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POLICY/HEALTH PLANS: Stronger Rules Sought on Association Health Plans – Los Angeles Times

Following up the post about the Shadegg legislation which would allow people to buy health insurance across state lines, the other shoe dropping in the Congress is the approval of Association Health Plans — legislation passed in the House and now en route to the Senate, which basically will allow associations of varying stripes and ethical fortitude to offer health insurance across state lines also without having to adhere to state regulations. These are descendants of the Multiple Employer Welfare Trusts of the 1980s, which were essentially a license to print money for organized crime.

Consumer groups in California are prepping for these early, trying to get their retaliation in first, and are finding a willing audience in Insurance Commish John Garamendi.

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RickMatthew HolttheorajonesgadflyRon Greiner Recent comment authors
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Ron Greiner
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Ron Greiner

Rick, You write, “And what was the methodology of the study from which this 37% statistic came? How many of this 37 percent were newcomers to the insurance market (e.g. college graduates getting their first job with benefits).” A health insurance application will ask if the proposed insured has current coverage. They can answer Yes or No. They add up these answers I assume. This is not a complicated issue. Also, if a student has just graduated from college the same question will be asked. If the student had insurance as a dependent on their parents plan they will say,… Read more »

Matthew Holt
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I’m trying to get come context from the eHealthinsurance study…..bu I agree with Rick. The uninsured turn over rapidly as a group….and their overall numbers are not going down. Two nuggets that suggest that HSAs wont do much to change things. Meanwhile only 1,000,000 HSAs have been sold, which means that only 300,000 if them (if we believe the Galne Institue) went to the previously uninsured of whom there are 45 million — so at this point it’s a rounding error. On the other hand I think that for an individual to have a high-dducitible plan is better than for… Read more »

Rick
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Rick

Sorry, Ron, but I like my statistics with a side helping of context. Before there were HSAs, how many uninsured people were newcomers to the insurance market every year? And what was the methodology of the study from which this 37% statistic came? How many of this 37 percent were newcomers to the insurance market (e.g. college graduates getting their first job with benefits). Without context, I can make the argument that getting a job with benefits is the answer to the problem of uninsurance. But we all know how you feel about that. Really, we do. Your standalone statistic,… Read more »

Ron Greiner
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Ron Greiner

theorajones, 37% of HSAs had no previous insurance. You and Matthew think these uninsured people are rich, figures.

Matthew Holt
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C’mon Theora, haven’t you heard of “trickle-down”!

theorajones
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For comparison: 67% of the uninsured make less than $50k. Furthermore, the median income in the us is about $43k–fully half of all people make $43k or less a year.
So, fully 71% of the people buying this insurance are better off than the majority of us. And most of the people who are buying this insurance already have insurance–they’re just trading in for a better deal.
Your own stats support the argument that this is basically a boondoggle for the well-off and the healthy.

gadfly
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gadfly

Yep, those Federal legislators want their family and friends to have more tax shelter options. This is class-based pork.

Ron Greiner
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Ron Greiner

Garamendi is a Democrat who is very uninformed. Setting Garamendi Straight 8/11/2005 11:04:00 AM By Grace-Marie Turner Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi grabbed the spotlight this week by blasting Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in his latest report “Priced Out. Health Care in California” while stressing his demand for a universal, government-run health care system. But his accusations against consumer-directed health care (CDHC) products are not backed by actual experience of people in the plans. Some examples from his report: o Consumer directed plans “put the entire health system at risk,” Garamendi says, because they attract the young and healthy into leaner… Read more »