Now that the weather in Washington has cooled off, (is that because the hot air from politicians is missing?), and all the heated rhetoric of health reform has been silenced by some moronic words uttered by yet another dipstick politician……but what does it look like the final product, if they manage that, will look like?
The public option is pretty much dead, it has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, and that the senate bill maybe the final curtain call for health reform…..
Senior House Democrats have largely abandoned hopes of including a government-run insurance option in the final compromise health care bill taking shape, according to several officials, and are pushing for other measures to rein in private insurers.
They also want the final measure to include a House-passed proposal for a nationwide insurance exchange, to be regulated by the federal government, where consumers could shop for private coverage. The Senate bill calls for a state-based system of exchanges.
Additionally, House Democrats want to require insurers to spend a minimum amount of premium income on benefits, thereby limiting what is available for salaries, bonuses, advertising and other items. The House bill sets the floor at 85 percent; the Senate-passed measure lowers it to 80 percent for policies sold to small groups and individuals.
So it looks more and more like the exchange idea will prevail….but what the hell is it?
This is how people would buy insurance if they don’t have an employer that provides it. The structure is complicated, but these exchanges would basically be run by each state in conjunction with the federal government, and states would be allowed to create additional mechanisms for offering insurance to their residents. Traditional insurance companies would be allowed to compete for customers through the exchanges, provided they met a set of requirements set by the federal government. The least expensive plans would offer catastrophic coverage only, and not be available to everyone. There would be several other levels of coverage, priced more for each bump-up in benefits. The exchanges would go into effect in 2014. The House bill includes similar reforms, although there would be an additional health-insurance exchange at the national level. And the public health-insurance plan (not included in the Senate bill) would compete with private plans on each of the exchanges.The Senate bill proposes to create state-based exchanges, while the House bill would create one national exchange. Consumers who don’t get health insurance through their employer or a government insurance program would be eligible to shop on the exchange for plans. Low- and middle-income people who shop on the exchange would be eligible for government subsidies to help them buy their insurance plan.
Both the House and Senate bills would provide $5 billion to create a temporary insurance pool until an insurance exchange is up and running. Under the House bill, this program would be available to people who have a preexisting condition or have been uninsured for at least six months. Under the Senate bill, individuals would have to meet both requirements to be eligible. The House pool would open immediately and the Senate pool would open within 90 days of the bill’s enactment. Both pools would set limits on the premiums and cost-sharing that individuals would have to pay.
And there you have the newest piece of…………sorry had to find a word that would offend others…….work from the people who brought you the Patriot Act. About the only people that will benefit largely from this piece of….work….is the insurance industry…they will have mandated 30 million new customers that they can screw over endlessly….sorry people but with this you will get the best health care that the industry wants to give….not what you need….are you proud of this yet?