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Thursday, September 03, 2009

What's the Plan?

So, the President is now going to make a speech to a joint session of congress to try and get health care reform; or is it insurance reform this week; back on track.

According to the New York Times the idea is to simplify things so that folks will better understand what he wants.

Reading into the Times article it's clear that he really doesn't want to scale back as much as some claim. And the things that will lead to a government take over are still there, and items that could really lead to lower costs are missing.

For example, he'd like to keep the public option, as a form of "competition", but still rejects the idea of selling policies across state lines, which would be a market way of reducing prices.

He'd still like to force insurers to charge the same rate to anyone in an age group, regardless of health, fully knowing that rates then go up for the majority of healthy individuals to cover the added expense of those who aren't.

While he likes the idea of a coverage mandate for individuals, he really hasn't talked about an enforcement mechanism. The problem with this has been seen in Massachusetts, where people get insurance so they have a policy number when they file taxes (when it's checked). Then they dump the policy a month later. They don't pick coverage up again until they are either sick, or have to file again.

He'd like a "no wait, no restriction" guarantee on insurance policies. What does that mean, well, if you call 1-800-insure-me at 8 am to get a policy, at 9:00 you can deliver a baby by Cesarean, and be fully covered. Then, you can drop your policy a few week later when the bills are paid.

What does all this really do? It makes it nearly impossible for an insurance company that isn't underwritten by the federal treasury to break even, much less be profitable. This is an important thing to the President and the folks on the left. They know that the companies will stop writing insurance (ask New Yorkers, and folks in Maine) and then they can claim that "evil insurance companies" don't care about you, and you'd be better off with the public option.

Don't be fooled by the smooth talk next Thursday. The truth is the only goal of this reform idea is to make it impossible for anyone but the government to compete in the insurance business.

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1:13 AM  

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