A day late and a dollar (gazillions) short.
Robert Laszweski tell us:
As the Democrats make their final push to pass their health care bill many of them, and most notably the President, are arguing that it should be passed because it is the “right thing to do whatever the polls say.”
Their argument is powerful: We will never get the perfect bill. If this fails who knows how long it will be before we have another big proposal up for a vote. There are millions of uninsured unable to get coverage because of preexisting conditions or the inability to pay the big premiums and this bill would help them.
Any big health care bill will be full of compromises—political or otherwise. But this bill doesn’t even come close to deserving to be called “health care reform.”
But as an unavoidable moral imperative, enacting this bill would fall way short:
1. It is unsustainable. Promises are being made that cannot be kept. As the President has said many times, we need fundamental health care system reform or the promises we have already made—the Medicare and Medicaid entitlements, for example—will bankrupt us. What few cost containment elements the Democrats seriously considered are now either gone from their final bill or hopelessly watered down—most notably the “Cadillac” tax on high cost benefits and the Medicare cost containment commission.
2. It is paying off the people already profiting the most from the status quo. Many of the big special interests, that will have to change their ways if we are really going to improve the system, are simply being paid off for their support. The drug deal, the hospital deal, promises not to cut or change the way physicians are paid, all add up to more guaranteeing the status quo rather than doing anything that will bring about the systemic change everyone knows is needed.....more:
THE TOP TEN BENEFITS AMERICANS WILL RECEIVE IF (WHEN)THE HEALTHCARE BILL PASSES:
The legislation would: (Maggie Mahar)
- Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;
- Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans
- Lower seniors prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole
- Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage
- Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans
- Require plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age
- Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunization without cost-sharing
- Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions
- Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs. “By enacting these provisions right away, and others over time” the Caucus declares, “we will be able to lower costs for everyone and give all Americans and small businesses more control over their health care choice