You did know that due to the Social Security Act and the Patriot Act your medical records can be viewed and copied by anyone who claims to be an agent of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, didn’t you? Or that those same agents write their own subpoenas? (The best reference is this ACLU webpage, although most of the regulations were there in a weaker form before the Patriot Act.)
Health insurers – the American Health Insurance Plan group and Blue Cross/Blue Shield – said that they would begin covering everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions if the government will mandate the purchase of their products and subsidize Medicaid and SCHIP. And so grows the government ownership of health care.
From what I’ve seen of mandatory auto insurance, prices don’t go down when the government forces everyone to buy a certain product. I don’t believe in government mandates as a rule and haven’t been favorably impressed with the way government interference in health care, with the creation of HMO’s, ERISSA, and the invasion that has resulted in our current draconian Medicare rules and regulations.
Not to mention $2 Billion dollar stock option bonuses and $125 Million dollar salaries, such as those given to William McGuire by United Health Care in the past and the $13 million to $15 million salary of his successor in 2006 and 2007. (For a look at the compensation of the big companies, click on the names of companies at this page.)
I do believe that insurers abuse their ability to refuse or limit coverage and increase fees due to prior conditions. The industry should be able to evaluate the effect of removal of pre-existing conditions by looking at the history of the insured in States like Texas, which do not allow such limitations for most people covered by employers’ health insurance. Let us see those numbers and facts and demonstrate your trustworthiness before we even consider using government laws to increase your customer base.
From the press release of the American Health Insurance Plan group:
Health plans today proposed guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions in conjunction with an enforceable individual coverage mandate.
Under the new proposal, health plans participating in the individual health insurance market would be required to offer coverage to all applicants as part of a universal participation plan in which all individuals were required to maintain health insurance.
Health plans also said that premium support for moderate-income individuals and broad spreading of risk was necessary to promote affordability and maintain premium stability in the individual health insurance market.
To ensure that all Americans can access coverage, health plans also reiterated their long-standing support for making eligible for Medicaid every uninsured American living in poverty and strengthening the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
In the interest of showing good will, let the sellers go first.
I’d rather see a law allowing various levels of coverage, including support for Health Savings Accounts (rather than the ridiculous limits on numbers that we currently have) and encouraging more major medical and high deductible plans.