When Barry O signed HR 4872 Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation into law, a series of events were placed in motion that may never be reversed. Even if the Attorney General’s of the States are successful in their lawsuit or the Republicans manage to repeal the act of treason next session. That’s a heavy statement and let me lay out the facts that support it.
- The first is the most obvious – Individual Freedom. OUR federal government has essentially laid down the gauntlet on telling you how you will live your life. The determination of whether this infringement of liberty will wax or wane depends on the will of the American People to get off the couch and the courage for others to step forward to serve. This still can be reversed – hopefully.
- The second is also obvious – The waste of taxpayer dollars. From the costs the states are bearing that are legally challenging this act to the dollars being spent to implement and build the beast to make this act viable. That money is gone from our hip pockets and will never return. The question is how much we let them burn through before taking action.
- The third is not so obvious – The time deflected away from real items of need. What does this country need more right now: healthcare reform or an economy that can make people wealth? Since BO took office, our economy has dropped off a cliff and has yet to hit bottom. Healthcare is nothing about health, but power and control. It has also allowed the feds to stay away from the economy because they have been too “busy” with healthcare. Over a year into his presidency and now BO wants to address jobs. Or does he? Lets be honest, he wants us poor for power for his beast. That’s another topic for another day.
Even if time mounts a successful challenge to this bill, and I believe it will, certain items have changed that will never go back to the way they were. You can decide if that is good or bad. One thing that is gone forever and will change in the next year is how individuals buy health insurance. The days of buying from an agency or broker for individuals is rapidly coming to an end. Insurance carriers must take the steps to prepare for insurance exchanges as part of the requirement of HR 4872. As such, they are looking to the internet as a total platform from rating to issuance for individual health. Once they go down this road, they will not turn back. This means within a year you will not be able to buy from a broker. As a broker, I have inside information on this and it is an absolute truth. Now, I can already hear the Geico and Progressive fans say they like that. However, this is not car insurance and do you want total reliance on your healthcare coming via the net? Industry polls show 8 out of 10 want a broker to explain the difference in plans before they buy. Kiss that good-bye. Another casualty linked to the first is the ruin of individual health agents and their businesses. If they no longer have the option from the insurance company to sell and service it – they are out of business. I know agents in a panic now because they are going to lose their income in less than 12 months. That may not mean much to you, but these agents hire people and lease office space, as well as pay taxes. When you wipe them out, it has an impact.
What does true Healthcare Reform look like?
- Use existing Federal Law (The McCarren Ferguson Act) to eliminate the borders between states that prohibit all health insurance companies from competing in each state. This will increase competition within the State’s borders and will drive down premiums as well as granting Americans more options for companies and coverage.
- Allow states to then have uniform policy forms that carriers can adopt to enter and compete. Allow the forms to be increased or decreased in coverage to meet the needs and wallets of Americans.
- Amend the Federal Liability Risk Retention Act of 1986 to allow health insurance to be included in the allowable risks provided for under the Act. This will allow Risk Retention Groups and Risk Purchasing Groups to use the law of large numbers to decrease health insurance costs.
- Allow for the formation of High Risk Pools for insured’s that have high cost or terminal health issues. Companies writing in each State where these pools are formed will have participation requirements equal to their open market premium writings.
- Any successful reform requires Tort Reform. Balance must be in place that keeps doctors in business to help patients while protecting patients from doctors who abuse them.
There are additional ideas that can be implemented to have Healthcare Reform, but these are at the core of effective change.
I have faith that the American People will not stand for this bill and will continue to fight to outlaw or repeal it. Let’s just hope and pray we can minimize the costs and casualties of this act of treason until we can debate and implement true market-based reform.