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« One Way to Poison Health Care Reform | Main | More Troops to be Sent to Afghanistan? Maybe. »

November 08, 2009

Comments

flowerplough

Hooray! Free stuff from Washington! Or is it?

"Obamacare could have the unintended consequence of raising health insurance premiums and causing a decline in the number of people with insurance.

Here's why: A key feature of the House and Senate health bills would prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to anyone with preexisting conditions. The new coverage would start immediately, and the premium could not reflect the individual's health condition.

This well-intentioned feature would provide a strong incentive for someone who is healthy to drop his or her health insurance, saving the substantial premium costs. After all, if serious illness hit this person or a family member, he could immediately obtain coverage. As healthy individuals decline coverage in this way, insurance companies would come to have a sicker population. The higher cost of insuring that group would force insurers to raise their premiums. (Separate accident policies might develop to deal with the risk of high-cost care after accidents when there is insufficient time to buy insurance.)

The higher premium level would cause others who are currently insured to drop coverage, pushing premiums even higher. The result would be a spiral of rising premiums and shrinking numbers of insured.

In an attempt to prevent this, the draft legislation provides penalties for individuals who choose not to buy insurance and for employers that do not offer health insurance. But the levels of these fines are generally too low to cause a rational individual to insure."

Feldstein
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/05/AR2009110504327.html?nav=hcmoduletmv

Bill

Heavens!

There may be sick people gaming the system.

The House and Senate bills take effect in 2013. For those thinking of dropping coverage in order to (do exactly what... get stuck with huge bills between now and then?), they'll have to somehow remain well enough to get covered again several years from now.

There are always ways to game the system, but at present the entire system is gamed for the benefit of the insurance companies.

I'll take my chances that the sky won't fall in and support changing the status quo.

flowerplough

Well, go ahead and take your chances that the sky won't fall in. Trust Pelosi. Trust Obama. After all, Obama did promise all that transparency and "troops-out-of" stuff, and there're no lobbyists in his administration, just like he said there wouldn't be. Go ahead and take your chances, and trust your favorite politicians, but leave me out of it. Like I wrote to my Congressman, who claims to be a Blue Dog, if you're going to insure the uninsured, go ahead and try. Just leave the rest of us alone. Leave me alone. My health insurance isn't perfect, and isn't cheap, but I won't trust you self-styled Blue Dogs, and the Ayers-trained Obama, and Pelosi, who seems to hate me, to all storm in and begin making anarchist/arsonist improvements. Is the objective to increase coverage, or to force me behave as you prefer? Just try to help the uninsured first, please. I'll then measure your effectiveness and decide on the next step myself, OK?

Bill

It seems we've now gotten to the heart of this compliant, doesn't it?

It's the conspiracy that Bill Ayers and Nancy Pelosi and some anarchists and arsonists are getting together late at night to find ways to hate you... and control Obama's brain... that really underlie this technical problem with health reform.

OK, fine. No real point in discussing the finer points of the legislation, I guess.

flowerplough

The heart of this compliant?


If you're going to insure the uninsured, go ahead and try. Just leave the rest of us alone. Leave me alone. I don't want your "help".

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