| Wednesday April 16th 2014

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Five “freedoms” you’d lose in health care reform


Let’s look at this…

Freedom to choose what’s in your plan

I don’t choose that now, my employer does. Sure, I can go to another employer, but with so many people out of work that’s much easier said than done.

Freedom to be rewarded for healthy living, or pay your real costs

health care reformOnce again, I don’t have that now. If I’m healthy for 20 years and suddenly get sick with a major illness, they’re going to find a way to kick me off that plan, and then I’ll really be paying real costs.

Freedom to choose high-deductible coverage

Oh yeah! High deductibles. Oh, and just FYI, I don’t have this freedom now, as my employer chooses the plan and thus the deductibles.

Freedom to keep your existing plan

Once again, back to the employer. Our company seems to switch HMOs every year. Last year it was blue cross blue shield, this year medica. I didn’t have a damn say in the matter. So it doesn’t matter how much I like my current coverage, if my employer switches, I’m fucked.

Freedom to choose your doctors

I don’t have that right now. I have freedom to choose from a list of hospitals and clinics, and within that group, I can choose a doctor. Saying I can choose 1 out of 500 isn’t really much of a choice, now is it? And if I need a specialty doctor that isn’t in-network, I’m fucked, paying 80-90% of the costs.

In short, I call “ugh” on this entire article…

In promoting his health-care agenda, President Obama has repeatedly reassured Americans that they can keep their existing health plans — and that the benefits and access they prize will be enhanced through reform.

A close reading of the two main bills, one backed by Democrats in the House and the other issued by Sen. Edward Kennedy’s Health committee, contradict the President’s assurances. To be sure, it isn’t easy to comb through their 2,000 pages of tortured legal language. But page by page, the bills reveal a web of restrictions, fines, and mandates that would radically change your health-care coverage.

If you prize choosing your own cardiologist or urologist under your company’s Preferred Provider Organization plan (PPO), if your employer rewards your non-smoking, healthy lifestyle with reduced premiums, if you love the bargain Health Savings Account (HSA) that insures you just for the essentials, or if you simply take comfort in the freedom to spend your own money for a policy that covers the newest drugs and diagnostic tests — you may be shocked to learn that you could lose all of those good things under the rules proposed in the two bills that herald a health-care revolution.

In short, the Obama platform would mandate extremely full, expensive, and highly subsidized coverage — including a lot of benefits people would never pay for with their own money — but deliver it through a highly restrictive, HMO-style plan that will determine what care and tests you can and can’t have. It’s a revolution, all right, but in the wrong direction.

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