House Republican Press Conference on Health Care Reform
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When the Republicans tell you that this new healthcare bill will provide better coverage for a lower price, they're telling the truth--for a few people.
In very simple terms, the only way to do that is to get rid of those people with pre-existing conditions--a list as long as your arm and send them into high-risk pools. That way the insurance companies won't need to spread the higher costs associated with sick people to everyone else.
Sounds good on the surface.
Here's the problem. The annual surcharges on high-risk pre-existing conditions can run as high as $140,000 per year for something as serious as metastatic cancer and as low as $8000 for diabetes.
Now, as you know most people think of this as someone else's problem. But if you take a close look at the pre-existing condition list you might just be surprised. Add to this the unfortunate truth that we, and our loved ones, are all vulnerable to illnesses. Circumstances can change in a minute. Those folks who're celebrating this day as a victory can get a terrifying medical report tomorrow, and I would bet my last dollar that their attitude would change as quickly as they read the report.
Having had cancer myself, I've experienced the shock of hearing the words, "we found a sigmoid mass." I was feeling fine when I went under anesthesia, and my whole life changed in the time it took for the doctor to say those words.
But I had the one advantage that some people will never have if this bill gets through the Senate. I was able to undergo a major surgery, a long recovery with daily home visits from nurses and never give money a second thought.
How will you feel if you're one of those people who can purchase a cheaper policy and then need to face a life-threatening illness when the insurance company has re-incorporated policy maximum limits? How will you feel when your loved ones face the same issue?
Thinking that you're safe by purchasing a better policy for less money is falling into a trap. The whole idea of insurance is to spread the risk over a large pool, so everyone is covered with the least amount of cost to those individuals paying the premiums. It was not originally designed to be a profit-making institution.
The problem seems to be that nothing in the United States escapes the profit motive. Even the politicians who voted yes to this bill depend on the campaign finance money coming from profit-making institutions like the health care insurance industry.
So, while you may think this bill is good for you because you're going to get better coverage for less money, that may be true for a time. But the one thing that won't change is the industry will continue to keep the pressure on the politicians and get their way. And when it comes to "their way," the healthcare insurance industry makes a profit by not providing the services it sells.
As an individual, you are nothing but a grain of sand on the beach of the giant corporate/government, money-churning ocean.
Well, I don't want to leave you with the impression that there isn't some good news. People earning over $250,000 will be relieved of a tax bite. Having been one of those people for good portion of my working career, I can tell you; it feels good. But I would never have gambled with the lives of other people to get that relief.
The list of pre-existing conditions being what it is, the first problem will be to qualify for a regular policy. Then you'll need to stay healthy and never, but never, have a break in coverage. Because if you do, you may never be able to afford healthcare insurance again.
Here's the real reason for the bill. It has been estimated that the upper 1% will enjoy tax relief to the tune of almost $600 billion.