Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health care reform

Peter Bielenson was on the radio yesterday talking about what HCR means for Howard County. According to Bielenson there are three main things that HCR does:

1. Insurance reform. This means that Insurance companies will not be able to turn anyone down for pre-existing conditions, they will not be able to drop coverage, and there are no more lifetime caps on what the insurance company has to pay out per person. The latter two take effect this year.

2. Expand eligibility to Medicaid. People making 133% of poverty or less than $29K per year can now become eligible for Medicade. Insurance subsidies will be available for those making more than $29K per year.

3. Cost controls. This includes two pilot programs that move from fee for service to bundled care, and having some organization look at cost effective health care as far as what is paid for and what is not. I have no idea what this even means, and it seems to be in direct opposition to the other two.

Bielenson said that out of the 20K uninsured in Howard County, this reform would mean that 15K-16K thousand of them could be insured either through the Medicaid expansion or through the insurance subsidies. This would make HoCo 98% insured.

The fines for not having health insurance don't start until 2014, and the tax on Cadillac plans does not begin until 2018. Basically, the consequences (both the good and the bad) of this plan will not be felt for a couple of years.

Governments seem to have an amazing ability to provide goods and services now while sticking the bill with future generations and future politicians. The mandated ponzi scheme that is Social Security is a great example of that. Social Security is no different than what Bernie Madoff was doing, except that participation in Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme was not mandatory. I was shocked to read this pro HCR op-ed in the Baltimore Sun which spoke of Social Security as if it were something great that the government has done for us.

I fear that this bill will actually prove to be a boon for insurance companies, who realizing how "to important to fail" that they are will push their costs into the future and pray for an insurance industry bailout. I also predict this is will be much more expensive than projected, leave us with a mountain of debt, weak dollar, and impending economic collapse. It would be a riot if this all occurred at the same time Social Security becomes bankrupt. And of course, the "unregulated market" will be blamed for all of this as the politicians frame themselves as our saviors. I certainly hope to be wrong, but I doubt I will be.


PZGURU said...

It really seems that the Dems in Congress and in the White House are hell bent on destroying the entire economy - with the hope that if they are in power when it happens, then they will retain power (forever) via a virtual coup. After all, once they have 50.1% of the population sucking on the teet of government dependency, how on earth will they ever get voted out of office?
Things are getting worse than worse. I have never had such a fear of doom for our country than I do now.

Anonymous said...

That this bill and the aftermath is divided entirely on party lines means that this bill will not be true health care reform and that very little will be accomplished.

Surely there are democrats out there who support the extension of health care to those who don't have it, and recognize that this bill will not do that. Where are those democrats speaking out in opposition? Why are only the republican governors suing the government so as not to have to enact the "changes"?

Similary, surely there are republicans out there who support similar benefits to the less fortunate. Where are they in the dialogue?

I had little to no luck finding a breakdown of what this bill accomplishes, before it passed. Why was there no transparency in communicating who would be helped, how, and at what cost? Making support of the bill contingent solely on "are you for HCR or not" without the context of the support for the means to the end is sheer pandering to party lines and reelection campaigning.