Here is a good post from a liberal source on Obamacare. 18 myths are busted and the bill is exposed as more corporate welfare. The insurance companies and other medical cartels won again, which is no surprise.
|1. This is a universal health care bill. |
The bill is neither universal health care nor universal health insurance.
Per the CBO:
|2. Insurance companies hate this bill||This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009. |
The original Senate Finance Committee bill was authored by a former Wellpoint VP. Since Congress released the first of its health care bills on October 30, 2009, health care stocks have risen 28.35%.
|3. The bill will significantly bring down insurance premiums for most Americans. |
The bill will not bring down premiums significantly, and certainly not the $2,500/year that the President promised.
Annual premiums in 2016, status quo / with bill:
Small group market, single: $7,800 / $7,800
Small group market, family: $19,300 / $19,200
Large Group market, single: $7,400 / $7,300
Large group market, family: $21,100 / $21,300
Individual market, single: $5,500 / $5,800*
Individual market, family: $13,100 / $15,200*
|4. The bill will make health care affordable for middle class Americans.||The bill will impose a financial hardship on middle class Americans who will be forced to buy a product that they canâ€™t afford to use. |
A family of four making $66,370 will be forced to pay $5,243 per year for insurance. After basic necessities, this leaves them with $8,307 in discretionary income â€” out of which they would have to cover clothing, credit card and other debt, child care and education costs, in addition to $5,882 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses for which families will be responsible.
|5. This plan is similar to the Massachusetts plan, which makes health care affordable.||Many Massachusetts residents forgo health care because they canâ€™t afford it. |
A 2009 study by the state of Massachusetts found that:
|6. This bill provide health care to 31 million people who are currently uninsured. ||This bill will mandate that millions of people who are currently uninsured must purchase insurance from private companies, or the IRS will collect up to 2% of their annual income in penalties. Some will be assisted with government subsidies.|
|7. You can keep the insurance you have if you like it.|
The excise tax will result in employers switching to plans with higher co-pays and fewer covered services.
Older, less healthy employees with employer-based health care will be forced to pay much more in out-of-pocket expenses than they do now.
|8. The â€œexcise taxâ€ will encourage employers to reduce the scope of health care benefits, and they will pass the savings on to employees in the form of higher wages.||There is insufficient evidence that employers pass savings from reduced benefits on to employees. |
|9. This bill employs nearly every cost control idea available to bring down costs. ||This bill does not bring down costs and leaves out nearly every key cost control measure, including: |
|10. The bill will require big companies like WalMart to provide insurance for their employees||The bill was written so that most WalMart employees will qualify for subsidies, and taxpayers will pick up a large portion of the cost of their coverage.|
|11. The bill â€œbends the cost curveâ€ on health care. ||The bill ignored proven ways to cut health care costs and still leaves 24 million people uninsured, all while slightly raising total annual costs by $234 million in 2019. |
â€œBends the cost curveâ€ is a misleading and trivial claim, as the US would still spend far more for care than other advanced countries.
In 2009, health care costs were 17.3% of GDP.
Annual cost of health care in 2019, status quo: $4,670.6 billion (20.8% of GDP)
Annual cost of health care in 2019, Senate bill: $4,693.5 billion (20.9% of GDP)
|12. The bill will provide immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition.||Access to the â€œhigh risk poolâ€ is limited and the pool is underfunded. It will cover few people, and will run out of money in 2011 or 2012 |
Only those who have been uninsured for more than six months will qualify for the high risk pool. Only 0.7% of those without insurance now will get coverage, and the CMS report estimates it will run out of funding by 2011 or 2012.
|13. The bill prohibits dropping people in individual plans from coverage when they get sick.||The bill does not empower a regulatory body to keep people from being dropped when theyâ€™re sick. |
There are already many states that have laws on the books prohibiting people from being dropped when theyâ€™re sick, but without an enforcement mechanism, there is little to hold the insurance companies in check.
|14. The bill ensures consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to challenge new insurance plan decisions.||The â€œinternal appeals processâ€ is in the hands of the insurance companies themselves, and the â€œexternalâ€ one is up to each state.|
Ensuring that consumers have access to â€œinternal appealsâ€ simply means the insurance companies have to review their own decisions. And it is the responsibility of each state to provide an â€œexternal appeals process,â€ as there is neither funding nor a regulatory mechanism for enforcement at the federal level.
|15. This bill will stop insurance companies from hiking rates 30%-40% per year.||This bill does not limit insurance company rate hikes. Private insurers continue to be exempt from anti-trust laws, and are free to raise rates without fear of competition in many areas of the country.|
|16. When the bill passes, people will begin receiving benefits under this bill immediately ||Most provisions in this bill, such as an end to the ban on pre-existing conditions for adults, do not take effect until 2014. |
Six months from the date of passage, children could not be excluded from coverage due to pre-existing conditions, though insurance companies could charge more to cover them. Children would also be allowed to stay on their parentsâ€™ plans until age 26. There will be an elimination of lifetime coverage limits, a high risk pool for those who have been uninsured for more than 6 months, and community health centers will start receiving money.
|17. The bill creates a pathway for single payer.||Bernie Sandersâ€™ provision in the Senate bill does not start until 2017, and does not cover the Department of Labor, so no, it doesnâ€™t create a pathway for single payer. |
|18 The bill will end medical bankruptcy and provide all Americans with peace of mind. ||Most people with medical bankruptcies already have insurance, and out-of-pocket expenses will continue to be a burden on the middle class. |
*Cost of premiums goes up somewhat due to subsidies and mandates of better coverage. CBO assumes that cost of individual policies goes down 7-10%, and that people will buy more generous policies.
- March 11, Letter from Doug Elmendorf to Harry Reid (PDF)
- The AHIP Plan in Context, Igor Volsky; The Max Baucus WellPoint/Liz Fowler Plan, Marcy Wheeler
- CBO Score, 11-30-2009
- â€œAffordableâ€ Health Care, Marcy Wheeler
- Gruber Doesnâ€™t Reveal That 21% of Massachusetts Residents Canâ€™t Afford Health Care, Marcy Wheeler; Massachusetts Survey (PDF)
- Health Care on the Road to Neo-Feudalism, Marcy Wheeler
- CMS: Excise Tax on Insurance Will Make Your Insurane Coverage Worse and Cause Almost No Reduction in NHE, Jon Walker
- Employer Health Costs Do Not Drive Wage Trends, Lawrence Mishel
- CBO Estimates Show Public Plan With Higher Savings Rate, Congress Daily; Drug Importation Amendment Likely This Week, Politico; Medicare Part D IAF; A Monopoloy on Biologics Will Drain Health Care Resources, Lancet Student
- MaxTax Is a Plan to Use Our Taxes to Reward Wal-Mart for Keeping Its Workers in Poverty, Marcy Wheeler
- Estimated Financial Effects of the â€œPatient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009,â€ as Proposed by the Senate Majority Leader on November 18, 2009, CMS (PDF)
- Health insurance companies hang onto their antitrust exemption, Protect Consumer Justice.org
- What passage of health care reform would mean for the average American, DC Examiner
- How to get a State Single Payer Opt-Out as Part of Reconciliation, Jon Walker
- Medical bills prompt more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies, CNN.com; The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Section?by?Section Analysis (PDF)