Health Care Reform: The Congressional Legislation is FAR from the Ideal; Senate Bill is Deplorable

The current health-care legislation should be defeated. The United States should reconsider its approach to true health-care reform.

The movement from single payer (publicly administered health insurance) to “robust public option”, to “public option”, and finally to no “public option” has been extremely disappointing to me, to say the least. I frankly opposed the bill once single payer was no longer being considered. The society cannot rely on private health insurance companies as they charge more and provide less coverage to bolster executive salaries and their share price (the ultimate goal of a firm).

When the thought of legislation for health insurance began, the goals were to get the uninsured to become holders of health insurance. The private insurance companies, as stock corporations, owe fiduciary responsibilities to the shareholder, not to the insured. It is no wonder that the insurance system is not working properly. The system becomes more distorted when paying for the obscenely expensive corporate bureaucracy squeezes out payments for health care services.

President Barack Obama has kept an arms-length distance from the legislative disaster occurring on Capitol Hill. His speech was aspirational, but the lack of specifics and active legislative craftsmanship contributed directly to the chaos occurring on the Hill today.

In reviewing the Senate Bill, I discovered, to my chagrin, that one of the revenue offsets is to add the value of employer-paid health insurance to the employee’s gross income on the W-2 (H.R. 3590, section 9002). This is grossly unacceptable to have to pay more taxes for a Bill that would not change anything (It would be something else if it helped to get health insurance for those who need it).

Regardless of this, the President is eager to sign any bill to declare “victory.” It would be well a Pyrrhic one. The Senate Bill should be defeated. The President should return to the drawing board and come up with true health care reform proposal.

A defeat in this case would be stinging but necessary and educational.

Post script:

Senate Health Care Bill (H.R. 3590)

26 United States Code section 6051

House health care bill (H.R. 3962)

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3 thoughts on “Health Care Reform: The Congressional Legislation is FAR from the Ideal; Senate Bill is Deplorable

  1. Agree it should be defeated.

    In one breath you say that the company has a fiduciary resposibility to be as profitable as possible (for the shareholders) and then in the next you say they have an “obscenely expensive corporate bureaucracy squeezes out payments for health care services.” Wouldn’t a profit-seeking company be as efficent as possible? Most of the bureaucracy in healthcare is to deal with the regulatory structure imposed by government regulation.

    The biggest obscenely expensive bureaucracy around is the government itself.

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