News

Differing Views on the Employment Effect of Healthcare Reform

February 15

This month, TMP Worldwide continues to explore the drivers behind health reform and their possible implications. Below are two emerging viewpoints: approaching healthcare reform despite an increase in job losses and how the National Alliance on Mental Illness is reviewing the House's bill positively.

Pushing Health Reform When Job Losses Are Rising
Michael Barone
Real Clear Politics
November 16, 2009

"... Gallup tells us that only 47 percent of Americans think providing health insurance is a government responsibility, down from 69 percent just two years ago."

"The question is how you got to that point or, more specifically, how Barack Obama and congressional Democratic leaders decided to make expensive health care legislation a No. 1 priority at a time when the nation was facing enervating unemployment, now at 10.2 percent and rising far higher than White House projections."

"But it's hard to see what else his administration has done to address job losses that were already large when he took office and that are far larger now. The $787 billion stimulus package passed in February has undoubtedly prompted the creation of some jobs somewhere and has clearly saved the jobs of many members of the public employee unions that contributed so generously to Obama's campaigns."

"It's easy, in contrast, to spot the job-killing planks of the Obama platform. The prospect of higher taxes on high earners after the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010 is one. The surtax on high earners in the health care bill the House passed is another. The cap-and-trade bill passed by the House, which would increase the cost of energy to avert disasters predicted for 50 years hence, is another."

"So here is a suggestion for the jobs summit. The president should put on again the bipartisan hat he wore during much of the campaign and embrace the proposal by some Republicans for a payroll tax holiday. Cutting our most regressive tax should appeal to Democrats. And it would immediately reduce the cost of job creation. Voting for health care legislation may or may not help incumbents. Voting for a payroll tax cut would."

For the full article, see:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/11/16/pushing_health_reform_when_job_losses_are_rising__99152.html

NAMI Applauds Initial Review of The Affordable Health Care of America Act and Health Care Reform
PRWEB
October 30, 2009

"An initial review of the House bill (HR 3962) reveals three key components critical to people living with mental illness:

  1. Medicaid expansion for childless adults up to 150% of the federal poverty level (about $16,200 in annual income for individual), including individuals living with serious mental illness who currently do not qualify for Medicaid coverage in their state. These individuals are currently more likely to be uninsured and most likely to be without any health care insurance coverage at all. The House bill would insure access to lifesaving medical care for this vulnerable group.
  2. Expanded coverage for the uninsured through the new health insurance "Exchange" would be required to have mental health benefits and cover those benefits at parity. This would expand the 2008 federal parity law into the individual and small group market in many states.
  3. New protections for individuals that already have insurance coverage or are at risk of losing coverage. Insurance reforms included in the House bill would ensure that people with mental illness could not be denied health insurance benefits on the basis of a preexisting condition or could not be dropped from existing coverage due to their medical condition."

For the full article, see:
http://www.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news-1/NAMI-Applauds-Initial-Review-of-The-Affordable-Health-Care-of-America-Act-and-Health-Care-Reform—60444-2

Facts and Figures Driving the Reform Movement (http://www.healthreform.gov) - This month, Georgia, Virginia and Colorado:

Georgia:

  • Ending the Hidden Tax — Saving You Money: Right now, providers in Georgia lose over $1.7 billion in bad debt which often gets passed along to families in the form of a hidden premium "tax".1 Health insurance reform will tackle this financial burden by improving our health care system and covering the uninsured, allowing the 147 hospitals2 and the 23,489 physicians3 in Georgia to better care for their patients.
  • Health Insurance Premium Relief: Premiums for residents of Georgia have risen 88% since 2000.4 Through health insurance reform, 1,399,600 to 1,575,900 middle class Georgia residents will be eligible for premium credits to ease the burden of these high costs.5
  • Strengthening Small Businesses: 126,680 employers in Georgia are small businesses.6 With tax credits and a health insurance exchange where they can shop for health plans, insurance coverage will become more affordable for them.
  • Reforms that Reduce Your Costs: Under health insurance reform, insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.  Insurance companies will also have to abide by yearly limits on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses, helping 49,800 households in Georgia struggling under the burden of high health care expenses.7
  • Insurance Stability and Security: Health insurance reform will strengthen our system of employer-based health insurance, with an additional 97,000 people in Georgia potentially getting insurance through their work.8 Health insurance reform will also ensure that you will always have guaranteed choices of quality, affordable health insurance if you lose your job, switch jobs, move or get sick.
  • Eliminating Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions, Health Status or Gender: 10% of people in Georgia have diabetes9, and 30% have high blood pressure10 — two conditions that insurance companies could use as a reason to deny you health insurance. Health insurance reform will prevent insurance companies from denying coverage based on your health, and it will end discrimination that charges you more if you're sick or a woman.
  • One-Stop Shopping — Putting Families in Charge: With the new health insurance exchange, you can easily and simply compare insurance prices and health plans and decide which quality affordable option is right for you and your family. These proposals will help the 1,660,200 residents of Georgia who currently do not have health insurance to obtain needed coverage, and it will also help the 340,400 Georgia residents who currently purchase insurance in the individual insurance market.11 
  • Guaranteeing Choices: The largest health insurer in Georgia holds 51% of the market, which limits the choices that you have for finding coverage.12 With a competitive public insurance option, you will have more choices and increased competition that holds insurance companies accountable.
  • Preventive Care for Better Health: 38% of Georgia residents have not had a colorectal cancer screening, and 17% of women have not had a mammogram in the past 2 years.13 By requiring health plans to cover preventive services for everyone, investing in prevention and wellness, and promoting primary care, health insurance reform will work to create a system that prevents illness and disease instead of just treating it when it's too late and costs more.
  • Improving Care for Children and Seniors: 20% of children in Georgia have not visited a dentist in the past year,14 and 33% of seniors did not receive a flu vaccine15. Health reform will ensure coverage for kids' dental, vision, and hearing needs, and will promote quality coverage for America's seniors, including recommended immunizations.

Virginia:

  • Ending the Hidden Tax — Saving You Money: Right now, providers in Virginia lose over $744 million in bad debt which often gets passed along to families in the form of a hidden premium "tax".1 Health insurance reform will tackle this financial burden by improving our health care system and covering the uninsured, allowing the 87 hospitals2 and the 24,091 physicians3 in Virginia to better care for their patients.
  • Health Insurance Premium Relief: Premiums for residents of Virginia have risen 99% since 2000.4 Through health insurance reform, 827,600 to 1,004,300 middle class Virginia residents will be eligible for premium credits to ease the burden of these high costs.5
  • Strengthening Small Businesses: 112,241 employers in Virginia are small businesses.6 With tax credits and a health insurance exchange where they can shop for health plans, insurance coverage will become more affordable for them.
  • Reforms that Reduce Your Costs: Under health insurance reform, insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.  Insurance companies will also have to abide by yearly limits on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses, helping 29,500 households in Virginia struggling under the burden of high health care expenses.7
  • Insurance Stability and Security: Health insurance reform will strengthen our system of employer-based health insurance, with an additional 80,400 people in Virginia potentially getting insurance through their work.8 Health insurance reform will also ensure that you will always have guaranteed choices of quality, affordable health insurance if you lose your job, switch jobs, move or get sick.
  • Eliminating Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions, Health Status or Gender: 8% of people in Virginia have diabetes9, and 27% have high blood pressure10 — two conditions that insurance companies could use as a reason to deny you health insurance. Health insurance reform will prevent insurance companies from denying coverage based on your health, and it will end discrimination that charges you more if you're sick or a woman.
  • One-Stop Shopping — Putting Families in Charge: With the new health insurance exchange, you can easily and simply compare insurance prices and health plans and decide which quality affordable option is right for you and your family. These proposals will help the 1,070,600 residents of Virginia who currently do not have health insurance to obtain needed coverage, and it will also help the 300,000 Virginia residents who currently purchase insurance in the individual insurance market.11
  • Guaranteeing Choices: The largest health insurer in Virginia holds 50% of the market, which limits the choices that you have for finding coverage.12 With a competitive public insurance option, you will have more choices and increased competition that holds insurance companies accountable.
  • Preventive Care for Better Health: 30% of Virginia residents have not had a colorectal cancer screening, and 19% of women have not had a mammogram in the past 2 years.13 By requiring health plans to cover preventive services for everyone, investing in prevention and wellness, and promoting primary care, health insurance reform will work to create a system that prevents illness and disease instead of just treating it when it's too late and costs more.
  • Improving Care for Children and Seniors: 21% of children in Virginia have not visited a dentist in the past year,14 and 25% of seniors did not receive a flu vaccine15. Health reform will ensure coverage for kids' dental, vision, and hearing needs, and will promote quality coverage for America's seniors, including recommended immunizations.

Colorado:

  • Ending the Hidden Tax — Saving You Money: Right now, providers in Colorado lose over $597 million in bad debt which often gets passed along to families in the form of a hidden premium "tax".1 Health insurance reform will tackle this financial burden by improving our health care system and covering the uninsured, allowing the 75 hospitals2 and the 15,408 physicians3 in Colorado to better care for their patients.
  • Health Insurance Premium Relief: Premiums for residents of Colorado have risen 91% since 2000.4 Through health insurance reform, 638,600 to 720,500 middle class Colorado residents will be eligible for premium credits to ease the burden of these high costs.5
  • Strengthening Small Businesses: 87,501 employers in Colorado are small businesses.6 With tax credits and a health insurance exchange where they can shop for health plans, insurance coverage will become more affordable for them.
  • Reforms that Reduce Your Costs: Under health insurance reform, insurance companies will be prevented from placing annual or lifetime caps on the coverage you receive.  Insurance companies will also have to abide by yearly limits on how much they can charge for out-of-pocket expenses, helping 22,000 households in Colorado struggling under the burden of high health care expenses.7
  • Insurance Stability and Security: Health insurance reform will strengthen our system of employer-based health insurance, with an additional 50,900 people in Colorado potentially getting insurance through their work.8 Health insurance reform will also ensure that you will always have guaranteed choices of quality, affordable health insurance if you lose your job, switch jobs, move or get sick.
  • Eliminating Discrimination for Pre-Existing Conditions, Health Status or Gender: 6% of people in Colorado have diabetes9, and 21% have high blood pressure10 — two conditions that insurance companies could use as a reason to deny you health insurance. Health insurance reform will prevent insurance companies from denying coverage based on your health, and it will end discrimination that charges you more if you're sick or a woman.
  • One-Stop Shopping — Putting Families in Charge: With the new health insurance exchange, you can easily and simply compare insurance prices and health plans and decide which quality affordable option is right for you and your family. These proposals will help the 813,200 residents of Colorado who currently do not have health insurance to obtain needed coverage, and it will also help the 334,700 Colorado residents who currently purchase insurance in the individual insurance market.11
  • Guaranteeing Choices: The largest health insurer in Colorado holds 35% of the market, which limits the choices that you have for finding coverage.12 With a competitive public insurance option, you will have more choices and increased competition that holds insurance companies accountable.
  • Preventive Care for Better Health: 38% of Colorado residents have not had a colorectal cancer screening, and 24% of women have not had a mammogram in the past 2 years.13 By requiring health plans to cover preventive services for everyone, investing in prevention and wellness, and promoting primary care, health insurance reform will work to create a system that prevents illness and disease instead of just treating it when it's too late and costs more.
  • Improving Care for Children and Seniors: 23% of children in Colorado have not visited a dentist in the past year,14 and 24% of seniors did not receive a flu vaccine15. Health reform will ensure coverage for kids' dental, vision, and hearing needs, and will promote quality coverage for America's seniors, including recommended immunizations.
  • 1 Hospital uncompensated care cost is estimated using a GAO model and the Hospital Cost Reports. Total uncompensated care is computed as hospital uncompensated care divided by 63% (Hadley and Holahan's study on "The Cost of Care for the Uninsured" for Kaiser in 2004 found that hospitals account for 63% of total uncompensated care). Data expressed in 2009 dollars using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "National Health Expenditure Data."
  • 2 2007 AHA Annual Survey Copyright 2009 by Health Forum LLC, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, special data request, March 2009. Available at http://www.ahaonlinestore.com.
  • 3 American Medical Association, Physicians Professional Data, year of data 2008, copyright 2008: Special Data Request.
  • 4 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2000, Table II.D.1. Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2006, Table X.D. Projected 2009 premiums based on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "National Health Expenditure Data."
  • 5 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. Annual Social and Economic Supplements, March 2007 and 2008.
  • 6 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2006, Table II.A.1a.
  • 7 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2006.
  • 8 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. HIA-4 Health Insurance Coverage Status and Type of Coverage by State—All Persons: 1999 to 2007, 2007. Calculations based on Congressional Budget Office. Letter to the Hon Charles Rangel on America's Affordable Health Choices Act, July 14, 2009.
  • 9 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008.
  • 10 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007.
  • 11 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. Annual Social and Economic Supplements, March 2007 and 2008.
  • 12 American Medical Association. (2008,2009). "Competition in health insurance: A comprehensive study of U.S. Markets: 2008 Update," American Medical Association.
  • 13 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007.
  • 14 Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health.
  • 15 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007.
Contact Us Back to top