Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Affordable Health Choices Act Should Be Called the PPIA

The Affordable Health Choices Act which the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has been struggling with should really be called the Preserve the Private Health Insurance Industry Act or, in its shorter form, the PPIA (Preserve Private Insurance Act).

It is designed to provide access not to health "care" but to health "insurance". If you can't afford health insurance or you lose your insurance because you lose your job, or you choose the wrong insurance plan because you assumed you wouldn't suffer a major injury or a major illness - well, tough luck. You're uninsured and your access to health care has just disappeared.

In no other major industrialized country is it assumed that people have to estimate how much health insurance they can afford against the chance that they will get sick or injured in order to "guarantee" themselves access to health care.

As long as health insurance depends on sufficient income to buy it, and as long as plans have a trade-off between monthly premiums and deductibles and co-pays, millions of Americans will continue to be either uninsured or under-insured ... if for no other reason than the simple tendency for ordinary people to assume that nothing bad will happen to them.

As for the "public plan option", lambert at Corrente has come up with the perfect analogy: The Public Plan Option Explained By Lambert, at Corrente

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