Stanley Feld M.D., FACP, MACE Menu


Here Comes The Public Option. Next: Single Party Payer.


Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

Barney Frank declared during the healthcare reform bill debate, if we do not have a public option healthcare reform will fail.

Senator Kerry felt we must have a single party payer system. He stated the Democratic Party did not have the votes to put it in the bill.

President Obama and the Democrat figured out how to sneak a single party payer system into the healthcare system in America by default.

President Obama’s signature promise about the healthcare reform bill was "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.”

What President Obama left out of his promise was that if your employer stops your healthcare insurance coverage there will be no choice but to use the subsidized government healthcare plan from the healthcare insurance exchange “Public Option”.

President Obama uses this move a lot. It is called misdirection.

As companies crunch numbers on what the new law means for their bottom line, some have concluded they might be financially better off canceling their health care coverage and moving their workers to government-subsidized "exchanges" that will be created in four years. “

Corporate action to drop healthcare insurance will make Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and President Obama happy. I do not think the Democrats have thought about the unintended consequences. Just think what the influx of consumers to the government subsidized plan will do to the CBO’s estimate of the healthcare reform bill reducing the deficit by $115 billion dollars in ten years and 1 trillion dollars over the next 10 years.

The CBO revised its estimate this week. It stated that the bill will increase the deficit by that amount in the tenth year instead of decreasing it. I believe this is an underestimate.

AT&T Inc has concluded that eliminating employees’ healthcare insurance could mean a $1.8 billion dollar saving per year. It is much cheaper to pay an estimated penalty $2,000 per employee than $15,000 to 18,000 in non deductible dollars for employee healthcare insurance coverage.

The documents, obtained by Fortune magazine and posted online this week, reveal that four companies – AT&T, Verizon Communications Inc., Caterpillar Inc. and Deere & Co. – had investigated to varying degrees the impact of dropping health care coverage and pushing their workers onto the new exchanges, where they will be able to buy their own insurance.”

This year AT&T spent about $2.4 billion to cover medical costs of its 283,000 active workers. Next year they are scheduled to pay more.

AT&T instantly denied that it has a plan in place to drop healthcare insurance for employees. AT&T would only have to pay an annual penalty of $600 million, or $2,000 a worker if the company dropped the healthcare insurance.

The burden would be on the employee and the government. President Obama promised us all affordable healthcare insurance.

Large companies are sick of dealing with increasing insurance premiums, insurance paperwork and regulatory compliance. These large companies would pocket huge savings by eliminating healthcare insurance for employees.

"Even though the proposed [penalties] are material, they are modest when compared to the average cost of health care," Hewitt Resources said in its report. "To avoid additional costs and regulations, employers may consider exiting the employer health market and send employees to the exchanges."

All the large corporations are denying they have plans to drop healthcare insurance. However it is o
bvious this is just what they should do to protect their vested interests.

Just as bad an unintended consequence is firms fewer than 50 full time employees do not have to pay a penalty for dropping insurance. A firm at the 50 employee threshold could fire workers to get below the 50 mark. They could then hire them back as part time employees.

If al these people lose healthcare insurance they will be forced to go into Medicare, Medicaid or the government subsided “Public Option” through the healthcare insurance exchange. Either option will increase government spending. The estimate increases are low at $160 to 300 billion dollars per year.

President Obama’s little trick will work. The losers will be consumers. Everyone will be forced into the “Public Option” by default. The single party payer (the government) will automatically take over the healthcare system in America (socialized medicine).

The federal deficit will increase without Repairing the Healthcare System.

Taxes on everyone will have to be increased . Does President Obama understand all of this?

Americans must wake up. The 2010 midterm elections are near.

“It is time to trow da bums out

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

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