My Thoughts on The Recent Health-Care Legislation
I have decided to throw my hat into the ring and blog about the recent health-care legislation. Here goes...
Though this may seem rather heretical to my conservative kindred, the bill was not all bad. I personally had no problem with the ban on insurance companies dropping longtime participants when they get sick, which goes against the entire purpose of insurance companies--you pay in, just in case, and when problems arise, they pay you.
This episode here is particularly skanky:
That being said, now it's time for criticism:
I am very skeptical of the mandate to purchase individual health insurance, on constitutional grounds. The 10th Amendment to the Constitution states that all powers not specifically granted to the federal government are assumed to belong to the states and people. Forcing individuals to purchase health insurance--or anything else for that matter--is unconstitutional.
(I would imagine Romney's insurance mandate in Massachusetts isn't unconstitutional, since it's done at the state level.)
This is the reason why attorney generals from many states have joiend together in a lawsuit against the imposition of these mandates.
Also, I cannot find anything about increased reimbursements for Medicare or Medicaid patients, which is a major problem these days. Many doctors will not see these patients because the reimbursement has not kept up with rising medical costs.
Also, I believe the reforms include a mandate for businesses to supply health insurance for their employees. Many small businesses will not be able to afford this. I heard on the radio this morning (it was a morning talk show on 92.9 Dave FM I believe, not some political thing, to head off the obvious retort) a comment from a small business owner whose is afraid many companies will not be able to afford this and go out of business, something that will ultimately cost jobs.
Finally, I don't think a blanket ban on not insuring people with pre-existing conditions is such a great idea. The reason insurance companies bar people with pre-existing conditions is that it drives up the cost of the total pool. This means the insurance costs for everyone will go up.
It would have been better to subsidize the states' existing high-risk pools--Georgia has one, although it has not funded it--than to do that. The same effect will be accomplished, without inconveniencing every health-insurance policy-holder.
If the individual insurance mandates are declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, there is a way to get uninsured people covered that will not involve amending the Constitution or similarly radical measures that I imagine some people will propose.
(After all, there are members of one of my Internet forums who want to abolish the Senate, largely due to the ability of the minority party to prevent things from getting done. Funny, they never suggested that under Bush when the Democrats were in the minority.)
Simply expand Medicaid. This is particularly doable if the statistics I have heard are correct and that the number of people who want health insurance but cannot get it, as opposed to those who could get it but don't, are not especially numerous--15 million of the total 47 million uninsured.
There. Those are my comments. Let the games begin.