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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

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  • How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

    The NY Times did a great job outlining some of the changes and deserves a thread of it's own, besides the other thread was growing thick with bees wax.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...e-reform.html/

    So far I don't see any huge problems. I don't understand why so many people where so vehemently apposed to these changes. For the most part the changes dig into insurance companies bottom lines. I'm OK with that. Denial of claims and profit margins have been out of control for a while. I don't see anything that will stifle innovation or create extreme lines at the hospital like I heard so many times.

    I'm wondering how these changes will effect policy pricing. And what will be the real world application of these changes. In theory they are designed to work a certain way, in practice it may be a very different story. I also want to know what the consequences will be for not buying insurance other then a small fine. Will ERs have kiosks for people without insurance to sign up? Will they lose a privilege of some kind as punishment?

    A large number of people who are currently uninsured simple do not care about health insurance becasue they are relatively healthy and have never needed it. Now these people will be paying into the pool which forces them to take responsibility for future or unforeseen healthcare costs.

    Forcing everyone to buy insurance creates a universal feeling of responsibility for ones own health that was lacking in the past. Kind of like the feeling that you need car insurance if you are going to be driving otherwise your a scumbag. Or putting your kid into a car seat. There are people who will always not give a damn, but most people do try to fallow the law and be good citizens.

    Here are some good points and bad points that stood out for me:

    Good Points:

    Within six months, the plans will have to stop some practices, like setting lifetime limits on coverage and canceling policy holders who get sick. They will also have to allow children to stay on their parents’ policies through age 26 and cover children with pre-existing conditions, but can still deny adults with medical problems until 2014.

    high-risk pool-The pool will be established within six months and will operate until 2014, when insurance companies can no longer refuse applicants with pre-existing health problems. Annual out-of-pocket medical costs will be capped at $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families.

    Medicare will pay for an annual checkup. And deductibles and co-payments for many preventive services and screenings will be eliminated

    Coverage for those making up to four times the poverty threshold — $88,200 for a family of four in 2009 — will get subsidies on a sliding scale. That means you will pay somewhere between 3 percent and 9.5 percent of your income for insurance, and the government will cover the rest.

    Health plans will cover at least 60 percent of medical costs. Insurers will also have to offer more tiers that cover up to 90 percent of costs for additional premiums.

    Premiums of older people can be no more than three times as expensive as those of younger people.

    There will also be limits on overhead and profit. Insurers will be required to spend between 80 cents and 85 cents of every premium dollar on health care. They have been paying about 74 cents on average

    Those who are exempt, or under 30, can buy a policy that only pays for catastrophic medical costs. It must allow for three primary care visits a year as well

    The penalty will be phased in, starting at $95 or 1 percent of income in 2014, whichever is higher, and rising to $695 or 2.5 percent of income in 2016. But families would not pay more than $2,085.

    Bad Points:

    High-income earners — families making more than $250,000 – would pay several thousand dollars more in Medicare payroll taxes starting in 2018. Their unearned income, now exempt from the payroll tax, would also be subject to a 3.8 percent levy.

    Insurers will have to pay a 40 percent excise tax on high-value group plans – those in which premiums for families are $27,500 or more, for instance – starting in 2014. Experts say the tax will likely be passed on to employees through higher premiums or lower benefits and wages

    Starting in 2013, flexible spending accounts, which allow users to escape taxes on many medical expenses now, will be limited. There will be a $2,500 maximum on accounts that typically carry $4,000 or $5,000 limits now, and you will no longer be able to use the accounts for over-the-counter medicines.

  • #2
    Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

    High-income earners — families making more than $250,000 – would pay several thousand dollars more in Medicare payroll taxes starting in 2018. Their unearned income, now exempt from the payroll tax, would also be subject to a 3.8 percent levy.
    For 98% of the people this is a good point since less than 2% of households make that kind of income.
    In 2006, there were approximately 116,011,000 households in the United States. 1.93% of all households had annual incomes exceeding $250,000.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Househo..._United_States

    I wish people would stop acting like that is a normal income level.
    |TG-6th|Snooggums

    Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

      Originally posted by Hambergler View Post
      You will pay somewhere between 3 percent and 9.5 percent of your income for insurance, and the government will cover the rest.
      We fund the government, so please remember we're also paying the "rest."

      The law requiring United States citizens to buy anything against their will is in violation of the bill of rights in various places- easily the fourth, ninth, and tenth amendments. I could "learn to love it" but I'd have to throw out my individualism and embrace the collective to do so.

      sigpic
      "The true genius shudders at incompleteness - and usually prefers silence to saying
      something which is not everything it should be." ó Edgar Allan Poe

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

        Originally posted by Hambergler View Post
        So far I don't see any huge problems. I don't understand why so many people where so vehemently apposed to these changes.
        I'm going to go ahead and say sore losers, giving them the benefit of the doubt that its not more heinous. Certainly there is a stunning lack of rational argument on the no side. Lets see how the debate on financial reform goes.
        Do or do not, there is no try....
        -- Yoda, Dagobah

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

          Originally posted by SilentSunshine View Post
          We fund the government, so please remember we're also paying the "rest."

          The law requiring United States citizens to buy anything against their will is in violation of the bill of rights in various places- easily the fourth, ninth, and tenth amendments. I could "learn to love it" but I'd have to throw out my individualism and embrace the collective to do so.
          You should complain about having to pay for roads, police, firefighters and social security while you are at it.
          |TG-6th|Snooggums

          Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

            The whole thing about it being unconstitutional is goofy.

            To make it constitutional just put it as "We are adding a tax to everybody of X amount. If you buy insurance you will get a credit of X amount. Thus if you don't buy insurance you will owe the full amount of X."

            How in gods green earth is that unconstitutional?
            Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
            - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
            - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
            - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
            - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
            - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
            - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

              The funniest part to me about all the people screaming that its unconstitutional for us to try and care for sick people, is that none of them complained when Habeas Corpus was suspended.

              Please note, that I'm talking about the representatives here, not individuals, many of whom I know did complain.
              Do or do not, there is no try....
              -- Yoda, Dagobah

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

                The mandatory coverage part is necessary if the pre-existing conditions part is going to be added. Otherwise, you could just wait until you're sick to buy insurance - which obviously isn't a solvent option.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

                  Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                  The whole thing about it being unconstitutional is goofy.

                  To make it constitutional just put it as "We are adding a tax to everybody of X amount. If you buy insurance you will get a credit of X amount. Thus if you don't buy insurance you will owe the full amount of X."

                  How in gods green earth is that unconstitutional?
                  You could probably answer the constitutional objection with that setup, but that would be much harder to get votes for to pass. (New taxes on the middle class, oh no!) So they did it the other way, which is much less likely to answer the constitutional objection but easier to vote for -- there's no taxes here, just penalties for people who don't buy things we want them to buy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

                    Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                    You should complain about having to pay for roads, police, firefighters and social security while you are at it.
                    I could, but won't. For those services I am paying the government or donating to the local fire company, etc.

                    This is historic because (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) it is the first time the federal government will force you to purchase a service from a private company under penalty of law. Short of being socialism, I think its like corpoism.

                    sigpic
                    "The true genius shudders at incompleteness - and usually prefers silence to saying
                    something which is not everything it should be." ó Edgar Allan Poe

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

                      Originally posted by SilentSunshine View Post
                      I could, but won't. For those services I am paying the government or donating to the local fire company, etc.

                      This is historic because (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) it is the first time the federal government will force you to purchase a service from a private company under penalty of law. Short of being socialism, I think its like corpoism.
                      You have to buy car insurance from a private company if you have a car.
                      |TG-6th|Snooggums

                      Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

                        That's a state mandate though, and states have a different set of constitutional powers than the feds.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

                          Originally posted by SilentSunshine View Post
                          I could, but won't. For those services I am paying the government or donating to the local fire company, etc.

                          This is historic because (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) it is the first time the federal government will force you to purchase a service from a private company under penalty of law. Short of being socialism, I think its like corpoism.
                          Snooggums beat me to it.

                          Car Insurance

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

                            Yes, he beat you to the same mistake you made. Nicely done.

                            You are both listing state mandates in answer to a question on federal powers.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Healthcare Reform

                              Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                              Yes, he beat you to the same mistake you made. Nicely done.

                              You are both listing state mandates in answer to a question on federal powers.
                              Not only that but you are not required to buy car insurance. Only if you drive on public roads can you be required to buy car insurance.

                              Still not unconstitutional. Do you think it is? Why?
                              Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                              - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                              - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                              - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                              - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                              - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                              - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                              Comment

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