A Few Thoughts on HR3200 (part one of however many it takes to get through this bill)

So I have decided to forgo ironing this afternoon and begin reading:
H.R.3200 - America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

I just figure I'll jot down my thoughts as they come. Blogging is, after all, the very essence of vanity publishing, is it not? Of course, I may be setting myself up to be ratted out, so read this disclaimer:

The following is not intended to be information, simply commentary. Any information should be garnered from the source, a link to which has been provided. Please don't rat me out!

1) I notice that none of these measures takes effect until 2013, which beg the question: why such a hurry to pass this legislation?

2) Sec 113 (a) sets new rating rules. Only age, area, and family enrollment may be used to determine rate classes. I think that means Jon's rate would increase, since men typically pay less for health coverage (though more for life insurance).

3) Sec 116 (a) seems to set a limit on profits earned by benefits providers (they aren't really insurance companies, but this means Sierra, BC&BS, et al.). If profits exceed this limit,premium rebates must be extended. I wonder, will there be a "rainy day fund" established? Would that not be more fiscally responsible? After all, that's the goal, right?

4) Sec 121 (c) Sounds good to me. I wonder what "clinical appropriateness" REALLY means and who determines this
"clinical appropriateness" for us, though. I have read enough bureaucratic crud to know better than to presume a phrase means what it sounds like.

5) Sec 122 (b) Lists minimum coverage requirements, which now includes maternity care and considers children to be 21 years of age or younger. Now this is, it is my understanding, the minimum coverage requirement for ALL plans after the grandfathering period (5 years).

I am going to be very unpopular here, but I don't think that maternity care coverage(routine care, not complications) should be required as a minimum standard. I know that my current plan covers this, but I consider that to be a lovely bonus, not a minimum. When we were shopping for individual plans, most covered only complications, not routine expenses.

6) Sec 122 (c) Interesting that there is to be no cost-sharing for preventative care. I personally think that something provided for free loses its value. While I don't want someone to miss something crucial like a cancer screening because of cost, I do think that it is reasonable to expect people to claim some financial responsibility to their health. Getting my annual Pap smear is like getting the oil changed in my car-- a necessary evil, but my responsibility nonetheless.

I think the out-of-pocket limits are interesting. I suppose this is to keep younger, healthier people from choosing cheaper plans with higher limits and skewing the risk pool? Interesting. I guess life has to be fair, after all. (RHOS)

As to the actuarial values-- I admit to not being smart enough to completely understand this. I'd wager most of the fine men and women voting on this bill aren't either.

7) Sec 123 Lays out the new
Health Benefits Advisory Committee and its responsibilities. Basically, appointed by the POTUS and GAO for three year terms. There must be one practicing physician on the board. Only one? Truly?

Ok, that's enough for today. I do need to at least get some sort of evening meal on the table. It's going to be a long week.


Anonymous said…
No matter what others say, I think it is still interesting and useful maybe necessary to improve some minor things

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