Friday, March 12, 2010

If not this year, maybe the next, or the year after that:

Supporters of the current health care legislation (i.e. Senate bill) say that if it isn't passed this year, then we will have to wait a generation until the next opportunity arises. So "Pass the damn bill!" echoes throughout the blogosphere. But one of the problems with the current legislation is that it's too timid (not anywhere close to Japan/Canada/Europe), partly because a lot of people are still enjoying the last gasps of the traditional employer provided and paid for system - and as a result there is limited support for substantial reform. That's soon to end:
Most big employers plan to shift a larger share of health-care costs to their workers next year, according to a survey released Thursday.

Many say they may charge more to cover spouses, tighten eligibility standards for their health plans and dispense financial rewards or penalties based on the results of certain lab tests. At some companies, overweight employees could be excluded from the most desirable plans.

Meanwhile, employees at many companies can expect significantly higher premiums, deductibles and co-payments ...
Employees will be insured as individuals, which isn't going to be much different from individuals getting health care on the open market. Anyone following that area of health coverage knows it's rapidly approaching a situation where health care becomes unaffordable.

If health care legislation fails to pass this year, don't be surprised if it reemerges as a big political topic very soon thereafter.


Healthcare, like all our institutions, is unsustainable and in need of thorough overhaul. When health insurance companies raise premiums and complain that their costs are rising they are really saying, "No matter what, we must continue to make profits..." The reality, I suggest, is that there is no profit to be made in healthcare, but politicians will not face this. So we are asking the wrong questions. And we're running out of time; our debt and contracting economy, which ultimately cannot be overcome due to energy decline, are all signs of a giant oak tree resisting a hurricane.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/13/2010 4:54 AM  

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