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TOPIC: Putting the brakes on health insurers


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Putting the brakes on health insurers

Read @ LATimes.com - Opinion

Putting the brakes on health insurers

Obama should forbid premium hikes until the companies comply with pricing provisions of the new federal law.

October 19, 2010|By Jamie Court and Carmen Balber

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in August found that 7 in 10 Americans have an unfavorable view of the mandatory health insurance provision. After exposure to arguments about positive benefits of the mandatory law, support rose to only 42%.

7 of 10 have negative opinion.  3 of 10 have positive opinion.  = 30/100.
Positive benefits of the mandatory law are shared.
Now about 4.2 of 10 have positive opinion. = 42/100
12% increase.  That is quite significant.  Interesting.


After a temporary price freeze, the White House should then fight for real rate regulation that gives all state governments the power to reject unreasonable rates. Congress may not be able to pass such a law, but Obama can help his allies use the ballot measure process available in 24 states and the District of Columbia to give regulators the ability to stop unnecessary premium increases. He can also encourage the development of state-based public options to the private insurance market. The president has the power and the pulpit. He should use them.

Interesting approach being advocated in this article. Two thoughts:
  • While I agree that the Ballot Measure process can be used, I dont know if there is enough time to get it in for this round. We really need the freeze now. [If Scott Brown was not elected, the Congress would have had the chance to work the HCR reform a lot better with continued unification of the House and Senate versions.  There were also signs that the Secretary of HHS (Sebelius) had put haults on insurance rate increases.  Those possibly could have been extended a lot more.]
  • Also, can a President put a freeze on rates for an industry when there is no impending legislation on the table? I dont know if that is possible. Do you know?

So, let's look at this from the viewpoint of the upcoming congress.  It's a given that the Congress will become more Republican. 

Further, we have seen that Republicans are openly and admittedly more pro-business and couldnt care less about the increasing wealth divide and the larger number of people  that have slipped below the poverty line over the W.Bush years.  The situation of the poor and unemployed is unlikely to improve given the further flattening of the global economy in the coming years, ESPECIALLY if the corporations do not get penalized for taking jobs outside the US.

So, we have to wonder --
  • Will the upcoming congress be able to swing the HCR further in favor of the people (and corporations) and further less in favor of the insurance companies?
as also the more pressing question on jobs --
  • Will the upcoming congress be able to reign in the Corporations into creating jobs within US instead of outside the US?
Meanwhile, let's also think about this.
  • If the Tea party driven Repubs force a stop spending measure in this economy, what will happen to money supply M1 and M3 in the economy?

Here are the associated stark realities:

We are teetering on the brink of a second and deeper recession.

Without creating jobs in the US, it is near impossible to increase more money supply in this economy.

Withdraw money from this economy, you will stifle what jobgrowth there has come as a result of the stimulus that has been spent thus far [Note: A lot of the stimulus has not been spent yet.]

Insurance sector will be the last fight that the next Congress will pick.  As long as the DISCLOSE ACT is not passed, none of the Corporations will be taken on by the upcoming Congress. 

I really wonder about the supreme court - they have dealt a supreme blow to our democracy and in turn to our economy.  Supreme court of all institution should have known not to equate individual rights with corporate rights on right to free speech... but if it did, why not extend the same restraint and opennes that was in McCain-Feingold also to Corporations?  I hope DISCLOSE ACT goes through.  It is essential to get the current mess to be corrected.

Democracy needs defending - SOS Hillary Clinton, Sept 8, 2010
Democracy is more than just elections - SOS Hillary Clinton, Oct 28, 2010

Madam Secretary Blog at ForeignPolicy.com
Project Vote Smart - Stay informed and engaged!
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