Thursday, March 19, 2009
VA Funding Issue Update
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:
- Tricare eligibility is restricted primarily to retirees, active duty and dependents thereof. So a lot of reservists, etc, won't have it once they come off active duty, and a lot of vets who served a few years aren't eligible.
- No one knows what the actual cost would be, but the proposal projected a savings of 530-540 million annually. This seems pretty hefty and indicates that quite a few persons would be affected.
- Most jobs in this country are actually in small companies that have small group insurance. Rates are boosted to reflect the claims. People who work for larger companies or state/gov/local/agencies have no clue. One person going to the hospital for something like a heart problem or a head injury can produce a $200-$400 monthly increase in premiums within a couple of months.
- Therefore this proposal has the potential to produce some very difficult problems for smaller companies and veterans.
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.