Saturday, July 10, 2010

The New Health Insurance Bill is Starting

What is it about the health care bill that you don't like? People keep hollering about it, but it doesn't do anything that wasn't needed.

1 All Americans will have to have health care insurance. If private insurance is so good (as tea Party argued when I was fighting it) then won't the prices go down when more consumers enter the market? This is a rule of capitalism isn't it? When the market expands, the product becomes more efficient and the prices go down. This will make life a little easier for everyone.

2 Insurance companies must honor their contracts. If they sell health insurance, and a consumer (who has been paying faithfully for years and years) gets sick, they must cover the medical costs within the bounds of their contract. (Ins. companies have always had some procedures or wackado treatments that they didn't cover, and they will still be able to refuse to cover those procedures). This will lower costs of hospitalizations and doctors because they won't be stuck with unpaid health treatments.

3 Businesses need to either pay for their employees insurance, or face a tax penalty. This will insure that corps don't start cutting their employees health coverage just because there will now be a low cost list of insurance companies for those who are currently uninsured.

4 Those who are currently uninsured cost everyone else $$ because they use hospital ER's when they need to, even though they don't have health insurance. I took an older brother without insurance in Miami -- to Jackson Memorial I think it was called. And, we waited from 8 in the morning until 10 at night because there were so many uninsured people who needed health care. (My sister Trish and cousin Leslie, who have always had insurance, were with me and couldn't believe what they were seeing.) The cost of all those people is shared by taxes in the local community, and health ins companies are charged more by the hospitals who must cover those costs and you know who reimburses the insurance company costs -- the consumer of health insurance.

So, when some of those who have to buy insurance because of the new law can't afford it, the government will help them to do so. This will use some tax revenue. Americans have been paying the secret cost through increased insurance premiums anyway, so it really won't be any additional $$. It will make the uninsured at least partially responsible (something Tea Partiers and Libertarians are always advocating) for his family or himself, and it will move the added fiscal responsibility from the hospitals and insurance companies to the Federal Government. This should lower the cost of hospitalization by capitalistic standards since all visits will now be fully paid for.

So, when all is said and done, the costs of medical care should come down if the rules of capitalism are followed. However, if we find that insurance companies and/or hospitals and MDs prefer to add their savings to their profits rather than reimbursing the consumer, then those who have advocated for single payer or socialized medicine will have additional data to add to their arguments. Either way, we will have moved closer to a better health care system.