Despite promise by supporters of the House healthcare reform bill (HR 3962) it fails to accomplish several important goals:
1. No universal health care coverage
18 million people will not be covered.
2. Choice will be limited
If you don’t like your private insurance, you will NOT be able to leave it to go to the exchange where the costs will conceivably be lower.
3. It will cost businesses more
Coverage is mandated and employers will pay taxes of 8% per employee to which that they do not provide health insurance. Will it entice employers to cut their workforce to save money?
4. It will cost individuals more
For those who are not covered by their employer and who can afford to pay health insurance premiums, they will not be able to deduct their costs. This will effectively cost them more in taxes because it will be considered as income.
5. Expansion of Medicaid/CHIP will not translate into access
Most states are struggling to pay for the existing Medicaid enrollees. 17 million people are currently eligible for Medicaid but are not receiving the benefits. In addition to a lack of state funds, there is also the problem of a lack of physicians who take Medicaid. This will likely get worse when millions of people from Medicaid and the child healthcare program (CHIP) are added.
6. Limited control of the high cost of prescription drugs
At the beginning of the debate, the pharmaceutical companies were given a gift. The government agreed not to re-import cheaper drugs from places like Canada. In addition, the pharmaceutical companies only agreed to give a 2% discount off their generic drugs for 10 years. This discount does not apply to the more expensive brand-name drugs.
7. The Cost of the bill is seriously underestimated
The cost of physician reimbursements for Medicare has been stripped out of the bill. This means that approximately 250 billion dollars in costs have been removed by creative accounting.
8. The CBO estimate of cost saving is only partially true
The CBO estimates that the health care reform as set forth in HR 3962 after 10 years will actually cost tax payers and will contribute to the deficit. The unfortunate thing is that the consequences of this bill will not be fully realized until 2013 well after elections.