Tonight’s speech on health care was a doubling down on the part of the administration. All the bad policy, all the economic voodoo, and all the flat out repression remain in the President’s platform. So does all the newspeak:
Since health care represents one-sixth of our economy, I believe it makes more sense to build on what works and fix what doesn’t, rather than try to build an entirely new system from scratch.And that is precisely what those of you in Congress have tried to do over the past several months.
Employer provided health care does not work. It is the primary reason people are uninsured in this nation. Every sob story about someone losing their insurance when they lose their jobs, or about someone being unable to get insurance when they get a new job, traces back to this core fault of our health care system and our tax code.
First, if you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have. Let me repeat this: nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.
Nothing, except the public option. The above statement cannot be true given the current state of health care in the US. Remember, most people have no control over their health insurance. Their employers do, and employers can certainly force employees onto the public option if its more economical for them.
What this plan will do is to make the insurance you have work better for you. Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition. As soon as I sign this bill, it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime. We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick. And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies – because there’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer before they get worse. That makes sense, it saves money, and it saves lives.
In other words, there will be no actual health insurance in the US. There will be subsidy plans called insurance with no mechanisms to control how much they pay out. American “insurance companies” will become no-limit ATMs for doctors and patients. This is supposed to lower costs?
Also, with regards to the previous point, Jim the office manager will certainly be forced off his insurance when it goes under because of these rules.