The Senate Healthcare Reform bill gets worse every day

I admit it.  I think the single payer government run option is the best option and anyone who thinks that it will be more expensive really isn’t paying attention.

It really should be a topic of a different post but I will add the following:  think of how much money will be saved alone if we eliminate CEO salaries and bonuses, corporate profits, senior staff salaries, corporate lobbyists (who are cleaning up today) and advertising (for the company and against health care reform).

Okay – to my next point.

All we are really left with is a very detailed, very expensive plan introduced by Max Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee and what they did to bend over backward to get Olympia Snowe’s vote.

Now the debate is hinging on a so-called public option. 

The problem with this is Healthcare reform is really quite simple.  You have to resolve the following questions.

  • Cover 100 percent of Americans. 
  • For Americans 65 and older, cover the portion not currently covered by Medicare. 

If we’re going to allow the insurance companies to continue servicing Americans, the following needs to be solved:

  • No restrictions for pre-existing conditions.
  • Allow for an opt out for employees unhappy with their employer offered plan but enforce the employer contribution.
  • Ensure that coverage is available to all who need access.

We all agree that whatever the plan is, it should lower costs.

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So let’s examine what we have:

Cover 100 percent of Americans.  Can we all agree that if we’re reforming healthcare ALL Americans should have affordable access to coverage?

According to the Baucus bill, 94 percent of Americans will be covered by this plan.  So 6 percent of Americans will not.  That is despicable and completely unacceptable.  Every single article printed discussing this bill should address this horrendous oversight.

Employer mandates:  Believe it or not, the Senate is considering doing away with employer mandates so your employer can let you fend for yourself when it comes to getting healthcare coverage.

Pre-existing conditions:  Last I read, there was a stipulation that pre-existing conditions would be limited to 6 months.  So if you have a heart attack in October and your insurance carrier drops you at the end of the year – you can sign on with another company that will not cover you for any heart ailment for 6 months – so no heart attacks until July.

Employee opt-out:  This one is personal for me.  I have a lousy healthcare plan and it is not cheap.  My premiums and initial annual out of pocket costs are quite high.  And my insurance company can deny treatment that I have had for years because for them there is a cheaper option – without taking into regard that the treatment I am currently on works – without side effects – without any adverse reactions with my other medications. 

So, if I had a cost effective option I can say that I’d be gone.

Today, I read that there will be an opt out plan for the public option – so I got very excited.  That was until I realized that the opt out was for states who didn’t want to participate in the public option.  So in Florida where Republicans outnumber Democrats in the Florida House and Senate by 2 to 1, you can pretty much rest assured that the public option will be shot down here.

By the way – ever wonder why Florida Republicans hold 67% of the seats in Congress in a state where registered Democrats comfortably outnumber Republicans?   Can you say gerrymandering?

Lower costs:  The Finance Committee has thrown around numbers in the $800 billion range over 10 years.  That’s  ‘B’ for billion.  How does a plan that is as close to keeping the status quo as possible actually increasing the costs to the neighborhood of one trillion dollars?

Obviously, there are a large number of issues I didn’t address in this post – just some key ones.

Let me also say that I have 2 healthcare plan ideas that will cover 100 percent of all Americans and lower costs.  One is my take on the single-payer option and the other is a public option type plan that involves the insurance companies and keeps Washington small.  One plan is liberal the other is conservative. 

Both options can be designed to cover all Americans and lower costs but they both start to fail when you throw in compromises. 

To get real reform, Congress should meet with financial experts to review the requirements, options and costs and determine which one will be most cost effective, easiest to implement and maintain and provides the best coverage for Americans.  

All I know is this Finance Committee Bill that we’re seeing now isn’t it and each day it only gets worse.

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