THE BLOG
11/16/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sen. Baucus Health Care Proposals Expands Burdens, Not Coverage, to Uninsured Americans

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus unveiled his own-pro-insurance industry health care plan that takes the breath out of President Obama’s health care reform proposals while offering subtle protections to the health care industry.

Sorry Senator, your plan pretends to address the needs of those who can't afford insurance but it only expands the burden to those Americans who are pushed out of coverage not because of costs but because of exclusions and limitations in coverage imposed arbitrarily by the health care industry.

The Baucus plan is designed to lift the burden of the poor and disenfranchised Americans off the shoulders of the health care insurance industry. It mandates that all families to purchase health insurance, or face fines. But it only seems to help low income families whose income is under 3 and 4 times the national poverty level, and only burdens those families who have been pushed out of proper coverage by health insurance industry prior condition exclusions.

That is not a plan.

Families earning up to 3 times the poverty level would receive tax credits, and families between 3 and 4 times the poverty level would have costs capped at 13 percent of their income.

The problem, of course, is that Baucus, who has his own Gold-Plated Government-funded health care plan, doesn’t address the real problem, that the health care insurance industry is limiting coverage for many families by excluding "prior existing conditions" and raising up the price for what little coverage is available. He says it will deny exclusions, but at what higher cost?

Most people can afford health care, but when an insurance provider denies coverage allegedly because of a “prior existing condition,” what’s the point of having health care insurance when it doesn’t cover the challenges you need.

The answer from Baucus is a a formula that dramatically increases costs for coverage.

The insurance industry is lobbying hard and spending our American tax dollars, which they generate from excessively outrageous health care profits and from government subsidies, doesn’t want the exclusions removed.

And, they are opposed to the so-called “Public Option” because they know most Americans burdened either by the high costs of private industry insurance or by the limitations on coverage stemming from exclusions will drop their existing coverage and take the public option of government health care plan.

The public option will not permit exclusions.

Let’s do the math.

Right now, a family of four can purchase health insurance for around $800 a month with a $2,500 deduction on health care and $500 deduction on prescriptions, which basically means they will be paying for most routine medical expenses out of their paychecks, not from the insurance company coverage.

For a typical family of four, the poverty level is $22,050 which means that 3 times that is $66,150. If you make less that $66,150, you will qualify for a tax subsidy.

If you make under 4 times the poverty level, or $88,200, the government will “cap” your costs at 13 percent of your income or $11,466 a year in insurance costs.

That means you will be paying more than what the insurance industry is already charging.

Does that solve the problem. The 30 million Americans (not including so-called illegal aliens who are in this country illegally) who don’t have insurance because it is unaffordable, won’t be able to purchase insurance under the Max Baucus plan.

And for those families above the plan’s ceiling, who make more than $88,200 a year, they will be forced to purchase family insurance that is a) even more expensive – you know the insurance companies are going to jack up costs immediately, and b) will have to take deficient health insurance coverage potholed with health care industry provider exclusions that when covered would increase premiums through the roof.

In other words, excluding exclusions on pre-existing conditions without limiting costs to a reasonable level, makes the Baucus plan unworkable.

That’s why President Obama’s plan to offer a public option is so important.

It’s not about income levels. It’s about competition. The fact is that when most Americans see the savings in a public option compared to the outrageous charges of the insurance industry and the exclusions, they will all drop their existing coverage and take the public option.

No one will be forced to take the public option, except those who feel they can get better and more comprehensive service than the garbage now offered by the insurance industry.

Thanks but no thanks Senator Baucus. Clearly, you are more concerned about the insurance industry needs than you are about the health care needs of our uninsured and poorly insured Americans.