Health Care Affordability Act

Colorado just passed the “Health Care Affordability Act.” (I love it
when politicians call a bill something that is the opposite of what it
is.) This bill is tax on hospitals designed to help “fund” the
uninsured by placing that burden on the hospitals. The hospital's
only choice is to pass that cost down to their consumer, the paying
sick, thus raising health care costs. Analysts estimate that this
will raise individual hospital bills by 5%. For a $10,000 hospital
bill, that's an additional $500! In essence, it is government kicking
you while you are already down.

This tax...oops... I’m sorry, I keep forgetting it’s a “fee.” If it
were a “tax” it would violate TABOR, but if we call it a “fee,” then
it is okay (even though 40 other states call it a tax). This "fee" is
made even more outrageous by the fact that the legislation does not
allow the hospitals from itemizing the tax on their billing
statements! So much for transparency. Why would the Assembly make such
a provision? For one reason: so that when your hospital bill goes up,
you blame the hospitals and not the government. Being as sick as I
frequently am, this bill irritates me.

To read more on this topic you can go here


Benjamin said...

Here is a comment posted by Jonathan L:

Oregon is poised to do what Colorado appears to be doing on health care. The idea is that, if we can raise an additional billion in state revenues for Medicaid, we get an additional billion ("for free") from the feds. Two proposals, a tax on medical insurers (opposed by labor, would increase their premiums) and a tax on hospitals, are on the table.

Currently, the hospital/medical fees not paid by the uninsured are already being passed along to hospitals and to those with insurance. The additional $2 billion would add thousands of people to the Medicaid rolls, reducing unpaid care, increasing paid care. In the end, what the insurers/hospitals pay in taxes will likely be "repaid" by this increase in paid care. And we end up with more people with better access to regular care.

There are probably many ways we could reach a situation in which all Americans had access to health care. Every other first world country has universal coverage, and, with few exceptions, the people of those countries really seem happy with their systems. In fact, they pay far less as a % of GDP, and have much better health outcomes as well.

For a long time, I hated the notion of thinking of health care as a "right"; for every "right" we create these days, someone else usually ends of paying for it. One the other hand, I think about many rights I don't mind paying for -- public education, public libraries, road and streets and bike paths, public safety/police, etc.. So how would I feel about paying for someone else's public health care?

In fact, we already do pay for the uninsured. The huge costs of unpaid/charity care are already added to our insurance and our bills; the new laws in Colorado (and soon Oregon) add just a small amount to what insurers and hospitals have always added. It would be cheaper and more efficient just to take those "taxes" and use the money to give everyone health care. It's a "tax" that's going to be paid one way or the other. Why not do it openly and efficiently?

Cheryl Pass said...

Well, Jonathan L., since you wish to pay for X amount of other people's health care, my question is; why don't you? Go to any hospital close to you and just unload your bank account to pay the bills of those indigents who are unpaid recipients of "free" health care. But, NOOOOOO, you want EVERYONE to pay for it.
I'm always amazed at the strange idea of saying, because we have public roads, that justifies paying for fifty trillion dollars of other public services anyone wishes. Where does that end? Infinity?

As to the success of other "public" services, "It would be cheaper and more efficient" is an oxymoron. I really would lOVE the DMV bureaucrats running our health care system. Or how about the teacher's union. Now there is a great success story. Public education has certainly been "cheaper and more efficient" ....If you like indoctrinated big-government robots who can't think for themselves.

On this: "Every other first world country has universal coverage, and, with few exceptions, the people of those countries really seem happy with their systems."...Who are you kidding with this? Have you seen the stats and policies on health care in Britain and Canada? You have to be kidding.

And this is the biggest joke you stated, "we get an additional billion ("for free") from the feds." Where exactly do you think that money comes from? Free? Who are you kidding with that?

So, Benjamin, as Margaret Thatcher so eloquently put it, "The problem with Socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people's money."
It is the entitlement programs that have already put us in this dire economic situation. Why would you then come to the conclusion that more entitlement programs is the way to fix anything? You've been poisoned with arsenic.....is the cure more arsenic? I guess it is if the goal is to impoverish and kill a nation of free men, rip up the U.S. Constitution, and enslave all Americans to Marxism.

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