July 29, 2009

Five freedoms you'll lose under Obama's healthcare plan

Via CNN (of all places):

1. Freedom to choose what's in your plan. The bills in both houses require that Americans purchase insurance through "qualified" plans offered by health-care "exchanges" that would be set up in each state. The rub is that the plans can't really compete based on what they offer. The reason: The federal government will impose a minimum list of benefits that each plan is required to offer.

2. Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or pay your real costs. As with the previous example, the Obama plan enshrines into federal law one of the worst features of state legislation: community rating. In its purest form, community rating requires that all patients pay the same rates for their level of coverage regardless of their age or medical condition. Americans with pre-existing conditions need subsidies under any plan, but community rating is a dubious way to bring fairness to health care. The reason is twofold: First, it forces young people, who typically have lower incomes than older workers, to pay far more than their actual cost, and gives older workers, who can afford to pay more, a big discount. The state laws gouging the young are a major reason so many of them have joined the ranks of uninsured.

3. Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage. The bills threaten to eliminate the one part of the market truly driven by consumers spending their own money. That's what makes a market, and health care needs more of it, not less. The bills seriously endanger the trend toward consumer-driven care in general. By requiring minimum packages, they would prevent patients from choosing stripped-down plans that cover only major medical expenses.

4. Freedom to keep your existing plan. The legislation divides the insured into two main groups, and those two groups are treated differently with respect to their current plans. The bill gives Employee Retirement Security Act employers a five-year grace period when they can keep offering plans free from the restrictions of the "qualified" policies offered on the exchanges. But after five years, they would have to offer only approved plans, with the myriad rules we've already discussed. So for Americans in large corporations, "keeping your own plan" has a strict deadline. In five years, like it or not, you'll get dumped into the exchange. The outlook is worse for the second group. It encompasses employees who aren't under ERISA but get actual insurance either on their own or through small businesses. After the legislation passes, all insurers that offer a wide range of plans to these employees will be forced to offer only "qualified" plans to new customers, via the exchanges.

5. Freedom to choose your doctors. The Senate bill requires that Americans buying through the exchanges -- and as we've seen, that will soon be most Americans -- must get their care through something called "medical home." Medical home is similar to an HMO. You're assigned a primary care doctor, and the doctor controls your access to specialists. The primary care physicians will decide which services, like MRIs and other diagnostic scans, are best for you, and will decide when you really need to see a cardiologists or orthopedists. Under the proposals, the gatekeepers would theoretically guide patients to tests and treatments that have proved most cost-effective. The danger is that doctors will be financially rewarded for denying care, as were HMO physicians more than a decade ago.

There's "Hope and Change" for 'ya, folks. Is it any wonder The Messiah's poll numbers are dropping like a stone?

Posted by Hube at July 29, 2009 10:22 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

No matter how hard you(they) try ...... you can't polish a turd.

Posted by: h. at July 29, 2009 11:36 AM

This is so scary. What can I (we) do? It looks like something is going to be passed.

What I think everyone is missing here is that this really isn't an issue of access to health care. It's an issue of who is going to pay for that health care and why that health care costs so much. I keep hearing the term health care but not health insurance. These, after all, are two very different things and it's the latter that they are really attempting to change. It's typical liberal thinking - since everyone doesn't have it (insurance not access to care) no one can.

Why couldn't we just expand the eligibility requirements of the exiting state/federally run programs such as children's health insurance initiatives, Medicaid, Medicare, etc. That would take a big chunk out of the number of "uninsured" especially for the most vulernable of that population (the poor, children and seniors.) Oh, wait, that still wouldn't cover the illegal immigrants and their children. My bad. Carry on then.

Posted by: Nosy at July 29, 2009 02:31 PM

You have to remember,it's all or none to the left.

Total control.

Posted by: h. at July 29, 2009 06:04 PM

possible estimates national allows major economy cover

Posted by: chessrioux at July 30, 2009 12:04 AM

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