Friday, May 22, 2009

Health Care Deform Predictions


Politicians think citizens are stupid. America's uninsured problem isn't going away anytime soon, despite the Obama team's promises. Corporations and the government want to do less in the way of coverage. That leaves the individual to pay. To the extent citizens are financially strained, this becomes problematic. Thus, changes will be implemented over time, while implementers hope like mad for a financial recovery. Tea leaves to date point to:


1. Undocumented residents being left out of any plans. This leaves 9 to 12 million uninsureds for the safety net to address in perpetuity.

2. Any public plan being privately administered. From our hallowed halls of government to corporate executive suites, general contracting is their forte. The question is how many layers of "profit maximizing" private sector corporations sit between the public plan and the insured?

3. Taxing employer health insurance benefits as a revenue source. This is a ruse. When coverage becomes taxable for the business and deductible for the individual, corporations will shed that pesky health insurance benefit like a used condom. The benefit savings will fuel another engorgement of CEO incentive pay.

4. Taxing nonprofit community hospitals, i.e. safety net providers. This is another revenue source idea floated by Senator Chuck Grassley and Gail Wilensky. They suggested with all Americans having coverage, this tax break would no longer be needed. Yet, huge holes will remain in the safety net from the lengthy phase in and undocumented residents. Taxing safety net providers would implode those already in financial distress. The for-profit health care sector, which grandly supports Max Baucus and the aforementioned tax proponents, could ride in and pick up distressed assets on the cheap. It's the same game plan private equity underwriters (PEU's) have for buying bad banks. Will Uncle Sam finance HCA's purchase of your nonprofit community hospital, like it does for The Carlyle Group's buying of BankUnited?

5. What won't get taxed are 527 nonprofit political organizations. Ex-Columbia/HCA CEO Rick Scott can use tax free money for ads distorting health care reform efforts. Conservatives for Patients' Rights and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth may soon have greater tax benefits than a safety net provider.

Corporate sponsored health care reform is coming. The Obama team uses Chamber of Commerce lingo in their call for change. If you liked the massive corporafornication after Wall Street's implosion, you'll love health care deform. It's coming.

Update 2-22-13:  Taxing health insurance plans are a big part of health reform.

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