Saturday, November 21, 2009

Senate health care reform plan

The vote is going to happen in just a few minutes from now, but I think Sen. Franken makes a number of good points about the Senate plan.

If you have been sick, AT ALL, insurance companies can refuse you coverage or charge you crazy prices to cover you. Those without health insurance DO NOT get preventive care. Instead they hit up an emergency room when they can't hold out any longer. This is the least efficient and most expensive way to deliver care. It cost every insured family more than $1100 more per year to pay for those that do not have insurance.

In 2000-2007 (8-year period):

  • Americans saw their premiums double

  • More than 6-million Americans lost their insurance (from 39-million to nearly 46-million)

  • Insurance company profits rose 428%


Opposition to the changes in this bill are about profits.

Changes from the way things are done today:

  • Preventive services will be covered 100% by ALL insurance plans. This will detect chronic diseases early, head off cancers early, and put prevention as a priority

  • Health insurance company will have to offer rebates if more than 20% of premiums go toward profits, marketing or administration.

  • Health insurance companies will have to offer clear reports of where premium dollars go. If health care premiums increase, insurance companies will have to justify the increase.

  • Makes small-businesses able to compete in health coverage pricing that large-businesses currently get.


Minnesota's people are covered primarily by non-profit insurance (90%), and $0.91 for every dollar goes to health care. Their for-profit analogues often have less than $0.60 per dollar actually going to health care.  Again...this plan will have companies offer rebates when less than $0.80 per dollar to to health care.



I had to add this also...because it underscores something that the GOP keeps claiming is false. And that is that this plan is indeed paid for. Despite all the parts of the plan that they were NOT given credit for that will save money, they still have it paid for. So, it is hard to believe that there will be hundreds of billions of dollars in extra costs per year, as the Republicans keep claiming.