Sunday, March 21, 2010

The House Delivers Healthcare to the Insurance Companies

There is a misdirection of Obamacare that almost no one has discussed. While the President has done much to demonize the Private Healthcare insurance industry, strangely there has been nary a peep from them in response. The only backlash has been from Medicare Advantage providers who are looking at a $500 billion cut in patient benefits. Although President Obama and the Democrats continually read letters from the victims of Private Healthcare providers, whom the say needlessly remove tonsils and cuts off feet for big profits, endlessly raise rates and deny coverage, the Healthcare insurance industry remains mute. Something here doesn't make sense. What is starting to come to light, is there was never any intention for congress to pass the public option. However, government mandatory health insurance has remained on the table. Then, when Healthcare seemed doomed after Scott Brown was voted into the Senate and the Senate lost their super majority, something of unimaginable stupidity occurred; or not. During this time, when the state of Healthcare was teetering on the precipice, Anthem Blue Cross increased some of it's policies in California by a whopping 39%. Here, when the Healthcare bill was as good as dead, Blue Cross kneels down, gives Healthcare CPR and brings it back to life; this was only unimaginably stupid if it was not the desired result. The only logical conclusion, is along with President Obama's back room deal with Big Pharama, there is also a deal with the Private Healthcare providers; that Obamacare will mandate health insurance to Private Healthcare Providers. Therefore all Americans will soon be directed by law, to buy health insurance from private health insurance companies. So, as the President maligns Private Healthcare as Satin's spawn, Private Healthcare will be crying all the way to the bank.

This is not an idea formulated in my brain, this is a statement from Rep Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) after he voted no on the first House bill,

“But instead of working toward the elimination of for-profit insurance, H.R. 3962 would put the government in the role of accelerating the privatization of health care. In H.R. 3962, the government is requiring at least 21 million Americans to buy private health insurance from the very industry that causes costs to be so high, which will result in at least $70 billion in new annual revenue, much of which is coming from taxpayers. This inevitably will lead to even more costs, more subsidies, and higher profits for insurance companies — a bailout under a blue cross

Further Howard Dean, former Democratic National Committee Chairman said,

This is a bigger bailout for the insurance industry than AIG...A very small number of people are going to get any insurance at all, until 2014, if the bill works...This is an insurance company's dream.."

Even more to the point, the Senate bill (aka the Baucus Biil, for Senator Max Baucus) was a response to the House bill and eliminated the Public Option. One of the bills authors is a senior counsel to Sen Baucus by the name of Liz Fowler. Fowler is an ex VP for Wellpoint, an umbrella company for many Healthcare Insurers. Fowler has also been one of the loudest critics of the public option. The public option turned out to be a double sided sword. While the Republicans rightfully decried the public option as unfair competition to private insurance, without the public option and without ending the prohibition of buying across state lines, there is still the mandate to buy insurance, but with no competition whatsoever.

Now that Senate bill has passed, I'll bet you think you'll get something after all this worry. But as Dean said, your not going to get much until at least 2014, but we will pay the $50 billion a year in new taxes and Medicare will be cut by another $50 billion a year. Further the 32 million without Healthcare insurance will not get any relief until 2018. Three of the immediate provisions are the removal of caps on lifetime benefits, an end to arbitrary cancelling of policies and a band-aid addressing pre-existing conditions. Of these three, being turned down for coverage for pre-existing conditions effects the most; but you won't be able to choose the plan you want. The government is going to create a pool of so-called high risk citizens with pre-existing conditions (ala assigned risk) for $5 billion. You will then end up with whatever plan is being offered, at whatever the Insurance Company wants to charge and have to live with it. Pre-existing conditions will not really be covered until the Healthcare providers are compensated with a mandated 20% increase in clients, most of whom will be low risk, healthy young adults. Does that sound like a plan you would want to block if you were a Healthcare insurer? We will have to pay 10 years of taxes for 6 years of Healthcare. And you have to wonder what Congress is going to do with the first 4 years of taxes collected; hopefully they'll put it in a lock box and not borrow against it. I would also like to go for a ride in a alien space ship before I die, but I don't put much stock in that either.

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