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38 million uninsured Americans are just inconvenient collateral damage [View All]

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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-08-09 05:45 AM
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Edited on Sun Nov-08-09 05:55 AM by FrenchieCat
To the HCR Naysayers, cause for them, the plan needs to benefit all or in the case of the teabaggers, no one can benefit, and certainly not the measly 38 million, as well as those additional folks who would directly benefit from this bill!

In speaking directly to the "Liberal" Naysayers, or those who continue to rag, day in, day out about how nothing is better than something, first let me say....How Liberal of you! :sarcasm:

Perhaps Liberal naysayers should read more than naysaying opinion pieces from other "Liberals" willing to stand down this health care plan because they would prefer the status quo and don't have a problem with Collateral damage, i.e., 38 million who are currently uninsured and all of the millions that will directly benefit.

Meanwhile, I'll be fighting for the 38 million....cause I don't consider them as collateral, damaged or otherwise. Indeed, they are the very people that I am fighting to get health Insurance coverage. If I get something out of it, fine. If not, fine too.

House Health Reform Bill Expands Coverage and Lowers Health Cost Growth, While Reducing Deficits

House Health Reform Bill Would Help Ensure Affordable, Quality Coverage for Older Adults Aged 55-64

The House bill would address this affordability problem by providing premium subsidies for health insurance purchased through the new health insurance exchange by individuals who have incomes that are below 400 percent of the poverty line but too high to qualify for Medicaid. The subsidies would cover the remaining premium cost after applying the individuals required contribution to the cost of the health coverage, which would be set on a sliding scale based on income. Individuals just above 150 percent of the poverty line (the level at which the Medicaid income limit would be set) would be required to contribute 3 percent of their income for premiums, with the required contribution rising to 12 percent of income for people just below 400 percent of the poverty line. Subsidy-eligible individuals would also qualify for significant help with the deductibles and cost-sharing charges under their insurance plans, which would reduce the out-of-pocket costs that individuals who purchase coverage through the exchange would incur.

New Protections for Consumers

Regardless of your place of employment or the kind of coverage you have now, new regulations would take effect in 2010 that would go a long way toward curtailing the insurance companies' worst abuses.

Insurance companies could no longer deny coverage to people because they've had health problems in the past, nor could they charge hugely different rates for different groups of people (premiums could only vary by age, geography, tobacco use and family size).

The House bill bans recissions -- the insurance industry's habitual practice of collecting premiums until someone gets sick, and then digging through their histories for an excuse to cancel coverage.

Insurers wouldn't be allowed to cancel an individual's coverage for reasons other than failing to pay the premium.

Insurers would no longer be permitted to impose annual or lifetime caps on benefits.

Insurers that sell insufficient, cheapo plans that leave people vulnerable to medical crises would be required to disclose that fact to their customers.

All insurers would be required to disclose how much of their spending is on health care and how much goes to costs like overhead, advertising, etc.

The legislation (especially the Senate HELP bill) creates new tools for fighting insurance fraud and abuse.

One of the most significant of these regulations is in the House bill: a cap on out-of-pocket expenses. If the measure passes, individuals would face a maximum of $5,000 in out-of-pocket expenses a year, and families no more than $10,000. For poorer families, the limits would be much lower: $500 per year, for example, for a family making less than 1.33 times the poverty rate.

People Who Could Never Get Decent Coverage Will Finally Be Able To

So far, one of the great victories for the anti-reform movement has been convincing many small-business owners that health reform will put them under.

The reality is that small-business people, their employees, independent contractors, freelancers, entrepreneurs, part-timers and the "marginally employed" would be the biggest winners from the legislation if it passed as currently drafted. Small business owners and their employees -- as well as those other groups -- would, for the first time, be able to get decent coverage at a fair price, and if eligible, both employer and worker would be able to get extra help paying for it.

Under the current system, most of the largest employers in the country self-insure -- they pay their employees' claims directly and cut out the middleman.

Big firms that don't self-insure buy insurance on the large-group market, where risk is spread out over a large pool. Large-group plans tend to be more or less comprehensive and, relatively speaking, affordable.

But those forced to purchase coverage on the individual or small-group markets have little buying power and are routinely forced to pay budget-busting premiums for the worst possible coverage -- plans with high deductibles, caps on benefits and strict limits on what is and isn't covered.

This gets to the heart of the "public insurance option" -- the most contentious point of debate in the reform battle. It would work like this: The government would establish regional exchanges, or "gateways," that would be open to those who would otherwise be forced into the individual and small-group markets. These gateways would have relatively large insurance pools just like large employers -- and public programs like Medicare -- have now.

Within these large purchasing pools, people would be able to choose from among different insurance plans -- one a government-run "public option" and the rest offered by private insurers.

In order for private insurers to sell plans through the exchanges, they would be required to offer a standard set of benefits (which the public option would have to offer as well). They'd also be permitted to offer plans with more bells and whistles at a premium price.

For those enrolled in the public exchanges, the process would be quite similar to what employees in many large companies experience -- they would simply choose from among a variety of plans, with slightly different levels of coverage and costs.

Compared to the plans now available in the individual and small-group markets, they would pay a lot less for significantly better insurance (which, in reality, is what those "teabaggers" are protesting).

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