Alternate Health Insurance

by admin on July 27, 2009

In many of my other posts, you would see that I agree with some of the plan that Terry has come up with for Health Reform.

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OMAHA (KPTM) – Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry of Omaha has released his own health care reform bill.

Often critical of the current health care legislation moving through Congress, Terry released his alternate plan on his website Wednesday morning.

The plan calls for combining existing private health plans to co-exist with a public plan, and also calls for more health insurance reform.

One part of the current plan Terry and the Republicans are in agreement with is prohibiting the exclusion of those with pre-existing conditions from getting health insurance.

Terry’s bill also calls for allowing the uninsured to opt into the plan federal employees use. That plan currently allows individuals and families to choose from various private insurance companies.

Terry’s plan also provides government assistance for those who cannot afford that plan.

Terry’s office could not provide KPTM FOX 42 News with an average amount the families or an individual pays for government plans, but did say the Congressman pays “$10,000 a year out of pocket for health and vision coverage and contributions to a health savings account.”

The US Office of Personnel Management shows the premiums for health care for US Government workers in Nebraska are $350/month for an individual and $806/month for a family. The government pays about 75% of the cost of those premiums.

Iowa has 9 different government health insurance plans with varying rates.

An estimated 46 million Americans are uninsured according to US Census figures, and more than 50 million Americans are estimated to be uninsured in 2010. However, those numbers include undocumented immigrants who likely will not be covered in new health care legislation.

Representative Terry says his plan will also let people keep their current insurance plan, will not raise taxes and will not create new government agencies.

The plan includes a provision to, “reduce growth in health spending so that health care becomes more affordable for businesses, families, and government.”

Terry says the goal of his bill is to, “build on the current system, while repairing the aspects that are broken.”

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman raised concerns with the Health Care reform bill currently moving through Congress, saying the current legislation amounts to “the largest unfunded mandate on the fifty states in our nation’s history.”

Governor Heineman says the way the current plan handles Medicare reform would be a burden on state budgets in the long term, and as a result, most governors would not support it.

Democrats on the Hill have also voiced displeasure over the current plan. One Democratic senator told CNN that some Congressional Democrats are “baffled,” and another senior Democratic source told the network members are frustrated that they’re not getting more specific direction from President Obama or his aides on health care.

In a Wednesday night press conference at the White House, President Obama only made a definite stand on two points: he will not sign a bill that adds to the deficit, and a health care reform bill must control costs.

The President wants both the House and Senate to pass bills before going on their August recess, but that timetable appears unlikely due to fierce Republican opposition and cost concerns from fiscally conservative Democrats.

Republicans like Terry oppose a government-funded option and requiring employers to provide coverage. They also call for limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, which Democrats don’t favor, along with a number of provisions contained in the Democratic bills, including increased efficiency in Medicare and Medicaid and focusing on preventive health programs.

On the Senate side, top Democrats and Republicans of the influential Finance Committee are working behind closed doors on a compromise measure that would be the first bipartisan bill.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, the committee chairman, said Wednesday that he gave Obama a rough timetable for reaching an agreement — the first time he has signaled an end date for the private talks.

“It’s gonna take time but we’ll get there,” Baucus said a day after Democratic sources privately expressed frustration with the slow pace of the Finance Committee negotiations.

On Wednesday, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a leading Republican on the committee, dropped out of the private talks, saying he opposed the direction they were heading. Hatch criticized the bill’s nearly $1 trillion price tag as too high, and said he opposed a number of methods under consideration to pay for the package.

Another Republican on the panel, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, downplayed Hatch’s role in the talks so far, saying “he hasn’t been involved for months … so we just assumed that he was not participating and it doesn’t really mean anything.”

Grassley added that the Finance Committee is not considering a government-funded private health insurance option favored by Obama and Democrats.

Instead, it is looking at health insurance cooperatives that would offer collective policies to members.

“The ideology that I think would be best expressed is Democrats believe government ought to run more instead of less and Republicans believe it ought to run a heck of a lot less,” Grassley said.

In the interest of disclosure, it should be noted that lobby groups with the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries make up some of the top contributors to Congressman Terry’s campaign. The largest pharmaceutical contribution did come from a group representing local independent pharmacists in the United States. The other group represents health insurance underwriters representing employers.

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson has also received numerous campaign contributions from the health insurance lobby.

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It makes no difference to me who supports Terry, if he comes up with a good solution to the problem he is doing his job. The Health Care Reform that keeps getting talked about is not coming cheap. Every person who pays taxes will suffer.

Source: www.kptm.com

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