Wendell Potter On The Health Care Bill (It's Bad)

From The Raw Story:
Potter pointed out, for example, that many plans -- even after consumers received proposed government subsidies to help pay for them -- would come with high deductibles that prohibit people from using their insurance or cause them the kind of financial hardships that healthcare reform was purported to prevent.

“What worries me,” he said, “is people who are forced to buy coverage and all they can afford to buy is a high deductible. And if they get really sick then they have to pay so much out of their own pockets that they’re going to be filing for bankruptcy and losing their homes.”

In the Senate bill, in particular, Potter noted, some people will be buying insurance that will only cover roughly 60 percent of their medical costs if they get sick.

“There are a lot of people who don’t have insurance now because they can’t afford premiums,” he said. “They certainly couldn’t afford premiums plus the out-of-pocket expenses in today’s market.”

Potter asserted that the current legislation will, in large part, simply move millions of people from being uninsured to underinsured, or from insured to underinsured. Citing a 2007 study by the Commonwealth Fund, he said there are already over 25 million Americans who fall into the category of the underinsured.

Potter also noted the deleterious effect of cost shifting on small businesses. Many small business owners will earn just enough to be denied subsidies.

“After a certain income level, there are no subsidies,” Potter explained. “But you still have to buy coverage. And I’m concerned that after you get above the median level of income, you’ll find that a lot of people who don’t get subsidies will probably be forced to buy coverage. But the only coverage they’ll be able to buy will make them underinsured.”

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