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Gibonius
 
Senate Bill 1099 (R alternative health bill)

Recently been reading this bill and I'm somewhat impressed and wanted to get some discussion going. Links can be found here to a summary and the full bill.

Bullet points, as I understand them:
  • Provide science based incentives to reduce negative behaviors. Medicare premiums will be lowered for seniors who engage in healthy behaviors. Education would be provided for everyone.
  • Vaccines will receive more federal funding.
  • Federal health care spending will be evaluated under scientific metrics and only effective treatments will be paid for. Food stamps cannot be applied to junk food.
  • All Americans will buy allowed to be private insurance from a government related Health Exchange (at the state level), and all plans must meet a minimum standard. All patients would have access, including those with pre-existing conditions. Companies that charge exorbitant rates to those with PECs will be penalized by an independent board.
  • Individuals will be taxed for their health insurance benefits from work. However, they will receive a tax credit for health care.
    (I like this because it will help kill the employer based health care system when combined with the exchange)
  • Expand Health Savings Accounts.
  • Provide federal money to low income families to buy private plans, instead of providing Medicaid. Note: federal money, which alleviates the unfunded mandate on the states.
  • Give doctors incentives for actually curing diseases, instead of a strict per procedure payment.
  • Wealthier retirees will pay more in taxes for their Medicare.
  • Add various consumer protections so insurance companies cannot arbitrarily drop sick/injured customers.
  • Spend money to improve record keeping.



Honestly, this looks like a really good bill. It doesn't have a lot of Republican support though (omg tax increases), but it really looks like something that would help. No snipe chasing with tort reform, no nonsense about competition across state lines without increased regulation. It's a well thought out piece of legislation from what I see so far.


Thoughts?
Old 02-23-2010, 02:29 PM Gibonius is offline  
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BigFuzzyArchon
 
 
we need to cut spending overseas first. our country is on the verge of collapsing and having a dollar crisis and we continue to spend over a trillion dollars ever year funding our wars and operating military bases in over 140 countries.
Old 02-23-2010, 04:19 PM BigFuzzyArchon is offline  
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Gibonius
 
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Originally Posted by BigFuzzyArchon View Post
we need to cut spending overseas first. our country is on the verge of collapsing and having a dollar crisis and we continue to spend over a trillion dollars ever year funding our wars and operating military bases in over 140 countries.

I'm pretty sure we can do more than one thing at a time.

And there's no way those numbers are correct, the whole military budget isn't a trillion a year.
Old 02-23-2010, 06:38 PM Gibonius is offline  
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sir tex
 
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Looks better, but I'd still like to see interstate competition and tort reform on top of this.
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:19 PM sir tex is offline  
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bobsmith
 
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Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post
I'm pretty sure we can do more than one thing at a time.

And there's no way those numbers are correct, the whole military budget isn't a trillion a year.

I imagine he's probably referring to this:

Quote:
For the 2010 fiscal year, the president's base budget of the Department of Defense rose to $533.8 billion. Adding spending on "overseas contingency operations" brings the sum to $663.8 billion.

When the budget was signed into law on October 28, 2009 the final size of the Department of Defense's budget was $680 billion, $16 billion more than Obama had requested. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expected an additional supplemental spending bill, possibly in the range of $4050 billion, by the Spring of 2010 in order to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense-related expenditures outside of the Department of Defense constitute between $216 billion and $361 billion in additional spending, bringing the total for defense spending to between $880 billion and $1.03 trillion in fiscal year 2010.
Old 02-23-2010, 07:36 PM bobsmith is offline  
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Gibonius
 
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Looks better, but I'd still like to see interstate competition and tort reform on top of this.

Tort reform is a talking point, not really a real factor in health care costs. As a case study, Texas enacted rather strict tort reform some years back and has seen no decrease in costs and continued increases at the same rate as the rest of the country. It's a political ploy.

Interstate competition is addressed in the bill. Companies can sell across state lines, but they'll be required to meet minimum federally set standards. This is the best of both worlds. Interstate competition as proposed by most Republicans these days is just a smokescreen for letting insurance companies sell shittier plans to people by dodging local state regulations, but this bill would mitigate that problem.
Old 02-23-2010, 07:55 PM Gibonius is offline  
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BigFuzzyArchon
 
 
why not give unlimited free health care to everyone if we are borrowing the money to pay for it all from china? I think its just a scam having any debate on health care because we don't have the money to pay for it anyways. It is just all irrelevant in the grand scheme. It is all meant for people to stay divided on more issues.
Old 02-23-2010, 10:17 PM BigFuzzyArchon is offline  
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Gibonius
 
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Originally Posted by BigFuzzyArchon View Post
why not give unlimited free health care to everyone if we are borrowing the money to pay for it all from china? I think its just a scam having any debate on health care because we don't have the money to pay for it anyways. It is just all irrelevant in the grand scheme. It is all meant for people to stay divided on more issues.

If you'd actually at least read the Cliffs of the bill you might realize how stupid and pointless your commentary is. It's not proposing to spend any extra money on health care, the whole point is to save money.
Old 02-24-2010, 06:15 AM Gibonius is offline  
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MooK
 
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Points, I believe that matter the most:
  • All plans must meet a minimum standard. All patients would have access, including those with pre-existing conditions. Companies that charge exorbitant rates to those with PECs will be penalized by an independent board.
  • Give doctors incentives for actually curing diseases, instead of a strict per procedure payment.
  • Add various consumer protections so insurance companies cannot arbitrarily drop sick/injured customers.
I'd like to know the definition of "wealthier retirees," because penalizing someone for properly saving is never a good thing.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:20 AM MooK is offline  
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Rapier
 
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Originally Posted by BigFuzzyArchon View Post
we need to cut spending overseas first. our country is on the verge of collapsing and having a dollar crisis and we continue to spend over a trillion dollars ever year funding our wars and operating military bases in over 140 countries
Get your facts straight.

Total defense spending (including the costs of fighting our "overseas contingency operations") came to 651 billion dollars. 505 for general DOD spending, 146 for overseas contingency operations. That equates to roughly 4.5% of GDP and 18% of all Federal spending.

Look, the health bill is simply trying too much. We're adding regulation on top of more regulation. Health care is already the most regulated sector of the economy. Making it more complex won't drive down costs. We need to deregulate.

Actually, there is one piece of regulation that would be beneficial. A Federal law that says individuals can buy insurance plans across state lines would help immensely. The average family in Massachusetts spends 7.5k per year for health insurance. The average family in Georgia spends 3k.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:15 AM Rapier is offline  
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Gibonius
 
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Originally Posted by MooK View Post
I'd like to know the definition of "wealthier retirees," because penalizing someone for properly saving is never a good thing.

You can read the specifics in the link I posted.

There's some logic to it though. It doesn't make a lot of sense to hand out government money to ALL seniors, regardless of whether or not they actually need it. We don't give out food stamps to everyone, why should we do the same with medical care?
Old 02-24-2010, 09:13 AM Gibonius is offline  
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Gibonius
 
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Look, the health bill is simply trying too much. We're adding regulation on top of more regulation. Health care is already the most regulated sector of the economy. Making it more complex won't drive down costs. We need to deregulate.
The chief cost saving from deregulation would be from insurance companies denying people care. Allowing more Americans to get fucked when they need medical care is not a goal we should be shooting for.
Quote:
Actually, there is one piece of regulation that would be beneficial. A Federal law that says individuals can buy insurance plans across state lines would help immensely. The average family in Massachusetts spends 7.5k per year for health insurance. The average family in Georgia spends 3k.
Without consistent nation-wide regulation, this becomes an excuse to lower regulation and fuck more people. Companies will just move to the states with the least consumer protection and dodge other state's regulations. This is not a good thing.

The reason people pay more for insurance in Massachusetts is because health care is more expensive in Massachusetts, not because of a lack of competition among insurers. An insurer from Georgia is still going to have to pay Massachusetts rates for care, and will have to charge more to cover that. If anything it would result in rates going up for Georgia customers to cover the Mass. customers.

The system needs to be fixed at the provider level to start realizing any real cost savings.

Besides, you can already buy insurance plans across state lines, they just need to meet local regulations. There are a number of national health insurance companies. That whole line of thinking is a corporate byline, so uh, congrats on sucking that one down.
Old 02-24-2010, 09:20 AM Gibonius is offline  
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Frenetic
 
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Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post
Besides, you can already buy insurance plans across state lines, they just need to meet local regulations. There are a number of national health insurance companies. That whole line of thinking is a corporate byline, so uh, congrats on sucking that one down.

This is definitely the case for me. I needed to go to a family doctor two days ago, and I've been living in Indiana for about a year. I used my Blue Cross Blue Shield plan I bought in Pennsylvania with no problems.
Old 02-24-2010, 12:12 PM Frenetic is offline  
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Rapier
 
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The chief cost saving from deregulation would be from insurance companies denying people care. Allowing more Americans to get fucked when they need medical care is not a goal we should be shooting for.
Deregulation would allow more risk-adjusted pricing rather than a combination of that and government mandate.

For those with expensive preexisting conditions and can't afford treatment, technically stuff like that isn't covered under "health insurance" because they already have it and the prognosis is known to be expensive. If you want to "cover" these people, call it what it is: a subsidy. And don't pretend it will cut costs.

Quote:
Without consistent nation-wide regulation, this becomes an excuse to lower regulation and fuck more people. Companies will just move to the states with the least consumer protection and dodge other state's regulations. This is not a good thing.

The reason people pay more for insurance in Massachusetts is because health care is more expensive in Massachusetts, not because of a lack of competition among insurers. An insurer from Georgia is still going to have to pay Massachusetts rates for care, and will have to charge more to cover that. If anything it would result in rates going up for Georgia customers to cover the Mass. customers.
When Governor Romney instituted "health reform" in Massachusetts, costs exploded, which is why health care is so expensive in MA right now. When I said "buy insurance across state lines", I mean being able to buy policies that don't conform to state guidelines. Some states are ridiculous and mandate chiropractors be covered by insurance and other stupid regulations that do nothing but drive up costs.

Right now, health insurance is mainly regulated at the state level, and in some states, it's cheaper than in others. That being said, it probably makes more sense to try and make reform at the state level rather than the Federal.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:40 PM Rapier is offline  
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Bukkakeboy
 
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I'm impressed.

Too bad shits too partisan for any one decent bill footed by one party to get through unmangled
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:00 AM Bukkakeboy is offline  
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