Monday, May 11, 2009

Health Care Reform

With much fanfare, Washington teleprompter's will be lauding the virtue's of health care reform and how it will save trillions; but what does that mean for those wanting to buy health insurance in Georgia (or any other place)?

Let's look at what is promised and how it will impact you, if at all. According to the Washington Post, here is how it shakes out.
leading groups in the health-care industry have offered to squeeze $2 trillion in savings from projected increases over the next decade

The groups aim to achieve the proposed savings by using new efficiencies to trim the rise in health-care costs by 1.5 percent a year
If you could trim your health care costs by 1.5% per year, how much would you save?

If you spend $5,000 per year on health insurance premiums + unreimbursed health care you would save $75 per year. If you spend $10,000 per year on health insurance premiums + unreimbursed health care you save $150.

So why does this sound like the campaign promises of tax cuts for 95% of Americans? How is that extra $33 per month in take home pay working for you?

For sure, saving anything is better than nothing at all but what do these trillion dollar savings really mean?
The White House projects that the savings after five years under the proposal would mean about $2,500 a year in lower health-care bills for a family of four. Within 10 years, the savings would "virtually eliminate" the nation's budget deficit.
Sure sounds good. Color me skeptical but this is coming from the same guy who promised to get a "shelter" dog for his kids.

And what about that stimulus package? The one that was supposed to create or save 4,000,000 jobs? Last time I checked there are still 500,000+ new jobs lost every month.
The trade groups making the pledge represent a broad spectrum of health-care interests, including the American Medical Association, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the American Hospital Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, and the Service Employees International Union.

"We are developing consensus proposals to reduce the rate of increase in future health and insurance costs through changes made in all sectors of the health system," the groups wrote to the president. "We are committed to taking action in private-public partnership to create a more stable and sustainable health care system."

The groups declined to elaborate on their proposal yesterday, saying they wanted to meet with Obama before doing so.
We have a plan, but we can't tell you what it is. At least not until we meet with the president.

"As restructuring takes hold and the population's health improves over the coming decade, we will do our part to achieve your administration's goal of decreasing by 1.5 percentage points the annual health care spending growth rate," the groups wrote.
As the nation's health improves . . .

According to the CDC, 60% of Americans are overweight or obese.
Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as "overweight" and "obesity,"* the risks for the following conditions also increases:1

Coronary heart disease
Type 2 diabetes
Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
Liver and Gallbladder disease
Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
*Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher; obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.
Is Washington going to put us on a diet? Sure the prez is a skinny guy, but he is also a smoker and tobacco use does nothing to promote a healthy lifestyle. This sounds like just another stupid government trick.

Sorry, but to me this just seems like more political rhetoric.
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