am paying for health insurance, someone to administrate it over several states, the complaining and having to shop for insurance every year, and you go, Hmmmmmm 8% isn't that bad afterall. Now there are about 100 people on their own to find heathcare and try to pay for it on top of their normal bills. The company lays the blame off on the economy or government and you wave good bye to your benefits. And that happens times how many companies? I don't think just one in todays world.
The bill will increase the poverty line to 150% for Medicaid, a State run system that is already full of its own problems. And will require insurance companys to accept pre exisiting conditions. GREAT! But there is no mention as to what they can charge me for having AS or any other condition.
In my opinion if we are wanting to bring down the cost of healthcare, you don't cut off the heads of the end users. The patients, or the healthcare system. You have to regulate the Insurance Companies that rake in billions to pay out millions. Look at your next EOB from your insurance company and look at what they paid versus what was billed to get that money. In looking at other countries plans you will see that the governments sat on Insurance Companies and not so much the Healthcare Providers. OK Insurance Companies have to charge too much, because the doctors charge too much, because they owe too much on student loans, etc, that are backed by the federal government..Hhmmmmmmmmm
Living in Ohio I am going to pick on NationXYZ Insurance. They operate out of Columbus. Last year they gave Columbus Children's Hospital a 50 million dollar grant. The second largest "Gift" ever given to a US hospital. I am sure that the hospital has put that money to good use. And a portion of it no doubt went to change the name of the hospital to NationXYZ Children's Hospital. Great PR move for NationXYZ, but Columbus Childrens was already one of the finest childrens hospitals in the country if not the world. That money plus the money that they use to sponsor a Professional Golf Tour and countless other PR events could have just as easily been used to lower premiums and make them a model company to be followed by other insurance companies. Instead everything stays the same so that nobody has to lower prices. Now if a group of small independent businesses did this the government would cry foul and scream price fixing. Funny how they don't scream when their heads are on the same pillow.
Just the early morning ramblings of another confused American AS Kicker just bouncing some thoughts..