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obamacare…..

August 15, 2013

I am all for it, insurance for all….. an even handed approach to a benefit… a reasonable cost for all and access for all…

We knew we didn’t undertand the thousands of pages of the law, we knew it was hard fought, compromised and going to be difficult to administer..

However… I trusted our elected representatives to have the best interests of the citizens as their intention.  I trusted that the plan would be understandable, offer choices, be reasonable and be able to be implemented..

So far, several of the main provisions have been delayed and the provision set to go into effect January One is causing tsunami waves in the insurance industry and among the insured…

The concept, as it has been explained to me,  is that the young healthy insureds will pay a bit more to even out the cost for the old, ill and more costly insureds.  Early information indicates that the cost for the young may double or triple in order to meet the balance.  If the young don’t register and become insured, then for sure there will not be money to cover the old, infirm and chronically ill.

One thing we can believe,  insurance company profits will not be reduced.  Therefore once pre-existing conditions cannot be used to cost a policy, all policies will have to increase exponentially to cover the costs for the group.. The healthy will subsidize the sick.

Inherently we agree with that… the critically ill cancer patient should not be denied treatment because of the illness.  The child diagnosed with a chronic medical problem should not top out benefits while care is still needed.  And yet… how is this going to work?  The cost is going to sit on the dwindling middle class, pushing them further below middle class, or preventing certain segments of the population from reaching middle class.

We may have gone about it backwards.  Perhaps we should have started with lower premiums for non smokers, consistent exercisers, those at healthy weights, those who wear helmets when biking or on a motorcyle.  Let me interject here that in my opinion if a person is stupid enough to get on a motorcycle without a helmet, they do not deserve insurance coverage when they lay splayed out over the pavement.  They do not even deserve an ambulance, unless they have a prepaid ambulance ride card in their pocket. 

We may have gone about it backwards.  Perhaps we should have addressed the inflated billing costs for medical care, the ridiculous pricing that a doctor or hospital never intends to collect, unless it is billed to a person without insurance, then full boat applies.

We may have gone about it backwards.  Perhaps we should have mandated this at the state level, a few states at a time, perhaps there should have been clinical trials, test states, feedback, comment and refinement.  Pundits in the insurance industry don’t think Illinois is ready or can even support the mandates set to start January One.  I am told,  insurance companies are declining new business during the 4th quarter of 2013, as they need every bit of time and manpower to be ready for Obamacare implementation.

There are no easy answers..  and healthcare is only one of the challenges facing our nation.  Before we can solve the issue of healthcare, we are going to need to come together at all levels, with ethics and personal accountabililty to renew the power and direction of our nation.

 

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