Wednesday, August 19, 2009

HR 3200 Health Care Reform part 2

The views expressed in this blog are my own personal opinions and do not represent Cottonwood nor it's administration.

I indicated before that I would discuss further HR 3200 the House version of health care reform, " America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009". I know I keep on talking about various aspects of health care reform but it is an issue that will affect us all greatly.

Currently the main controversy is over whether health care reform will include a "public option" in which the Federal government would compete directly with private insurers in a plan that would be available to all of any age and regardless of income status. While I am in general opposed to a public plan option there are ways in which it could be done that I can live with but HR 3200 goes way beyond just a public plan option. I mentioned before that it represents a possible complete goverment takeover of health care delivery in the United States. That is a pretty bold and striking statement and I need to back that up by directly examining HR 3200.

First of all HR 3200 proposes a new government agency, the Health Choices Administration. This agency would be an independent agency in the executive branch. (page 41)

The Health Choices Administration would be headed by A Health Choices Commisioner appointed by the president. (page 41)

The Health Choices Commisioner would have broad powers which I will outline in a separate blog. (pages 41-470

No new person can be enrolled in any currently existing health plan as of the date that the law is enacted (page 16) For us this means that no new Cottonwood employees would be permitted to enroll in our current existing plan.

Within 5 years all currently existing health plans must conform to all the requirements of the public plan option. (page 17)

Our current health care plan cannot change any terms or conditions without it voiding the plan. This includes coverage benefits, and co - pays. (page 16-17). For us this means that we will have to continue paying higher premiums as there can be no negotiating on any benefit modifications, co -pays, or deductibles. Cottonwood administration will have no ability whatesover to negotiate with United or any other insurer that does not meet all the same qualifications as the public plan option. Cottonwood will have no other financially responsible choice other than enroll us all in a plan that meets all Federal requirements for a "Qualified Health Benefits Plan". I will outline these qualifications in a separate blog. The bottom line here is that regardless of what the president says we will not be able to keep our current plan or our doctors as we have it now.

HR 3200 cancels all state mandated benefits unless the state pays the additional costs. (page 87)

There are other changes as well which I will outline in further blogs including what a "Qualified Health Benefits Plan" is and what powers the new Health Commisioner would have.

Thought for the day

One size does not fit all.

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