Monday, January 18, 2010

Cadillac Health Plans

Remember the, “If you like the health care you have and want to keep it, nothing in this plan will require you to change,” assurance from Obama?

Well, if you have a low-deductible, low-copay plan and you are willing to pay what it presently costs, you better be willing to pay a lot more because the government just raised the cost of that plan by 40% or more. It wasn’t the “evil insurance companies” that raised the cost, and the House tried to prevent the raise, it was the Senate and President Obama.

In justifying the 40% tax on what he calls “Cadillac health insurance” plans and those who have the plans call “health insurance I like,” Obama said the plans encouraged excessive health care spending and the tax was necessary to help “bend the cost curve” of health care spending. Not only does he want to price you out of the insurance plan that you now have, but he wants you to use less health care than you are now using.

Make a note of that, if you have one of those plans. You are going to the doctor too often. You are getting too many tests. I don’t know why people enjoy colonoscopies and MRI’s and having needles poked into them, but apparently you do; quit getting all of those tests that you enjoy so much. You are having too many surgeries. I’m sorry, you are just not going to be able to enjoy all that pampering that you get in that hospital; quit having all those surgeries. If you are going too keep doing so many of these things that you enjoy so much, we might have to ration them.

Making people use less health care by making it cost more out-of-pocket is not rationing, however. Of course, it is not by any stretch of the imagination “bending the cost curve downward” either. Unless, that is, you make it so ungodly costly that no one uses any of it, in which case the overall national spending on health care does decrease.

I’m not sure that’s what the public has in mind, though.

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