by Melissa Clouthier | November 20, 2008 12:03 pm
So the New York Times reports that insurance companies are willing to “deal”:
While insurers would be required to sell insurance to any applicant, nothing would guarantee that consumers could afford it. Rate regulation promises to be a highly contentious issue, since it pits the financial interests of insurers against those of consumers.
At present, insurance premiums are generally regulated by the states and often vary according to a person’s age, sex, medical history and place of residence within a state. In the individual market in most states, a person with a history of serious or chronic illness can be charged much more than a healthy person of the same age and sex.
Mr. Hamm, a member of the board of America’s Health Insurance Plans, said the group might offer recommendations to define “a fair and appropriate rating structure.”
Alissa Fox, a vice president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, said the individual mandate was an indispensable corollary of any approach forbidding insurers to reject applicants because of health status.
“Insurance works best when everyone is in the pool,” Ms. Fox said. “You need healthy people in the insurance pool to help pay for sicker individuals who are much more motivated to buy coverage.”
Insurers did not say how the government should enforce an individual mandate: whether through fines, tax penalties or other means. Politicians have also been reluctant to specify details of enforcement, which could prove highly unpopular.
Here is how “health care for all” in this form will wreck the economy but make health insurance companies very rich:
Right now the economy is already restricting. What does that mean? It means that receivables, income, is down. So, businesses are doing their best to NOT lay-off anyone yet. It’s near Christmas, and trust me, no one wants to tell people they don’t have jobs before the holiday season. So, business owners are doing what they can. They are not buying new equipment. They are not expanding. They couldn’t get a line of credit to take on a new project if they wanted to anyway. They are trying to cut costs other ways. They are considering how to increase prices subtly and finding it impossible to do. They are hoping things turn around in January.
In January, if future contracts don’t look better, there will be some tough choices made. Employees will have to go. Business operations slowed.
In February, Barack Obama and the insurance industry cut a deal. All Americans are required to own health insurance because right now, sick people buy it because they need it and that cuts into profits. Businesses will be required to offer insurance.
If the company was making any money, it won’t after this legislation.
The economy will constrict further. More employees will lose jobs because the companies simply can’t afford to pay them. It was already a struggle making payroll in the tough economy. It will be worse.
With unemployment inching up to 10%, the government will decide “something must be done”. That something will be this: employers will be forced to submit to egregious employment rules. The government will make it more difficult to fire an employee. Employers will stop hiring, because once they hire, they can’t fire. This will further tighten the economy.
Since less people will be working and the government will need more tax revenue, fast food restaurants will be taxed. You name it, there will be a tax here and there and everywhere to help “modify” behavior. Plastic bags in New York. French fried steak in Texas.
No, it won’t be socialism. Not strictly, in the Marxian sense. It will be an Americanified socialism where big businesses collude with the government for power. As long as these two groups make money, the individual will be forced into submission. Their choices restricted. Their money not their own.
That is where this legislation will take us. Oh, and at first, unhealthy people everywhere will be so relieved. But then, see, the government will have to make “tough choices”. The 400 pound man will not be on a list for a heart transplant because of his poor lifestyle choices. The 80 year old woman won’t be given a hip replacement because she’s too old and the new joint would outlast her. Bureaucrats will be deciding, even more than now, how your health will be treated.
And the costs will increase, just like they have been anyway.
The rich will still get better health care. They’ll pay for what they want. The best doctors won’t see anyone BUT rich people because they can get paid more. And the poor people will get the same kind of substandard care, but worse–they won’t have a job.
Insurance for all….sounds good doesn’t it?
Update: Here’s an idea! How about innovation?
Cross-posted at MelissaClouthier.com
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