Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chaos Reigns in the Cost of Health Care - Prologue

Here's a run-down on the progression of Health Care starting with September 2009. I have broken this up in chapters to make this a more easy read for you. I will be writing more from here up until post February 25, 2010 Obama symposium:

September 2009: Gang of Six - Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and others - vs. - Max Baucus Senate Finance Committee Chairman (D-Mont.)
-Max Baucus effort to gain support from 6 key Republican Senators for a "broadly" bipartisan bill
-proposed legislation that does not include the public insurance option
-includes health care cooperatives
-supports a new tax on health insurers who provide high-cost plans
-a new fee on insurance companies to pay for reform, designed to raise $6 billion per year starting in 2010
-supposedly would expand coverage to about 94 percent of the American people
-Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Mike Enzi of Wyoming, have signaled in recent weeks that they might not be able to sign on to a compromise
-Pelosi stated that the public insurance option remains “essential” to passing a bill in the House
-repeated signals from the White House that Obama doesn’t consider it essential at all.
-$900 billion plan that’s likely to be controversial: a mandate that would require every American to either purchase coverage or face a penalty
- What is the cost of this penalty? $950 for an individual and $3,800 for a family above 300 percent of the poverty line. For families at 100 percent to 300 percent of the poverty line, the maximum penalty is $750 for an individual and $1,500 for a family.
- Republicans found one provision they liked: allowing younger people to buy only lower-cost catastrophic coverage.

What does this all really mean? I will refer to Bill Maher's conversation with former Cigna Exec Wendell Potter (he was the Head of Corporate Communications):

Bill Maher says: "Blow Job to the Insurance Industry"
Wendell Potter Breaks it down for you -
-Catering to the Special Interests
-Continuing of cost shifting
-Give industry wide latitude to put us into high cost plans
-Guarantees more Americans would go into Bankruptcy
-Still corporate friendly
-Republicans don't like some of the restrictions on the free-market options, even though corporations are benefiting from it
-Needs to be a public option, if not health-insurance industry wins
-Higher premiums, insurance industry has more levarage to reduce subsidy for people to afford bad insurance
-Plans with high deductibles
-Guarantees 40 million more people as new insurance customers

Video can be found here

*I can definitely say that since last year, I have already been experiencing higher deductibles after a co-pay with my health insurance already...

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