PDA

View Full Version : Fines proposed for going without health insurance


NateR
09-09-2009, 03:01 AM
Most people don't buy health insurance because they can't afford it, so exactly how is fining them thousands of dollars for being unable to afford health insurance going to help them afford health insurance? :blink: Are the Democrats really that stupid?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090909/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_health_care_overhaul

WASHINGTON Americans would be fined up to $3,800 for failing to buy health insurance under a plan that circulated in Congress on Tuesday as divisions among Democrats undercut President Barack Obama's effort to regain traction on his health care overhaul.

As Obama talked strategy with Democratic leaders at the White House, the one idea that most appeals to his party's liberal base lost ground in Congress. Prospects for a government-run plan to compete with private insurers sank as a leading moderate Democrat, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, said he could no longer support the idea.

The fast-moving developments put Obama in a box. As a candidate, he opposed fines to force individuals to buy health insurance, and he supported setting up a public insurance plan. On Tuesday, fellow Democrats publicly begged to differ on both ideas.

Democratic congressional leaders put on a bold front as they left the White House after their meeting with the president.

"We're re-energized; we're ready to do health care reform," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., insisted the public plan is still politically viable. "I believe that a public option will be essential to our passing a bill in the House of Representatives," she said.

After a month of contentious forums, Americans were seeking specifics from the president in his speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night. So were his fellow Democrats, divided on how best to solve the problem of the nation's nearly 50 million uninsured.

The latest proposal: a ten-year, $900-billion bipartisan compromise that Baucus, who heads the influential Finance Committee, was trying to broker. It would guarantee coverage for nearly all Americans, regardless of medical problems.

But the Baucus plan also includes the fines that Obama has rejected. In what appeared to be a sign of tension, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs pointedly noted that the administration had not received a copy of the plan before it leaked to lobbyists and news media Tuesday.

The Baucus plan would require insurers to take all applicants, regardless of age or health. But smokers could be charged higher premiums. And 60-year-olds could be charged five times as much for a policy as 20-year-olds.
Baucus said Tuesday he's trying to get agreement from a small group of bipartisan negotiators in advance of Obama's speech. "Time is running out very quickly," he said. "I made that very clear to the group."
Some experts consider the $900-billion price tag a relative bargain because the country now spends about $2.5 trillion a year on health care. But it would require hefty fees on insurers, drug companies and others in the health care industry to help pay for it.

Just as auto coverage is now mandatory in nearly all states, Baucus would require that all Americans get health insurance once the system is overhauled to make premiums more stable and affordable. Penalties for failing to do so would start at $750 a year for individuals and $1,500 for families. Households making more than three times the federal poverty level about $66,000 for a family of four would face the maximum fines. For families, it would be $3,800, and for individuals, $950.

Baucus would offer tax credits to help pay premiums for households making up to three times the poverty level, and for small employers. Upper middle-class households making between three and four times the poverty level would not have to pay more than 13 percent of their income for health insurance. People working for companies that offer coverage could avoid the fines by signing up.

Nonetheless, the fines pose a dilemma for Obama. As a candidate, the president campaigned hard against making health insurance a requirement, and fining people for not getting it.

"Punishing families who can't afford health care to begin with just doesn't make sense," he said during his party's primaries. At the time, he proposed mandatory insurance only for children.

White House officials have since backed away somewhat from Obama's opposition to mandated coverage for all, but there's no indication that Obama would support fines.

One idea that Obama championed during and since the campaign a government insurance option appeared to be sinking fast.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters a Medicare-like plan for middle-class Americans and their families isn't an essential part of legislation for him. Hoyer's comments came shortly after a key Democratic moderate said he could no longer back a bill that includes a new government plan.

That left liberals in a quandary. They've drawn a line, saying they won't vote for legislation if it doesn't include a public plan to compete with private insurance companies and force them to lower costs.

Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., who once supported a public option, said Tuesday that after hearing from constituents during the August recess, he's changed his mind.

"If House leadership presents a final bill that contains a government-run public option, I will oppose it," Ross said.
Democrats are considering a fallback: using the public plan as a last resort if after a few years the insurance industry has failed to curb costs. That approach is also being pushed by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, a moderate whose support could be critical to any health legislation.

Snowe said Tuesday that Obama's been open to her fallback idea.

"He's been receptive, recognizing that there's difficulties with the public option," Snowe said. Republicans have cast it as a government take-over.

Baucus is calling for nonprofit co-ops to compete in the marketplace instead of a public plan.

An 18-page summary of the Baucus proposal was obtained by The Associated Press. The complex plan would make dozens of changes in the health care system, many of them contentious. For example, it includes new fees on insurers, drug companies, medical device manufacturers and clinical labs.

People working for major employers would probably not see big changes. The plan is geared to helping those who now have the hardest time getting and keeping coverage: the self-employed and small business owners.
____
Associated Press writers Erica Werner, Ben Feller, Alan Fram and Jim Abrams contributed to this report.

Buzzard
09-09-2009, 03:17 AM
Did you notice that Obama doesn't agree on the fines?

Chris F
09-09-2009, 03:18 AM
Did you notice that Obama doesn't agree on the fines?
That not the point Buzzard. The point is what good is even debating this stupidity on the Hill when it is outright foolishness.

NateR
09-09-2009, 03:20 AM
Did you notice that Obama doesn't agree on the fines?

Yes, I did and I hope he continues to oppose it and not cave in to those Democrats who support the idea.

If he does that, then it will be two things that I agree with him on. :)

rockdawg21
09-09-2009, 03:23 AM
How is that going to make health insurance more affordable? :scared0015:

Buzzard
09-09-2009, 05:27 AM
Most people don't buy health insurance because they can't afford it, so exactly how is fining them thousands of dollars for being unable to afford health insurance going to help them afford health insurance? :blink: Are the Democrats really that stupid?


I actually think that many people don't buy health insurance not because they can't afford it, but because they won't go without a cell phone, cable TV, internet services, and other amenities that they could easily live without, but won't.

Chris F
09-09-2009, 05:31 AM
I actually think that many people don't buy health insurance not because they can't afford it, but because they won't go without a cell phone, cable TV, internet services, and other amenities that they could easily live without, but won't.

That may be true for some. But what about those who are uninsurable because they have had cancer and can't afford it? BTW I do not own any of those things but Internet and if I could get insurance for the same price I would choose it over the Internet any day.

NateR
09-09-2009, 05:31 AM
I actually think that many people don't buy health insurance not because they can't afford it, but because they won't go without a cell phone, cable TV, internet services, and other amenities that they could easily live without, but won't.

Well, cell phones and internet service are pretty much requirements for many of the self-employed, including me.

rockdawg21
09-09-2009, 10:50 AM
I actually think that many people don't buy health insurance not because they can't afford it, but because they won't go without a cell phone, cable TV, internet services, and other amenities that they could easily live without, but won't.
I've always said most people can afford it, but don't make it a priority. Most people seem to have money to eat fast food, go to the bar, etc. but not for health insurance. Hmmmmm.....:idea:

Twinsmama
09-09-2009, 02:04 PM
Well, cell phones and internet service are pretty much requirements for many of the self-employed, including me.


I agree I am a business owner and my business would not survive without cell phone or internet. I even access my office computer from home. I'm assuming he was talking about for personal use though. We currently have health insurance through my husband's employer but I will be watching this closely to see how it will affect us.

On the news channel this morning they stated that the fine for not having insurance is about $900 per person or $3800 per family. (i don't remember exact #s) However this would not apply to people at or below poverty level. I know there are some people that work their tails off and are at poverty level for legitimat reasons but i can't help but think this is another incentive for people not to work.....

I didn't vote for him....but I still like to believe he does want to make things better for everyone not just lower income families.

bradwright
09-10-2009, 12:13 AM
could somebody tell me what the average cost of health insurance is in the states ?

Buzzard
09-10-2009, 02:06 AM
could somebody tell me what the average cost of health insurance is in the states ?

I get my insurance through my work. For medical and dental I pay about $960 a year, my work picks up the rest. With that I have a deductible to meet and then pay 20% after that. There is a prescription plan that goes along with it too. Not sure of the amount that my work picks up, but since they are a large employer, I'm sure their rates are lower than the rates of smaller companies.

ME4440
09-10-2009, 02:15 AM
Thats crazy, i dont have health insurance simply beacause i cant afford it wish i could but then id probably go to the doctor to much, i havent been in like 6 years and i dont go unless i feel really really bad because in most cases i cant afford to go to the doctor either, so i guess in a way it kinda makes you tuff...at least thats a good way to look at it. How does People like Matt who fight in the UFC do there insurance, if they pay it there selves i bet its expensive.

KENTUCKYREDBONE
09-10-2009, 04:46 AM
Whether you can afford it or not the Government has NO business requiring you to have health insurance!

Buzzard
09-10-2009, 06:54 AM
Whether you can afford it or not the Government has NO business requiring you to have health insurance!

The government sticks its nose in a lot of business it has no business in.

What do you propose to do with people who don't have insurance but use ER's, hospitals etc. and can't afford it, thereby sticking the cost to others? Just wondering because that is a problem and I know of someone who has racked up over 1/4 million in hospital bills but can't pay and is going into bankruptcy.

rockdawg21
09-10-2009, 11:59 AM
I'm self-employed so I pay for mine myself. I have a $1000 deductible HSA account through Blue Cross & Blue Shield and I'm 29. I pay $99 a month.

Chuck
09-10-2009, 01:29 PM
I'm self-employed so I pay for mine myself. I have a $1000 deductible HSA account through Blue Cross & Blue Shield and I'm 29. I pay $99 a month.

Make sure you max out your HSA bro... don't miss out on the tax break!! When used correctly HSA's are a great choice!

You can also ask your PCP for a script for things like Tylenol and Advil (if you take those) that way you can fill it for $4 at Wal Mart but the money goes towards your deductible. :)

Miss Foxy
09-10-2009, 01:47 PM
Whether you can afford it or not the Government has NO business requiring you to have health insurance!
I could not agree more!!!:)

NateR
09-10-2009, 03:18 PM
The government sticks its nose in a lot of business it has no business in.

What do you propose to do with people who don't have insurance but use ER's, hospitals etc. and can't afford it, thereby sticking the cost to others? Just wondering because that is a problem and I know of someone who has racked up over 1/4 million in hospital bills but can't pay and is going into bankruptcy.

So, since the government already intrudes too much into the lives of its citizens, then we should just allow them to intrude even more? :blink: I'm sorry if I don't understand the logic there.

I do agree that it is a problem for people who don't pay taxes to leech off of taxpayers whenever they get sick or injured; but the solution is not to put us all under the thumb of the federal government. We first need to get rid of this false notion that every American is somehow entitled to healthcare. There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that even implies that. Just like the lie that every American deserves to own their own home or has the right to a college education. These are not basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution, thus the government shouldn't be handing them out like candy and we, as free citizens, shouldn't be demanding these things from the government.

Chuck
09-10-2009, 03:30 PM
So, since the government already intrudes too much into the lives of its citizens, then we should just allow them to intrude even more? :blink: I'm sorry if I don't understand the logic there.

I do agree that it is a problem for people who don't pay taxes to leech off of taxpayers whenever they get sick or injured; but the solution is not to put us all under the thumb of the federal government. We first need to get rid of this false notion that every American is somehow entitled to healthcare. There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that even implies that. Just like the lie that every American deserves to own their own home or has the right to a college education. These are not basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution, thus the government shouldn't be handing them out like candy and we, as free citizens, shouldn't be demanding these things from the government.


I couldn't agree more Nate.

Buzzard
09-10-2009, 04:25 PM
So, since the government already intrudes too much into the lives of its citizens, then we should just allow them to intrude even more? :blink: I'm sorry if I don't understand the logic there.


That's not what I said.

What do we do with the problem of people sticking their debt onto the public when they can't afford health care but use facilities and can't pay for it? As it is, I pay for it now in increased premiums and probably through other ways in which I am not aware.

We all realize that there is a problem, but what is the solution to it?


I do agree that it is a problem for people who don't pay taxes to leech off of taxpayers whenever they get sick or injured; but the solution is not to put us all under the thumb of the federal government. We first need to get rid of this false notion that every American is somehow entitled to healthcare. There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that even implies that. Just like the lie that every American deserves to own their own home or has the right to a college education. These are not basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution, thus the government shouldn't be handing them out like candy and we, as free citizens, shouldn't be demanding these things from the government.

I think that there are some arguments that are somewhat valid stating that health-care is something of a right. I can also understand the arguments against it. What is the middle ground? The link below and the opinions offered there is provided so I don't have to retype the arguments for or against.

http://eternalhope.blog-city.com/health_care_is_a_right_contained_within_the_us_con stitution.htm

I've really have never heard of people saying that a college education is a right nor owning a home. There may be people who have expressed it, but I don't think that that is a majority opinion. I could be wrong in my opinion, and am open to differing ideas.

NateR
09-10-2009, 07:06 PM
That's not what I said.

What do we do with the problem of people sticking their debt onto the public when they can't afford health care but use facilities and can't pay for it? As it is, I pay for it now in increased premiums and probably through other ways in which I am not aware.

We all realize that there is a problem, but what is the solution to it?

Well, medical insurance is not the solution, it is actually the root of the problem. So, get rid of the insurance companies and you can then create a true, free-market medical system.

I think that there are some arguments that are somewhat valid stating that health-care is something of a right. I can also understand the arguments against it. What is the middle ground? The link below and the opinions offered there is provided so I don't have to retype the arguments for or against.

http://eternalhope.blog-city.com/health_care_is_a_right_contained_within_the_us_con stitution.htm


Well, he makes a good point about how rights not specifically mentioned in the Constitution are to be granted to the people by default, not to the government to ration out to the people. Which would be another great argument against nationalized healthcare.

But I don't like his anti-free-market spin on the whole thing. Using that logic, you could also say that it's "un-American" for stores to charge for food because that means that people who don't have money can't afford to eat. Thus those with money are more equal than those without money when it comes to access to food.

Obviously, it doesn't work that way, food and water are more of a necessity to life than healthcare, but those are completely run by the free market in America and that means that there is low cost food that is available to everyone. Well, everyone with money, but there are enough charity organizations and just plain generous people out there willing to take up that slack (I'm speaking from experience on this since I grew up in poverty).

Chuck
09-10-2009, 07:28 PM
Well, medical insurance is not the solution, it is actually the root of the problem.

Do you have time to expand on this one? :huh:

Crisco
09-10-2009, 07:40 PM
Do you have time to expand on this one? :huh:

I find that some approaches to government will work fairly well in the rural areas but much worse in cities.


As long as Medical care is expensive Insurance will be needed.

If someone can get the flu without bankrupting their family from a visit to the hospital I'm all for it.

I would much rather pay for someone to see a doctor in their time of need then for his family to go homeless.

I have no problem with taxes being used to help people aslong as it's people who deserve it. It's kind of like giving to charity to a degree.

I donate whenever possible I even give bigger tips to the slower restuarants I go too because I know times are hard on people and I'm blessed enough to be ok.

Specialized goverment healthcare facilities would be a good idea. Kind of like public defenders for criminals who cant afford lawyers.

If you cant afford a good doctor you get the government provided one.

matthughesfan21
09-10-2009, 08:03 PM
Do you have time to expand on this one? :huh:he could mean that because of health insurance, health costs are ridiculously high, like 50 bucks for ace wrap, gimme a break

i could be wrong about his meaning though haha

matthughesfan21
09-10-2009, 08:06 PM
So, since the government already intrudes too much into the lives of its citizens, then we should just allow them to intrude even more? :blink: I'm sorry if I don't understand the logic there.

I do agree that it is a problem for people who don't pay taxes to leech off of taxpayers whenever they get sick or injured; but the solution is not to put us all under the thumb of the federal government. We first need to get rid of this false notion that every American is somehow entitled to healthcare. There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that even implies that. Just like the lie that every American deserves to own their own home or has the right to a college education. These are not basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution, thus the government shouldn't be handing them out like candy and we, as free citizens, shouldn't be demanding these things from the government.
I agree with everything you said, but i'm not sure how valid your argument is to today's society...I'm not saying to do away with the constitution, but we are living in a totally different world then the constitution writers lived in, they didn't have hospitals, colleges weren't as popular, etc....Things are much different and evolved now, but if new things do come up, they should be made amendments if they are the best for the country

Chris F
09-10-2009, 08:13 PM
A huge cost factor and reason for high prices is the fact that many use the ER for a tooth acne and then skip on their bill. Also thousands of illegals who use our health care system and also skip on their bill since most hospitals must treat regardless of ability to pay. In Springfield the local urgent cares bound together and a person could see the doctor for 35.00 this even included x-rays and simple blood test. So the ER's were not used and insurance rates int hat area are much more affordable then where I am at now. When I had cancer I was w/o insurance for some of it and the various doctor worked out great payment plans and cash discounts. I have yet to find that here. So I think NateR has it right when he alludes to insurance being a huge part of the problem.

bradwright
09-11-2009, 02:31 AM
Well, medical insurance is not the solution, it is actually the root of the problem. So, get rid of the insurance companies and you can then create a true, free-market medical system.



Well, he makes a good point about how rights not specifically mentioned in the Constitution are to be granted to the people by default, not to the government to ration out to the people. Which would be another great argument against nationalized healthcare.

But I don't like his anti-free-market spin on the whole thing. Using that logic, you could also say that it's "un-American" for stores to charge for food because that means that people who don't have money can't afford to eat. Thus those with money are more equal than those without money when it comes to access to food.

Obviously, it doesn't work that way, food and water are more of a necessity to life than healthcare, but those are completely run by the free market in America and that means that there is low cost food that is available to everyone. Well, everyone with money, but there are enough charity organizations and just plain generous people out there willing to take up that slack (I'm speaking from experience on this since I grew up in poverty).

actually NateR i have to disagree with you on this one...GREED is the root of the problem...medical insurance is just one of the vehicles that greedy people use.
so its simple really...just eliminate greed and you solve a good portion of the worlds problems.:)
seems simple enough to me.:wink:
but then again no one ever acussed me of being very smart.:unsure-1:

Buzzard
09-11-2009, 03:18 AM
actually NateR i have to disagree with you on this one...GREED is the root of the problem...medical insurance is just one of the vehicles that greedy people use.
so its simple really...just eliminate greed and you solve a good portion of the worlds problems.:)
seems simple enough to me.:wink:
but then again no one ever acussed me of being very smart.:unsure-1:

I agree with you 100% that greed is the root of the problem.

Neezar
09-11-2009, 03:27 AM
Let me tell you a story.


Ms Medicare goes to the doctor with a hurt leg from a fall. Doc xrays it, nothing is broken, gives her pain meds, and sends her on her way. The doctor bills for an office visit and an xray of $100.00 - 80 for xray and 20 for office visit. (Cheap, I know but easier numbers to work with. And this doctor is still young and wants to do the right thing and not just eat people up with medical costs.You will get the point hopefully.) Well, medicare decides that he should only get $30.00. Well, the xray actually cost him $60.00. And then he gets nothing for his time and overhead costs. Well, he is like wtf :huh:. Who at medicare decided that 30.00 would/should cover this cost. Well Doc, it is a panel led by a woman who has over 30 years medical experience. 15-20 years teaching at a college and 10 heading a political/medical affair. She had NEVER had her hands in on actual patient care and has NO clue about running an office or the costs*. But she has the job and there is nothing you can do about it. Okay, so Doc is out $50.00. Now, in comes Mr BC/BS who fell and twisted his ankle. The doc xrays, nothing broken, and sends him home with meds and an ice pack. Now come billing time he knows that BC/BS will pay about 50 percent of what he bills out. So, he bills $180 for the xray and $80 for an office visit. That way he gets paid $90 for the xray. This pays for his $60.00 and picks up the $30.00 that medicare wouldn't pay. He gets $40 on the office visit which covers Mr BC/BS and Ms Medicare. Now at least he can make ends meet with his overhead.

Moral of the story: The gov't is as much to blame in jacked up health care prices as anyone.

Chuck
09-11-2009, 03:37 AM
Let me tell you a story.


Ms Medicare goes to the doctor with a hurt leg from a fall. Doc xrays it, nothing is broken, gives her pain meds, and sends her on her way. The doctor bills for an office visit and an xray of $100.00 - 80 for xray and 20 for office visit. (Cheap, I know but easier numbers to work with. And this doctor is still young and wants to do the right thing and not just eat people up with medical costs.You will get the point hopefully.) Well, medicare decides that he should only get $30.00. Well, the xray actually cost him $60.00. And then he gets nothing for his time and overhead costs. Well, he is like wtf :huh:. Who at medicare decided that 30.00 would/should cover this cost. Well Doc, it is a panel led by a woman who has over 30 years medical experience. 15-20 years teaching at a college and 10 heading a political/medical affair. She had NEVER had her hands in on actual patient care and has NO clue about running an office or the costs*. But she has the job and there is nothing you can do about it. Okay, so Doc is out $50.00. Now, in comes Mr BC/BS who fell and twisted his ankle. The doc xrays, nothing broken, and sends him home with meds and an ice pack. Now come billing time he knows that BC/BS will pay about 50 percent of what he bills out. So, he bills $180 for the xray and $80 for an office visit. That way he gets paid $90 for the xray. This pays for his $60.00 and picks up the $30.00 that medicare wouldn't pay. He gets $40 on the office visit which covers Mr BC/BS and Ms Medicare. Now at least he can make ends meet with his overhead.

Moral of the story: The gov't is as much to blame in jacked up health care prices as anyone.

Now factor in defensive medicine and it only gets worse from there....