Questions for Senator Baucus on Helathcare Reform

Trying to get answers from the government on this fiasco

September 24, 2010

Healthcare "Reform" questions for Senator Baucus:

  1. Please provide a clear link to an actual and available version of this law as it was signed by President Obama. Finding this version of the bill, even for staff of senators and representatives (and members of state legislatures) is very difficult. The links Mr. Baucus is fond of sending are to the December 2009 Senate version of the bill, not to the final bill.
  2. Please list the conditions under which an insurance company can deny coverage or deny a claim on grounds of a pre-existing condition. The bill clearly states "except as provided by," but the bill is so inappropriately and offensively long and convoluted, that finding those exceptions is extremely difficult. However from discussion with others who have a better understanding of the law than I do, it appears that the conditions under which an insurance company can deny for a pre-existing condition are now less restricted than they were before this law was signed, and now generally amount to "if they want to." Please provide a plain English version of the conditions, and which page of the legislation each is on, and which section they represent.
  3. The cost of health care coverage for small businesses was "unaffordable" for most small businesses in 2006. Between 2006 and 2008, the cost of health care coverage for small businesses roughly doubled. It appears that that cost has nearly doubled again since 2008. The new legislation now provides for up to 1/3 of the cost of providing health care coverage for qualifying small businesses to be provided in a tax write-off. How does a 30% discount make an amount more than four times 'unaffordable' suddenly affordable? To put this in numbers and make it a little easier to follow, if $100 is more than a company can afford, and what was $100 is now $400, how does this make $280 affordable?
  4. This bill magically saves the taxpayers money. Were does the money to prosecute the violators come from?
  5. How does the cost of tracking down, persecuting, fining, and jailing offenders contribute to a cost savings?
  6. Please list the conditions under which an insurance company can raise rates or deny coverage once you get sick. Again, this is listed in the legislation with a "except as provided by..." clause. Please provide a plain English version of the conditions, which page they come from, and which section of the list of exceptions they represent.
  7. This bill requires all Americans to be insured, and poses fines for those who are unable to afford health insurance or choose not to purchase health insurance. What in the bill prevents insurance companies - or even vaguely or mildly discourages insurance companies - from charging an exorbitant amount for coverage? The bill, as clearly explained by individuals like Senator M. Baucus, appears to encourage a continuing elevation in costs, not a savings.
  8. This bill seems to strongly represent Mr. Baucus's desire to eliminate small businesses and to fine the poor for being poor. What is in the bill that would make individuals or small business owners think otherwise?
  9. Why, when President Obama issued the challenge to congress that nothing could be worse than our current (now previous) health care system, did Senator Baucus choose to take that as a challenge to come up with something that encourages all the existing problems with the system, without doing anything to address affordability, accessibility, or fair or ethical treatment of health care recipients?