Guest Post: The Health Care Bill Might Not Be As Trivial As I Thought

April 5, 2010 at 3:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A lawyer friend recently sent me the following and gave me permission to publish it here as a guest post:

The health care bill is very, very complex. Wrapping one’s fingers around the health care costs of employers, the government costs of subsidies and tax breaks, the societal benefit of low-income citizens having access to health care, including the economic savings as a result of prevention, early detection, and quicker treatments that allows people to get back to work, the savings of hospitals who will have fewer patients who can’t pay, the additional revenue of new taxes, changes in medicaid, the potential changes in insurance premiums and costs, as well as the economic efficiency and new jobs created from allowing people to spend their money on homes and cars and vacations instead of health care- and comparing that to the cost of doing nothing- is next to impossible. I have a degree in economics, and I have no clue what the costs and trade-offs are going to be. But I do know it’s complex.

Who likes things complicated? Nobody. So Republicans, to their credit, have done a fantastic job of manipulating the debate. The “debate” became one about death panels, big government, socialized medicine, and huge tax increases. These things are easier to understand. As a result, people turned strongly against a health care bill that will benefit many of them. Republicans have scored major points by opposing and blocking anything and everything. Sadly, it seems likely that some Democrats may lose their seat in congress because they wanted their constituents to have better access to health care.

I am sending this to you, because you know more about health care than I do, and you have a blog. People who care about the welfare of others and favor health care need to share our thoughts with the world.

Here is HR-3950 in condensed version:

1. Tens of millions of Americans who didn’t have health insurance before will now have access to affordable coverage.

2. The biggest part of this program will be paid for by closing a tax loophole that only the super-rich could exploit, and by taxing the profits the super-rich reap by letting their wealth earn interest for them.

3. Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to massively raise premiums and co-payments while denying claims simply to boost their profits.

4. Families with good insurance will have an easier time keeping that insurance, even if they change jobs or even change states.

5. Because families will have more choices of insurance, they will be able to pick a plan that saves them money.

6. Most middle-class families will spend less of their money on health care, freeing them to spend it on houses, cars, vacations or big-screen TVs, giving a boost to the economy and creating new jobs.

Interesting. I guess I had lost perspective and come to think that (without seeing the new law) the reform that passed was no reform at all.

Love to all. I’ll be off for the next four days, but will take up my pen again on Friday.

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