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Thread: Fines proposed for going without health insurance

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    Re: Fines proposed for going without health insurance

    Wow....this thread has really quitted down in a hurry. Either no one has anything more to say or you've all decided to go out and do some heavy reading from all those links I provided (see post #55).

    Since I called for true debate, let me get things started....

    The Public Option.

    I'm for it and against it. I'll clarify...

    The government public option would provide the broadest reach of health care coverage for those who could not or choose not to obtain their health care insurance through their employer. Under H.R. 3200, individuals and their families could acquire health care in four ways:

    a. through their employer.
    b. through Medicaid (for low-income individuals/families or disabled individuals under the age of 65).
    c. through Medicare for retired (elderly) individuals.
    d. through the newly formed Health Insurance Exchange (HIE).

    Before going further, let me just say this: I am not for establishing the public option as it is currently outlined in H.R. 3200. Why? Because, IMO, it would needlessly create another branch of government. Why create another department of government when you already have one that could do the job just as well: the Department of Health and Human Services? Now, if the public option came directly under the DHHS, I'd likely be for it because all that would be done is expanding one branch of government that already carries out a large portion of our nation's health care policies anyway. But to create a new branch of government to do what another branch of government could do just as well, IMO, is wasteful. That said, the public option in and of itself isn't a bad idea. And here's why?

    One of the major issue with health care reform that both sides would like to implement is making health insurance portable. It's not just a matter of whether or not you change from one job to another, but also the matter of if you move from one state to another. To that, let's look at the other "public option" being proposed which would be state-based. It is here that I think people miss the mark as to the significance of a government-based public option over a state-based public option.

    Both H.R. 3200 and the Policy Option proposed by the Senate Finance Committe (SFC) suggest establishing state-based public options, that is health insurance exchanges within each state. However, there is a limitation on how broad health care would be under such a proposal. For example, if your state has one or two primary health insurance carriers who can offer "group" health insurance at an affordable price, chances are your employers will only be able to get insurance through that insurance company. In most states, competition would still be limited because you'd still have the same "players" involved. The SFC proposes that neighboring states could be allowed to form regional "co-ops". The benefit here is that the range of competition among insurance companies is broader, but you're still limited in two ways:

    1) in what "group" to choose from; and,
    2) how "portable" that insurance policy is for the individual.

    Under state-based HIEs, you get more "options" and greater "portability", but both are limited to the "region" towhich you live and work. So, let's assume for example, you move from FL to NC. Provided that FL, SC and NC are all within the same region for state-based HIE coverage, there's no problem. But what if you move from FL to VA? FL to NY? FL to TX? Now, you have a problem?

    The government-based public option would eliminate this "regional restriction" by ensuring that your health coverage remains intact "nationwide". So, even if you moved from CA to ME, not only would you still be covered but you'd also retain the exact same health benefits at the exact same cost no matter where you lived!

    This is why having a government-based public option is so important. It represents true portability while maintaining benefit coverage and premimum costs.
    Last edited by Objective Voice; 09-09-09 at 04:33 PM.

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    Re: Fines proposed for going without health insurance

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    What?
    It's parenthetical because it wasn't directly responding to you. It was an aside to some earlier posts.
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  3. #83
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    Re: Fines proposed for going without health insurance

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    I wanted to start a comprehensive thread on the health care debate - one that wasn't filled with hyped up opinions and personal put-downs, but this thread seems as good as any to get things started on the right track. So, here we go...

    As I mentioned in the "26 Lies..." thread, there are (at least) 12 forms of health care reform legistlation/proposals currently being pushed by our nation's government:

    • H.R. 3200 - the leading health care reform bill proposed by Democrats
    • Senate Finance Committee "Policy Options" (the leading health care proposal by Republicans)
    • Senate HELP Committee "Affordable Health Choices Act"
    • A joint-bill submitted by Senators Coburn, Burr, Ryan and Nunes; "Patients' Choice Act of 2009" (S. 1099 and H. R. 2520)
    • Congressional Rep. J. Conyer's "U.S. National Health Care Act" (H.R. 676)
    • Congressional Rep. J. Dingell's "National Health Insurance Act" (H.R. 15)
    • And the President's "Principles for Health Reform"
    • Empowering Patient's First Act (H.R. 3400)
    • The American Health Security Act of 2009 (S. 703)
    • The American Heath Care Act of 2009 (H.R. 193)
    • The healthy Americans Act (S. 391)
    • A joint-proposal by former Sens. Baker, Daschle and Dole, "Crossing the Lines: ...Reform U.S. Health Care System"


    *Links provided where available

    The Kaiser Family Foundation has prepared a chart which provides a side-by-side review of each HCR bill/proposal mentioned above. For what it's worth, I think when people take the time to at least review the chart, what they'll find is that of the two leading HCR proposals - H.R. 3200 and the Policy Option - both share many similarities. For example, both proposals recommend that:

    • all Americans are covered by affordable health care
    • est. some form of a public option (Health Insurance Exchange or state-sponsored insurance "gateway")
    • employers pay an excess tax on insurance premiums
    • individuals who do not obtain health insurace are penalized
    • employers who do not provide health insurance to their employees are penalized
    • Medicaid is expanded to cover more individuals
    • small business have a means to providing affordable health care to their employees
    • no one should lose their health insurance due to change of employers, divorce or death of primary insurance holder
    • no one be denied health insurance due to a pre-exsisting condition
    • a review/audit "commission/committee" is established to ensure insurance benefits are similar in both the public and private sectors
    • a caps is set for how much individual and families pay toward health care expenses per year or per health care "incident"
    • quality care and preventive medicine are promoted over "treatment"
    • information technology (IT) is utilized to "share" health information and promote prompt payment systems via electronic funds transfer (EFT)
    • states have the choice to establish their on state-sponsored HIE


    Both sides - Dems and Reps - want the same thing. They just want to go about reaching the objective(s) differently. For example, everyone's up in arms over a "government (public) option" mainly because they don't think the government can run the business of health care any more affectively than the private sector. Moreover, they're concerned that the government will get into their personal business and start cherry-picking which health care benefits one is entitled to. But what people have come to realize is that the VA, Medicare and even the care our active duty military and their families receive under TriCare are all government sponsored health care systems that work pretty darn good. Not the greatest, but pretty good.

    When the cry against socialized health care goes out, I throw up the Medicaid system which is co-finances between the states and the government.

    When folks complain about rationed care in general, I'm quick to point out that your health insurance company and hospitals are already doing that. You just don't know it. That's part of being "pre-approved" for certain medical care is about only people don't normally see it as "rationed care".

    What I would like from posters on this debate is less reliance on "talking points" and a halt on personal attacks and a real debate on the issue of health care reform. If you're opposed to H.R. 3200 (seeing that it's the leading piece of legistlation out there), why? What specific issue(s) do you have against the bill? Why? And what do you propose to fix it?

    (And BTW, now that you (Conservatives) have been made aware that some in your party are asking for pretty much the same things in health care reform as the Democrats, where do you now stand on the issue? Is H.R. 3200 still a piece of crap? And if so, why is it that much worse than what the SFC "Policy Option" is proposing? And mind you, according to The Kaiser Family Foundation, the price tag for the PO is estimated to be about $900 million compared to H.R. 3200 which is estimated at $1.2 trillion - just $100.2 million difference.)

    The Dems's version of the bill places a massive tax on businesses.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Fines proposed for going without health insurance

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    Wow....this thread has really quitted down in a hurry. Either no one has anything more to say or you've all decided to go out and do some heavy reading from all those links I provided (see post #55).

    Since I called for true debate, let me get things started....

    The Public Option.

    I'm for it and against it. I'll clarify...

    The government public option would provide the broadest reach of health care coverage for those who could not or choose not to obtain their health care insurance through their employer. Under H.R. 3200, individuals and their families could acquire health care in four ways:

    a. through their employer.
    b. through Medicaid (for low-income individuals/families or disabled individuals under the age of 65).
    c. through Medicare for retired (elderly) individuals.
    d. through the newly formed Health Insurance Exchange (HIE).

    Before going further, let me just say this: I'm not for establishing the public option as it is currently designed in H.R. 3200. Why? Because, IMO, it would needlessly create another branch of government. Why create another department of government when you already have one that could do the job just as well: the Department of Health and Human Services? Now, if the public option came directly under the DHHS, I'd likely be for it because all that would be done is expanding one branch of government that already carries out a large portion of our nation's health care policies anyway. But to create a new branch of government to do what another branch of government could do just as well, IMO, is wasteful. That said, the public option in and of itself isn't a bad idea. And here's why?

    One of the major issue with health care reform that both sides would like to implement is making health insurance portable. It's not just a matter of whether or not you change from one job to another, but also the matter of if you move from one state to another. To that, let's look at the other "public option" being proposed which would be state-based. It is here that I think people miss the mark as to the significance of a government-based public option over a state-based public option.

    Both H.R. 3200 and the Policy Option proposed by the Senate Finance Committe (SFC) both suggest establishing state-based public options, that is health insurance exchanges within each state. However, there is a limitation on how broad health care would be under such a proposal. For example, if your state has one or two primary health insurance carriers who can offer "group" health insurance at an affordable price, changes are your employers will only be able to get insurance through that insurance company. In most states, competition would still be limited because you'd still have the same "players" involved. The SFC proposes that neighboring states could be allowed to form regional "co-ops". The benefit here is that the range of competition among insurance companies is broader, but you're still limited in two ways:

    1) in what "group" to choose from; and,
    2) how "portable" that insurance policy is for the individual.

    Under state-based HIEs, you get more "options" and greater "portability", but both are limited to the "region" towhich you live and work. So, let's assume for example, you move from FL to NC. Provided that FL, SC and NC are all within the same region for state-based HIE coverage, there's no problem. But what if you move from FL to VA? FL to NY? FL to TX? Now, you have a problem?

    The government-based public option would eliminate this "regional restriction" by ensuring that your health coverage remains intact "nationwide". So, even if you moved from CA to ME, not only would you still be covered but you'd also retain the exact same health benefits at the exact same cost no matter where you lived!

    This is why having a government-based public option is so important. It represents true portability while maintaining benefit coverage and premimum costs.
    Why don't you mention the money that is required to be spent by companies, large and small, to pay for this BS?
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Fines proposed for going without health insurance

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Why don't you mention the money that is required to be spent by companies, large and small, to pay for this BS?
    Well, since you brought it up why don't you provide the numbers. Remember: One of my rules for having real debate on this issue is you bring your argument and provide a means to fix it. So far, you've only provided your opinion, but no solution. Please, try again. This time put some thought behind it, as well as the math to support your claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The Dems's version of the bill places a massive tax on businesses.
    Both bills would impose taxes on businesses. Most of the tax burden would be offset within the first 5-10 years and the largest tax burder would come in the form of penalties paid by businesses both large and small if and only IF they DON'T provide health insurance to their employees.

    But let's be fair here. If you've already got access to health insurance through options a, b and c...

    a. through their employer.
    b. through Medicaid (for low-income individuals/families or disabled individuals under the age of 65).
    c. through Medicare for retired (elderly) individuals.
    ...you likely wouldn't need the credits now, would you, because odds are you'd already have obtained your health insurace by another means other than option d...

    d. through the newly formed Health Insurance Exchange (HIE).
    Now, under H.R. 3200 it is true that if you don't like the insurnace offerred by your employer and you wanted to get health insurance on your own, you could do so on the open market OR you could obtain it from the HIE. But here's the catch: Can you afford it own your own? It is here where things begin to get fuzzy (for me) on self-obtain health insurance. I'm not a tax lawyer. So, trying to follow all the proposed changes in tax laws as they pertain to the public option HIE make my head hurt. But as I understand it, either the money your employer would have paid toward the cost of your insurance in whole or in part would be subject to being taxed. If that is the case, then you as an individual would thereby be subject to having that portion of your income that would go towards paying for your health care taxed as well. It's only fair, right? As such, could you really afford to obtain health care either on the private market or through the HIE on your own even if your employer put the sum of your health care cost in your paycheck? Moreover, we don't know how much health insurance under the HIE would cost. So, it's difficult to determine at this point what the price tag to individuals would be. The idea (and the hope) is that it would be cheaper, but we have to remember this above all else: obtaining health insurance via the HIE is the 4th option until you elect to disenroll the following year (or within 30 days from initial enrollment). If you can get it through your employer, you will be automatically enrolled in an effort to minimize a "mass-exodus" to the government option. This happens currently with everyone who receives their insurance through their employer. So, I don't see where having it done via the public option should be a problem if you choose to go that route.

    (Note: Earlier, I included text concerning the health care credits as proposed by both HCR proposals/bills, but since I don't fully understand how those credits would work as they apply to business and their tax liability, I removed that text. If someone has a better understand as to how the credits apply to business taxes, please provide the details. Thanks!)
    Last edited by Objective Voice; 09-09-09 at 05:07 PM.

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    Re: Fines proposed for going without health insurance

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    By the time the hospital has "stabilized the patient," they've likely already incurred several thousand dollars in medical expenses. If it turns out the patient doesn't have insurance, then the hospital is SOL.

    Saying "just don't treat people without insurance" is impractical. Hospitals are ALREADY under no obligation to treat anyone without insurance, EXCEPT in the emergency room.
    No, the hospital presents the bill with payment options. You are going straight to the negative end when it is one possibility. IF they don't pay, then other measures can be taken. But to fine someone for not paying a bill before even presenting the bill is asinine and retarded.

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    Re: Fines proposed for going without health insurance

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    No, the hospital presents the bill with payment options.
    And what if the patient dies right there in the emergency room? Or what if he wakes up, thumbs his nose at the hospital, and declares bankruptcy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman
    You are going straight to the negative end when it is one possibility. IF they don't pay, then other measures can be taken. But to fine someone for not paying a bill before even presenting the bill is asinine and retarded.
    Think of it like "uninsured driver insurance." I pay a premium on my auto insurance in case I get stiffed by an uninsured driver. Similarly, the American taxpayer pay a premium on their taxes in case they get stiffed by an emergency room deadbeat. I'd rather pass that expense to the people most likely to stiff the taxpayers, instead of making EVERYONE pay it. How about you?
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    Re: Fines proposed for going without health insurance

    Quote Originally Posted by Objective Voice View Post
    Well, since you brought it up why don't you provide the numbers. Remember: One of my rules for having real debate on this issue is you bring your argument and provide a means to fix it. So far, you've only provided your opinion, but no solution. Please, try again. This time put some thought behind it, as well as the math to support your claim.
    The bill would place a 4% tax on companies that out $200,000 in payroll, who elected not to provide insurance for their employees. The tax rate goes up to 8% at $400,000 and above.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Fines proposed for going without health insurance

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    And what if the patient dies right there in the emergency room? Or what if he wakes up, thumbs his nose at the hospital, and declares bankruptcy?



    Think of it like "uninsured driver insurance." I pay a premium on my auto insurance in case I get stiffed by an uninsured driver. Similarly, the American taxpayer pay a premium on their taxes in case they get stiffed by an emergency room deadbeat. I'd rather pass that expense to the people most likely to stiff the taxpayers, instead of making EVERYONE pay it. How about you?
    That makes no sense whatsoever. First of all, driving is an option. Having an automobile is an option. You carry this insurance to protect you.

    What you propose with these fines is to make people carry insurance to protect everyone else from a possibly/possibly not paid debt by the individual.

    Not thanks. I don't believe the government should be that involved. I don't think you or anyone else has a right to force a penalty on someone for not carrying personal coverage in anticipation that he is going to stiff the hospital. It's just retarded.

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    Re: Fines proposed for going without health insurance

    Quote Originally Posted by jallman View Post
    That makes no sense whatsoever. First of all, driving is an option. Having an automobile is an option. You carry this insurance to protect you.

    What you propose with these fines is to make people carry insurance to protect everyone else from a possibly/possibly not paid debt by the individual.

    Not thanks. I don't believe the government should be that involved. I don't think you or anyone else has a right to force a penalty on someone for not carrying personal coverage in anticipation that he is going to stiff the hospital. It's just retarded.
    You're wrong about mandatory auto insurance. It isn't to protect you, it's to protect the other party with whom you might have an accident. It's why the minimum auto insurance you need to buy (at least in most states) doesn't cover your car or yourself at all...it only covers other people and their property. The purpose of these laws is to prevent you from not carrying auto insurance, causing an accident, and then leaving a blameless person with thousands of dollars in medical bills or car damages.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 09-09-09 at 05:11 PM.
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