Home Opinion The pros and cons of the health care reform

The pros and cons of the health care reform

Health Care: “cookie cutter” reform which will raise taxes

The saying “at least I have my health” isn’t true for all citizens under the current health care system. There is no point in denying that we need to make changes to the current system. The President, House and Senate are all working to fix the issue; however, their bill, “Affordable Health Care for Americans Act,” is not the fix we are looking for.

The “Affordable Health care for Americans Act” will raise taxes. The bill would also expand Medicaid and would add more taxpayer-funded subsidies. Finally, the bill would allow for a government or public sponsored option, which would be cheaper than the private sector. The private sector would be unable to compete and would go out of business.

The Democrats have a good idea in the fact that they are trying to provide every American with affordable health insurance. The Democrats health care reform sets a “cookie cutter” outline for what is an “acceptable health care plan.”

In the House’s plan, 96 percent of Americans would have health insurance. To have a majority of Americans covered, businesses would be forced to provide coverage. Section 412 mandates that employers cover a minimum premium of 72.5 percent of individual coverage and 65 percent of family coverage. If the House’s bill goes through, many people who already have insurance through their jobs would actually be at risk to lose their coverage.

Businesses are strapped for cash as it is. If they are required to pay more on health insurance, it could mean layoffs. We already have a 10.2 percent unemployment rate, and we don’t need to continue raising it.

Making sure that every American has sufficient coverage sounds like a noble goal. The government plans to set an outline of what every basic plan should cover.

This should allow every person to receive medical attention. However, many people choose to have less coverage than the bill would allow. Americans don’t want to pay for coverage that would cover more than they need. If the government mandate creates an option that has more coverage, the private companies would be forced to charge more.

The government also plans to fine those who don’t have coverage. The fine could be cheaper than having coverage. If people aren’t able to choose their own coverage and don’t like how much they have to pay for coverage they don’t need, many people would choose not to be covered. They could save money by dropping their insurance all together.

The House’s bill is estimated to cost $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. We are in a recession — how can we afford to spend more money and in such large amounts? Health care costs will be paid for by more taxes. The government will charge a new income tax on single people who make more than $500,000 a year, and married coles who make more than $1 million. In addition, those who refuse to buy insurance will be charged a fine, which will be used to help pay for the bill. Both the House and the Senate plan to expand Medicaid. By expanding Medicaid the taxpayers will be paying for more people’s insurance. The plan to expand Medicaid would let people who are 100 to 150 percent at or below the poverty line to be eligible for Medicaid. If Medicaid is expanded, approximately 21 percent of the United States population would be on Medicaid, according to The Heritage Foundation.

The expansion of Medicare would increase taxes. It is unfair to keep asking hard working taxpayers to pay for more and more. Medicare is also one of the government’s lowest performing programs. It does not make sense to try and expand an already failing program.

“I will be the first to admit that it is irresponsible to just say no to the current health legislation without offering commonsense alternatives that will actually bring down the cost of health care,” said Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho’s second district. “For these reasons, I sport measures to make health care more affordable and accessible without further drowning our nation in debt.”

Rebekah Hat

Health Care to be a competition for insurance companies

The Health Care Overhaul Bill has many people in arms. The House barely passed the bill Saturday, Nov. 7 with a 220 to 215 vote, and the Senate’s bill will be debated starting this week. But why is this bill that will benefit Americans causing such a ruckus? Because Americans don’t understand it. The Health Care Overhaul Bill is designed to help the American people.

It is true that the new bill will give the government more power, but for once that power can be used to do some good in this country.

On Dec. 20, 2007 Nataline Sarkisyan, a 17 year-old Californian girl with a history of health problems, died from leukemia when her insurance company refused to pay for a liver transplant that many doctors believed could have saved her life. Her insurance company labeled her as a high risk patient and therefore had her removed from the liver transplant list. Before her death, Sakisyan had to pass two different livers because her insurance company had not yet approved the transplant.

The proposed health care plan hopes to ensure that cases such as Nataline Sarkisyan will not be repeated. The plan states that insurance companies will not be allowed to deny any coverage based on the current health or medical history of a patient. No matter how high of a risk they are, they will be covered.

Right now, there are about 47 million Americans who do not have health insurance according to recent Census records. The House’s draft states that the Health Care Overhaul Bill will provide insurance for 96 percent of Americans. Many people who do not currently have health insurance cannot afford health insurance. The government will offer subsidies for those that fall under the poverty level so that it is possible for them to also have coverage. Both the House bill and the Senate bill that is currently being drafted is said to have government accommodations for those unable to pay for health insurance.

Right now private health care companies have the ability to charge an arm and a leg for their services. They can raise premiums whenever they feel like it and they can choose what they want to cover, when they want to cover it. Almost everyone in America, whether they agree with the Health Care Reform Bill or not, agrees that something needs to be done to control the insurance companies and make a standard that consumers can depend on.

The public option of the bill would make the government a competitor with insurance companies forcing them to lower their premiums.

The government would also have the ability to negotiate with health care providers on rates. This would lower costs for families and businesses and give them more options.

Despite the argument that a government option would sink insurance companies, it would actually draw economic competition that could in the long run help struggling companies. 

The Health Care Overhaul Bill will be the medical and financial relief that many Americans have been waiting for.

What would a world be like where sick teenagers like Nataline Sarkisyan could get the help they need without worry of insurance denial, where every American had coverage for the unthinkable and where the monopolizing insurance companies could not use desperate American citizens as food to fill their every increasing gluttonous bellies?

American’s could once again feel the overwhelming peace and blessing of living in this great land, the land of opportunity.

Krystal Woodard

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