10 Facts about Health Care

There was an article in the St. Petersburg Times where they list ten facts about healthcare. I decided to check their facts against the Senate healthcare bill itself. Here is my response to them. (I’ll add #2 and 7 when I have time. 2074 pages would take a long time to read, and I have a life.)

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#1 is so pathetically sad it’s not even funny. Isn’t a “takeover” the entire point of this bill? Doctors may not become government employees like they are in Britain, but the entire system (insurers, hospitals, doctors, and individuals) would be accountable to the government or face penalties of varying amounts. So, not only is the government managing and enforcing involvement in the system; it is also setting minimum standards for coverage, quality of care, and the development of alternative therapies (wonder why– could it be for costs reasons?). And to quote “the annointed one”, it will also provide information (through your doctor) concerning the likelihood that a health care treatment will result in disability. — How many seniors go against the advice of their doctors? “…tell grandma if she should seek treatment or take a pill…” (Google Obama + ABC + healthcare on the videos page.)
 
#3 is also wrong. It is not an individual mandate, but a shared responsibility payment where it states that an individual who fails to maintain minimum coverage will have a penalty imposed upon them.
 
#4, on the surface, is irrelevant and contradictory. If the individual would have to pay a fine for not having insurance, who would care about the employer? (But I digress…)
Employers with more than 50 full-time employees (30 hours or more) would be required to offer insurance or pay a fine. (Do notice that I listed an example of what it means to be a full-time employee. There are several other examples detailing how any business could circumvent this requirement, including firing people.) Also, realize that employers who do not meet this requirement would force employees to buy insurance through the government exchange and therefore lose control over what types of insurance they could get. Not to also mention, what do you think would happen if it would be cheaper for a business to pay a fine than offer insurance? (Which would probably apply to large employers)
 
#5 is wrong as well. Federal subsidies will be provided for people making less than $88K/year. People making more than that will see increases in their premiums on somewhat of a sliding scale
#6 is subject to interpretation. Providing insurance coverage to 32 million, at government expense, will cut costs. That ia obviuosly a political statement if there ever was one. There is no logical explanation for this. Conservative estimates have the deficit increasing by at least a half a trillion dollars, somewhat similar to Medicare costs which is, oh yeah, run by the federal government.
 
#8- This one depends on how you define poor. The bill defines it ass people who are below the poverty line. The bill states people with an income no more than 133% of the poverty line would be covered. It also states that parents of children enrolled in Medicaid would also be eligible without mention of income limits. It also says that any state could expand coverage to include anyone they deem appropriate. It also says that states must submit a report, disaggregated by population, including children, parents, nonpregnant childless adults, disabled individuals, elderly individuals, and such other categories or sub-categories of individuals eligible for medical assistance under the State plan or under a waiver of the plan as the Secretary may require. So, it seems that anyone who qualifies for medical assistance would qualify for Medicaid.
 
#9 violates the Hyde Amendment which says that federal funds can not be used to fund abortions. Since federal subsidies will be used to purchase insurance, that would make it in violation of the Hyde Amendment. This is why Stupak (D-MI) opposed the bill until he caved. (Don’t forget the executive order the “annointed one” is about to sign.)
 
#10 is interesting because it is so vague and open-ended. The immigrant’s status seems to play into determining eligibilty for healthcare with a social security number being the only stated form of identification. This means that if the immigrant can document that they are a “citizen”; then they would be eligible. I can tell you that the primary way illegals enter the country is through the use of falsified documents. It also states that an employer shall not rescind coverage with respect to an enrollee once the enrollee is covered. So, if the illegal is covered; then they can keep that coverage. Also, each health insurance issuer that offers health insurance coverage in the individual or group market in a State must accept every employer and individual in the State that applies for such coverage. So, while it may not mention giving illegals coverage outright, I can see numerous ways for an illegal to circumvent the law, including, but not limited to, simply showing up at an emergency room in need of medical attention since it is illegal for a hospital to deny treatment.
 
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Another tidbit…
 
So, you can keep your current insurance– are you sure? A quote from the bill—
 
 
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), coverage of eligible individuals under a high risk pool in a State shall terminate on January 1, 2014. The Secretary shall develop procedures to provide for the transition of eligible individuals enrolled in health insurance coverage offered through a high risk pool established under this section into qualified health plans offered through an Exchange.

So, if you’re considered “high-risk”; I guess that means you will be on the government insurance plan as of 2014.

 
 
 
 
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