Health Care Stocks Have Risen 28.35%

Insured?

Jane Hamsher of FireDogLake.com describes the myths surrounding the health care debate. Among these myths is the idea that “insurance companies hate this bill:”

Fact: This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009.

The original Senate Finance Committee bill was authored by a former Wellpoint vice president. Since Congress released the first of its health care bills on October 30, 2009, health care stocks have risen 28.35%.

This fact alone tells us most of what we need to know about what’s wrong with the current bill: it will not actually reduce costs.

Will this bill be a further health care disaster for the American people?  And, incidentally, a well-deserved political disaster for the Democrats?

Possibly.

Here are a few more of the 18 myths Hamsher debunks:

Myth 3: The bill will significantly bring down insurance premiums for most Americans.

Fact: The bill will not bring down premiums significantly, and certainly not the $2,500/year that President Obama promised during his campaign.

Annual premiums in 2016: status quo / with bill:
Small group market, single: $7,800 / $7,800
Small group market, family: $19,300 / $19,200
Large Group market, single: $7,400 / $7,300
Large group market, family: $21,100 / $21,300
Individual market, single: $5,500 / $5,800
Individual market, family: $13,100 / $15,200

Myth 4: The bill will make health care affordable for middle class Americans.

Fact: The bill will impose a financial hardship on middle class Americans who will be forced to buy a product that they can’t afford to use.

A family of four making $66,370 will be forced to pay $5,243 per year for insurance. After basic necessities, this leaves them with $8,307 in discretionary income — out of which they would have to cover clothing, credit card and other debt, child care and education costs, in addition to $5,882 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses for which families will be responsible.

Myth 5: This plan is similar to the Massachusetts plan, which makes health care affordable.

Fact: Many Massachusetts residents forgo health care because they can’t afford it. A 2009 study by the state of Massachusetts found that:

21% of residents forgo medical treatment because they can’t afford it, including 12% of children

18% have health insurance but can’t afford to use it

Myth 9: This bill employs nearly every cost control idea available to bring down costs.

Fact: This bill does not bring down costs and leaves out nearly every key cost control measure, including:

Public Option ($25-$110 billion)

Medicare buy-in

Drug re-importation ($19 billion)

Medicare drug price negotiation ($300 billion)

Shorter pathway to generic biologics ($71 billion)

Myth 10: The bill will require big companies like Wal-Mart to provide insurance for their employees.

Fact: The bill was written so that most Wal-Mart employees will qualify for subsidies, and taxpayers will pick up a large portion of the cost of their coverage.

See Hamsher’s complete article, including documented sources, here.

Comments

One Response to “Health Care Stocks Have Risen 28.35%”
  1. depelton says:

    It’s not too surprising that a political system dominated by corporations should produce a big health care bill that continues the bipartisan transfer of wealth from taxpayers to the rich.

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