I want to start with a question. Why have advocates of the President’s health insurance bill referred to it as a “health care” bill. Is the government going to build hospitals and hire doctors in order to provide health care for everyone? No, the government is going to provide some kind of new health-insurance program and mandate certain policies for existing health insurance providers. So let’s stop calling it a health care program and call it what it is–government-sponsored health insurance. And let’s stop saying that people in America do not get health care. With few exceptions, people have access to health care in America, although not everyone is covered by health insurance.
Now on to my main topic–the three worst aspects of the health insurance program being proposed by the administration and Congress.
The government will not call the fees it imposes taxes: “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax imposed by this chapter for purposes of determining the amount of any credit under this chapter or for purposes of section 55.” (page 203, lines 13-18)
What makes this provision bad is that it tricks people into believing that the government’s health insurance program will not cause taxes to be raised. By not calling a tax, a tax, people will believe that they are getting absolutely free health care, as if doctors and nurses are suddenly working out of the goodness of their hearts and as if hospitals do not have to pay the utility bills.
The government will not let you sue over coverage limits and costs decisions: “There shall be no administrative or judicial review of a payment rate or methodology established under this section or under section 224.” (page 124, line 4–page 125, line 2)
I had brought up this subject before. If a private insurance company fails to provide promised coverage, their customers have legal recourse. It is not always easy, but an individual or group can sue a private insurance company for breach of contract or otherwise failing to cover people according to the law. Can you sue the government? Apparently not. You and I will be at their mercy when it comes to getting the care that we need.
The government will ration your care: Establish an annual limitation on cost sharing to ensure that “the cost-sharing incurred . . . with respect to an individual (or family) for a year does not exceed the applicable level specified–$5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family.” (29.4-29.16)
So it’s there in black and white. You will be covered, but only so much. Under a private insurance plan, you decide how much coverage you get, based on what you think you need and what you are willing to pay out of your own pocket. You can purchase extra policies, as I have, to cover catastrophic illnesses or accidents. Under the government system, it sounds like you had better not get too sick or need too many tests or operations.
This section of the bill does not seem to mean what the folks at World Magazine thought. It seems to refer to the part of health care expenses that individuals will pay out-of-pocket. It does strike me though as odd. If people will still have to pay that much out of their own pockets, how is it different from the current system in which most private insurance plans have deductibles or co-payments?
SOURCE: World Magazine, “Washington’s Prescription“
Click on the link to read more of the contents of the health insurance proposal and to find a link to the entire bill, if you are brave enough to read it. Most of the politicians planning to impose us on it do not intend to read it all, apparently.