Rose Ann DeMoro & Michael Moore
13 problems with the current health care bills (partial list):
1. No cost controls on insurance companies. The coming . . . increases in premiums, deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, etc. will quickly outpace any projected protections from caps on out-of-pocket costs.
2. Insurance companies will continue to be able to use marketing techniques to cherry-pick healthier, less costly enrollees.
3. No restrictions on insurance denials of care that insurers don’t want to pay for. In case you missed it, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee uncovered data on the California Department of Managed Care website recently that found six of the biggest California insurers rejected, on annual average, more than one-fifth of all claims every year since 2002.
4. No challenge to insurance company monopolies, especially in the top 94 metropolitan areas, where one or two companies dominate, severely limiting choice and competition.
5. A massive government bailout for the insurance industry through the combination of the individual mandate requiring everyone not covered to buy insurance, public subsidies which go for buying insurance, no regulation on what insurers can charge, and no restrictions on their ability to decide what claims to pay.
6. No controls on drug prices. The White House deal with Big Pharma, which won bipartisan approval in the Senate Finance Committee, opposes the use of government leverage to negotiate real cost controls on inflated drug prices.
7. No single standard of care. Our multi-tiered system remains with access to care still determined by ability to pay.
8. Tax on comprehensive insurance plans. That will encourage employers to reduce benefits, shift more costs to employees, promote proliferation of bare-bones, high-deductible plans, and lead to more self-rationing of care and medical bankruptcies.
9. Not universal. Some people will remain uncovered. . . .
10. No definition of covered benefits.
11. No protection for our public safety net. Public hospitals and clinics will continue to be under-funded and a dumping ground for those the private system doesn’t want.
12. Many reforms don’t go into effect until 2013.
13. Nothing changes in basic structure of the system; health care remains a privilege, not a right.
Again: This is a call-out to the truly brave Progressives in Congress: If fifty-three or more in the House of Representatives, and twenty or more in the Senate, vow to kill the entire health care proposal (by voting against anything submitted without a Public Option, or which maintains the Mandate) they could show the nation what it means to be honorably brave and genuinely principled.
No Public Option; No Mandate.