Issues of the New Health Care Law, Many Single Payer Would Have Cured!
This is a preliminary list of issues relating to the new health care law. Please add, correct or comment. (I began to overlap my researched characteristics so I ended up clumping all the sources at the end. Forgive the slapdashery!)
Lack of Real Cost Control
o Windfall for pharmaceutical giants - govt. can’t negotiate drug prices or import drugs, gives name brand drug makers 12 years of monopoly.
o No govt. bulk discount negotiating opportunity
o No cost controls
o Can charge three times more based on age plus more for certain conditions
o Double charge employees who fail "wellness" programs because of diabetes, high blood press., high cholesterol, or other medical conditions.
o As plans grow more expensive workers taxed and will have to switch to poorer, skeletal plans
o Anti-trust exemption for companies
o Hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies each year
o Companies can cherry-pick healthier, less costly enrollees
o There is no standard benefits package as frame of reference
o No meaningful restrictions on claims denials
o Permitting insurers to sell policies "across state lines", exempting patient protections passed in other states. Will set up in least regul. states.
o Insurers may continue to rescind policies, drop coverage, for "fraud or intentional misrepresentation" -- the main pretext used
o There is no standard benefits package to use as frame of reference to aid monitoring
Individual Mandate Burden
o Massive expansion of IRS or government coercion on taxpayers
o Billions of dollars of new customers to insurance companies that have been price gouging already and denying adequate care
o Demands younger, healthier customers who might have suspended health care for economic reasons sign up or be penalized
Restrictions on Abortion and other Women’s Rights
o Takes away abortion coverage of millions of Americans. Women mandated to buy into insurance plan that may not provide them w/ a legal medical procedure! Law imposes bizarre requirement on enrollees who buy coverage through exchanges to write two monthly checks (one for an abortion care rider and one for all other health care). Even employers will have to write two separate checks for requesting abortion rider.
o A new executive order from the President for the votes of anti-abortion Democrats, reinforces and extends safeguards to states and entities who withhold access to abortions according to the Hyde Amendment, affirms that there be no federal funding for abortions (establishing double standard for women in terms of access in America, rich vs. poor). Catholic bishops and extremist abortion rights opponents know that it will greatly restrict of access to safe abortions, one of the most common medical procedures for women.
o Gender rating -- practice in which insurance companies charge women more for their premiums than men for identical coverage. Obama’s health care reform bill would only partially remedy this. Once the exchanges are up and running (after 2014), companies will be banned from setting different premiums based on gender unless company has more than 100 employees. For these larger groups not until 2017 will it be stopped.
o On average, women under 55 charged premiums up to 48 percent higher than those for men of the same age –maternity coverage excluded.
o Today’s law revives federal funding for an abstinence-only-until-marriage program that Congress correctly allowed to expire in 2008. The ACLU has long opposed abstinence-only programs on the grounds that they censor vital health information, promote gender stereotypes, discriminate against gays and lesbians and sometimes use federal dollars to promote one religious perspective. (ACLU article)
o The bill permits age-rating, the practice of imposing higher premiums on older people. This practice has a disproportionate impact on women, whose incomes and savings are lower due to a lifetime of systematic wage discrimination.
Immigration Discrimination and On Others Uncovered
o Undocumented immigrants would not be allowed to buy insurance on the new exchanges, even if they are willing to pay the full cost of the insurance with their own money.
o The bill imposes harsh restrictions on the ability of immigrants to access health care, imposing a 5-year waiting period on permanent, legal residents before they are eligible for assistance such as Medicaid, and prohibiting undocumented workers even to use their own money to purchase health insurance through an exchange.
o The bill covers only 32 million of the 47 million uninsured in this country,
o Right now there are 45,000 premature deaths of American citizens each year due to inadequate or no health care.
o By 2019 there will be 23 million without coverage, averaging 23,000 premature deaths each year.
Medical Industrial Complex Lobbying Statistics (Paul Street article)
o The health sector poured a remarkable $178,252,901 into congressional and presidential campaigns between the beginning of the 2008 election cycle and the summer of 2009. The insurance industry invested $52,739,320. Obama received more than $19 million from the health sector for the 2008 election cycle – a new record. The prolific author and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges reports that “the five largest private health insurers and their trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, spent more than $6 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2009. Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug maker, spent more than $9 million during the last quarter of 2008 and the first three months of 2009.”
Pro-Medicare for All Statistics (Paul Street article)
o 69 percent of Americans think it is the responsibility of the federal government to provide health coverage to all US citizens (Gallup,2006).
o 59 percent of Americans support a single-payer health insurance system (CBS/New York Times poll, January 2009).
o 59 percent of doctors back a single-payer system (Annals of Internal Medicine, April 2008).
o In a remarkable CBS-New York Times poll conducted late Sept.2009, 65 percent of more than 1,000 Americans randomly surveyed by CBS and Times responded affirmatively to following question: “Would you favor or oppose the government offering everyone a government-administered health insurance plan – something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and over get – that would compete with private health insurance plans?”