People, that is Republicans, Democrats and Independents want health-care reform as a general goal. And regardless of your "orientation" you want that reform to accomplish a number of basic goals:
1) reduce costs, or minimally do something to flatten the upward trend of costs
2) make it so preexisting conditions do not exclude one from obtaining affordable insurance
3) make health care affordable for people regardless of their work situation.
Now the fact of the matter is these three goals do not not require a "public option" though that is an improbably but possible solution.
The problem currently is that the package being voted on in the Senate today does not accomplish these goals.
Now back when all of this was still being kicked around, the Insurance companies were brought in to help craft the legislation and some give and take was negotiated. The Insurance companies all said that sure, we can do what you want, but you have to get all Americans involved because we need premiums from a large population of healthy people who are not likely to use their insurance to cover the cost of people who are chronically using their health care insurance. And if you free us from state mandates for minimum coverage and allow us to compete nationwide, we will be able to provide lower costs and more options for people.
And for a while, it looked like at least some of that might happen.
But then Congress got involved in the nitty gritty and things got screwed up royally.
The mandate for everyone to be all in got diluted to the point where the insurance companies were no longer able to support the legislation. As a result, they issued their own report to counter the overly-rosy CBO report that was supporting the current legislation and factuallu support their position.
- Health reform could have a significant impact on the cost of private health insurance coverage.
- There are four provisions included in the Senate Finance Committee proposal that could increase private health insurance premiums above the levels projected under current law:
o Insurance market reforms coupled with a weak coverage requirement,
o A new tax on high-cost health care plans,
o Cost-shifting as a result of cuts to Medicare, and
o New taxes on several health care sectors.
- The overall impact of these provisions will be to increase the cost of private insurance coverage for individuals, families, and businesses above what these costs would be in the absence of reform.
- On average, the cost of private health insurance coverage will increase:
o 26 percent between 2009 and 2013 under the current system and by 40 percent during this same period if these four provisions are implemented.
o 50 percent between 2009 and 2016 under the current system and by 73 percent during this same period if these four provisions are implemented.
o 79 percent between 2009 and 2019 under the current system and by 111 percent during this same period if these four provisions are implemented.
Supporters of the current Senate Legislation got all upset
Democrats and their allies scrambled on Monday to knock down a new industry-funded study forecasting that Senate legislation, over time, will add thousands of dollars to the cost of a typical policy. "Distorted and flawed," said White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass. "Fundamentally dishonest," said AARP's senior policy strategist, John Rother. "A hatchet job," said a spokesman for Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.
Harsh word for folks who were their former partners.
"The misleading and harmful claims made by the profit-driven insurance companies are politicking for corporate gain at its worst," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
But this is a misleading claim in and of itself.
...in 29 of the 43 states that data are available for in the American Medical Association report mentioned earlier, the dominant company in the “full” insurance market is a non-profit company. In state after state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield hold the largest market share. On average, the largest non-profit hold over half of the “full” market share in those 29 states.
And when you calculate out the premiums people will pay with or without this legislation, this is what you get.
What people want is real solutions.
And while the half-hearted attempt to get everyone involved in health insurance is not going to cut it, at least an attempt was made.
Right now there is nothing in the legislation allowing insurance companies to compete nation-wide which would save costs and there is nothing in the legislation that deals with tort-reform which would save $54 billion according to the CBO.
People want health care reform.
What they don't want is smoke and mirrors promoted by Congressfolk with hidden agendas.