Healthcare reform... a discussion of sorts

The hot-button issue of the moment is healthcare reform... If you didn't know that then you are likely not reading this right now. While the president spoke last night, I was watching basketball and after that Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Not to be a total ass or anything, but out of genuine curiosity to fuel whether or not I should even be excited about this -- and if so how excited should I be... As presented, the question was...

"Could someone explain to me what specifically this 'healthcare reform' will bring? And I request that it be done without the backloading of opinion, be they positive or negative, I want the meat and potatoes of this one and none of the bullsh*t."


Again, I do not edit the content of the responses, straightup copy/paste... The only thing I fix is the use of quotation marks. This discussion will be a little different from prior "Question of the Days," in that I will not be using the responses that do not specifically address the question, as in the ones with "yeah, I wanted to know that too," or "I will check that out," etc... This one is but an information share, no debate on this one.


First respondent was Jamal, who actually works for an insurance company:
"mainly, getting rid of pre existing conditions, lifetime maximums for healthcare, and being able to fire customers. oh yeah, and not losing healthcare when you leave a job."

Next would be Roger, with...
"Also temp coverage for alot of people in the interim, but im not exactly sure on the extent. Also, children can be covered till 26 years of age on their parents plans if they lack. And also an exec. order that said funds set aside to jumpstart this thing wont go in any shape or form toward abortions. There is another draft FULL of amendments though, so id like to see what changes, although i think is the longer term implementations and possibly the 2014 insurance mandate for all americans that may be adjusted in that version?."


Once here at work, Jamal provided a link to follow up and continue the conversation, as I can do when people aren't yelling at me, explaining some of the immediate benefits. For those who won't be bothered to click the link, the list is...
  • Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;

  • Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans;

  • Lower seniors' prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole;

  • Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;

  • Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans;

  • Require plans to cover an enrollee's dependent children until age 26;

  • Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;

  • Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;

  • Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs.


After that would be Var, with...
"Insurance companies won't be able to turn you down if you have a pre existing condition. They will be paying out a lot more because there will be no cap on payouts, and there will be a lot more sick people covered. On the flip side, they will be getting a lot more business because it will be mandatory to have health care by 2014. The increased customer base will supposedly pay for the losses the companies will see from higher payouts. I don't know if this thing is going to work, but I'm hoping for the best. All we have to realize is that everyone gets health care in the USA. Our tax money just subsidizes the cost so we may as well pay for it upfront."

Re-up for the people who wouldn't see a 6:50am status update from me and the first respondent was Wayne, with...
"free insurance, higher taxes. holla back. "


And Var came back with one more...
"What it's 'supposed' to do is
1- Not allow insurance companies to deny anyone coverage for pre existing conditions
2- Not allow insurance companies to put a maximum lifetime limit dollarwise on coverage
3- Force every American to purchase health care by 2014
4- Supposedly cut down on the overall deficit by not having uninsured people, who cost more to treat.

Those are the meat and potatoes that I know of. "

Then my good friend Ace, with...
"In a very quick nutshell: the 30+M Americans now living without healthcare will now have access to it, even if the gov't has to sponsor it, but not just thru Medicaid. There are many provisions that require certain criteria be met.....JUST LIKE most insurance companies already have. The $ is saved in part when people who are normally often sick visit hospitals less and less, and in the spirit of capitalism, more competition = lower costs. Advantage=Black Man."


You know what?
Until I see tangible results or more complete/detailed information on specifically what is to take place, I do not have an opinion, lest people might be made to hate my guts for a difference of opinion, and we just can't have that, can we? I do think, though, that my specific request for the cheerleading and the blind vitriolic rage to be held back is what kept the number of responses low. Either that or the people to whom the question was posed know just as little as I do. We'll just call it some of both.

As I wait through the day for more solicited information, I found an article on MSNBC that discusses just what it will mean.
[link]
and [link]
Still, for all it is worth, it seems to me that all anyone has available at this point is speculation and opinion, usually falling in line with their love or hate for the current President. Since I have no vested loyalties, I am cool waiting on him to do something great, with the understanding that healthcare is his magnum opus. Saying that, the short term (like before November 2012) success of this WILL determine his reelection. If he fucks this one up, he might not even be the Democratic nominee.
I will let him tender his attempt at being great.
Not to mention you can see how your rep voted here.


At this point, I will only opine that I like how it appears that something is being done for the greater good of the people in general. I know not enough about the details even yet as to how this will effect me, though. What I DO know is that something needs to be done about the general competence of the patient-facing portion of the industry, in fact I talked about it before.
You know, since everything is absolutely about me and all.


[Phlip note - if you see a name that is a link, it will take you to their blog/website, be aware that some of my friends are into shit that others of my friends are not]
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