Thursday, December 10, 2009

How the Democrats will increase your insurance premiums

Just consider this logic. Would you buy insurance if you knew that the government would pay for your health care if you got sick? Of course not. Why pay for years of insurance that you don't need if the government will be guaranteed to pick up the bill any time you got seriously sick? Robert Tranciski clearly explains what is so cock-eyed about all the reforms that Democrats are trying to push through Congress. That is what is called guaranteed issue and is a central part of the Democrats' bill. Of course, that means that many people will hold off buying insurance. The penalty the Democrats are proposing for not buying insurance has been reduced to $750 a year which is quite a bit less than an insurance policy would cost. Why not pay the penalty and pocket the difference when you know that the government is there to bail you out if you suddenly got a terrible disease or in a car accident? The only catch is that someone will have to pay for all this promised health care if you're not able to get all the young people into the program and finance it as they now are supposed to be financing Social Security payments. And of course, the Democrats won't even consider the real cost-cutting reform that would help people - allowing them to buy whichever policy fits their needs even if they can buy across state lines.

Here is Tracinski on what he terms the worst part of the whole package.
But the biggest power-grab in the bill is the government takeover of the entire market for health insurance. The bill requires all new policies to be sold on a government-controlled exchange run by a commissioner who is empowered to dictate what kinds of insurance policies can be offered, what they must cover, and what they can charge.

Right now, your best option for reducing the cost of your health insurance is to buy a policy with a high deductible, which leaves you to pay for routine checkups and minor injuries (preferably from savings held in a tax-free Health Savings Account) but which covers your needs in catastrophic circumstances-a bad car accident, say, or expensive treatment for cancer. This is the kind of coverage I have.

But the health-insurance exchange is intended to eliminate precisely this kind of low-cost catastrophic coverage. Its purpose is to force health-insurance companies to offer comprehensive coverage that pays for all of your routine bills-which in turn comes at a higher price. So under the guise of making health insurance more affordable, this bill will restrict your menu of choices to include only the most expensive options.

So there we have the real essence of this bill. It restricts our choice of which insurance to buy and pushes us into more expensive plans. At the same time, it destroys the economic incentive to purchase insurance in the first place and replaces insurance with a free-floating tax on one's very existence.

By all means, let's debate some of that in the Senate.

When you understand what this bill does, you can see why the Democrats would be happy to compromise and drop the public option-for now. This bill so comprehensively wrecks private health insurance that pretty soon a "public option" will seem like the only alternative, and they will already have put into place one of the new taxes needed to pay for it. If the left's goal is to impose socialized medicine in America, this bill does it in the most callous and destructive way possible. It smashes private health care-then leaves us stranded in the rubble, at which point we will be expected to come crawling back to the same people who caused the disaster and ask them to save us.
And that's what they really want. To just pass something that opens the door. Then they can come back year after year and add more to the original proposal until it morphs into a full government-financed health care plan and crowds out all those nasty private insurance companies. This is just the first step.