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A Good Step on Health Care Reform Reform
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The US Senate voted to repeal a particularly bad piece of the Health Care Law today on an 81-17 vote.  81-17 is significant not only because of how overwhelmingly it passed, but because you simply cannot reach that number without bipartisan support.

What part of the law was repealed?
The specific piece repealed was a provision which would require all employers to file a Form 1099 for any vendor with which they spent a cumulative $600 in a calendar year.  Some opponents of the provision argued that this was an invasive tracking mechanism of a business’ buying habits.  Most critics, including myself, argued that it was a huge paperwork boondoggle that did nothing to fix any part of our health care system.

The law passed in 2010, formally entitled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was a bitterly debated bill before being signed into law.  In our opinion, the law has much more to do with regulating health insurance than reducing the cost of care (which would reduce the cost of insurance). 

The effect of the Senate’s actions today may never be known, since a Federal judge ruled that the law in its entirely is unconstitutional.  That decision is already being appealed, and all bets are that the US Supreme Court will have the last word on the constitutionality of the law.

In my humble opinion…
As I’ve posted on this space before, I irk my conservative friends when I agree that an individual mandate to buy insurance is a good thing.  Whether the Federal government has the power to do such a thing is a question for the courts.  And if the ruling comes down that this must be handled at the State level to be constitutional, I would welcome a “dual mandate”, or one that requires carriers to accept all applicants and simultaneously require all citizens to purchase insurance.  Such a dual mandate could do wonders for our health care system by immediately covering all citizens, but it would have to be accompanied by true cost-saving measures such as serious limits on medical malpractice lawsuits and the elimination of duplicate government-run care systems. 

We have the best health care system in the world.  It has problems, but it’s not as broken as the media portrays it to be.  The real problem is that a large percentage of the population is already enrolled in a socialized form of medicine (Medicare, Medicaid) and the rest of us are subsidizing the cost of those poorly managed programs.  We need to either socialize the whole thing, ro liberate it.  And since government has done such a bang-up job of managing costs I’ll put my money on the free market.

Purves Insurance is located in Davis, CA and we believe that everyone should, and can, have quality health care.