Last night the Democrats rammed through a historic landmark health care bill that included sweeping reforms in health insurance. While some say health care reform was needed, this bill will take four years just to put a dent in the problems plaguing the health care system. In the end, this bill will not be a fix, and America still does not have free health care.
Here is what this bill means to you in a nutshell:
- No free health care
- Insurance premiums will rise astronomically to cover the uninsured
- Insurance companies will go out of business throwing hundreds of thousands of people out of work
- The bill includes more taxes for those making $250,000+ per year (the people who hired you and will now lay you off)
- Insurance coverage expanded to 32 million people who will be forced to pay their own premiums
- $500 billion in Medicare cuts means more doctors will drop Medicare patients
In anticipation of this bill passing, the giant drug store chain Walgreens has already announced its decision to stop taking Medicare patients. And other chains have already dropped Medicare patients. This won't mean anything to you if you don't have elderly parents or grandparents who will have a more diffcult time finding a doctor who will take them.
- By 2014, everyone must purchase health insurance or face a (minimum) $695 annual fine.
Remember when you got laid off and you were offered Cobra coverage that you declined because you couldn't afford it? Well, now you will be forced to pay for insurance whether you can afford it or not. If you don't pay, you face that aforementioned fine and/or jail time. Aren't you anxious to see what your new premiums are going to be?
In addition to paying for car insurance (if you own a car), you will now have to pay for health insurance. If you can't afford to pay the premiums, you are eligible for subsidies (as long as your income is at poverty level)-- but even then, you will still have to pay something. Whereas, before this legislation was passed, you didn't have to pay anything if you didn't want to.
- Six months after the bill is signed into law, insurance companies can no longer deny children coverage based on a preexisting condition.
- Starting in 2014, insurance companies cannot deny coverage to anyone with preexisting conditions.
- Insurance companies must allow children to stay on their parent's insurance plans through age 26.
What they don't tell you is that there is no cap on the premiums that insurance companies will charge you for a preexisting condition. Yes, you will now be covered for a preexisting condition, but your premiums will be sky high. But I guess paying $1,500+ per month in premiums is better than paying nothing, right?
Illegal immigrants are exempt from paying for health insurance. Which means they will continue to be a burden on the emergency health care system. And guess who pays for their medical care now?
- This bill closes the Medicare prescription drug "donut hole" by 2020. Seniors who hit the donut hole by 2010 will receive a $250 rebate.
- Beginning in 2011, seniors in the gap will receive a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs. The bill also includes $500 billion in Medicare cuts over the next decade.
And please don't think that this bill lowers your current premiums. In reality, your premiums will rise so the insurance companies can still make a profit. Insurance companies are operating at a 4% profit margin. Compare that to Coca Cola which operates at 19% profit margin (quadruple what insurance companies make).
With such a hit to their bottom line profit margin, more insurance companies will go out of business. Millions will be left without insurance, which is where the government will step in.
If you think the insurance companies are bad, wait until you have to deal with government workers to get approval for your surgery or treatments!
Meanwhile, the illegal immigrants (who can't get insurance) will continue flooding emergency rooms around the country. And when Obama signs that amnesty bill for illegal immigrants, I hope you welcome them with open arms since your insurance premiums will be paying for their care)..
Instead of the states eating the cost for indigent medical care -- the costs will be passed down to YOU in the form of high premiums that you will be forced to pay.
This is the Hope and Change you wanted!