Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Senate Bill Doppelgänger

Donklephant reviews the Senate Health Care revisions that will officially be released today. The touch on two things, the Opt Out clause for the states, and the Public option:
So this would be a federally funded plan that allows states to opt out if they so choose. That means we’re going to see the blue states adopt it and the red states reject it, plain and simple…even though the red states usually have the highest number of uninsured and underinsured folks.

Personally, I’m not a fan of a federally run system. I’d rather have the federal government give states seed money to build their own public co-ops and have the states figure it out themselves.

I also think it’s unclear whether or not Reid can get the 60 votes he needs to avoid passing this thing via reconciliation.

However, putting all that aside…let’s remember the most important part of health care reform…
Also expected are new rules on insurers to prevent them from denying coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions and from dropping customers’ insurance once they become ill.
Yes, the plan is bound to have flaws since politics is the art of the possible, not the ideal. But if we can outlaw the pre-existing conditions clauses and lifetime coverage caps, that will go a long way towards delivering the type of health care we all deserve.
This is the first I have seen of serious consideration being given to the States, where decisions like this really belong. There is also a long way to go to try and find the balance between mandating coverage and how to consequence those who refuse. Finally, a commenter on the article paints and interesting picture as well:
I’m not sure when we got the idea that “health insurance” should pay for everything. I tried to use my auto insurance policy to pay for my tune up last week, and the evil insurance company wouldn’t pay! I tried to use my homeowner’s insurance to pay for my electric bill, and the immoral insurance company denied the claim!

Insurance is used to cover rare events; only in health care do we think that an insurance policy can cover every cost, every time.

. . .

A company penalty of $500 or $750 per employee not covered will ensure that many companies bail out of providing health insurance, as the typical family policy is thousands of dollars more (and companies pay, on average, 80% of the insurance cost). The penalty for a company will have to be on the order of $6 to $7,000. The penalties for individuals will have to be closer to that amount to force people to buy insurance (even if they don’t need it).

The real test will be if the Constitution allows the feds to compel individuals to buy health insurance. The Congress may have to pass an amendment to facilitate it.
Now it was pointed out that companies are not required to buy any insurance at this point, so to think they would all of a sudden take a penalty hit, regardless of the size, when they are voluntarily providing coverage now, is somewhat flawed. But the final point is quite valid, how will the Constitution be interpreted regarding the mandating of coverage?


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