Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Health Care Reform

While I was a little put off by the speed and scope of the Affordable Health Care Act, I am not on the bandwagon for repeal. There is too much good, and necessary, reform in that bill to be repealed. Modification is fine - though the arguments for how to provide access and make sure there is a large enough risk pool to keep costs down is complicated. Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post identifies the keys to the law that should not be compromised:

Already in effect are parts of the reform package that no self-interested politician is going to vote to take away.

No child can be denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Coverage can no longer be canceled when the policyholder gets sick. Insurance companies can no longer impose annual or lifetime limits on payments for care. Adult children can remain on their parents' policies until they turn 26. Policyholders cannot be charged extra for seeking urgent care at an emergency room that is not in the insurance company's approved network of providers. Those measures took effect in September. Another set of provisions became law on Saturday: requirements that insurance companies spend a certain percentage of the premiums they collect on actual care; a discount on prescription drugs for some seniors covered by Medicare; a rule that gives seniors free screening for cancer and other diseases.

Republican leaders aren't dumb enough to explicitly propose taking all these benefits away. But Democrats can, and should, force them to have that debate.

Fix it, but stop this nonsense about the symbolic act of a "repeal vote."


Anonymous said...

Haha. We just want the government in charge of every aspect of life. As long as they make life "good" for us, it's fine. No need to think about all of the freedom we're losing and how dependent on the government we are becoming.

mmazenko said...

HaHa? We want govt in charge?

That's a ridiculous and naive statement in light of the post.

The point is about the positive aspects of the health care bill which regulate the more unseemly aspects of the health care industry which represent a disingenuous if not corrupt side of free market capitalism.

Insurance companies are supposed to offer insurance and profit by the margin of unneeded outlays. Instead, the industry has illicitly developed to profit by collecting premiums and denying claims.

Certainly, you rest comfortably with a nicely subsidized system - supported by your employer and tax rebates - and you haven't actually faced the free market you tout.