Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Health Care Bill Pros and Cons


By Chimp

There are many pros and cons to this Health Care bill.


Expands Medicaid "to reach a wider range of poor households up to 150% of the federal poverty level. 36 million additional Americans will now be eligible for Medicaid."

Acknowledges LGBTQ Americans are a population likely to "experience significant gaps in disease, health outcomes, or access to health care." This will hopefully ensure that LGBTQ people are included in future data collection, and that grant programs will focus on their specific health needs.

Allows states to cover early HIV treatment under their Medicaid programs. (Currently, states are only allowed to use Medicaid money for patients with full-blown AIDS.)

Funds comprehensive sex-ed programs.

Everybody can have health insurance if they want it.

Insurers will not be able to stop paying for people who are sick, even if they lose their jobs.

People who cannot afford health insurance won’t have to pay as much money.

People who are already sick will be eligible for healthcare.

In the long run it will (hopefully) reduce medical costs significantly. Rising medical costs are the main reason the long-term budget projections are so alarming.
Health insurers can no longer cap coverage. In other words, they will no longer say that they have spent enough on you and you’re on your own for the next hundred thousand dollars. This should reduce medical bankruptcy.

There will be increased competition in the insurance market. It might be from a public option. It might also be from some kind of non-profit, state-specific co-operative. This might push the health care companies to lower costs and provide better service.


For the first ten years, it will cost about $100 billion a year. This is about the yearly cost of the Iraq War. (End the f*cking war!)

The bill might increase the cost of health insurance.(But probably not) This depends on whether the gains from increased efficiencies and increased competition is outweighed by the cost of providing additional benefits.

The Individual Mandate. You will have to either buy health insurance if you don’t have it or have a 2% tax increase. This insurance will be subsidized—but there is no guarantee that the subsidy will suffice for your specific situation.

There will be a tax increase on very high income people. (This is why Republicans opposed it. Bush gave them all the tax breaks and Obama takes them away.)

If you are making more than half a million (or maybe a full million) you will have about a 1% tax increase. (Most Americans don’t have this problem.)

Other stuff that might be good or bad, depending how you see it

Increased government involvement in health care. Government already pays for huge amounts of healthcare—so this won’t be anything new.

Additional regulation on insurance companies. This might increase costs. It will increase quality.

Physicians will have increased access to information about what treatments are most effective for their cost. If two treatments work equally well and one is cheaper, doctors can recommend that one.

This was almost universally considered a good thing until a few years ago, but some people have started criticizing it lately. (Is this where Sarah Palin’s “death Panels” came in?)

Large employers may also have to offer health insurance to more of their employees. If they do not, they may have to pay some extra tax.


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