Friday, June 26, 2009

DC Talk

No, not the Christian rock band. Washington speak.

According to the Washington Post, the Senate is close to rolling out their version of Health Care Reform 101.

Here is what they propose, in Washington speak, and a translation for the rest of us.

a $1 trillion health-care bill that would be fully funded by tax increases, Medicare cuts and new penalties for employers who do not offer health insurance.
This bill will save or create health insurance by creating new taxes. Medicare beneficiaries will pay more for their benefit and have more out of pocket for medical care.

Medical providers will have to save or create more income from sources other than Medicare since their fee structure for treating Medicare patients will be reduced.

Finally, this health care reform bill will save or create new penalties for employers who refuse to toe the line and recognize their patriotic duty of offering health insurance. These penalties will create new opportunities for workers to seek jobs with other employers after losing their job due to unpatriotic employers who resist the change you can believe in.

Customers of these firms who agree to save or create the money to fund the cost of health insurance that is passed on as well as those firms who resist and pay the fine, will have to save or create new dollars to pay for the goods and services of these employers.

the Finance Committee had reduced the overall cost of its bill by cutting subsidy levels for uninsured people.
Those who are uninsured will have to save or create more income on their own to pay for this new health insurance.

the financing package includes substantial reductions in future spending on Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries alike will be called upon to save or create more income just to maintain their level of care.

In addition to trimming payments to hospitals and other providers, the panel is considering empowering an existing federal agency, known as MedPAC, to monitor Medicare costs and make adjustments
MedPAC will be asked to save or create new ways to limit the amount of care provided to those on Medicare, Medicaid (including SCHIP) and those who opt for the new Public Plan Option.

The package also is expected to include just over $300 billion in new taxes on health insurance benefits that millions get from their employers.
Those who currently have a job, and have health insurance from patriotic employers, will be asked to pay additional taxes so we can, as a nation, save or create millions of new patients in this Great Society II.

A final major element of the financing package is a new penalty for employers who do not offer health insurance. One option under discussion is a "free rider" provision that would require businesses to help finance coverage for workers who receive it elsewhere, such as through Medicaid or other government programs.
Employers who refuse to do their patriotic duty will be required to save or create new ways to pay for the cost of workers (and presumably their dependents) who opt for Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP or other government programs.

Coverage provisions under committee consideration include an expansion of Medicaid; extensive insurance reforms, including a ban on denying coverage for preexisting conditions; and a new national insurance entity, either a co-op or something run by the government. Senators also are weighing an individual mandate to buy insurance.

In an effort to save or create new Medicaid participants, Congress is exploring ways to make more people eligible for this program.

No word on how they will address the shortage of docs willing to treat Medicaid patients.

Insurance reforms will require health insurance carriers to cover all existing medical conditions. Policyholders will have to save or create new ways to pay for the much higher premiums.

Individuals who think they cannot afford to buy insurance, will have to find new ways to save or create the money to pay for their newly acquired insurance.

If you would like to refer to this guide in the future, feel free to save or create a copy for personal use.
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