Snowe Strikes Again, Universal Underinsurance

The cost of securing the support of one unneeded Republicans senator keeps growing. To add to the list of other terrible ideas that Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is urging be part of health care reform, here is a new one courtesy an interview with Ezra Klein.
What are your personal concerns going forward?

I’m still struggling with affordability. The Congressional Budget Office has produced charts showing that the American people will achieve savings, but we have to make sure that is the case. Just thinking out loud here, maybe you make the “young invincible plans” more available to people, or bring down the bronze plans to 60 percent [of expected actuarial value].
This is probably the single worst way to deal with the issue of “affordability.” Instead of providing everyone with affordable, quality health insurance, her solution is to provide people with affordable, high deductible, worthless junk insurance.

In the aggregate this will not make health care more affordable on average for Americans. It will just allow people to pay less in premiums. Unfortunately, millions of Americans will still be driven into medical bankruptcy because the “insurance” they have does not fully cover their medical needs. Regular people can't afford the roughly $12,000 yearly in-network out of pocket cap they'll have to pay if they had a serious medical problem. This is the kind of “solution” that will hit the people who most need help.

What Snowe does not want is universal health care; she simply wants to cheaply provide people something labeled “health insurance.” Letting people buy “insurance” that still does not protect them from finance ruin is not just terrible policy, but also immoral. Defining down coverage until it is practically meaningless is not the solution to the problem of affordability. Real reform that actually drives down cost (like drug re-importation, high minimum medical loss ratios, or a robust public option) is how to really help people, not just pretend you did.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...