Update (Jim): Senator Orrin Hatch details the taxes that the Baucus bill will impose. I think it dovetails nicely with the SOS post. Plus hatch sounds so pained. I feel his pain and so will you. Video at the bottom.
(SOS): The first thing that struck me about the health care bill proposed by Sen. Baucus (D-Mont.) was that it wasn’t “affordable”. Of course we all know it isn’t affordable, but I am referring here to its title. The Kennedy-Dodd bill already drafted in the Senate is entitled, “Affordable Health Choices Act”, and the Waxman bill pending in the House is entitled “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act. But, the mark up of the Baucus bill released yesterday is entitled “America’s Healthy Future Act”.
So I wonder, is the absence of the word “affordable” in the title of the most recent version of Obamacare a recognition by the Senate Finance Committee that what they are contemplating isn’t even remotely affordable? Or, perhaps a recognition by the committee that the American public knows that it isn’t affordable, and will not be fooled by a “warm, fuzzy” title?
In either event, it seemed like a good idea to start this series of posts with the issue of “affordability” for those of you who, like me, have individual insurance. I can state unequivocally the Baucus bill – if implemented – ensures you will no longer be able to afford insurance, whether you like it or not.
The bill manages to accomplish this beginning at page 5. (I will use the PDF page numbers for simplicity.) It requires that your insurance company accept all applicants regardless of their health. That, in itself, is not a particular problem, as typically an insurer would simply charge the sicker people a higher premium than the healthy people in order to cover the increased costs that will have to be paid out for the sick.
The Baucus bill, however, prohibits that.
Issuers in the individual market could vary premiums based only on the following characteristics: tobacco use, age, and family composition.
The net effect of this is that premiums for all people who have individual insurance must rise to cover the influx of insureds who must be covered, who will require expensive medical care, and who cannot be charged more than you for their coverage.
And, just in case those provisions don’t make your insurance unaffordable, what is found on pages 8 and 9 most definitely will. All insurers will be required to collectively “contribute” $20 billion between 2013 and 2015 …
to help stabilize premiums for individual coverage during the first few years of operation of the state exchanges.
And exactly where does the good senator think the $20 billion in insurance company “contributions” will come from?
I’m beginning to understand why he didn’t have the nerve to use the word “affordable” in his proposal’s title.
Here’s the Hatch video … ughhhh.