Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Baucus Healthcare Plan: It's About the Failed Social Security Model and Federal Oversight

The Senate Finance Committee has passed (14-9) the Baucus Healthcare Bill. Below are the highlights of the bill. It's being marketed as a "middle-of-the-road" plan. Huh! If you like being forced to buy insurance that will be regulated by the federal government, and with a backdoor for a Death Panel, then this is really your cup of hemlock. More unhealthy news, a "health" bill will likely end up on the floor of the Senate next week, but it will be this bill intertwined with what comes out of the health committee, the majority on that committee is comprised of even worse anti-individual, pro-prying into people lives, power freaks.

Here are the details of the Baucus Bill:

1. All Americans will be forced to buy insurance.

2. Insurers will be able to ONLY charge different amounts based on age, smoking, and family size, but that's it.

3. The law requires each state to basically create a standardized marketplace for buying insurance.

4. For those who can not afford to buy insurance, the government will help subsidize their purchases through a HCTC (Healthcare Tax Credit). The means-tested HCTC will refund eligible buyers 80% of their insurance costs.

5. To buy into the exchange, purchasers will have to provide evidence of US citizenship or legal residence (Will Obama be able to get in?)

6. There will be a 35% tax on high-dollar insurance programs, as well other taxes levied elsewhere on the health industry.

7. The Baucus plan basically preserves the state-by-state system of providing health insurance, and it would keep the existence of state insurance commissioners intact.

But their role would change. They each would simply be responsible for ensuring that providers in the state were complying with the new Federal regulations

8. Policies will be categorized into bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plans, with each successive level providing better, fuller coverage than the last.

Says Baucus:
All plans must provide preventive and primary care, emergency services, hospitalization, physician services, outpatient services, day surgery and related anesthesia, diagnostic imaging and screenings (including x-rays), maternity and newborn care, pediatric services (including dental and vision), medical/surgical care, prescription drugs, radiation and chemotherapy, and mental health and substance abuse services that at least meet minimum standards set by Federal and state laws.
The two points of note are #1 and #7. Since there won't really be a free market in insurance, this will mean that the young will be subsidizing healthcare for older Americans . In other words, it is modeled after the failing Social Security program.

Remember, everyone will be required to buy in. If I wanted to start an insurance company and provide insurance at cut rate levels to the young, who require much less care, I would be prevented from doing so. Insurers will be required to supply healthcare to those who already have pre-existing conditions (See point 2) Thus, someone with cancer (or a skydiver) would be able to sign up just on age and smoking habits. These high cost people (the elderly, daredevils and the reckless) will have to be paid for somehow. They will be subsidized on the backs of the youth.

The second serious point of concern is point 7. Although, it will be marketed as a state-by-state program, all states will be required to follow Federal regulations--this is a huge backdoor to dicate all kinds of medical practices, and a way to sneak in the Death Panels.

Bottom Line: The only difference between this program and the social security program is that the social security program didn't have a backdoor to kill you off. This does.



  1. The insurance industry will always be greedy, hopefully the health care reform will help people that need it.

  2. This new information was based on a study performed by Price Waterhouse, who was hired by the insurance lobbyist. This study looked at the cost, without any attention being payed to the cost savings within the bill. The overall result was so inaccurate, that the accountants who participated in the study distanced themselves, and explained just that. To look at this for what it really is, is to know that the insurance companies are basically saying, pass this bill and we raise your premiums!