Dependable Erection

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dear Senator Hagan

You have correctly identified the problem. Why are you so afraid to implement the solution?
Premiums for employer-provided coverage have doubled in the past nine years, growing three times faster than wages. Health insurance costs for self-employed workers, many of whom own small businesses, have risen 74 percent since 2001. On our current trajectory, health care premiums for the average family will rise to nearly $25,000 by the year 2016. North Carolinians are struggling to afford health insurance coverage, and one in five North Carolinians has no health insurance. Our nation's unprecedented economic crisis has made it even more difficult for working families to manage medical costs while making ends meet. Without a doubt, our health care system is in dire need of repair.

. . .

In order to ensure that the Community Health Insurance Option competes on a level playing field, I insisted that it meet federal and state solvency requirements, that payment rates be negotiated, rather than tied to Medicare as some suggested, and that doctors and hospitals be free to choose whether to participate.

You see, for Kay Hagan, the important thing is that the playing field be level for the insurance companies that have been fucking us over for the past 20 years. Not that all Americans have equal access to high quality health care, but that the insurance companies, who along with Major League Baseball enjoy exemption from US anti-trust laws, not be forced to compete with a large insurance pool managed by the government in a not-for-profit fashion.

Thank you Senator Hagan for so clearly stating your priorities.

While I support the Community Health Insurance Option as a backstop insurance option for individuals who do not otherwise have access to affordable coverage, some have suggested alternative plans that may acheive the same goals. In particular, there has been a lot of discussion regarding establishment of non-profit health insurance co-ops or withholding the establishment of a public option unless health insurance costs meet specified reduction targets. I believe these ideas deserve full consideration as possible solutions.

What the fuck does that even mean? Withholding the establishment of a public option unless health insurance costs meet specified reduction targets? In a year where Social Security has announced no cost-of-living increases, NC BCBS has already announced an 11% rate increase. I'll be hearing from my insurance carrier at work within the next 3 weeks how much my premiums will be increasing next year. I can't imagine it'll be less than 10%, and possibly another 20%. I've been at my current job 13 years. When i started, all of my premiums were included in my benefits, and i only had to pay to cover my kids. Was about 100 bucks a month. My current premiums, for myself only, are $160/month, or just under $2k a year. Figure at least another 25 bucks a month this go 'round. Health insurance is a license to print money for the insurers. Kay Hagan sees no reason to change this arrangement. And she's a Democrat. One of 60 in the Senate.

Again, thank you for contacting my office. It is truly an honor to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate, and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me in the future should you have any further questions or concerns.

Well, if you don't start, you know, representing, you won't be having this opportunity after your first time expires.

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  • And of course you could add me to your employer-provided insurance, which would save me money, but should you ever leave/lose your job, I'd be thrown back into market to reapply for insurance. And every diagnosis I've had since I started my account (e.g., skin CANCER) becomes a reason for a new insurer to start the meter at a higher rate.

    BCBSNC has me in golden handcuffs. They are the only insurer I've found who will cover pre-existing conditions.

    I hope Senator Hagan enjoys her government-provided healthcare plan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:22 AM  

  • Actually, i believe that adding you to my plan increases my premiums beyond what you pay on your own.

    By Blogger Barry, at 11:36 AM  

  • Got my notice today that my rates are going up 12.3%. I'll be paying over $500/month now.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:35 PM  

  • Any sort of public option wouldn't be available until 2013 (except maybe some catastrophic pool). This 2009 legislation is, in effect, pulling the trigger, telling the insurance companies they've failed.

    I am curious of your reply from Hagan is identical to what she sends everyone, regardless of point-of-view. I imagine she'd reply exactly the same if I wrote, "Dear Senator, I'm afraid government's gonna take over my healthcare and ruin my Medicare!"

    At least we have Senator Hagan rather than Senator Dole...or Blanche Lincoln...or Mary Landrieu. But we have a right to expect better. I hope Hagan gets a lot of edited postcards like the one Mrs. D. sent.

    By Blogger toastie, at 1:45 PM  

  • Preach it!

    By Blogger Joe, at 5:02 PM  

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