Monday, November 2, 2009

1990 And Not a Clue How Much I Will Have To Pay

1990 is not a year, it is the number of pages in the House Health Reform Bill, proposed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week.

If you are so inclined, you may download your very own copy by clicking here.

I've written about this before, and I will say it again and again: "How much do I have to pay to buy a policy. under this bill?” I understand that the insurance companies can set their own rates, but since the current bill proposes a "Public Option" the government must surely be able to estimate how much it will cost the average American to buy into this government program and what it will cover.

I believe that the previous House committee bills were about 1100 pages, so in the new 900 pages, could someone take a minute to guesstimate costing coverage? At the end of the day isn't this the most important question. How much will I have to pay for it?

I know the media makes a big deal of the Congressional Budget Office guesstimating $one trillion and a few odd billion dollars, and that is scary to America as a whole. However $1,000,000,000,000 PLUS dollars notwithstanding, please tell me if insurance will cost me $200 month, $500, a month or $1,000 per month for ME!!! Is this asking too much??

I've read the initial reports of what is and is not in this bill. I will await the analysts to go through all 1990 pages and report back their opinions. I've already seen some troubling areas. One of the most troubling is the analysis that the public option may actually cost more than private insurance. I do not know if this is true, but if it is, you can look for the insurance companies to raise their rates..

A little political commentary, if I may: I wish the Republicans would stop telling us that the current system works. It does not! It is unaffordable for individuals and businesses and no one is happy with it. As the economy gets worse, look for employers to reduce coverage, increase deductibles and coinsurance, and increase the portion that the employee must pay.

Likewise, the Democrats must stop turning the insurance companies into the villains. The insurance companies combined profits are reported as 2.2% of revenue, which is not very high. Furthermore, if this was ONLY about insuring the uninsured and uninsurable, it would not need 2,000 pages.  This si about fundementally changing who control's America's health care system.

I am also disappointed in President Obama, because as a candidate he promised transparency in these major issues, even promised the C-SPAN cameras would open the secret congressional negotiations to the public. The Pelosi and Reid, Health Reform Bills were negotiated behind closed doors, and the President encouraged this. It appears and the polls confirm that he has squandered his unprecedented support when he took office, and that Washington is back to business as usual, and it is not pretty.

The media is still not asking the question: How much will I have to pay? Why can the media tell you how much the average American will spend on Thanksgiving dinner? How much the average American will spend on Christmas presents? How much the average American will spend on vacation? But they can't tell us how much the average American will pay for health insurance under this 1990 page bill.


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