Why are ~920,000 people ruining HCR for the rest of us?

bllieddoseLet’s talk about ‘mandates.’  I’ll just go ahead and say there will be ‘mandates’ in the Health Insurance Reform bill that is not yet finished.

I’d like to break some stuff down, then, after that, I would like to know what’s so terrible about the ‘mandates’ cuz i sure as hell can’t tell what the real downside is.

First: As of 2002, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, most businesses with more than 50 employees provide health insurance for their employees … 97.8% in fact.  So, 2.2% of employers with more than 50 employees just don’t wanna … seems pretty obvious and pretty lame, equally.  If an employer with 50 or fewer employees is providing health insurance, and those with 500 or fewer are considered a ‘small business’ then those who aren’t at least giving their employees an option as to whether they can even afford what the business probably can afford to offer (esp. with 499 employees) are truly awful indeed.

That said, if an employer has 500 employees and his or her annual employee salary is only $500,000 (therefore paying an employee only $1,000 per year, well the company has its own set of problems) then surely I can –  I guess – understand why they would complain.  Washington Business Journal says HR 3962 would require employers with payrolls of  “$500,000 or more to offer coverage to their employees, or pay a fee of up to 8 percent of their payroll to the government.”

Does not exceed $500,000 0 percent
Exceeds $500,000, but does not exceed $585,000 2 percent
Exceeds $585,000, but does not exceed $670,000 4 percent
Exceeds $670,000, but does not exceed $750,000 6 percent —– and a maximum of 8% period.

So, if the national salary average in 2007 was $50,233, and we use the numbers in H. R. 3962 to figure who would pay extra, and who is so in a huff, it would be those employers who, because they don’t feel like offering health insurance options on their own, have only about 15 employees?  Well, that’s probably not realistic, let’s say they pay about $20,000 that’s probably more like it (and that’s a pretty damn small salary) … still, that’s close to 40 employees that a very very very small business (if a small business is one with 500 or fewer employees) can’t figure out how to chip in for a percentage of its employees coverage?  Well, if only 2% aren’t chipping in for health insurance coverage, and Wal-Mart finally buckled under the pressure … I’d sure like to know who these people are?  Meanwhile, the huffy decide they just don’t want to ever ever ever help provide health insurance for their employees … so, at a 6% tax tacked on to their payroll, they’ll pay about $4,500 per year?

Okay, so the hufflepuffs don’t want to pay $4,500 annually.  Well, they can shop around for the very very very very most inexpensive coverage they can find (I didn’t see in the proposed bill where it says they can’t do that, but I could be wrong) and give their employees the cheapest option, with the least amount of coverage, while giving their employees the government option too as would be required.  With a salary of only $20k it’s likely that the employee then would qualify for the government option.  But, that probably doesn’t matter, they’ll be mad no matter what so I guess this is moot.

Am I understanding the business owners perspective correctly?  Because that two percent sure as hell is confusing me.  It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if my numbers are off, but in the broad analysis, I still don’t understand the huffies problem.

Second: There are those folks who come hell or high water DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES wish to purchase health insurance, nor do they want the government to help them by offering an inexpensive option.  They. Just. Don’t. Want. It. “According to an unpublished Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the CDC’s 2008 National Health Interview Survey, 2 percent of uninsured people said they simply didn’t want health insurance.”

If there are 46 million people who are uninsured, that leaves 920,000 (just under one million) people who simply don’t want insurance NO MATTER WHAT.

So, if I understand what the opposition representing those who “DON’T WANT HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM” (referencing the entirety of health insurance reform, not those who have issues with specific portions of the bill) i.e. “The American people” or “real Americans” or some hooey, what I am to understand is that less than one million people are standing in the way of reform.

Edited to include: Really, those who are insured, are happy with their insurance, and have no problem paying the bill don’t really seem to have a stake in the matter – there’s nothing stopping them from keeping what they’ve got as far as I can tell. For those who don’t have it because they don’t think they need it rightatthisverysecond, it’s apt that they pay a percentage more for coverage they will be getting, that they usually are complaining about when being all mad about those forced to go to the emergency room because they can’t afford to pay for health insurance they DO want.  Now, for those who DO want it, but can’t afford it there’s a hardship deferment – so I STILL don’t understand the problem.  On top of ALL THAT, there’s now an opt-out portion in the bill for individual states … what the hell is there to complain about?  Every concession possible has been made and I SURE AS HELL KNOW that I won’t ever see health insurance reform in Oklahoma.

So, to all of that I say WTF?

Somebody’s been hoodwinked.


1 Comment

  1. Billie…

    “Really, those who are insured, are happy with their insurance, and have no problem paying the bill don’t really seem to have a stake in the matter – there’s nothing stopping them from keeping what they’ve got as far as I can tell.”

    You don’t think — that in it’s zeal to provide a “competitive option,” that the government won’t price itself low? And you have every confidence that every business out there will continue offering exactly what it is offering now?

    The fear is that many companies will say “screw it”, and dump all of their employees into the public pool.

    So — people who are perfectly happy with their insurance have every right to fear what is going to happen when an albeit well-intentioned player drops a gigantic chunk of illusory competition into the Lake of Insurance. (and for now, it is Illusory Competition, because the people drafting it have literally no idea what will or will not work. Using CARS as a baseline, they have a recent track record of misjudging market demand by a factor of at least three.)

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