December 12, 2009

Time to make noise! They allowed a cap to go through to get a lower CBO score, but how do we know what we'll get instead? Let your congress critter know they don't have their priorities straight. If you get cancer, you shouldn't have to lose your house to pay for it.

WASHINGTON — A loophole in the Senate health care bill would let insurers place annual dollar limits on medical care for people struggling with costly illnesses such as cancer, prompting a rebuke from patient advocates.

The legislation that originally passed the Senate health committee last summer would have banned such limits, but a tweak to that provision weakened it in the bill now moving toward a Senate vote.

As currently written, the Senate Democratic health care bill would permit insurance companies to place annual limits on the dollar value of medical care, as long as those limits are not "unreasonable." The bill does not define what level of limits would be allowable, delegating that task to administration officials.

Adding to the puzzle, the new language was quietly tucked away in a clause in the bill still captioned "No lifetime or annual limits."

As Marcy points out, this is another cute deal:

So what Ezra’s sources really mean is that the Senate bill–partly because it has traded off other means to keep premiums down–has had to eliminate a key promise of health care reform: that families experiencing a catastrophic health care event wouldn’t lose coverage at the time they needed it the most. What Ezra’s sources really mean is that, because they chose not to pursue other strategies which would have made it unecessary to eliminate the cap, they have instead been forced to eliminate the caps to keep the bill competitive with the House bill.

Don’t let Harry Reid fool you. The problem is not that health care “premiums would go through the roof” without caps. The problem is that Harry Reid has deliberately chosen not to use other means to prevent health care premiums from going through the roof, means that wouldn’t mean families bear the brunt of the problem.

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