In the 9 News article reporting that 130,000 signatures for the Colorado Right to Health Care Choice Initiative (Colorado Amendment 63) were delivered to the Secretary of State’s office, Rep. Diana DeGette has an strange interpretation of the Initiative’s content:
It’s hard to imagine that there are too many Colorado seniors who don’t want the Medicare donut hole closed, parents who don’t want their children to have coverage as young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions who don’t want to finally get insurance or families and small business owners who aren’t interested in actually being able to afford coverage. … But if there are, it’s certainly his right to try and find them.
The text of the Colorado Right to Health Care Choice Initiative focuses on mandatory insurance:
… no statute, regulation, resolution, or policy adopted or enforced by the state of Colorado, its departments and agencies, independently or at the instance of the United States shall: (a) require any person directly or indirectly to participate in any public or private health insurance plan, health coverage plan, health benefit plan, or similar plan …
Maybe I’m missing something, but I do not see how this would affect parts of the health control legislation (HR 3590) passed earlier this year that she mentions above.
For why mandatory insurance is a bad idea, I recommend:
- Mandatory Health Insurance: Wrong for Massachusetts, Wrong for America, by , MD
- Individual Mandates for Health Insurance: Slippery Slope to National Health Care, by ,
As for what Rep. DeGette mentions:
- OF course seniors want the Medicare “donut hole” closed. It means they pay less for prescription medications because current or future taxpayers will pay the bill. This also perpetuates a core problem with health care in the U.S.: patients are insulated from the true cost of their care.
- Addressing pre-existing conditions with insurance price controls (community rating and guaranteed issue) encourages insurers to act like slumlords who design their products such that sick people do not want them.
- “parents who don’t want their children to have coverage as young adults”: she’s referring to the part of HR3590 that requires insurers to classify adults as old as 26 as “dependents” on one of their parent’s plans – if the parent wants their son or daughter on the plan. This will raise premiums by about 1%, says the Dept. of Health & Human Services.
- Small business: As I blogged earlier, the health control bill will drown businesses in 1099 tax forms. New taxes on insurance premiums will disproportionately affect small businesses.