Advertisement

Archive for Sunday, March 28, 2010

Health insurance requirement a Republican idea

March 28, 2010

Advertisement

— Republicans were for President Barack Obama’s requirement that Americans get health insurance before they were against it.

The obligation in the new health care law is a Republican idea that’s been around at least two decades. It was once trumpeted as an alternative to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s failed health care overhaul in the 1990s. These days, Republicans call it government overreach.

Mitt Romney, weighing another run for the GOP presidential nomination, signed such a requirement into law at the state level as Massachusetts governor in 2006. At the time, Romney defended it as “a personal responsibility principle” and Massachusetts’ newest GOP senator, Scott Brown, backed it. Romney now says Obama’s plan is a federal takeover that bears little resemblance to what he did as governor and should be repealed.

Republicans say Obama and the Democrats co-opted their original concept, minus a mechanism they proposed for controlling costs. More than a dozen GOP attorneys general are determined to challenge the requirement in federal court as unconstitutional.

Starting in 2014, the new law will require nearly all Americans to have health insurance through an employer, a government program or by buying it directly. That year, new insurance markets will open for business, health plans will be required to accept all applicants and tax credits will start flowing to millions of people, helping them pay the premiums.

Those who continue to go without coverage will have to pay a penalty to the IRS, except in cases of financial hardship. Fines vary by income and family size. For example, a single person making $45,000 would pay an extra $1,125 in taxes when the penalty is fully phased in, in 2016.

Conservatives today say that’s unacceptable. Not long ago, many of them saw a national mandate as a free-market route to guarantee coverage for all Americans — the answer to liberal ambitions for a government-run entitlement like Medicare. Most experts agree some kind of requirement is needed in a reformed system because health insurance doesn’t work if people can put off joining the risk pool until they get sick.

In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon favored a mandate that employers provide insurance. In the 1990s, the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, embraced an individual requirement. Not anymore.

“The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea,” said health economist Mark Pauly of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. In 1991, he published a paper that explained how a mandate could be combined with tax credits — two ideas that are now part of Obama’s law. Pauly’s paper was well-received — by the George H.W. Bush administration.

“It could have been the basis for a bipartisan compromise, but it wasn’t,” said Pauly. “Because the Democrats were in favor, the Republicans more or less had to be against it.”

Obama rejected a key part of Pauly’s proposal: doing away with the tax-free status of employer-sponsored health care and replacing it with a standard tax credit for all Americans. Labor unions oppose that approach because members usually have better-than-average coverage and suddenly would have to pay taxes on it. But many economists believe it’s a rational solution to America’s health care dilemma since it would raise enough money to cover the uninsured and nudge people with coverage into cost-conscious plans.

Comments

Sunny Parker 4 years, 9 months ago

Those who continue to go without coverage will have to pay a penalty to the IRS, except in cases of financial hardship.

I think we all know what that means. Those who refuse to work because they receive govt hand outs.

This is just another govt hand out. My tax dollars. I am sick and tired of people not being responsible for themselves and believe the rest of us must take care of them.

Take care of yourself! No more govt handouts!

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

Sunday, March 8, 2009 Health insurers and drug makers have showered members of the 111th Congress with millions in campaign contributions over the last four years, with a special focus on leaders who will play major roles in shaping health-care legislation, according to a study to be released tomorrow.

Health insurers and their employees contributed $2.2 million to the top 10 recipients in the House and Senate since 2005, while drug makers and their employees gave more than $3.3 million to top lawmakers during that period, according to an analysis of federal elections data by Consumer Watchdog, a California-based advocacy group.

The biggest beneficiaries in the Senate included John McCain (R-Ariz.), with $546,000; Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), with $425,000; and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), with $413,000, who as head of the Finance Committee will play a leading role in the debate over health-care reform.

In the House, the two groups gave $257,000 to Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and $249,000 to Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.). On the Democratic side, Rep. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.) received contributions from the insurance sector ($104,000), while Rep. John D. Dingell (Mich.) took in $180,000 from drug companies.

The donations underscore the stakes in the health-care debate as President Obama pushes for dramatic changes by year's end, with the aim of sharply expanding the number of Americans covered by health insurance. Obama held a health-care summit at the White House last week and has proposed a $634 billion reserve fund to kick off the process.

The health-care sector has long ranked with financial services and energy interests as one of the most powerful political forces in Washington, and it spent nearly $1 billion on lobbying in the past two years alone. As momentum moves toward overhauling health care, major medical groups have stepped up their lobbying and campaign activities while shifting money and attention to newly empowered Democrats, according to federal records and industry experts.....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/07/AR2009030701748.html

There are some big dollars that consumers will pay back in increased cost of premiums,co-pays,deductibles,pharmaceuticals... yes to cover political expenses.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

Why should billions of health care dollars flow into the hands of politicians and insurance giants when neither provide health care?

It seems Everybody In Nobody Out is the policy in other countries offering socialized coverage why not the USA?

How could government improved Medicare Insurance for All be the problem? It's the crime and corruption within the privatized health care industry that is the problem.

The problem is the private health care industry aka white collar crooks am I right?

Private industry has some long history of committing fraud against the consumers which is not the fault of government it's the fault of the criminals!

Improved Medicare Insurance for All will reduce crime and certainly will reduce the amount of corrupt special interest money going to politicians. We'll be cleaning house a bit.

How much does all of this add to the cost of our health insurance? Billions upon billions which begin to equal trillions.

rbwaa 4 years, 9 months ago

just another example of republican hypocrisy...

Flap Doodle 4 years, 9 months ago

"It's the crime and corruption within the privatized health care industry that is the problem. The problem is the private health care industry aka white collar crooks am I right? Private industry has some long history of committing fraud against the consumers which is not the fault of government it's the fault of the criminals!" Your attempts at rabble-rousing are amusing. Not very effective, but amusing.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 9 months ago

Tell ya what, post a list of Republican members of Congress who voted for Dear Leader's Grand Mess health care bill and I shall be very cross with them.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 9 months ago

We always hear that government cannot do anything right yet what makes some government take a hit is the theft by corporate america. Yes that theft from consumers and taxpayers at the same time.

So why deal with insurance companies at all? Instead pay direct to the health care provider.

Think of the dollar savings by doing so. Think of the dollar earnings if that money was placed in a money making device instead of donating YOUR money to the insurance people.

How many spend on health care anywhere near what is paid out to insurance companies?

Any budget policies will not see one through serious long term illness. Why? Because there is a spending cap or the insurance people will drop your policy.

The government says a consumer cannot be dropped due to illness..... so long as one can afford to pay the insurance premiums. AND so long as one is covered for whatever may arise.

independant1 4 years, 9 months ago

theft by corporate america? So why deal with insurance companies at all? Instead pay direct to the health care provider?

Not so simple my friend.

Corp Amerika is for most part self insured (GE, Cat etc.), they pay insurance companies to administer their plan, "the middle man". Corp Amerika finds it cheaper to outsource administation of thier plans than to pay providers directly.

Corp Amerika pays HC bennies out of operating expense for active and retired employees, bennies get cut first for retirees in times of economic downturn. Corp. Amerika provides the cadillac bennies unions like.

Those that got HC pay more under this plan, some of those that don't got get. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (Mike Meyers) We get this new thing the job maintainers and makers must wade through.

It's not what you pay a man, but what he costs you that counts. (Will Rogers)

Freidman - free market forces + Keynes - doesn't matter how much we owe ourselves=still gotta have jobs and economic activity

So when you buy a loaf of bread some corporation is stealng from you? Better to have wheat grown, processed and distributed by gov't because gov't is better at it and more fair?

It must be nice to belong to some legislative body and just pick money out of the air. (Will Rogers)

Mixolydian 4 years, 9 months ago

Who cares...it's a horrible plan.

Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, independant, bad ideas are bad ideas, whatever the source.

Olympics 4 years, 9 months ago

Vertigo FTW!

Don't let facts influence your misinformed opinion SNAP.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 9 months ago

I say again: "Tell ya what, post a list of Republican members of Congress who voted for Dear Leader's Grand Mess health care bill and I shall be very cross with them." 1993 not equal to 2010.

David Albertson 4 years, 9 months ago

It sure is funny that the GOP is so concerned about reform now that the game is over. Why didn't they give a crap about it when they had both sides of congress and the Whitehouse? The truth is they don't give a rats ass about the common man. They received millions of dollars from the health insurance lobby to do nothing. The GOP is corrupt and greedy. Do they really want to repeal this bill? Is that going to be their platform in November? Do they really want to defend this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BhTi6tuecA

Thanks to the Dems, the situation in the video will never happen again. Go ahead GOP, try to repeal the bill. See how far you get.

As for Romney, what a joke. Talk about telling people what they want to hear when they want to hear it.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.