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Monday, February 28, 2011

Back to the old health non-care system

I'm not at all sure this is a good idea:

WASHINGTON – In a concession over his divisive health care overhaul, President Barack Obama offered Monday to let unhappy states design alternative plans as long as they fulfill the goals of his landmark law.

...

About half the states are suing to overturn Obama's health care law, targeting its unpopular requirement that most Americans carry health insurance or face fines from the IRS. Obama told the governors that if any of them have better ideas, they're welcome to propose it and see if it works.

First they would have to convince Washington that their approach covers at least as many state residents, provides equally affordable and comprehensive benefits, and would not increase the federal deficit.

There are lots of people who live in one state and work in another. For example, just take New York City, where a significant portion of the workers live in NJ or CT. To have the health care system operate on a state-based basis leaves out those who live one place and work another. This was always a problem with the old system. When I worked in NY and lived in NJ, the NY-based insurance company (Empire Blues, to be specific) said any provider in NJ was out-of-network, and care provided there was (for all practical purposes) not covered. When your kid is injured in a sports match, you can't really expect the school to rush him/her to a doctor out of state just because the insurance is out of state.

But, still worse, I'm sure that a bunch of Republican governors will set up plans that do nothing but gratify the rich and the insurers and bamboozle the Federal government into accepting them in lieu of the Federal plan. Then, we'll have an unworkable patchwork of coverage (or non-coverage) that no one understands.


3 Comments:

Blogger marketingace said...

As bad as previously noted, it is easier to get your windshield fixed than navigate through State insurance monopoly rules.

7:00 PM  
Blogger KISSWeb said...

However, I believe this is a move by progressives (Wyden, Oregon, and Sanders, Vermont) to make it possible for states to offer state-based public options before 2017, which is what the current health care legislation provides for. The opt-out system must offer coverage at least as strong as the Federal standards.

Of course, Republicans will oppose anything whatsoever Obama proposes, so I doubt there is any chance of passage. If he proposed making the Republicans a permanent majority -- making explicit what he is already trying to do, some would say! -- they would oppose it.

11:48 PM  
Blogger KISSWeb said...

I should have said the coverage and level of low-income subsidization must be at least as strong.

11:49 PM  

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