Obama's Health Care Plan: Snap Shot of the Points of President Obama's Speech
Friday News Round-Up

In an effort to continue the discussion on health care, while still refraining from bias, today’s post is meant to present to you the other side of the issue.

What are those that are opposed to the points of Obama’s health plan saying?

All points have not been addressed as the controversial nature of the discussion is continually evolving. However, the goal of this post is to give you another snap shot of some of the things that the opposing side is saying, so that when you are engaging in discussions and presenting your opinion, you have information to back your stance, whichever side you may choose.

According to the September 15, 2009 Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll, Obama’s ratings after his health care plan speech reflected that 42% support the plan, where 55% are opposed to the plan, an increase in opposition from the 53% last week.  According to the same report,

“Following the speech last Wednesday night intended to relaunch the health care initiative, support for the president’s effort bounced as high as 51%. But the new numbers suggest that support for health care reform is now about the same as it was in August.”

With the promises of the plan that were outlined in yesterday’s post, “Obama’s Health Care Plan: Snap Shot of the Points of President Obama’s Speech,” there are concerns that are being raised by those on the other side.  Today we will focus on some of the specific concerns where we’ll be linking back and quoting several sources.

Issue 1:  The Exchange

President Obama’s health care plan includes a type of government insurance plan or a co-op (the Exchange) that will make it more financially feasible for  businesses and individuals to purchase insurance. The concern  that is raised from those that oppose this plan is that it would eventually drive private insurers from the market, thus offering fewer insurance options.

Public opinion polls suggest that many consumers would like to have the choice of a public plan. But insurance companies and Republican lawmakers say a public plan could drive private insurers out of business and lead eventually to a single-payer system run by the government….Republicans and business groups attacked the bill, which they said cost too much and would discourage small businesses from hiring (New York Times).

Issue 2: Freedom to choose your own insurance plan.

According to CNNMoney.com, with the way the plan is structured the government will dictate the minimum list of benefits.

“Today, many states require these ‘standard benefits packages’ — and they’re a major cause for the rise in health-care costs.

The bills would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to add to the list of required benefits, based on recommendations from a committee of experts. Americans, therefore, wouldn’t even know what’s in their plans and what they’re required to pay for, directly or indirectly, until after the bills become law.”

Issue 3: Consumer driven market in jeopardy.

No longer will the healthy be rewarded for healthy lifestyles and no longer will bargain accounts, such as Health Savings Accounts (HSA) be what they are today. Instead all patients will pay the same rates no matter their particular health condition or age.  Thus, those that are younger and typically have lower incomes, will be paying significantly more for their health costs than they actually use, where those that are older and can afford to pay more will not have to pay any more for their health costs, when they are utilizing more services.

The concern is that the market is driven by the consumer. The argument the opposing side presents is:

The bills threaten to eliminate the one part of the market truly driven by consumers spending their own money. That’s what makes a market, and health care needs more of it, not less.

Issue 4: Pre-existing conditions claims are not straight-forward.

According to a Fox News article, there are disclaimers within the bill that denote that the pre-existing conditions claims come with contingencies. For the specific sections it references, visit the full article on pre-existing conditions. The two portions this article expounds on are:

“Policy writers for the government will be allowed to make the insurance you buy cover certain ailments, and not cover others (one of which may be a condition you happen to have, which is pre-existing)…

Policy writers for the government will be allowed to limit the amount, level, extent, or nature of the treatment you get for certain ailments (one of which may be your pre-existing condition).

So who will be writing your insurance policy?  According to the President’s plan, a new bureaucracy known as the ‘Health Benefits Advisory Committee.’  It will be made up of 27 people…”

Issue 5: Over ten years the health premium revenue will garner $1 trillion dollars.

“Industry representatives counter that, even if insurers take in more money than they pay out, profit margins are so thin that additional taxes and fees would wind up being passed on to policyholders.

Yet another late complication, according to several Democrats, is the president’s statement that he will not sign a bill ‘if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period. And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize.’

The $900 billion target is ‘very difficult,’ Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told reporters. ‘This is reducing coverage for poor and working people.'”

In Closing

These quoted items are simply the statements presented by the opposing side.  The health care plan is still under revisions and even today the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Max Baucus released his $856 billion health care plan.  As always your comments are welcome and any links or additional information you’d like to share is encouraged.

As always, we’re talking about things that matter… with people who care.

Photo Credit: The Daily Contributor

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Obama's Health Care Plan: Snap Shot of the Points of President Obama's Speech
Friday News Round-Up