Thursday, September 17, 2009

Baucus Bill Objection #1

Individuals are Required to Purchase Health Insurance but Employers Are Not Required to Provide It.

So an employee who is forced to work for an employer who cannot provide health insurance is on his or her own. He or she must purchase a plan or face high penalties and they receive no such help from their employers since they are not required to purchase the plans for them. I don't think we have a problem of want here. Most workers would happily purchase health insurance if they thought they could afford it. The problem isn't that they don't want coverage so much as they can't afford to purchase it. A bill that merely includes an individual mandate does nothing to lower health insurance costs. In fact it adds to rather than subtracts from the individual employee's burdens. If Congress can't pass a bill with a public option it should insist that small businesses pool their resources together to pay for health insurance.

Access to affordable health care should be treated as a right for any legal resident who works and we must, as a whole, insist that employers treat their workers decently by providing them with affordable health care.

1 comment:

Gary St. Lawrence said...

Montana Democrat Max Baucus (who just happened to have taken $3.4 million in campaign donations from the health insurance lobby and $2.7 million from the pharmaceutical lobby) and the U.S. Senate finally announced their much-hyped and much-targeted health care overhaul proposal this morning, and guess what? The provision to allow citizens to buy lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada and other developed countries IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PROPOSAL.

In fact, something else your “dedicated public servants” won’t tell you – is that every provision for the Canadian prescription feature was taken off the table even before any of the proposals were conceived. The pharmaceutical lobby paid more than $180 Million to ensure that if an American needs or wants a prescription drug, they’re going to have to buy it from intentionally and artificially overpriced American drug companies.

On the campaign trail, Barack Obama promised – all the way back in June 2007 – that his health care overhaul would include giving people the option to buy prescription drugs from Canada because they were vastly less expensive than what the American pharmaceutical corporations were charging.

On June 16, 2007, Obama said, “There is no reason for this other than the fact it makes the drug companies more money,” said Obama. ‘It’s wrong that Americans have to spend more for their prescriptions because drug companies can spend billions on lobbying.”

The prescription drug plan pushed by Obama at that time was to allow Medicare officials to bargain for lower prescription drugs prices. But more importantly, it was to allow Americans to buy prescriptions from Canada and other developed countries where safe drugs are available, as well as increase the use of generic drugs in public health programs like Medicare.


Additionally, your ever-out-of-touch and couldn’t-care-less Congressmen have decided on how much they think is a fair price YOU should pay for health care – while they stay clutching to their FREE health care. The Senate feels that 13 percent is a fair share and is below what some androgynous poll says is the current national average.

Of course, what they aren’t trumpeting about their bill is that your 13 percent is what you have to pay up-front and BEFORE co-payments, deductibles and other cost-sharing requirements. So, under Baucus’ plan, if your total annual household income is $50,000, you will be REQUIRED to have health insurance at a cost that STARTS at $6,500 – PLUS all your co-pays, PLUS all your deductibles, PLUS whatever local, state and federal surcharges, fees and costs your politicians and insurance companies and doctors offices feel like tacking on to the bill. So, in all, the “average” cost of health care for the people who can afford it least is going to be TWENTY PERCENT OF YOUR INCOME.

The United States spends pend 16 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product on health care and rank just below Slovenia in quality of medical care. That’s right, people: America spends more on health care than any other country in the world, and we have the 37TH WORST HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN THE WORLD.

Now there’s something to brag about, huh? Just be careful not to get winded. There’s likely to be an oxygen surcharge.

The lobbyists win again. And they’re going to keep winning until you stand up to them, and to your politicians, and make it clear that you’ve been lied to, manipulated and cheated ENOUGH.