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The Pledge – Part 3

September 24, 2010

Poor Obama“A Plan to Repeal and Replace the Government Takeover of Health Care”

Part 3 talks about Obamacare and how they are going to repeal it.  I do have a problem with the first sentence of their opening to this section of the plan – “The American people wanted one thing out of health care reform” – Last time I checked, the majority of informed Americans actually want Health “Insurance” reform, not Health Care reform(our health care system is the best in the world).  It bothers me to no end that the right always allows the left to define the terms of any discussion.  Not allowing a tax-cut to expire is “giving a tax-cut”(apparently the party of inaction actually is doing something when they don’t do anything), a 2000 page bill full of pork is forever called “stimulus” even though it stimulates nothing,  despair and corruption is called hope and change, and so on.  I digressed there a bit…

Ok, step 1, repeal obamacare.  A lot of  that is gonna depend on what happens after November.  A lot of these dems running from obamacare like a hippie from soap(believe me, most dems understand that simile very well) won’t be so afraid of the Master’s health care stuff once their jobs are secure, and they have already proven they could care less what the majority of Americans think so unless something really drastic happens….

Ahhh, here we go, some good stuff.  Tort reform.  It is about time.  Quick question, how would you feel if you had to pay $50,000-100,000 in insurance every year just to cover your butt in case you got sued?  Uhh, that’s more than I make in total.  The crazy classist tax-hikes for the rich out there will say, “Good, doctors make too much money already.”  Well, if you think they just eat those costs and charge everyone the same they always have, uhh sorry, you are a moron.  The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates medical liability adds $60 to 108 billion to medical costs each year.  Ok, so how come we haven’t fixed it yet?  Well, trial lawyers really do have some friends in high places, cause we(conservatives) have been talking about tort reform for years and nothing ever gets done, hopefully they truly make something happen here.

Nobody likes to get sued and that includes doctors so what do they do about it.  They play a little CYA(not see-yah, Cover Your Ass) with how they treat patients.  First they do what is called defensive medicine – basically they perform uneccessary tests related to your illness that will cover them in case your cold turns out to be the Andromeda Strain.  At first blush that sounds kind of good right, I want my doctor to make sure he gets it correct the first time, well another aspect of CYA, err I mean defensive medicine, is to send your sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-head so you can sue butt over to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist not so “we can make sure its just a cold” but to pass the buck to the next guy.  Long story short, all that crap costs money.  Who pays?  “Ohhh, that’s easy I know, I know…the insurance company.”  Wrong!  You really are a moron.  You do in the high insurance premiums(hence Health Insurance reform, not Health Care) that are going up as we speak because of obamacare.  The American Medical Association estimates costs of defensive medicine at between $84 and $151 billion a year.

Read a Medical Liability Fact Sheet here.

Wow, long-winded there.  To continue, the repubs want to allow what is typically called “portability” or the ability to shop for health insurance across state lines.  Currently, each state mandates what is “required” in a health care policy, some states require a lot(I bet some smart folks could figure out which ones, hint – Pelosi), some are very clean.  The states that require the fewest have the lowest premiums, and surprisingly the largest choice of insurance providers(smaller companies can afford to operate in these states), hmmm, interesting how if government gets out of the way costs go down and choice goes up.  Captain Patchouli just told me he doesn’t want a stripped out health insurance plan, he wants everything covered.  Ok, well thats the beauty of choice, you can choose to pay higher premiums for hair implants and botox and acupuncture if you want to.

The pledge also wants to expand Health Savings Accounts(HSA).  Basically an HSA is a tax advantages account that you use to pay for health care along with your High Deductible Health Insurance.  This is a great program for the young and the disgustingly healthy because you get low premiums from the insurance company which allows you to send the leftovers(what you would normally be paying in a standard health insurance policy) to the HSA to build up a balance until you get seriously sick or injured.  Once you get the balance high enough, you decrease the funding and basically are covered for a low premium.  The key is, you can’t go to the emergency room for a hang-nail.  This isn’t a health maintenance plan, although many of the High Deductible plans do offer full coverage for preventative medicine such as mammograms and prostate exams(paying for the displeasure of an ass probe is just plain wrong).  I would point out the criticisms of HSA’s but they are a bunch of “we aren’t smart enough to take care of ourselves’ mumbo-jumbo that isn’t worth writing about.  The true criticism of HSA’s, “Bush passed them, so they must be evil.”

The next part I will quote, because it has a bunch in it – “Ensure Access For Patients With Pre-Existing Conditions: Health care should be accessible for all, regardless of pre-existing conditions or past illnesses. We will expand state high-risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage. We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, eliminate annual and lifetime spending caps, and prevent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick.”  Just a quick comment, every single one of those provisions will raise premiums, so I don’t know how they will “reduce the cost of coverage”.

Lastly, no federal funding for abortions.  Ok.

So that’s the Health “Insurance” reform section of the pledge.  I want obamacare repealed, just not expecting it to happen, tort reform rocks, defensive medicine rocks(well it sucks but fixing it rocks), portability will lower premiums, HSA’s are a good option for some people, we got a bold-faced lie in the pre-existing conditions section, and no federal funding for abortions.

The lie worries me quite a bit, insurance companies are not stupid.  They have the best mathematicians in America working for them(seriously, these guys have actuary tables for freaking everything) for the sole reason of figuring out what parts of policies cost the most money and why.  Guess what, pre-existing conditions is the one of the biggest costs for insurance companies.  That’s why they don’t cover them, its not cause they hate people that are already sick, they don’t want to raise their premiums to have to cover it.  Is it right?  Not exactly, but insurance is not a right, its a product you buy on the free market.  They should have the right to cover whatever the hell they want to, but wait, umm….damn, we forgot America was a capitalist country – its ok, I don’t blame you, kind of hard to see what America used to be in the last few years.

Read the Pledge here.

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