Friday, December 29, 2006

More on Rell's Healthcare Plan

The Courant points out some of the flaws in Rell's healthcare proposal. Many of the flaws pointed out in the article mirror our own discussion on this topic.

Long Quote:

A key issue is that the plan would require relatively high deductibles, some high co-pays, and other cost-sharing by consumers. As a result, people with serious health problems could spend more than $2,000 a year on medical bills - on top of the premiums they would pay.

"It doesn't appear to be providing any sort of universal health care coverage," said Beverly Brakeman, director of the labor and community coalition called Citizens for Economic Opportunity. She's glad Rell is "belatedly entering the debate," but she says not everyone can afford $250 monthly premiums.

Michael Starkowski, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Social Services, said the state is striving to keep premiums "reasonable" while protecting benefits, in hopes of attracting enough healthy consumers to make the program viable.

If only sick people bought the Charter Oak policies, claims would be higher than expected and premiums wouldn't be as affordable, he said.

The other out-of-pocket costs for buyers, such as a $1,000 annual per-person deductible, would help keep the premiums down, state officials say.

But the plan is expensive and "as it's presented, doesn't get us where we need to go because there's no investment by the state," said Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, adding he's glad Rell is talking about health care.

Also, the $1,000 deductible and high co-pays "are not going to encourage people to seek medical treatment unless they're experiencing severe problems," Williams said.

I still don't trust any plan that doesn't involve legislation.

Levick, Diane "Flaws Seen in Healthcare Plan". Hartford Courant. 12/30/06


Anonymous said...

$3,000 premium
+$1,000 deductible
=$4,000 in patient costs before the plan picks up a penny

What a bargain!

Anonymous said...

It's just another insurance product with the state subsidizing the marketing.

Anonymous said...

The article points out that discussions with insurance companies regarding the feasiblity of this plan have been cursory at best. I would not at all be suprised that there are few takers at $250 per month for ages 19-65. Besides it would only be a matter of time before the private sector demanded the same deal.
It also appears, granted without all the details, that it's not that less rich than plans found in the private sector at higher costs.
If there is a movement to enrich the plan at taxpayer expense, I suspect that many in the private sector will object to paying for better insurance for the uninsured that they themselves can afford.
My guess is that Williams and the others quoted in the article really have no clue what the health insurance market is like in the real world.
Asking people to pay for something for someone else that they can't afford is politically dicey in and of itself. Add to this that the state currently pays $11,000/year per employee for health insurance (OPM Fiscal Accountability Report, 11/15/06)and there is the making of a large outcry as taxpayers realize they're paying the bills only to end up in last place on the food chain behind government workers and the unisured.

bluecoat said...

And instead of proposing to improve quality that would reduce the underlying medical costs while ending the negligent injuries and deaths too often brought to their their customers, the CT docs are lining up to take ask that victim's Constitutional rights be denied: according toCasper and DeToledo's blog