As most everyone knows, the Senate and House of Representatives passed healthcare legislation that dramatically affects how health-care is delivered in the United States. The Senate version of the bill is “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” while the House of Representatives is “The Affordable Health Care for America Act.” You will need to set aside time – much time – to read these lengthy 2000 page (each) documents. You might even want to have an attorney handy to decipher these sometimes incomprehensible documents. Check the end of this article for links to download a PDF of each bill and to read my first public comments.
I have serious doubts that these new legislative bills will reduce or even limit healthcare costs: more beneficiaries are added to the already bankrupt Medicare/Medicaid system, most income generating Americans will pay higher taxes, Americans with private health insurance will subsidize government healthcare, and private health insurers will be forced to abandon preexisting medical exclusions and plan payout limits.
Where are the savings? I see only higher taxes and more expensive healthcare premiums. Private insurers are likely to be driven out of business within a few years which will force all American citizens into a government run, single provider system with no competitors. Keep in mind too that although actual healthcare delivery and “benefits” do not start for many years, federal tax increases start immediately.
Moreover, Congress already bankrupted the existing Medicare/Medicaid program. Why give the government even more control over the healthcare system given their colossal mismanagement of Medicare/Medicare? In short, it seems completely illogical to trust the federal government to finance, administer, and direct public health and wellness based on previous behavior (i.e., the best predictor of future behavior).
I can only hope for the best because this new healthcare legislation has the potential to, at minimum, consume a majority of U.S. financial resources and federal/state budgets, and, at worst, outright bankrupt the country (with acknowledgment that the U.S. may already be bankrupt given its 13 trillion dollar debt).
For those interested in the recently passed “reconciliation bill” to H.R. 3590, visit The Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R.4872).