As the Senate (Harry Reid) and House (Nancy Pelosi) democrats “negotiate” furiously behind closed doors to urgently pass some kind of Obama Health Bill, the news media is filled with tragic reports and graphic scenes from Haiti. Do we know what we are in for?
They call it “health reform”, but I don’t see anything that describes “how” they will reform anything. The purpose seems to be to give health care to more Americans who can’t afford it. A worthy cause, but a very expensive one.
I agree that a lot could be done to improve health care availability and affordability. But I believe we should be working on improvements and cost reductions for the people who are already paying for health insurance.
- When a person loses their job, after being covered under a company health plan, there should be some government help to keep them covered until they are employed again. Something similar to unemployment benefits that include health care. Forget COBRA… who can afford to pay the extremely high premiums when they are unemployed?
- Something needs to be done to protect people with preconditions. If you lose or quit your job and attempt to get insurance, you can be refused coverage if you are currently being treated, or were previously treated, for many conditions. Probably 80% of us over 50 years old have some precondition that may prevent us from changing our health insurance, so we are forced to stay in our current jobs or we lose coverage if we move to another employer, or are laid-off.
There is nothing that describes “how” the Democrats intend to reduce costs. They just say they will reduce Medicare costs by $200 billion a year some time in the future. No one seems to want to tackle the pharmaceutical, insurance, health provider companies or tort reform to reduce costs. And fraud continues to run rampant in the government operated Medicare and Medicaid programs, which are both forecast to be bankrupt in a few years from now.
Now we have a proposed “Cadillac insurance tax”. The tax, 40 percent of the cost of benefits in excess of a certain unknown amount, would be paid by employers and insurers. Now does this decrease health costs? Of coarse not; the costs simply get passed along to consumers, or the companies will decrease the health plans offered to employees.
When the unions found that many of their members would qualify for the Cadillac plan, they raised a stink. So they were exempted. And when the Democrats figured out that their own government health care plans qualify as Cadillac, they exempted all government employees.
This could go on and on… this total health care plan is the worst piece of legislation ever conceived. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the plan will cost one trillion dollars over 10 years. That would average out to a hundred billion a year, but wait! We get taxed immediately and most of the promised benefits do not become effective for five years. But then, the CBO never gets its forecasts right. They are usually off by 100-300%… in the wrong direction.
We can’t afford what the Democrats want. The federal government is already over $12 trillion in debt; about half of that in the last two years. We haven’t even talked about the state governments that are cutting services and can not balance their budgets.
The economy is expected to make a slow recovery over many years. Well over 30 million are unemployed and another 20 million are underemployed or gave up looking. With less government personal and business tax income, at some point within the next 15-20 years our country will be broke. The “interest only” that we have to pay on our national debt will be more than our total tax income.
Good luck getting health care then!