Health Insurance Bill is mandatory unfair coverage

December 22, 2009

So this bill takes away funding from medicare, harms state regulation of health insurance, lets insurers charge people already covered higher rates for their pre-existing conditions, lets them charge up to 4 times higher based on age and even more for some conditions, and they can still drop people based on how they filled out their lengthy and obscure forms. It also makes it mandatory to buy such policies. So its a triple win by the insurance industry. Weaker state regulation, weaker protection for consumers and consumers have to buy it.

http://rawstory.com/2009/12/nurses-health-bill-crisis-worse/

==All below is excerpt from their statement

http://www.calnurses.org/media-center/in-the-news/2009/december/nation-s-largest-rn-organization-says-healthcare-bill-cedes-too-much-to-insurance-industry.html

By National Nurses United

December 21, 2009

The 150,000 member National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in the U.S., today criticized the healthcare bill now advancing in the U.S. Senate saying it is deeply flawed and grants too much power to the giant insurers.

NNU cited ten significant problems in the legislation, noting many of the same flaws also exist in the House version and are likely to remain in the bill that emerges from the House-Senate reconciliation process:

  1. The individual mandate forcing all those without coverage to buy private insurance, with insufficient cost controls on skyrocketing premiums and other insurance costs.
  2. No challenge to insurance company monopolies, especially in the top 94 metropolitan areas where one or two companies dominate, severely limiting choice and competition.
  3. An affordability mirage. Congressional Budget Office estimates say a family of four with a household income of $54,000 would be expected to pay 17 percent of their income, $9,000, on healthcare exposing too many families to grave financial risk.
  4. The excise tax on comprehensive insurance plans which will encourage employers to reduce benefits, shift more costs to employees, promote proliferation of high-deductible plans, and lead to more self-rationing of care and medical bankruptcies, especially as more plans are subject to the tax every year due to the lack of adequate price controls. A Towers-Perrin survey in September found 30 percent of employers said they would reduce employment if their health costs go up, 86 percent said they’d pass the higher costs to their employees.
  5. Major loopholes in the insurance reforms that promise bans on exclusion for pre-existing conditions, and no cancellations for sickness. The loopholes include:
    • Provisions permitting insurers and companies to more than double charges to employees who fail “wellness” programs because they have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol readings, or other medical conditions.
    • Insurers are permitted to sell policies “across state lines”, exempting patient protections passed in other states. Insurers will thus set up in the least regulated states in a race to the bottom threatening public protections won by consumers in various states.
    • Insurers can charge four times more based on age plus more for certain conditions, and continue to use marketing techniques to cherry-pick healthier, less costly enrollees.
    • Insurers may continue to rescind policies for “fraud or intentional misrepresentation” – the main pretext insurance companies now use to cancel coverage.
  6. Minimal oversight on insurance denials of care; a report by the California Nurses Association/NNOC in September found that six of California’s largest insurers have rejected more than one-fifth of all claims since 2002.
  7. Inadequate limits on drug prices, especially after Senate rejection of an amendment, to protect a White House deal with pharmaceutical giants, allowing pharmacies and wholesalers to import lower-cost drugs

==end of excerpt from statement

Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner you should not be toadies of the insurance industry.  Vote against this bill.  Also Rep James Moran.  Vote against this bill.

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