Health Care Bill

Well, the health care bill will be signed soon!  I didn’t call my Congressman either in favor of it or in opposition to it.  I know I’m not satisfied with the status-quo, but I’m not sure if I’m totally sold on this bill.  Here are some of my questions/comments on it:

1.  Will I have to pay higher premiums?  If insurance companies will be required by law not to turn away people with pre-existing conditions, then that may mean that they’ll be paying for more medical procedures.  And that could entail an increase in my premiums.  I mean, I’m not sure if the bill aims to reduce profiteering by insurance companies, but, if it doesn’t, then I doubt that the companies will give up their high salaries and profits to pay for more medical procedures.  Rather, they’ll pass the cost onto me, the consumer.

Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s atrocious how insurance companies are to people with pre-existing conditions.  And it’s ridiculous.  Ann Coulter tried to justify that policy by saying that covering people with pre-existing conditions is like a person buying fire insurance while his house is burning down.  For one, human beings are not houses.  Conservatives do well to criticize rationed care, for (if they are sincere) that reflects a concern for the sick; but when they try to justify insurance companies turning people away because of pre-existing conditions, that is inhumane, and it makes a mockery of their supposed reverence for life.  Second, there are people who pay their premiums for a period of time, and then the insurance companies decide not to pay for their medical procedure because of “pre-existing conditions.”  Sure, there are some who get sick and decide right then and there to get health insurance, but there are others who have had health insurance for a while, yet the company chooses not to pay for their medical procedure.

(UPDATE: To be fair, however, Ann Coulter does say the following in last week’s column: What Democrats are insinuating when they denounce exclusions of “pre-existing conditions” is an insurance company using the “pre-existing condition” ruse to deny coverage to a current policy holder — someone who’s been paying into the plan, year after year.  Any insurance company operating in the free market that pulled that trick wouldn’t stay in business long.  And Ann Coulter supports insurance companies operating in the free market!)

I hope that the increasing number of people who will be buying health insurance (because under the law, they’ll have to) will bring premiums down, or result in the insurance companies covering more medical needs.  If more people are paying premiums, that could lessen my burden (I hope).

2.  I’m not entirely sure how this bill is a federal takeover of the health care industry.  Conservatives talk as if we’re moving in the direction of socialized medicine, when (as far as I can tell) we’re not.  This bill requires everyone to have insurance, which they’ll get from a private provider.  The government will give tax breaks—or maybe even subsidies—so that certain people will be able to purchase it.  Companies with over fifty employees will have to provide it to their workers.  And I take it that states will have to expand Medicaid.  I guess that’s a socialistic aspect of the bill, but so much of the bill is not socialistic, for it puts people into the loving arms (sarcasm) of private insurers.  But there may be some rationing going on in Medicare, in the name of cutting out the fat and waste.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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