Hawking Up Hairballs

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Health Care Bill

So, the health care bill has passed, and I suppose there are those of a liberal persuasion who are celebrating. Just what they are celebrating, I can't say. It's in the executive suites of the insurance industry that the champagne corks are really popping. They pretty much got everything they wanted in the bill.

This health care bill represents a massive transfer of wealth from the besieged middle class to the insurance companies. Here's what I mean. For a family making $66,000 a year, annual premiums will amount to more than $8,000 a year. In addition, they will be responsible for over $5800 in out of pocket expenses a year before the benefits kick in. Some coverage that is. It means that there will be people who won't be able to afford to use their health insurance because of those out of pocket expenses.

Some might say that this is a first step. Apparently, the likes of Paul Krugman believes that, but I see no evidence of it. If anything, experience teaches us otherwise. Take the prescription drug insurance for those on Medicare. As one who is availing himself of it, I have to say that it is wholly inadequate. It saves you some money on prescriptions, but not much. At the time it was being discussed in Congress, organizations that claimed to advocate for older citizens, organizations like AARP, supported the bill. When criticized, they said that they were getting behind it because it was a first step. I won't be holding my breath until that second step comes. The same goes for this health care bill. It's the one we're stuck with for at least a generation.

There are a few sops for the public in the bill, but the benefits that come from them are illusory. For example, insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping individuals when they become sick. However, the bill does not empower any regulatory body to enforce this provision of the bill. What then is to stop the insurance companies from ignoring it?

The fact is that, to quote the site that I'm linking to below, “This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009.” So, with President Obama and his changes, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The wealthy and powerful continue to wage their class war against the rest of us, and more and more wealth is still being transferred upward.

Here's a link to myths about the health care bill. http://www.scribd.com/doc/28632876/Fire-Dog-Lake-Health-Care-Bill-Myths


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess I shouldn't be surprised by your new found concern for the middle class, that's an old Saul Alinsky trick.

As for AARP, use Bloomberg's search engine, their archives should still be full of documented tales of AARP's kick backs to Big Insurance.

3:54 AM  
Blogger Chuck Oliveros said...

Middle class is a term that is based upon income, not upon the role of one in society. Hence, until recently, auto workers would have been classified as middle class. In my understanding of the term, the majority of people covered by "middle class" are working class in terms of their role in society.

9:57 AM  

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