(Quote Source: Official Bush White House U.S. Government Archives, Paragraph 16, here).
To: BY-STATE INFORMATION AND FINANCIAL-WIPEOUT DANGERS
Romney Position to Repeal Above a Bit Curious, Since:|
Examine Mitt-Romney's-Championed-as-Governor Massachusetts State Tax Schedule HC (=Health Care) penalty/mandate/tax forms here:
Form, at Mass Revenue Department / Instructions (non-coverage penalty worksheet next-to-last page), at Mass Revenue Department
Form, backup copy up at my site / Instructions (non-coverage penalty worksheet next-to-last page), backup copy up at my site
See Mitt Romney Championing the Massachusetts Mandate to Carry Health Insurance here and here.
Note that the "ObamaCare" that Romney has promised to repeal is pretty exactly a National version of Romney's Massachussets "RomneyCare".
Strange Platform: "Vote for Romney to Repeal National RomneyCare"??? (Those crazy Republicans!)
Strange in-state Republican governor's platforms in many Republican States: "If Republicans in Federal Government do not succeed in repealing ObamaCare = National RomneyCare we will exercise the option the Supreme Court gave us of not extending Medicaid insurance to the working poor in our state and leave them uninsured -- despite that 90% of medical costs will be paid for by the Federal Government. We aren't generous enough in our state to raise state taxes just a smidgen to cover the remaining 10% of the doctors' and hospitals' costs, and in any case the state government I run is so inefficient that the administrative costs that we will have to pay are not say a tiny 2% like Federal Medicare, but really, really high so we just can't help those annoying working poor who make a little too much to qualify for current non-extended Medicaid! If they want insurance, let them just not bother working so their income is low enough for non-extended Medicaid." (This is the platform of the Republican governor of Texas (check here,) Florida
and possilby also Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Mosssouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin (check here).
Yet more embarassing, because in my state, Massachusetts under RomneyCare, we cover the working class / working poor by paying the full cost, not just the 10% you won't even pay. That's how we get only 1.9% of legal residents non-covered, (as here). What these Republican governors are promising to do will keep maybe 12% of legal residents non-covered, and these will be the low-wage workers in your state. Shame on you!
(Incidentally, I live in MA, and love my RomneyCare. It makes my health and savings so much more secure, particularly between and moving to different jobs. Health insurance premiums here are the same whether or not you have pre-existing medical conditions, and coverage is always complete, without any exclusion of coverage of pre-existing conditions, or any waiting period for coverage of pre-existing conditions. People who make too little money to pay the premium get the premium partly or fully paid for, depending on income. The insurance companies and hospitals are all private. All of this just like in ObamaCare.
Why the Republican idea "To Allow Individuals and Businesses to Buy Insurance Across State Lines" would WORSEN the pre-existing condition problem, and is in all likelihood based on a trick by certain insurers in the advice they are giving Republicans to allow freer predation on people. Click here to get there.
WHY IS LEAVING THE HANDLING OF PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS (Statewise High Risk Pools, Statewise Community Rating, etc.) AS IN ALL REPUBLICAN PLANS A VERY QUESTIONABLE IDEA? is explained by me a little below. Click here to get there.
DON'T INSURERS HAVE TO COVER ME, REGARDLESS OF PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS, AS LONG AS I'VE HAD FULL COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH INSURANCE CONTINUOUSLY? NO, in all but the 5 community-rated and modified community-rated states (MA,NY,NJ,ME,VT). In the special case when you are coming off of an employer-based plan, there is a trickily worded false HIPAA protection, that they have to cover you, but "can charge you whatever they want extra due to your pre-existing condition". (Heck, I'll cover you for 5 million dollars a year!.) In many states (but far from all), if you are coming off an employer plan, they will at least give you a state high-risk-pool, which costs up to $25,000 a year per person.
DID ANY OF THE REPUBLICAN ALTERNATIVE PLANS CHANGE FROM THE CURRENT PRE-EXISTING-CONDITION SCREENED SYSTEM? NO, ALL THE REPUBLICAN PLANS KEEP THE PRE-EXISTING-CONDITION SCREENED SYSTEM? ( I verified this 9/2009 and again on 2/11/10 examining the plans in the footnotes on the copy of the here="GOP solutions for America" carefully. These 8 plans are all just minor patches that will continue to leave many people uncovered and/or destined for bankruptcy, either when they make just a little more, or have a little more assets, than free Medicaid allows, or when they have a pre-existing condition. Further, many of the Republican proposals have very deceptive wording, to make it look like they're solving the pre-existing-condition problems. Details below. Click here to get there.
GROWTH OF HEALTH CARE COSTS, AND LIFE EXPECTANCY, AROUND THE WORLD Click here to get there.
Yes, indeed, long-term cost controls are inadequate in the Obama plan. They will have to be added later, during a crisis, maybe like Greece of something. Devilishly irresponsible Republicans, by shouting "rationing", "death panels", and "socialism" for no other reason than to make Mr. Obama fail, have put much of the innumerate sector of the public out of the frame of mind for sensible and needed cost controls on the whole system, including Medicare.
ANOTHER GOOD SOURCE OF SIMPLE EXPLANATIONS ABOUT THE PLAN: (graphic book form) from an MIT health economist who helped create of the Federal Law (and a person who advised Mitt Romney on his construction of the Massachusetts predecessor of the Federal law.)
"BUY INSURANCE ACROSS STATE LINES"??
This was an insidious proposal whose effects are probably above the heads of most of the Republican Congress People--I think they're mostly lawyers with no head for economic mechanisms. They are probably being advised to do by some people at the nastiest of the health insurance companies.
From a Republican's policy speech:"Let's also talk about letting families and businesses buy insurance across state lines. I and many other Republicans believe that that will provide real choice and competition to lower the cost of health insurance."
What this provision would do (unless insurance market reforms stopping pre-existing-condition-exclusion AND a strong national minimum coverage standard AND a strong national enforcement mechanism are added -- so far the combination -- being equivalent to the Democrats' "national health insurnce exchange" -- rejected by all Republican Senators) is defeat state regulations that (in some states) offer some protections to people with pre-existing conditions. By allowing people without pre-existing conditions to get insurance across state lines, it would drive the premiums for people with pre-existing conditions (who can't get insurance in those other states) way, way, up. (This effect alone would ruin insurance prospects for people with substantial pre-existing conditions in the 5 community-rated and modified community-rated states, plus a number of other states that limit what can be called a pre-existing condition in various ways.)
Further, this "across state lines" proposal would destroy the funding mechanism for many high-risk pools that already exist in many states, which is to add a charge to support the high risk pool onto the policies of people without pre-existing conditions. (To find those states, go to this Kaiser table, and look for where the "Financed through insurer assessments" column is "Yes". I count 28 states.) That funding, for the high risk pools, would be wrecked, since people without pre-existing conditions, can avoid that charge, and get a cheaper policy without that charge, by buying a policy out of state. That's right This proposal actually makes it worse for people when they have pre-existing conditions in almost all states!!! But what it does do is help the insurance industry sell cheap, not-very-good policies to only people without pre-existing conditions (i.e. cherry pick), in states where they are currently obstructed from doing this by state law.
Not to mention that without a mandate (opposed by Republicans as "socialism"), rates are too high for people who don't freeload (and pick up coverage just when they get sick).
My assumption is that the strongest impetus within the Health Insurance Industry for this proposal is from certain of them, whose predatory business model is based on finding only very healthy people, and selling them cheaper insurance, for which premiums they pay out only maybe 65% in actual medical bills -- the company keeps the rest. These ultra-predatory companies typically are not found in the 5 community-rated states, and they often have names that suggest patriotism or goodness or some such thing, to create an image in the mind of the most credulous folks.
[Republicans basing their reform on this miserable destructive proposal is not new, and I'm not the only one to notice its horrible implications. It was part of the McCain/Palin platform. (I'll give McCain/Palin the benefit of the doubt and assume they didn't themselves understand the implications of this plan that the Insurance Industry wrote for them.) At the time, Nobel economist Paul Krugman warned us (here), as did many others. For completeness on the Krugman article and McCain plan, here is the article from Contingencies that Krugman mentions. Here also is my copy of the old McCain/Palin Campaign Health Insurance page. (It's actually kind of funny, well, tragi-comic, to see the Republicans push during the election and again now for health insurance deregulation that thinking-through would show would really mess things up. This right on the heels of when their deregulatory President had deregulation of the financial system screw up on us so badly (brink of a worldwide depression) that he even had to announce the failure publically 7 weeks before a presidential election. I assure you, the last President would have waited till after the election if he could have!) ]
3/30/2010: FINAL PASSED REFORM BILLS SIGNED BY PRESIDENT--TEXT:
NOTE: HR3590 is the Main bill, HR4872 is the Reconciliation bill, which modified HR3590, and added student loan provisions).
The full text of the two bills, in a nice form (with hyperlinked Table of Contents, and modifications to HR3590 from HR4872 shown in HR3590), is available here.
For certain purposes, such as searching for text, a .pdf is preferred. Here is HR3590 .pdf (click here), and Here is HR4872 .pdf (click here),
The bills have some details in references to external laws. If you have sufficient interest in those details, you can find some of them here at the full codified US law. (In other cases, you may need a Google search to find the law. What I have found helpful when doing this is to take any Wikipedia page that comes up at Google, where a footnote on that Wikipedia page will usually link you to the text.)
7/11/09:WONDERFUL Bill Moyers (watch, read transcripts, and informative links here), showing cases of insurance companies not paying claims to policyholders, after people get sick based on searching for pre-existing conditions in their old records (this is in the first 10 minutes). The rest of the show has an ex industry insider from the Health Insurance Industry (PR Executive) discuss the current manipulation of the public by the industry (which is working really well for them).
For the Following Graphs, NOTE Our Relative Costs per Person are Even Higher Because We Deny Coverage to 1/6 of our Population
Who am I? I am Norm Spier, a mathematical statistician who has spent most of his life in Metro NYC, Upstate New York, and Connecticut. Recently (3/2010), I moved from Vestal, in Upstate New York, to the Five Colleges area of Massachusetts.
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Important Legal Disclaimer: I am trying to put useful, helpful information on this page. However, I can not be responsible for any errors above. Therefore, please check with the appropriate state insurance departments, and/or seek legal advice, as appropriate, before relying on the information above.
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