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Health Care (the long version) 
25th-Mar-2010 10:09 am
I saw that someone else had posted a poll about the new US health care bill, but that comments were disabled. I was interested in reading what people's take was on this. I also wanted to educate myself more about what was actually in the bill, so I did a little bit of research and included some of the info in this poll. So, in the spirit of "keep it complicated", here is a more detailed poll about health care reform.

Poll #1542985 Health Care

Were you in favour of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by the House of Representatives on March 21st?

Strong yes
Tentative yes
Tentative no
Strong no
I sort of understand the issues, but am still not sure
I'm not sure because I don't really understand the issues.

According to a summary of the bill, these features kick in on or before September 21, 2010. Which do you think are good ideas?

Adults with pre-existing conditions will be eligible to join a temporary high-risk pool (effective June 23, 2010)
Children and young adults will be permitted to remain on their parents' insurance plan until their 26th birthday
Insurers are prohibited from charging co-payments or deductibles for preventive care and medical screenings on all new insurance plans.
Individuals affected by the Medicare Part D coverage gap will receive a $250 rebate, and 50% of the gap will be eliminated in 2011.
Insurers' abilities to enforce annual spending caps will be restricted, and completely prohibited by 2014.
Insurers are prohibited from dropping policy holders when they get sick
Insurers are required to implement an appeals process for coverage determination and claims on all new plans.
Enhanced methods of fraud detection are implemented.
Companies which provide early retiree benefits for individuals aged 55-64 are eligible to participate in a temporary program which reduces premium costs
I don't think any of these are a good idea.

According to a summary of the bill, these features kick in on January 1, 2014. Which do you think are good ideas?

All insurers are fully prohibited from discriminating against or charging higher rates for any individuals based on pre-existing medical conditions.
All insurers are fully prohibited from establishing annual spending caps
Expand Medicaid eligibility; individuals with income up to 133% of the poverty line qualify for coverage
Tax credits to small businesses who have fewer than 25 employees and provide health care benefits for them.
Impose a tax penalty on employers with over 50 employees who do not offer health insurance to their full-time workers
Impose an annual fine on individuals who do not obtain health insurance; exemptions to fine in cases of financial hardship or religious beliefs.
Creation of tax credits for individuals who purchase private insurance policies
Pay for new spending, in part, through spending and coverage cuts in Medicare Advantage
Chain restaurants and food vendors with 20 or more locations are required to display the caloric content of their foods on menus, drive-through menus, and vending machines.
I don't think any of these are good ideas.

According to the CBO, the legislation will reduce the deficit by $138 billion over the first decade and by $1.2 trillion in the second decade, as compared to current legislation. Do you believe that?

I'm not sure
25th-Mar-2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid this will raise premiums greatly.
25th-Mar-2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
I wondered about that too. I mean, can the government really control the insurance industry without nationalizing it?
25th-Mar-2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
I don't think anyone can control the insurance companies. Now that they have the power, they'll do whatever they want.
25th-Mar-2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
The "remain on parents' insurance till 26" thing is such a huge lifesaver for me, you have no idea. I've been off my parents' insurance for a year and struggling to pay for my own insurance plus graduate school plus loans.

I don't know what the Medicare Part D thing is, so I left that alone.

I despise the idea of people getting fined for not having medical insurance -- especially if this does nothing to reduce premium costs, which it doesn't look like it will. Also I think the calories thing's kinda pointless, honestly.
25th-Mar-2010 05:48 pm (UTC)
I should have explained that (Part D) better. It's what they call "the doughnut hole". As I understand it, the person covered pays the first $295 of their drug costs. For anything from $295 to $2700, medicare pays 75% of the costs, and the person pays everything between $2700 and $6154. If costs go over that, the government pays 95% of the excess over $6154. Under the new proposal, half of the payer's costs will now be paid by the government if I read this correctly (though it seems complicated and I may have it wrong.)
25th-Mar-2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
...Yeah, definitely complicated. But considering how ridiculously expensive prescription drugs are, I can get behind that too.
26th-Mar-2010 07:13 am (UTC)
it is only till 25 here nut if yopure on student loan they pay it for you. and student loan has a maximum debt of 10k € here which you only have to pay back once youre earning a good amount of money.
25th-Mar-2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I disabled the comments because I couldn't deal with anymore heated debate. I spent all day yesterday debating on Facebook and I am TIRED! LOL
25th-Mar-2010 06:42 pm (UTC)
I hear you on the FB debates! I actually unfriended someone over this. She's a cancer survivor but she's a rabid tea bagger. It's insane. She's very wealthy so she can afford whatever care she needs but she seems to ignore the fact that most people are NOT so fortunate.
26th-Mar-2010 04:58 am (UTC)
I don't blame you. I wish people could learn to disagree without becoming disagreeable.
25th-Mar-2010 08:30 pm (UTC)
I like the preexisting condition part; I recently got turned down for a preexisting condition, and it was not only frustrating, it was baffling since the one they picked out as reason to deny coverage was the one that's been fixed and almost guaranteed to not cause problems in the future. But in general, I think it's a good idea.

The part that bothers me is the mandate because I have a kneejerk "yuck" reaction to most mandates. But I might feel differently if I understood the purpose of it (I'm guessing it's to do with saving the government money, but I don't know this for sure, and if that's the case I'd like to know how it saves money.)*

*I know, I need to get educated.
26th-Mar-2010 02:18 am (UTC)
The mandate is needed to increase the number of people paying into any given insurance pool. It's how they cover things like pre-existing conditions and no lifetime caps. Without it, people would have little reason to buy insurance until they got sick.
26th-Mar-2010 07:15 am (UTC)
I think ti is a good step in the right direction , but 4 years till it takes effect? thatzs seems a bit long for me.
26th-Mar-2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
I LOVE the "Chain restaurants and food vendors with 20 or more locations are required to display the caloric content of their foods on menus, drive-through menus, and vending machines." provision -- it won't really cost anything, but it will help people take much better care of themselves and cut healthcare costs big time.
26th-Mar-2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
But WHY does it not take effect until 2014?!
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