UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

September 20, 2009

HOW THE BAUCUS PLAN SCREWS OLDER PEOPLE

Unsilent Generation - There are aspects of the Baucus health care reform plan that don't bode well for Medicare recipients. But the people who stand to get screwed most by the plan are those who aren't old enough to qualify for Medicare, but are still old enough to be discriminated against by insurance companies.

For several months, the Columbia Journalism Review has been publishing analyses of the Massachusetts health care system, which in many ways serves as a model for the current national health care reform-a "canary in the coal mine" for the rest of us. The state mandates that all residents have health insurance or face a tax penalty. And while it does provides some regulation of private insurers, it doesn't bar them for "age rating"-setting different premium rates based on age. . . State law allows insurers to charge older people up to twice as much as younger people for the same coverage. In other states, the disparities can be even greater. . .

The main solution that's been proposed for this problem is to make it "easier for self-employed people and retirees who are 50 to 64 to be exempted from a stiff tax penalty if they can't afford insurance." So rather than force insurance companies to stop discriminating on the basis of age, the state may begin "allowing" 60-year-olds to live without health insurance. So much for the great Massachusetts universal coverage model.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mairead said...

By 50 most people have problems finding work if because of corporate "profit enhancement" they get sacked. Which means they are among the population surplus. So it's only logical that they should be allowed to do without insurance: a certain number will die because of not being able to afford medical care and thereby decrease that surplus.

September 20, 2009 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mix an amoral culture with a fanatical preoccupation with money and you get what we have today.

September 20, 2009 6:36 PM  

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