. . . . because he sent me an email:
From: "David Axelrod, The White House" [email@example.com]
This is probably one of the longest emails I’ve ever sent, but it could be the most important.
Across the country we are seeing vigorous debate about health insurance reform. Unfortunately, some of the old tactics we know so well are back — even the viral emails that fly unchecked and under the radar, spreading all sorts of lies and distortions.
So let’s start a chain email of our own. At the end of my email, you’ll find a lot of information about health insurance reform, distilled into 8 ways reform provides security and stability to those with or without coverage . . . .
Let's count 'em:
1. Ends Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions: Insurance companies will be prohibited from refusing you coverage because of your medical history.
Oh goody, kind of like I can buy fire insurance after my house has already burned down. Seriously, if I can't be discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions, then I have no incentive to buy insurance until I'm already sick enough that my expenses exceed my premiums. This is guaranteed to drive premiums to . . . infinity?
2. Ends Exorbitant Out-of-Pocket Expenses, Deductibles or Co-Pays: Insurance companies will have to abide by yearly caps on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses.
Why? What if I want a policy that exchanges higher deductibles for lower premiums? Shouldn't I be willing to forego coverage for any medical expenses I can pay out of pocket? This is guaranteed to drive premiums up.
3. Ends Cost-Sharing for Preventive Care: Insurance companies must fully cover, without charge, regular checkups and tests that help you prevent illness, such as mammograms or eye and foot exams for diabetics.
In addition to my criticism above, that these kind of regular checkups are cheap enough to pay out of pocket, are these checkups really cost effective for everybody? Shouldn't I be in an at-risk category to need them? Isn't this just subsidized hypochondria?
4. Ends Dropping of Coverage for Seriously Ill: Insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping or watering down insurance coverage for those who become seriously ill.
I'm pretty sure this is already against the law.
5. Ends Gender Discrimination: Insurance companies will be prohibited from charging you more because of your gender.
I read somewhere that lifecycle medical expenses for women are about twice what they are for men . . . unless she has children. Then they become three times as high. So this, in effect, becomes a transfer of wealth from men to women. (Or rather, from single men to men with wives. Sorry, guys, sucks to be you!)
6. Ends Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage: Insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.
This doesn't sound like a bad idea, but you have to pay for what you get. It's guaranteed to drive premiums up.
7. Extends Coverage for Young Adults: Children would continue to be eligible for family coverage through the age of 26.
Why? Shouldn't 22 - 25 year-olds be paying for their own coverage? Isn't this just a subsidy for D.A. and everybody else still living in his parents' basement? Isn't this a subsidy from families who were sufficiently successful at their parenting to avoid this situation to families who weren't. But the bottom line is, you have to pay for what you get. It's guaranteed to drive premiums up.
8. Guarantees Insurance Renewal: Insurance companies will be required to renew any policy as long as the policyholder pays their premium in full. Insurance companies won't be allowed to refuse renewal because someone became sick.
Isn't this already against the law? Okay, so far I count two redundancies, and six factors that will make private health insurance even more unaffordable than it already is.