The U.S. Senate Finance Committee passed a version of health care reform this week, known as the Baucus bill. It does not include a public option. South Carolina Association of Health Underwriters is a health insurance group that serve as benefit specialists. Spokesperson Robert Frazier explained to Charleston affiliate WTMA what he thinks of the government’s public run option.
“Well I’ll be out of business as soon as that is in. The public option is going to be a government run program just like Medicaid and Medicare are at this point at time. Do you think that is financially sound? You’re gonna have doctors leaving their practices, they’re going to be reimbursed, the hospitals are going to be reimbursed less. A huge flood of people, and you’re not doing anything about 14 million illegal immigrants who are not covered under this bill, not intended to buy health insurance whether they are illegal or not. They’re still going to show up on the door steps of the emergency rooms, and as a country we don’t not give people care,” says Frazier.
Frazier says in the near future people will being able to get insurance across state lines.
“The problem we’re facing is that the federalists want to come in, or the liberals want to come in and have government run health insurance, and none of the state rights to do things. Insurance, and insurance needs, and the cost for care are a lot different here than in Connecticut. It’s a lot cheaper to get something done here than in Connecticut. You’ve got pricing issues, you’ve got servicing issues, state-law issues, mandates in certain states, non-mandates in certain states. It’s a big boondoggle that can be resolved,” says Frazier.
But, Frazier says if that passes it will be another five to ten years, in his opinion, before it actually comes into play fairly.
Some may argue there is nothing good to come out of the Obama Administration’s health care plan, but Frazier says there was some decent ideas in the first draft.
“On the first drafts of the Senate and the House I thought there was some good stuff. What we don’t have is language of the bill right now. I think if they can come in and start allowing carriers and employers to penalize people for obesity. Your insurance premiums will be 22% more if you don’t fit this weight chart. If you smoke, this is what your premium is going to be. There’s all sorts of disease management things. Right now, when I have a client and they have disease management, and somebody’s got diabetes, four or five employees; I can’t know that as an employer by law and do anything about it,” says Frazier.
There are four different versions of the bill, only one has passed. Senator Lindsey Graham says the Baucus bill will hurt those who currently have private insurance. There are at least three other versions of health care reform being considered in Congress. The president’s plan is that a conference committee will join together the best of all of the proposals.