I Actually Don't Agree with A Democrat...
Monday, September 17, 2007
Well, no surprise there.

Hillary's unveiled the "details" of her universal healthcare plan. I use quotation marks because I haven't actually seen the details, just an endless repetition of the key talking points, namely "higher quality at lower cost". There are many references to "ending discrimination", which means that insurance companies can't deny coverage to anyone (not sure how that works with reducing costs). Comparing it to Medicare is not a plus, Hillary, FYI!

What I like about the plan as I understand it:
  • It would be portable across state lines and not tied to a job - useful for us, because husband dear changes companies about every 6 months, and we move about every 18 months.
  • The plan would "[Provide] more oversight over pharmaceutical companies’ financial relationships with providers." and "ensure 'truth inadvertising' to crack down on misleading and costly prescription drug advertising and direct-to-consumer advertising."
Unfortunately, I haven't heard that Hillary is planning to revamp the FDA, so how that will be accomplished remains to be seen.

Basically, the plan seems to be an extension of federal benefits to the general population. She claims that by modernizing things, quality will go up and costs will go down. Apparently she's never been charged full price for cutting edge technology. Oh, and undoing tax cuts and health insurance credits employers currently receive and "redirecting" them - everyone will be forced to choose insurance from the same menu, and small business owners will be forced to offer insurance from that same menu.

Again, I haven't been able to find the nitty gritty - I doubt anyone has really tried to figure out exactly how this will work. What good does it do to save $300 a month on an insurance premium, if taxes increase by $500? Make no mistake - if you raise taxes on corporate America, we pay higher prices somewhere along the line. It also will cause just one more incentive for a corporation to hire workers not in America.

Here's something I have a real problem with:
Individuals: will be required to get and keep insurance in a system where insurance is affordable and accessible.

(Or what? Jail time? Is it going to be like FICA, where they hit your paycheck up before you feed your kids or pay your heating bill?)

I know lots of people who do not have insurance, on purpose. They truly and heartily believe that insurance is wrong. Extreme? Maybe... but the Amish do not insure anything, for example. Then there are conscientious objectors, who will not give money to any company or medical facility that engages in immoral acts. Many people view not only abortion, but birth control, IVF, gender reassignment surgery, and even cosmetic (not reconstructive) surgery as immoral. This mandatory federal insurance would further erode religious rights.

And, as someone who has been in the Medicaid system, seen the Medicare system fail our elderly, frail, and most vulnerable population time and time again, and has been without insurance many times - this does not sound like a good idea. Medicare is running at a huge deficit - how is adding more people to the rolls going to help? I like Glenn Beck's analogy of throwing more people on board the Titanic as it is sinking. Medicare and Medicaid are touted as awesome, choose any doctor, any hospital. The reality is, the government is so slow to pay, and pays so little, that many doctors do not accept Medicaid patients. What good does insurance do if no doctor will take it? This is already a problem in the child mental health field. It is not uncommon for a child psychiatrist to accept cash only - no insurance accepted. Why? And there is still a six month waiting list to be seen. Do we really want that for all of our healthcare?

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 9/17/2007 01:11:00 PM | Permalink | |