Health Care Reform – Personal Reality Check

July 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Insurance

health_reformIt’s too soon to know exactly how health care reform will look when Congress is finished with it. That isn’t stopping politicians and pundits from commenting about how good or bad it is.

Stop listening to them. Perform your own reality check. Take 15-20 minutes to at least scan through H.R. 3200 a/k/a “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act  of 2009.”

The easiest way to review the bill is using the HTML version posted by the Library of Congress. It is well organized, easy to read, and simple to navigate.

Although Mr. ToughMoneyLove is also a pundit of sorts, here are my suggested sections for “must see” reading:

  • Prohibiting Exclusions for Pre-Existing Conditions  (Section 111)
  • Required Benefits Package (Section 122)
  • The Public Health Insurance Option (Section 221)
  • Health Coverage Participation Requirements (Sections 311-312)

Pay particular attention to the potential effects on small business, including the requirement in Section 312 that the employer pay at least 65% of an employee’s premium for full family coverage.

After you review the Bill, don’t forget to read the cost estimates for the proposed “reform” as provided by the Congressional Budget Office. According to the CBO, the new reforms will not be deficit neutral as promised by the White House.

I believe that the essential provisions of the law will remain as now stated in H.R. 3200. What will be left for most of the debate and reconciliation process is how to pay for it.

Let me know what you think.

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3 Responses to “Health Care Reform – Personal Reality Check”
  1. MasterPo says:

    Oh, where do I begin!!

    I’m sure others will chime in with the usual comments so I’ll take a different angle:

    Obama is also proposing cap&trade that, by is own words, will DOUBLE (at least!) the cost of electricity!

    Now stop and think about this:

    How much electricity does a major hospital use in a day? A clinic? A medical lab? A diagnostic center?

    Think about all the electric medical devices we use.

    How much electricity does a resperator use?
    A NICU incumbator?
    A heart monitor?
    A MRI machine?

    If the cost of electricity goes up just 50% that’s going to SOAR the cost of medicine even if his plan only succeeds in holding costs at current levels!!!

  2. Rick Beagle says:


    Perhaps you haven’t been paying attention, but the cost of fuel is already soaring. It is a finite resource, and if we understand supply and demand correctly, then that trend will continue. Providing additional resources for research and development of alternate solutions may not make sense to you now, but in the long term this legislation makes sense. Good ideas are not always painless, despite the American belief that they should be.

    Second, have you looked at the growth rate of Health Care over the last two decades? That too is an unsustainable trend, and again, it will not be painless to correct. I wish it was an easier pill to swallow, but it isn’t. Again, you have to look over the long term. Today we spend roughly twice as much on health care as any other nation, but our mortality rate, and life expectancy are far below those of other countries. Those metrics alone show something is terribly wrong with our health care system.

    The Dems have asked everyone to provide ideas, come to the table to discuss, and generally put out the welcome mat in a flurry of town hall meetings. They are trying to get this right, but they need help.

    Again, all we get from this site and other conservative leaning sites is grumbling (though this site is at least pointing to some specifics). Not a single site of this ilk compares today’s reality with the numbers they are reviewing. It is as if the bill lives in a vacuum and a big price tag. This is a financial site, wouldn’t you expect to see a more thorough review of the numbers? You are a small business owner, how does the new bill impact your business over the long term?

    And finally, where are your suggestions? Do you believe that we should do nothing? Do you think the current state of medical care is good for our long term outlook? You are so busy complaining about the people trying to fix the problem that you are about to let the problem continue unabated. Is that what you are really proposing? Have you seen THOSE numbers?

    Big picture people. I know it is hard, but come on, you can do it!
    Rick Beagle

  3. MasterPo says:

    The current state of medical care is fine. More than fine – it’s Great!

    How many people leave the U.S. for medical treatment in Canada? UK? India? Russia? etc.

    The problem isn’t the care, it’s the paying for it.

    Good care costs. $$$$

    Advanced medical diagnostics and treatment aren’t cheap. They can’t be. What PhD researcher is going to work for 15 years to develop a technology or drug or medical procedure for $30k/yr?

    We don’t have “health insurance”. We have health payment.

    Insurance protects against unforseen and catastrophic loss.

    Having a cold is neither unforeseen nor catastrophic. So is having a baby or expected vaccinations for that baby. Yet somehow it has become expected that our health “insurance” doesn’t just cover us for accidents or major illness but for all the rotuine events of everyday life. So they more you want it to pay the more it will cost you for coverage.

    Would be no different if you car insurance had to pay for new brakes every 20k miles. new tires ever 30-40k, quarterly oil changes or your annual state inspection.

    I’d like to know: Where is it written that everybody deserves 100% treatment for any and all conditions regardless of ability to pay?

    Before you call me greedy (again), think about it. Why not apply the same to your car? If your car is damaged in an accident and you don’t have insurance (or enough insurance or the right kind of insurance) to pay for the repairs then you’re just plain S.O.L. You can cry that w/o your car you can’t go to work, take your kids to school or the doctor, go to the supermarket, etc. But then you should have either had the right insurance or saved the money to pay for a possible accident repair.

    I know a women right now who willfully had a baby w/o any medical insurance (and at a bare minimum pay level). Can’t even say it was a baby-Oops! She wanted a baby and her boyfriend (of 9 years and still not married) obliged. (Kinda surprised about that but that’s another story.) So why should I have to pay for her kids’ medical needs? My wife and I planned as carefully as we could before having our first child, including selecting a more expensive medical plan that had better child coverage.

    Where is the personal responsibility of the individual to society? (other then just demanding)

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