Health Insurance Plans

I hope that this topic gets more attention before the election. Christine has some thoughts here and I share many of her concerns and those expressed in the referenced article.

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  1. My wife and I have discovered that it’s not enough to have health insurance. A big issue is denial of coverage by health insurers. There is little said about this by politicians, even those speaking about getting all Americans covered by health insurance. But if there is denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions or for conditions that insurer bureaucrats decide they should not cover, then the patient is still left with big bills.

    Politicians from both major parties are largely speaking in soundbites and using phrases such as “universal health coverage” or “keep U.S. health care in private hands.” There is hardly any talk about the problems with health plans even if you have one.

  2. It looks like my longish comment didn’t get posted. I’ll try again, more concisely.

    Politicians give good soundbites about healthcare, such as “I will will create health care for every American” or “I will not make sure you get to keep your private health plants” or “I won’t allow Washington to manage your health plan.”

    And it’s true that more Americans need to be covered. But another serious issue is what kind of actually coverage you get when you are subscribed to a plan. My wife and I have found out that denial of coverage by bureaucrats in private health plans is bad and expensive. Too many health plans deny coverage for pre-existing conditions or for conditions or treatments that bureaucrats (not doctors) decide will not be covered by their health plan. It’s very expensive to pay premiums and then be denied coverage and have to pay out-of-pocket.

    Politicians need to do more than just talk about health plans. Someone needs to talk about the problems with health plans that currently exist and that probably will exist even with wider coverage, unless there are changes in regulations.

  3. To be fair, the same journal that published the analysis of the Mccain plan also published the analysis of the Obama plan. There are as many concerns about his as there are Mccains if you read them both. One excerpt even predicts the same fallout in employer coverage from the Obama plan which Hebert editorializes against in the Mccain plan. The excerpt is quoted below

    “We focus on several key features of the Obama proposal: the new National Health Plan (NHP), the national Health Insurance Exchange, the reinsurance subsidy, the “play-or-pay” requirement on larger employers, and the mandate that children be insured. As envisioned by Senator Obama, each of these extends the control of government over health insurance, imposing new requirements that will drive up the cost of insurance unless the savings from other policies that have been claimed by the campaign actually materialize. Moreover, heavy regulation coupled with a fallback NHP could accomplish what Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) proposal has been accused of: undermining the employer insurance market.”

    That kind of editorializing by Hebert is not useful and appears to me as a thinly veiled attempt to tell readers to vote democratic because they republican plan stinks, while ignoring the criticism of the democratic plan. Doesn’t do much to help raise the level of discussion around the issue.

  4. Forgive me, but casting mud into the waters by outright ignoring countless failed policies brought to us courtesy of the Republicans and big business doesn’t help to solve a complex and serious social crisis either. Nitpicking points in order to mask a serious flaw with McCain’s policy is just a smoke screen. There is going to be no simple solution but I would bet the farm that Sen. Obama would be more willing to listen to many and varied ideas rather than Mr. John (Maverick) McCain who in his words: never blinks. Or maybe after watching the debates he blinks too much.

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