The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Militant Moderate

March 17, 2010

Health care myths

(Continued)

In actuality, the government already pays for almost half of American health care through Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, Indian Health Service, and other programs.  Private health insurance covers only a little over one-third of the health care given in this country.  Most of this comes through employer based programs, which are subsidized through tax exemptions. 

Government is already deeply involved in health care, and there is no big, new “socialistic menace” contained in the new health care proposals. 

There is a myth that the new proposals will result in individuals losing their current private health care plans, and some of those folk are uneasy about change.  Assurances, repeatedly given, that this will not happen have not been heard clearly through the political smoke screen and cacophony of shouting voices. 

The truth is that private insurance plans through employers are getting increasingly expensive.  A recent survey of employers regarding the future of health insurance as it now exists is discouraging.  This poll shows that two-thirds of the company execs expect that their employee plans will have less coverage and will be more expensive.  More than half expect to increase employee share of costs in the form of deductibles and co-pays.  Twenty percent already screen for health conditions and 20 percent more expect to do so. 

These are the truths that should be worrying those who already have insurance.  What have they to fear about a government-facilitated option of a private insurance exchange open to their employer to keep down costs through competition?  Or, for that matter, what have they to fear about the offering of a “public option” similar to Medicare, which they could choose if their employer drops their plan?  That could really cut costs.  What’s wrong with that? 

Small groups and those who must buy coverage individually face real hardships in costs and in exclusions.  Small businesses, the self-employed, and individuals without groups can ill afford any policy with decent coverage.  They are the worst victims of this system.  What’s wrong with helping these with options, and those who have no insurance at all? 

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