How to Make Health Reform Work
It is still uncertain what we will get from the Congress and Senate for Health Care Reform this year but I see some major problems with the bill as it is currently being discussed. They say something is better than nothing but I am not so sure. Politics, partisanship, big money and industry influence are all playing a role that is not good for the American public.
Here are the problems with the current legislation that must be fixed if we are to win:
- It still leaves 25 million Americans uninsured. 100% coverage is a must and if other countries can do it, so can we.
- Insurers are allowed to charge older customers 5X more than younger. If you are in your 50s you may pay $10,000/year. Is that affordable for anyone?
- Insurers can maintain any profit margin they want. $6.5 billion in "insurance fees" (to help make it financially palatable) will be passed on to consumers in higher rates.
- There are no cost controls on what insurers can charge.
- There are no restrictions on denial of care.
- There is no challenge on monopolies (In some areas there are only 1 or 2 insurers).
- There are no controls on drug prices and no government leverage to negotiate rates.
- There is no definition of covered benefits.
- Most of the reforms don't even start until 2013!
- Medicare rates are below inflation and there is a 25% Medicare cut in physician fees.
- There is nothing to benefit primary care and nothing about coordinated care.
- There is no change in the flawed Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula which is totally unworkable with cuts every year that get "reversed" by congress after physicians and AARP go wild.
- There is no public option.
- There is no liability reform.
EverythingHealth supports true Health Care Reform. We deserve a better bill.