Monday, November 8, 2010

Possible GOP Plan for Healthcare

During the past campaign season, everyone from the winning GOP side of the election including federal and state elections are suggesting to buy insurance over state lines.

All you have to do is revisit the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2005.  Under the guise of helping out small business, the bill would enable small business health plans to purchase health insurance coverage that deviates from state insurance requirements as long as the plans offer an alternative containing the covered benefits offered in a state employee health plan in one of the five most populous states: California, Texas, Illinois, Florida, and New York.

However, there was a bad side to this bill.

Why is the legislation harmful?
• S. 1955 would create a federal ceiling on consumer protections that would lessen the protections offered to consumers in virtually every state.

• Only benefit protections that exist in the vast majority of state would remain, potentially eliminating valuable benefits that states have afforded their citizens.

• Stronger state laws that limit the ability of insurers to vary premiums based on age, gender and geography would be preempted.  For many older and sicker Americans, this would price them out of the health insurance market.

• S. 1955 would likely place additional stress on the health care safety net – especially on the Medicaid program – and would likely increase cost-shifting because the proliferation of health plans to that do not cover basic and preventative health care services such as annual physicals, mammographies, maternity coverage, colonoscopies, clinical trials and other proven therapies.  As a result, many consumers would lose valuable health care benefits.

Everyone including small business would like to extend the insurance pool and spread the risk, but long hard fought basic service should not be lost.

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