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.
Health Care Solved! Are You Poor? Sorry.
Big Pharma & Health Insurance Companies Salivate
A New York Times editorial, “The Public Plan, Continued,” stated that “All versions of the legislation would require these people to spend specified percentages of their income toward the premium and a government tax credit would then pay the rest.” Let us correlate these facts with previous assertions: “White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said . . . that President Obama would be unwilling to sign a health care bill that raised taxes on those making under $250,000. But Gibbs would not draw a similar line in the sand when it came a bill that lacked a public insurance option. ‘The president … believes we should have choice and competition for people entering the private insurance market. . . .’” As written earlier: For people below the median income who do not currently have coverage, being “Mandated” into buying an insurance policy without a 100% subsidy – and, basing the difference on forced spending of 10% or more of income – it will be the same as having their Taxes Raised, considerably. Question: During these times, where 10% of the population is unemployed, and wages along with hours are getting slashed, how many of us would be drastically affected by a new requirement (do it or get fined) that we spend 10% of income on a bill we did not have before? Further, without a Public Option, there will be No Choice or Competition (and the insurance companies will have the biggest ongoing celebration they ever imagined).
[…] solving] the health care crisis! Everyone will have health care!” No Single-Payer. No Public Option. Not even an allowance for people between 55 and 64 to buy into Medicare. No competition for […]