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Because you are an expert in your field and have been involved and recognized for your contribution to healthcare reform in the past, I value your "insider" status and take seriously your views on the issue.You say your theoretical plan is not that different than what the President is proposing.
The alternative as some have suggested would be to implant a computer chip in one's body (usually in the arm) that could be scanned by reading equipment at any health care center. This way no one has any excuse for losing it and it would be very difficult to remove. It has been suggested that an implanted computer chip be used for international travel so that ordinary travellers would be able to pass through security easier and potential terrorists easier to identify.
Your seeming disregard for the right to privacy is troubling.As a woman, the idea of having anything forced into my body against my will is offensive.The system you describe is being used. Here are a few links for information I accessed:
I've read HR 3200 and realize this system isn't discussed. I'm looking down the road if the legislation is passed and as you say "people refuse to carry a "smart card". I am sure an alternative would have to be found to deal with the noncompliant.
After reading posts on this site and others I thought my gut reaction to the proposals might be wrong. Although a theoretical discussion of YOUR proposal, your candid answers to my questions were instrumental in shaping my opinion. Thank you for your time and views on the healthcare issue.
Thank you for your response. It seems with all the shouting on both sides, intelligent discussion gets lost. There are other ideas and concerns that should be addressed, but it seems that the fear mongers have been trying to stir the pot and distract from any serious intelligent discussion of the issue of health care reform.
What is certain is that the present mish mosh that passes for a "system" cannot be sustained much longer. It has been placing too high a burden on the business community since businesses arre paying the lion's share of the premiums for most Americans under age 65. That is making American companies less competetive in the international market since in other nations, businesses do not have that burden. We are paying for that by accepting lower wages and salaries because our employers are having to spend so much money on health insurance.
Then on the other side of the coin, when someone loses their job, very often they lose their health insurance and join the ranks of the uninsured. Sure there is COBRA, but few laid off workers can afford the cost and the high adverse selection (insurance speak for more sick people taking advantage of it than healthy people) of COBRA adds as much as 20% to the cost of the group health insurance since those on COBRA are considered still part of the employer group even though they are no longer employed there.
Already many smaller businesses have thrown in the towel on health insurance. The number of small businesses offering health insurance to their employees has dropped to just above 50% while large companies that offer health insurance is still well over 90% so there is a big dicsonnect. The problem is that just about all the new jobs being created are in the small businesses while large companies are (and have been for some time) reducing the number of employees.
The effect of higher health insurance costs on employees is also devastating. I have seen employees reduce or suspend their 401(K) contributions because their health insurance has increased so much and they have not had a coresponding increase in compensation. In fact over the past decade, real income (adjusted for inflation and taxes) for most American workers has been declining. This is one reason why the economy is in such sad shape.
To maintain the same standard of living a lot of people took on more debt. As long as incomes were increasing or things went well, that debt was managable. But one bump in the road and things fall apart. That is why there was so many home foreclosures and bad mortgages. That snowballed into credit card defaults and the economy went in the tank. This train wreck could be seen coming a long time ago. it is just that anyone that was trying to warn about it was called an alarmist by the Bushies.
It is the same thing with the auto and steel companies. I knew back in the early 1990s that their situation was unsustainable. You cannot have more retirees than active employees and maintain such benefit programs and pensions for long. During the 1990s, the increase in the stock market hid those problems since investment returns covered up a lot of that shortfall. But since 2000 the stock market has been up and down and has exacerbated the problem.
Now the auto workers and steel workers are faced with losing their health benefits. Their pensions are protected by the PBGC and older retirees (over 65) are on Medicare, but those younger retirees are S.O.L. as far as health insurance.