So, my wife and I make under $100,000 as a married couple this year. We live in an area that has a pretty high cost of living (standard cost of a 3 bedroom/2 bath house is over $300 now) in beautiful Northern California. My wife and I are both covered by health insurance through our district. I pay $75 a month out of pocket with $1,000 deductable, and coverage sucks unless you have a catastrophic event in which case the coverage has been called “very good” by those that have used it. My wife is a member of Blue Shield. You know, the one that is jacking up premiums on their members. I heard a rumor that her district (along with furlough days and a pay cut) wants the teachers to bear the entire cost of the increase.
So, I have some questions about the legislation that was just passed.
1. Does anyone really think the legislation will stand as is? The vast majority of it doesn’t take place until 2014. It is more than likely that Congress will no longer be under the control of the Democrats. While it is highly unlikely, a new president could be in the White House in 2012. The legislation will be under judicial review immediately and will be adjusted for that as well.
2. So pre-existing conditions can’t be a part of accepting a person on to a plan. Since people are much more unhealthy now than in the past, what happens to people that are fine and healthy? Do they pay for the private insurer to accept someone who is high risk?
3. Children are allowed to be on their parents plan until they are 26 years old. Does this mean that the federal government now thinks that it should take a child eight years to complete college, or obtain necessary skills, and get a job? Doesn’t this actually create a disincentive for people to leave home and start becoming productive members of the economy?
4. By 2018, “Cadillac Plans” will be taxed extra to help fund the program. If I was not married, my dogshit plan would be considered a “Cadillac Plan”. As a couple, we don’t currently fall under that bracket, but surely will in 2018. If the purpose of the legislation was to help the majority of Americans, and middle-class Americans are going to be doubly taxed (remember #2, the company is going to raise rates), how does this provide the necessary help in reducing the costs of health insurance. For the 80+% that already has insurance, costs will actually rise.
5. The United States has a population of 300 million. About 46 million do not have health insurance. Out of that 46 million, over 9 million are non-citizens of the United States. That’s 20%. Since the bill does not allow for illegals to acquire insurance (Joe Wilson was wrong), but the state is still mandated to treat them if they show up to an emergency room, how does that help reduce the cost of health care?
6. And in a follow up to question #5, if Congress passes amnesty for the illegal immigrants already in the United States, wouldn’t that then guarantee them health care under this resolution? Wouldn’t that put an undue burden on states like California, who are already dealing with millions of illegal immigrants that the federal government refuses to manage? (Immigration is a Federal Government responsibility. Check your U.S. Constitution. It is another unfunded government issue.)
These aren’t partisan questions. I don’t give a damn about reconciliation, amendments for Nebraska, Louisiana, or bottles of Gatorade. I know how laws are made, and I know a thing or two about politics, and how both parties engage in shallow acts of hyperbole. I want to know how this actually helps the country go in the right direction. Fine, I agree that Americans should not go without health insurance. But does this piece of legislation do anything that will help the nation as a whole?
This legislation sucks, and while I can’t stand the Minority Leader, John Boehner, he had a point about the Democrats playing party politics while not listening to the American people. No wellness reform, no hospital incentives, no health insurance fraud provisions, no tort reform policies, no regulations on private insurance company premiums, no real help. What the legislation did is put a pool of 46 million Americans into the hands of the private insurance companies while getting other Americans to pay for it.
So, why does it work?