Three year wait for benefits if the Dem’s health care reform passes



Three year wait for benefits to kick in


Oh, this just gets better and better, doesn’t it.


Now, even though the Democrats are acting like they’ve got to pass all this health care reform legislation right now, parts of it aren’t going to be implemented until 2013.


Under the Democratic bills, federal tax credits to help make health insurance affordable for millions of low- and middle-income households won’t start flowing until 2013 — after the next presidential election. But Medicare cuts and a sizable chunk of the tax increases to pay for the overhaul kick in immediately.


So all they were going to do for people was toss them a bone of a tax credit and hope that they would be able to buy health insurance with that. Does anyone here really believe that the tax credit is going to match the cost of health care? Anyone? Me neither.


One of the reasons they say it will take three years to set things up is that they have to “set up insurance marketplaces”. Forgive me, but if we had set up a single-payer system, wouldn’t it eliminate a lot of that insurance marketplace crap? 


Lawmakers use a 10-year accounting window to assess new programs. Starting the Medicare cuts and some of the taxes in the early years — and pushing the bulk of new spending into the latter years — helps keep the cost of the health care overhaul within Obama’s $900 billion limit. Bush used the same kind of maneuver to push the Medicare benefit through Congress.


So the rest of the reason for the three year delay is so they can do some creative accounting to make it look cheaper than it is. 


I guess a good part about a three year window is that we can all figure out some way to do our own creative accounting so maybe we won’t all lose our shirts over it. 


I hate to keep saying the same thing over and over in my blog, but I just gotta repeat this for emphasis: if health care costs and insurance costs are not kept down, none of this “reform” is gonna do a damn thing except make it look like somebody tried to do something. 


Supposedly in 2010, those who are in the Medicare prescription plan’s coverage gap would get a 50% percent discount off the price of name-brand drugs; but that’s not going to help much if the price of the pills is still too high. (And hey, why name-brand drugs? Why not a discount on generics? I guess that would piss off the drug companies…)


Also supposedly there would be a $5 billion fund to help states provide affordable coverage for people who are denied due to medical conditions. But it probably won’t be enough money. Just because there’s some money apportioned that way doesn’t mean they’ve made a commitment to cover all those high-risk people. 


And I’ve got a real problem with the way the word “affordable” gets tossed around these days, especially when it’s being used by some rich politician or political pundit. When they say “affordable” they seem to mean “affordable for someone with a really good secure job, a nice house, car, 2.5 kids and dog, like the normal people you see on tv”, because they think that’s what America is really like. 


They don’t understand people having to stretch their food stamps to last the end of the month, or people who can barely get their crappy cars to drive back and forth to their minimum wage jobs, or people going bankrupt from insurance premiums and copays. They don’t hang out in poor neighborhoods. 


So when I hear them say, “oh don’t worry it’ll be affordable“, I worry.



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