Baucus's Health Care Plan Is Worse Than The Health Insurance Industry's Plan

Ezra Klein at the Washingon Post released a health care reform draft proposal from the Senate Finance Committee. The plan is not just bad -- it is worse than I would have ever imagined it could be. Just how bad is Senator Baucus's draft proposal? It is worse than the proposal put forward by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). That is correct -- the health insurance industry wrote a better proposal than the Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee.

For the most part Baucus's proposal is almost identical to that of the AHIP lobby. Both do not include a public option and would offer a bare bones insurance plan. Both have an individual mandates, a form of community rating, and some type of health insurance exchange. Both would also limit out-of-pocket cost based on the current HSA standard. In the few places the proposals differ, Baucus's proposal is in fact less generous than the AHIP.

Paying for private insurance

Baucus Proposal – People making below 300% of the federal poverty level (FPL) would get subsidies to help buy insurance. If you make more than $31,500 you are on your own for the full cost of insurance.

AHIP Proposal – People making below 400% of the FPL would get subsidies to help buy insurance. Also everyone buying private insurance would get to deduct the full cost of their plan.

Medicaid Eligibility

Baucus Proposal
– Every adult below 100% of the FPL would be eligible for Medicaid. Children below 133% of FDL would be eligible.

AHIP Proposal – Every adult below 100% of the FPL would be eligible for Medicaid. Children below 300% of FDL would be eligible.

The conclusion is simple. To claim that the health care reform plan put forward by the Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee was written by health industry lobbyists would be an insult to the lobbyists. Their plan was slightly better and did more to help average Americans buy health insurance.

7 comments:

problembear said...

has anyone checked max baucus's back to see where chuck grassley's hand is inserted? good god.

i cannot tell you how ashamed i am to call max my senator....

eight long years of hell and our health care future is controlled by montana medi-max-millions and his corporate bribers...

i can't stand it...i just can't stand it..

Leslie H said...

And I'm betting the Insurance company's still retain the "right" to deny/delay/dickaroundwith your claims and dump you when they've had enough of paying for your chronic ailment that takes revenue off their bottom line.

Anonymous said...

The Senate Committee, run by Democrats, has shown with their votes that Insurance Company profits come before their fellow American's health. They express concern about the cost of health care, but by forcing Americans to use only Private health care insurance companies the Senate Democrats add to the costs of this care by making Americans pay the profits of the health care industry which is a large chunk of the health care dollar. A public health care plan, axed by Senate Democrats, could have taken care of Americans without having to pay any profit- thus being cheaper.

Up till now, the American Health Insurance Companies have not cared about the health of the 50 million Americans with no health insurance. And nowt the Democrats show they are more concerned about the Insurance Giants financial health, than about American's physical and mental health. The weak will spend another day, month, year, until death quietly takes them waiting for medical care

The Insurance Companies will have another profitable year.

And it is business as usual in the United States of America. Thanks to a few Democrats who took the 30 Pieces of Silver from the Insurance Company Giants.

Mike

Jeff said...

John,
Do you see any problems related to family structure? My sense is that there are.
For example, two single adults making $32,400 each qualify for two tax credits but if they marry, they lose both credits.
Intuitively, I suspect there are all kinds of issues like this based on changes in number of children, whether a family has one or two employees, marital status, etc.

Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

What about families like mine? My husband works at a small factory. Makes a little over poverty. I'm out of work. We can't afford even 5 percent of his salary to go for health insurance. Right now, my kids are covered by kidcare and he gets his insurance for free. I'm uninured. But we can barely pay our bills and put food on the table. This is going to harm us, not help us.

Jeff said...

Anonymous,
You might actually do well. The Senate Finance Committee outline offers a tax credit (amount unknown) to any family below 300% of the federal poverty level OR medicare if you're closer to the fpl (which i think would be you).
The people that will really be hurt are the very large number of people who don't qualify for the tax credit (which is the only help available) but struggle to make ends meet. For a family of three, that's about $55,000/year, I think. People who can't readily cut expenses (i.e. because of significant debt) or increase their income (i.e. stay at home parents with lower earning potential and limited daycare options) will probably have the toughest time--they may get a hardship exemption from the mandate to buy insurance but maybe not and they'd still be without affordable coverage.

Jeff

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