Public Option vs. Ideal Medical Savings Account: Part 2
Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
The Public Option is a misnomer. It will not be an option. It will become the only choice.
The intent of the Public Option is exactly as Barney Frank described in his off the cuff interview. It is a critical step to a single party payer system government. Representative Anthony Weiner has confirmed the intent of the Public Option. President Obama has been saying it in code all along.
The Public Option is a critical step on the way to a single party payer since the Democrats do not have the votes for a single party payer at this time. A single party payer system would work if it would not be paralyzed by a bureaucracy, did not run out of money, did not engage in rationing of care and permits patients to make their own medical decisions.
Medicare is running out of money and Social Security and Medicare has 107 trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities. Medicare deductibles are constantly being increased. Physician reimbursement is constantly reduced. A 300 billion dollar reduction in physician reimbursements is scheduled for 2010.
Investor’s Business Daily revealed President Obama’s goal on Wednesday, July 15th one day after HR3200 was published.
“Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.”
The Investor’s Business Daily was not sure its interpretation was correct so they checked with the House Ways and Means Committee.
It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:
“LIMITATION ON NEW ENROLLMENT.— LIMITATION ON INDIVIDUAL HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE page 16
IN GENERAL.—Individual health insurance
coverage that is not grandfathered health insurance
coverage under subsection (a) may only be offered
on or after the first day of Y1 as an Exchange-participating health benefits plan.”
President Obama has promised we could keep our present healthcare insurance if we like it. It will be grandfathered in. Otherwise, we will have to buy insurance from Healthcare Exchange-participating health benefits plans.
"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.
“Drawn by a public option that will be 30% to 40% cheaper than their current premiums because taxpayers will be funding it, employers will gladly scrap their private plans and go with Washington’s coverage.”
If an individual changes healthcare insurance carrier he cannot buy private insurance from another company except through the certified healthcare insurance exchange.
Those who currently have private individual coverage won’t be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private unregulated carriers.
“What wasn’t known until now is that the bill itself will kill the market for private individual coverage by not letting any new policies be written after the public option becomes law.”
On average, consumers change insurance carriers every eighteen months. The Healthcare Insurance Exchange will regulate the kind of healthcare insurance available.
The healthcare insurance industry has abused all the stakeholders. The consumer should be protected from abuse.
However, the healthcare insurance industry will continue to abuse the government and taxpayers. It charges the government a 15% administrative service fee to process claims.
Consumers will be forced into the government subsidized public plan. Employers will be happy to pay the 8% of their gross revenue. Employers are currently paying 18% of their gross revenue to the healthcare insurance industry. The healthcare insurance industry will not compete with the government. It will withdraw from selling healthcare insurance.
By default America will have a single party system, with an enormous bureaucracy and an enormous deficit.
Another downside is individuals will be paying public option healthcare premiums with after tax dollars. Premiums will be determined by means testing. Healthcare costs could become higher than today’s healthcare insurance premiums between tax rates increasing and the surtax for healthcare.
The cost will go down only by decreasing physicians’ and hospitals’ reimbursement. Six hundred billion dollars are scheduled to be removed from Medicare payments as the number of seniors covered increases. The result will inevitably be a further rationing of medical care for seniors.
HR 3200 is going to outlaw health savings accounts (HSAs) Health Savings Accounts are not as good as Medical Savings Accounts. HSAs do not provide enough incentives to patients to control their health and healthcare dollars. It keeps the healthcare insurance industry in control of the healthcare dollars.
Eliminating alternative forms of healthcare insurance has been a goal of Democrats for years. They want to crush any creative alternative.
“With HSAs out of the way, a key obstacle to the left’s expansion of the welfare state will be removed.”
Washington shouldn’t be killing business opportunities, or limiting choices, or legislating major changes in Americans’ lives. It should be making rules to eliminate abuse of systems, and providing incentives for individuals to be innovative and efficient.
The public option won’t be an option for many, but rather a mandate for buying government care. A free people should be outraged at this advance of soft tyranny.
Healthcare reform is not about better healthcare for Americans. It is about the government controlling our lives and decreasing our freedom to choose.
I would suggest the following note.
“We do not want the government to control our lives and increase our taxes. We want affordable, universal healthcare coverage that does not limit access to care. We want control over our healthcare dollars.
You can reach you Congressional Representative with the links below.
The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.