See, the Democrats are taking up health care legislation on the floor of the Senate and the House - but they're not quite ready because they haven't been able to bring together their "competing priorities." What would those priorities be?? "Affordable prices for insurance policies" and "comprehensive health benefits." I guess the wicked way of it is that you still can't get something for nothing, no matter how long you debate the issue.
Their legislation, no matter which version you're looking at, is going to require insurance companies to "provide coverage more generous than many policies sold in the individual market today." The kicker is that you can't require something like this and then say "and make it cheap!" So the government is going to be saddling itself with a hefty bill to provide insurance coverage for TONS of people.
Here's a way to make the cost of health coverage skyrocket. You ready? First, you insist that insurers have to accept anybody who applies. Then, you tell them they have to provide a specific level of coverage -- you've got to cover everything, basically. What's going to happen? Hmmm... let me think, let me think... I know the answer! Price increases, right? Yet this is what they're putting forward as legislation (and I'm still scouring my copy of the Constitution to find the federal government's role here, but that 10th amendment keeps getting in my way).
The Senate Finance Committee is working on a bill in which "there would be four levels of benefits - bronze, silver, gold and platinum - and all insurers would be required to offer, at a minimum, coverage in the silver and gold categories." I'm scratching my head here, wondering why there would be a bronze category if it's not allowed... but maybe I'm just too dense to understand politics very well.
They say the problem is that even those people who are "being responsible" and purchasing health insurance for themselves and/or their families aren't doing it right. They have purchased insurance, but it's not good enough insurance. According to the NYT, "there are about 17 million people who buy insurance on their own." And even they're not doing it right. I guess it's true - we really do need the government to step in and fix things for these poor stupid people.
Senator Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming is having some trouble with the concept, though. He says, "We are about to tell the nation, every person in the nation, what the minimum insurance is that they can have. And then we will institute a penalty if they don't buy the minimum insurance we say they ought to have. If they want less, we say no."
But the Democrats (and Olympia Snowe, who should be a Democrat) have a concern about people who might be stupid enough to purchase insurance in the bronze category if it's allowed. Snowe says if you choose a plan that requires you to pay a larger percentage of your medical expenses, "you could be consumed by cost sharing unless you were very healthy." Oy - which is why the very healthy choose to purchase this type of insurance.
Trying to bring about a utopia in which everyone is cared for is unreasonable and unsustainable (to use a favorite word of the left). In order to ensure that the very sick can obtain wonderful coverage for all their woes and ills, the government is going to require healthy citizens to purchase plans they don't need. They try to disguise their plans as a way to protect us from our own decisions, but... their meddling is only going to cause more problems. And once those problems come to fruition they will simply claim that it's a free-market issue and they need more regulation.