Sunday, December 20, 2009

Truest statement of the week

Yes, the Senate plan would extend coverage to the uninsured--by forcing them to buy policies, whether they can afford them or not. Millions of people will have to buy high-premium, low-quality insurance through private health insurance exchanges, or be forced to pay a penalty. Those plans won't cover abortions, if a handful of right-wing Democrats and Republican conservatives have their way.
And remember President Barack Obama's vow to prevent insurance companies from discriminating against individuals with preexisting conditions? That's in the proposed bill--but if you've got such a condition, you could pay up to 50 percent more for your coverage. Ditto for older people, who could pay premiums up to three times higher than younger people.
If you're lucky enough to have a high-quality employer-sponsored insurance plan, you can keep it if you want, as Obama often says. But you'll pay for it, big-time. The Senate has taken Obama's plan to tax "Cadillac" health insurance plans--typically those won by union members over decades--even further, so now more modest "Chevy" plans will be taxed, too.

-- Lee Sustar, "The Senate's health care fiasco" (US Socialist Worker).
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