Health Reform: What Happens TODAY
mikeoneil | 22 September, 2010 17:49
As of today (September 23, 2010),
four provisions of the healthcare reform become effective:
- As of today it is no longer legal for insurance
companies to deny kids healthcare coverage due to pre-existing
conditions. Until today, insurance
companies could refuse to cover you because your kid had a chronic (and
potentially expensive) condition.
Which of these things do the
opponents of what they call “Obamacare” think is a bad thing? Of course, nothing in life is free, but this
stuff was about as free as humanly possible.
The “cost”? Those without insurance will (in a couple of years) have to
purchase it, with subsidies for low income people. (None of these things would have bee possible
without making health insurance mandatory).
What happens right now when some
people choose not to buy insurance? They
avoid routine medical care. And
sometimes, as a result, they get infectious diseases that put all of at risk.
Or they get really sick and end up in hospital emergency rooms. When they can’t
pay, guess who picks up the tab? All of
us responsible enough to purchase health insurance, since hospitals put the
cost of uncompensated care in their rate bases.
Getting health insurance. You’d think the advocates of “Personal
Responsibility” would love it. But when
it is proposed by a President they don’t like, I guess the principle isn’t so
important after all.
Health reform is a very messy
compromise, reflecting the desire to appease lots of special interests who
would have screamed bloody murder if any element cost them a nickel. But this core tradeoff is good for everyone.
Michael J. O'Neil, PhD