Monday, July 20, 2009

Obama will Destroy Your Heath Care Options!

Obama has promised there will be a private heath insurance option if his health care plan is adopted. However, this is the same man who promised to only take public financing for his campaign; but, changed his mind when it became politically expedient. On public vs private health insurance the devil is in the detail and he and the Democrats in Congress WILL destroy your private insurance option. As a self employed person I have had private insurance coverage since I was young and healthy.I knew one I became sick or old it would be difficult to purchase health insurance. I don't like big health insurance companies and their high premiums but I like government programs even less. Where do you get better service at your doctors office or at the local Social Security office or the post office? Would you rather go to your local Department of Motor Vehicle office or to your local grocery store or auto supply store. If I don't like the service I get at Safeway I go to Costco. But, if I get bad service at DMV or Social Security where do I go? Today, the Washington Times pointed out how Obama and the Democrats in Congress will destroy your option to purchase private insurance in an editorial:

Don't mark his words. "[I]f you are happy with your plan, and if you are happy with your doctor, we don't want you to have to change," President Obama promised on the ABC News Health Care Forum late last month. The reality of the market is less accommodating.

Many rules proposed in the Democrats' health care reform plan will ensure that private health insurance won't be around for long. Take increased cost shifting, in which the government pays hospitals and doctors below cost. This results in private insurance picking up those losses. Private insurance also will find it difficult to compete against the subsidized rate charged for government insurance.

Another change proposed by Mr. Obama and the Democrats is forbidding insurance companies from considering pre-existing conditions when granting insurance or determining what to charge. By itself, this means that most people will not want to pay for insurance when they are healthy but instead will wait to buy it only when they "need" it. After all, there's no reason to pay premiums when you're healthy if there is no deterrent to picking up coverage later, when you are sick.

Mr. Obama's proposed plan to force everyone to get insurance will not solve this problem unless the government ensures that all insurance companies provide exactly the same coverage and quality of service. Otherwise, people will get the cheapest coverage available to fulfill the mandated requirement and wait until they get sick to purchase better care. In short order, high-quality insurance will be driven out of the market because it will be too expensive for most people given cheaper short-term options.

We already see this phenomenon with Medicaid, where pre-existing conditions do not exclude people from joining the government program. Because anyone can join at any point regardless of pre-existing conditions, 14 million of the currently "uninsured" are in practice covered by Medicaid. These millions are eligible but don't sign up until they are sick because they don't have to.

It's easy to see where things are headed. With more and more rules on how health insurance can and cannot be offered, the industry will head toward a government one-size-fits-all system.

Don't like the Washington Times..... how about the Mayo Clinic:

Although there are some positive provisions in the current House Tri-Committee bill – including insurance for all and payment reform demonstration projects – the proposed legislation misses the opportunity to help create higher-quality, more affordable health care for patients. In fact, it will do the opposite.
In general, the proposals under discussion are not patient focused or results oriented. Lawmakers have failed to use a fundamental lever – a change in Medicare payment policy – to help drive necessary improvements in American health care. Unless legislators create payment systems that pay for good patient results at reasonable costs, the promise of transformation in American health care will wither. The real losers will be the citizens of the United States.

Obama is trying to rush his nationalization of health care through because he knows that once you learn the details you will call your Congressman. Once he gets it through there will be no going back. Have you ever heard of the government ending a program...... me neither.