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Mass-like National Health-"forces" Health coverage on folks-is it wrong?

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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 07:39 AM
Original message
Mass-like National Health-"forces" Health coverage on folks-is it wrong?
I believe the New Mass law states that uninsured people earning less than the federal poverty threshold would be able to purchase subsidized policies that have no premiums, and would be responsible for very small co-payment fees for emergency-room visits and other services. Those earning between that amount and three times the poverty-level amount would be able to buy subsidized policies with premiums based on their ability to pay. While no maximum premium was set in the bill, the legislators' intent was claimed to be for it to top out at about $200 to $250 per month.

In any case all residents will have to provide details about their health insurance policy on their state income tax returns in 2008. Those who do not have insurance would first lose their personal state tax exemption, perhaps worth $150, and later face penalties equal to half the cost of the cheapest policy they should have bought which may be about $1,200 per year. Those who cannot find an affordable plan can obtain a waiver.

Of course there is no enforcement at the hospital level - hospitals will treat uninsured patients as before.

But is this "forcing" folks to have health ins wrong?

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PSPS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. Actually, it is the underpinning of the whole idea of insurance
It's referred to as "pooled risk," and is what makes insurance work in the first place. In the case of health insurance, the mess we now have allows private insurance companies choose their clients, meaning only those not likely to need it are offered affordable policies.

Unless you're willing to accept that poor or sick people should be left to die, they are going to get treatment. Without "pooled risk," the cost of their care will be funneled to the highest-cost channel which overly burdens society-at-large.
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twiterpatted Donating Member (216 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
2. Like auto liability insurance?
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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. Whats Medicaid?
We already are forced to pay for health insurance for the poor - only its by far the most expensive kind of insurance on the planet and offers the worst kind of service.
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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
4. How does forcing people to have insurance fix the problem?
Take a look at
1) the median income
2) the cost for health insurance premiums

If people can't afford health insurance now, how does this fix anything?

Are the insurance companies going to automatically insure those with pre-existing conditions? At the same rate as healthy people?

My personal feeling -- this is a gift to the insurance and financial industries. The cheapest policies will be the high deductible ones and that's what most people will have to get solely because they are the cheapest. God help them if something happens.

And don't forget -- the GOP health savings accounts can only be combined with a high-deductible policy.

The whole thing is a
1)gift to the banking and financial industries that provide health savings accounts.
2) the insurance companies that make out on the high-deductible policies.

Forcing people to buy insurance fixes nothing if people still really can't afford the insurance anyway. Forcing people to buy high-deductible policies (which I think will be the net effect of this mandate), is inhumane.

Consumer-driven healthcare. Right. I'm sure when Cheney shot that guy in the face, he called around finding out who was running a special on buckshot removal that day. Oh, please.

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 09:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. It is a very foolish policy.
An attempt to avoid single-payer. When the current system is not working, and it is broken, the answer is not to try to force people to use it anyway.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Exactly. Anything that leaves for profit insurance in control
is a terrible idea. Corporations see only the bottom line, and don't much care how it gets padded. If they are forced to add the truly sick to their rolls, they will simply increase the policy of denying care to all to increase profit.

It's why I despised Hillarycare.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I agree - the unnecessary 35% overhead for profit/ceo salary is kept
You and DUer antigop are correct, but as the first reply noted - the universal health part of single payer universal health is in this plan

it is just the design is such that the benefits will suck and the nonsense of insurance companies spending money to avoid insuring people (because they might or be near to being - sick) - a practice called "underwriting" - is continued - and there is no good reason to continue this cost in a "universal health" system.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. This is going to be a HUGE boondoggle
Edited on Thu Jul-27-06 04:10 PM by depakid
That won't come close to addressing either of the critical issues: access to affordable care and annual double digit cost increases.

Here's what two Harvard Medical School professors have to say about it:

"The linchpin of the plan is the false assumption that uninsured people will be able to find affordable health plans. A typical group policy in Massachusetts costs about $4,500 annually for an individual and more than $11,000 for family coverage. Few of the 748,000 uninsured in Massachusetts are young enough (under age 35) to qualify for low-premium plans. Fewer are affluent enough to readily afford them.

The legislation promises that the uninsured will be offered comprehensive, affordable private health plans. But the only way to get cheaper plans is to strip down the coverage, boost co-payments, deductibles, uncovered services, etc.

Hence, the requirement that most of the uninsured purchase coverage will either require them to pay money they dont have, or buy nearly worthless stripped-down policies that represent coverage in name only.

The legislation will do nothing to contain the skyrocketing costs of care in Massachusetts, already the highest in the world. As rising costs force more and more employers to drop coverage, state coffers will be drained by the continuing cost increases in Medicaid. The program is simply not sustainable over the long or even medium term."

http://www.pww.org/article/articleview/8941/1/317 /

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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. that is a good, logical, reasonable analysis n/t
n/t
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oscar111 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-01-06 03:05 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Underwriting? define please
Papau, i was intrigued by your comment on undrwrtng.

Can you say it again, in a bit more detail? Just what is undrwriting?

===========================================

For others, i have here the core of the Mass. complaints, pulled out of what is usually overlong articles.---
...The legislation promises that the uninsured will be offered comprehensive, affordable private health plans. But the only way to get cheaper plans is to strip down the coverage, boost co-payments, deductibles, uncovered services, etc.

Hence, the requirement that most of the uninsured purchase coverage will either require them to pay money they dont have, or buy nearly worthless stripped-down policies that represent coverage in name only.

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