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Thursday, March 19, 2009

VA Funding Issue Update

Whitehouse.gov now has a press release saying the proposal to make private insurance companies primary payers for VA treatments for service-related conditions has been taken off the table.

Thank you all for the intelligent commentary while I have been shivering, sweating, bitching and whimpering.

A couple of notes as to why this is a bad idea:
While we're discussing health insurance reform, I would like to discuss the specific problems of these small companies. They do not have access to large-group rates at premiums they can afford. Large companies are allowed to arrange for group contracts for insurance that covers all their operations, without having to comply with various state restrictions. The Bush administration strove mightily to get legislation through that would give associations the same right.

That legisliation would, for example, allow the ICBA to contract for several different group policies. Then any of their members could offer those group-rated plans to their own employees. The same for mechanics, engineers, etc. That way, if a company with 11 employees sends one of them to the hospital with a heart attack, their premiums won't jack up 40% a few months later.

Since no bad idea ever seems to go to the political graveyard, I would urge readers to contact their representatives and senators about this proposal if you haven't already. Only instilling fear in legislators will prevent this from sifted back into some legislation that there is no time to read.

Apparently there are DC discussions about dumping the filibuster to run some more legislation through the pipeline, so I'd be wary.

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