Analyzing the Healthcare Reform Proposals

Blogger Keith Hennessey, a former White House Senior Economic advisor, has been providing details of the various Federal healthcare reform proposals under consideration, as they become available.
His summary of what he’s seen so far is…

  • The government would mandate not only that you must buy health insurance, but what health insurance counts as “qualifying.”
  • Health insurance premiums would rise as a result of the law, meaning lower wages.
  • A government-appointed board would determine what items and services are “essential benefits” that your qualifying plan must cover.
  • You would find a tremendous new disincentive to switch jobs, because your new health insurance may be subject to the new rules and would therefore be significantly more expensive.
  • Those who keep themselves healthy would be subsidizing premiums for those with risky or unhealthy behaviors.
  • Far more than half of all Americans would be eligible for subsidies, but we have not yet been told who would pay the bill.
  • The Secretaries of Treasury and HHS would have unlimited discretion to impose new taxes on individuals and employers who do not comply with the new mandates.
  • The Secretary of HHS could mandate that you provide him or her with “any such other information as [he/she] may prescribe.”

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15 years ago

I’m not sure I agree with you that the new system would pose disincentives to switch jobs. If they institute the public insurance option, it’s estimated that virtually all employers will drop private health insurance in favor of the cost-controlled (cost-shifting, actually) public option. Therefore, going from one job to another would not entail a switch in insurers. The public option sucks, of course, because it will eventually lead to long lines, rationing and outright denial of service. As one of my blog commenters noted, “Health care reform=no health care.” So true….

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