Baucus writes up his health bill proposal

Baucus' bill is going to be a real mess for the insurance industry.

one feature that might help satisfy the more liberal members of the committee is that insurance companies could face a separate new fee to help pay for the plan. It would be determined based on market share, and could raise $6 billion a year starting in 2010, the sources said. . . .

And taxing private insurance will increase insurance coverage?

the Baucus plan would create transparency measures that make it easier for consumers to compare information and pricing, and require insurers to release details on their administrative costs. “If insurance companies pass this fee along to customers, they run the risk of losing out in a newly competitive environment,” according to a source familiar with the plan. . . .

Could someone please explain the reasoning here? Taxes can't get passed on to customers because of the "newly competitive environment"? If the demand curve is perfectly elastic, that would happen, but does this seem at all plausible?

It would also create a health insurance exchange, prohibit insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions . . . .

If insurance is not mandatory for everyone, this will eliminate insurance. If insurance is mandatory, this will eliminate anything above the minimum level of insurance.

"change the health care delivery system by rewarding doctors for quality of care rather than the quantity of services. . . . "

If this is such a great idea, why don't insurance companies offer it?

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Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

It is so simple to crucify a company in order to appease an public that is unknowing of the simple economics of taxing any entity that provides a 'service' to the public.

Hmmmmm, perchance I have failed to grasp whom is ripping off whom.

Baucus, or the insurance company who may have a chance of taking advantage of this bill in order to have some advantage inserted into an amended bill.

Special interest groups and politicians. A great combo, eh?

9/07/2009 7:47 PM  
Blogger Harry Schell said...

Baucus' plan cannot pay for itself, and it is criminal for the solons in DC not to deal with current messes (FICA, Medicare, Medicaid, Frannie, Freddie and soon-to-be FHA) before taking on more obligations for the taxpayer.

And his plan penalizes a company for giving its employees "Cadillac" benefits? Will the health plans for senators and congressmen also take a hit?

The solons in DC need to be accountable in more ways than just elections. If FICA and a 401k is good enough for the commoners, then The High and Mighty can sign on.

And so on.

Make these people live with the results of their "work". If they are so smart, so caring, we can be equally smart and caring, and share our largesse with them. It's only fair.

9/07/2009 8:34 PM  
Blogger AnonymousDoe said...

The current private health insurance system of course gets lavish government subsidies. Health care insurance premiums for many people in the U.S. are paid by their employers. Employees pay no taxes on this income. Employers pay no taxes on this money either because it is a business expense. I suspect that most folks don't even know how much health insurance even costs.

To get the government out of the health insurance business altogether, a good place to start is to have employer-paid health insurance premiums show up on monthly pay checks as a line item that is treated like regular income.

9/08/2009 9:38 AM  

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