Health Policy Insights
December 17, 2009
by John Goodman
A Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) is the percentage of premium dollars an insurer spends on claims as opposed to administrative costs and other expenses. According to news reports, a proposal from Senator Rockefeller and others would limit MLRs to 90%. The Reid bill already requires insurers to issue rebates to enrollees on a pro rata basis if its medical loss ratio falls below 80% or lower for the individual and small-group markets or 85% or lower for the large-group market.
However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that a 90% MLR would expand “the federal government’s regulatory role in the health insurance market so much that it would make such insurance an essentially governmental program, so that all transactions related to health insurance policies (even those with private companies) should be recorded as cash flows in the federal budget.” A similar ruling helped kill Hillary Clinton’s health reform proposal 15 years ago.
Donald Marron, former Acting Director of CBO, explains the issue at his blog.
Is This Fair?
Dec 17, 2009
by John Goodman
Focus on Jane, a primary breadwinner making $48,000 (in 2016) to support her family of four. If Jane is offered insurance by her employer that meets the test, she must accept it or pay a fine. That means Jane ends up paying for the entire cost of, say, a $14,100 policy, according to some economists. They say she pays the premiums out of pocket and the remainder indirectly because employers offer reduced paychecks to offset the cost of their share of health insurance.
Now, meet Julie, who also makes $48,000 and is not offered insurance at her job. Julie heads to the newly created exchange to purchase the same policy. But it costs her only $5,300. The rest – about $9,000 – comes from federal subsidies.
How Much Does Insurance Really Cost?
Dec 16, 2009
by Greg Scandlen
CNNMoney reports on a recent study by eHealthinsurance.com that found:
Half of individual policyholders paid $132 or less per month… According to the report, in 2009 the median non-group health insurance premium for an individual in the United States was $1,584 per year ($132 per month) and the average deductible was $2,326. Combined, annual premiums and deductibles account for approximately 7.7 percent of median household income for 2008 ($50,303) as reported by the US Census Bureau.
Now, if individuals buying their own insurance got the same tax break as employees get for employer-provided coverage and if there were a back-up mechanism for high-risk applicants, we might dramatically reduce the numbers of uninsured without any individual mandate.
Here are some alternatives to Obamacare:
National Center for Policy Analysis
Our friends at FreedomWorks, the National Center for Policy Analysis, and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste provide great services that enable you to communicate with your Congress Critters. If you are a doctor, go to Take Back Medicine.com, a project of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Health Action Network, an online site sponsored by WellPoint that brings together medical personnel, patients, and informed consumers, also makes it easy for you to communicate with your elected officials. Please take a few minutes to make your voice heard.
You can also sign up for Greg Scandlen’s weekly e-newsletter, Consumer Power Report, become a member of Consumers for Health Care Choices (CHCC), or become a donor to The Heartland Institute, the parent organization of CHCC. See Peter Ferrara’s recent Heartland Policy Study for the facts about ObamaCare, and The Heartland Institute’s Health Care Issue Suite for extensive background information about health care reform.
And if you think your taxes won’t be affected by Obamacare, you’re drinking Kool-Aid!
December 17, 2009 - Posted by Lisa | Agenda of the Left, Family, Fiscal (Ir)Responsibility, Life with Big Brother, Politics, Real Purpose of Govt., Wake Up, WordPress Political Blogs | CNNMoney, government-run, Harry Reid, healthcare, insurance, John Goodman, MLR, Rockefeller, Tea Party Patriots
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Romans 12:2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
John 14:27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
2 Chronicles 7:1414 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Elementary, dear Watson
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Samuel Adams“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." (1775 letter to Abigail)
"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood." (1765)
"One useless man is a shame, two is a law firm and three or more is a congress."
Walter E. Williams on Government
"At the heart of the American idea is the deep distrust and suspicion the founders of our nation had for government, distrust and suspicion not shared as much by today's Americans. Some of the founders' distrust is seen in our Constitution's language such as Congress shall not: abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, violate and deny. If the founders did not believe Congress would abuse our God-given rights, they would not have provided those protections. After all, one would not expect to find a Bill of Rights in Heaven; it would be an affront to God.
"Other founder distrust for government is found in the Constitution's separation of powers, checks and balances and the several anti-majoritarian provisions such as the Electoral College and the requirement that three-quarters of state legislatures ratify changes in the Constitution. The three branches of our federal government are no longer bound by the Constitution as the framers envisioned and what is worse is American ignorance and acceptance of such rogue behavior.
"Look at the current debate over government involvement in health, business bailouts and stimulus packages. The debate centers around questions as whether such involvement is a good idea or a bad idea and whether one program is more costly than another. Those questions are entirely irrelevant to what should be debated, namely: Is such government involvement in our lives permissible under the U.S. Constitution? That question is not part of the debate.
"The American people, along with our elected representatives, whether they're Republicans or Democrats, care less about what is and what is not permissible under our Constitution. They think Congress has the right to do anything upon which they can secure a majority vote, whether they have the constitutional or moral authority to do so or not."
--George Mason economics professor
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