Saturday, August 29, 2009

The AMA's Healthcare Debate Thread on Facebook

As you can see, the AMA has yet to take a position on Obamacare which I find a little strange. AMA ardently apposed verbiage in HIPAA which allows insurers to limit benefits for injuries sustained while engaging in certain activities such as motorcycling, even to the point of encouraging Congressman Burgess (R) (TX) to sponsor a bill (HR 1253) to require disclosure of such limitations. Here is the AMA's opening statement:

American Motorcyclist Association
Our recent alert concerning the national health care debate was intended to provide AMA members an opportunity to voice their concerns to elected officials about keeping the active lifestyle of the riding community in mind. The AMA is a nonpartisan o...rganization founded to promote and protect the rights of motorcyclists, and has not taken a position on the various health care bills under consideration. Thank you.

When I voiced my concerns about HR 3200, I was told I was being silly and was referred to a style "myth site". Here is my response:

Forget the “myth site” and just READ THE BILL. For example, beginning on page 24:

(a) IN GENERAL.—A qualified health benefits plan shall meet a medical loss ratio as defined by the Commissioner. For any plan year in which the qualified health benefits plan does not meet such medical loss ratio, QHBP offering entity shall provide in a manner specified by the Commissioner for rebates to enrollees of payment sufficient to meet such loss ratio.

If a group’s loss ratio is above the line the insurance company must eat the loss. If a group’s loss ratio is below the line the insurance company must refund the surplus to the group. Insurance companies stay in business by making money on some risks to cover losses on others. It is easy to see that private insurers will not be allowed to compete with the “public option”. I could go on and on. Once we are forced onto the "public option", it can be determined that it is not "fair" to the taxpayers to have to pay for the increased risk posed by certain "behaviors" like smoking or motorcycle riding. It is a slippery slope. I love riding and I do not want to be penalized for engaging in it.

Nobody wants the status quo to continue. There are far better ways than a government takeover. HR3200 limits care providers' incomes and even the ability to build facilities, yet their exposure to liability goes unchecked. When Howard Dean was asked why no tort reform is proposed, he replied that they are afraid to take on the trial lawyers. In fact Trial Lawyers and bar associations are major contributors to the DNC and have a strong lobby against tort reform which might limit their fees. Professional liability "malpractice" insurance is a major expense to care providers that gets passed along to insurers and patients.

I googled the words "HIPAA loophole" and stopped scrolling at 50 pages of reported problems with that piece of legislation. What makes you think HR3200 will be any better?

It has been several hours and I think I may have killed the thread.

While I'm at it, just in case this isn't clear enough, let me explain section 116 another way:
Let's say you're in the widget business and I am the government. I'm going to sell widgets too but I don't have to turn a profit and my widgets don't even have to be as good as yours. I will decide how much if any profit you can make on your widgets and when my widget business loses money I can make all widget customers yours and mine send me more than they already are. How long do you think you'll be able to compete with me?

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About Me

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Salesman/insurance agent more than 20 years turned baker. Go figure. My wife Julana and I bought a little bakery ten years ago and now she is the premier cake designer in this part of the state. In the past few years I have developed a love for motorcycling. Can you tell?