The Question About HCR is Not…
whether it will help some people, or harm some people. It will do both.
Some people will get care they wouldn’t have otherwise. People on Medicare will have half the “donut hole” for drug coverage covered, some people will get insurance who would have otherwise been refused. Etc…
But here’s something which WILL happen as a result of this bill: some people who are not on Medicare will not be able to afford their medicine, due to the ban on reimportation and the increase in time before generics are allowed on the market. Many of them will die, others will go bankrupt.
Others will be forced to buy insurance they can’t afford, and will be fined if they don’t. That money will have been money they would have used to buy out-of-pocket health insurance. They will be harmed by this bill.
The excise tax will inexorably make employer provided health care plans worse, meaning more and more things won’t be covered by good plans (aka: plans that cover what you need.
Some women who need abortions won’t be able to afford them, and some of them will wind up bearing children they don’t want or will go to back alley abortion methods, and some of them will die or be permanently injured by so doing.
The point is that while there is no denying that some people will be better off under this bill there is also no denying that some people will be worse off. People will die who wouldn’t have without this bill, people will live who wouldn’t have without this bill. People will not go bankrupt because of this bill, people will go bankrupt because of the bill.
The question is not “will some people benefit” or “will some people be harmed”, the question is “on the balance does this bill do more good than harm?”
I come down on the side that says it does more harm than good. I may be wrong, I may be right. We won’t know for a good 10 years or so.
If I’m wrong, I’ll admit it and eat crow.
But I think I’ll be missing a meal.
And whether it does more good than harm, having the Federal government mandate that people buy a private product that costs as much, in many cases, as their tax bill, or the IRS will fine them, sets a bad precedent. Saving a private industry which was in a death spiral (the insurance companies were only maintaining profits by cutting customers) sets a horrible precedent. And refusing to do the right thing, which would have cost less, well, doesn’t set a precedent, but does continue a very tiresome trend of the US being unwilling to do the brain dead simple thing that has worked everywhere else, because its government is captured by moneyed interests.