nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Health Care Reform Costs: Many Premiums Rise, Mr President

In Cleveland this week the President said, "You'll be able to buy in, or a small business will be able to buy into this pool,...And that will lower rates, it's estimated, by up to 14 to 20 percent over what you're currently getting. That's money out of pocket....Your employer, it's estimated, would see premiums fall by as much as 3,000 percent," [emphasis added] said the president, "which means they could give you a raise."

No, no, Mr. President.  Your own White House Staff has said that you mis-spoke on that incredible "3,000 percent" part.  They say you should have said "3,000 dollars."  OK, fine, but it goes farther than that.  The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO)  has already said that employer savings, if any, will be minimal--at most 3%.

But the first statement is also not true.  The Kaiser Family Foundation, a well-respected research organization that supports health care reform, admits that premiums will still go up even under reform,  but "hopes" not as fast.

Also, the CBO concluded that premiums for people buying their own coverage would go up by an average of 10 percent to 13 percent, compared with the levels they'd reach without the legislation. That's mainly because policies in the individual insurance market would provide more comprehensive benefits than they do today.  As government sets increased standards for what policies must cover, the costs go up.

The only way to achieve what the President says, is if you have an individual catastrophic-only policy and you are able to keep it, temporarily.  But you have to accept that you'll still be paying 100% cash for anything less than a catastrophe.

The bills are so complex that it will take us months to sort out all the hidden costs, payoffs, and special deals.  The first impact on the average citizen will be the taxes that have to be collected for several years in order to get the program going in 2014.  Only then will you find out if you can get a doctor, see a doctor, get your treatment, and pay for it all.  Make yourself a note to look back from 2014 to 2010, to see which group of pundits were correct.

History says that the US government never controls cost.  My 27 years in federal service have convinced me that the government is incapable of fostering competition, au contraire government almost always eliminates its favor.

Here's hoping...

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