Health Care Reform Bill Passes

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Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Cryopyre » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:01 am UTC

Health Care Reform passes the House! This is exciting, we should see where this ends up.
See the news here.

I have long awaited this, to be honest. Of course, this is not the end of it, as now the House and Senate must reconcile the differences in the bill and make it consistent. For a bill as large as this, that will take quite a while, not to mention the controversy.

Still this is a big step, in my opinion, towards a better healthcare system for America.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby The Reaper » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:38 am UTC

In this congress, we vote for things we don't read.

-sigh-

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby sje46 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:39 am UTC

And we vote against things we don't read too. Repubs...
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby PhoenixRider » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:42 am UTC

I still don't understand the mindset in making such a long bill.
Surely it could be shortened and still contain the same information.

Ahh well, one of many perks in being Canadian I suppose.

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby The Reaper » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:46 am UTC

sje46 wrote:And we vote against things we don't read too. Repubs...

Wait a second, are you saying we shouldn't vote against things we don't read? Should we sign contracts we don't read as well? Here, sign this. It's so you can collect a billion dollars.by billion dollars we mean you give us all your vital organs and assets, while giving your debt to your family members, to include the price of removing your organs. Thanks!

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby psyck0 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:49 am UTC

Quite frankly I think a crippling health care bill that introduces the concept of socialism to Americans would be a good thing so they can get used to the idea, rather than the bullshit the media feeds them. They can always fix the bill later.

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby sje46 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:54 am UTC

The Reaper wrote:
sje46 wrote:And we vote against things we don't read too. Repubs...

Wait a second, are you saying we shouldn't vote against things we don't read? Should we sign contracts we don't read as well? Here, sign this. It's so you can collect a billion dollars.by billion dollars we mean you give us all your vital organs and assets, while giving your debt to your family members, to include the price of removing your organs. Thanks!

You say it got passed because the liberals didn't read the bill. I'm saying that it almost didn't get passed because the Republicans didn't read the bill, implying that if they did, they would support it.

I'm saying this primarily to show what a bad comment yours was. I've only the vaguist idea what's in the bill.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby nowfocus » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:57 am UTC

Well Congrats to the US are in order. A society can be judged by how they treat their poorest, and the US just took a big step forward.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby netcrusher88 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:02 am UTC

PhoenixRider wrote:I still don't understand the mindset in making such a long bill.
Surely it could be shortened and still contain the same information.

Maybe, maybe not. It could certainly be shortened and do something far more effective - HR 676 extends Medicare into a single-payer system in the space of 30 pages but that bill is going exactly nowhere.


My thoughts on what I've read of the bill:
The good:
  • Projected to cover 36 million currently uninsured and lower the deficit by $104 billion over the next 10 years
  • Includes Medicare reform provisions which should help lower costs
  • Medicare will cover preventative care 100%
  • Closes "donut hole" in Medicare drug coverage (eventually)
  • Includes a public option
  • Outlaws denying coverage or price discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, gender, or other medical history
  • Limits rescission (denying payment for care for policyholders or dropping policyholders)
  • Includes individual mandate whose fines (collected via income tax, I believe) will be used to fund subsidies
  • Includes tax credit for small businesses
  • Ends antitrust exemption for health insurance industry
  • Requires drug companies to report any payment of over $5 to doctors or distributors
  • Extends Medicaid to 150% of the poverty line
The bad:
  • Individual mandate is likely to still be cheaper than insurance
  • Still not universal
  • Not single-payer
  • Public option will not cover abortion (EDIT: reddit points out this has stood since 1976)
The ugly:
  • Won't take effect until 2013, by which time another 90,000 or more people will have died due to not having health coverage
  • Still not universal
  • Public option only available to those currently uninsured, not tied to Medicare rates, may not actually do anything to control costs
  • Subsidies still require a significant portion of income: up to 12% in the highest bracket subsidized
I'm sure more information will be available soon, this is just what I've gleaned from a WSJ article.

EDIT: House Committee information page
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:12 am UTC

Let's not forget that it just past the house by a rather slim margin, it still has to be rationalized between the senate. My money's on the public option ultimately being scrapped but rather stringent rules regarding preexisting conditions and mandates being preserved, but I could see it going any direction at this point.

The idea that you can make a successful single-payer system in 30 pages is kind of absurd though, doing it well would require obscene amounts of planning, oversight, and time.

Edit - why would the public option be tied to Medicare rates? The idea of the public option I thought was to demonstrate the waste in the private system that many believe to exist, not to guarantee good, cheap coverage come hell or high water. Or do you mean they're not trying to negotiate rates through the same mechanism?
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby netcrusher88 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:16 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:The idea that you can make a successful single-payer system in 30 pages is kind of absurd though, doing it well would require obscene amounts of planning, oversight, and time.

Indeed - which has already been put into Medicare. Not that I think 30 pages is enough to properly extend Medicare (nor do I like some of the provisions in HR 676) but the point stands.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:17 am UTC

The idea that you can make a successful single-payer system in 30 pages is kind of absurd though, doing it well would require obscene amounts of planning, oversight, and time.


Or large pieces of paper :lol:

On topic--I won't be interested until we get the final bill up for a vote.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Dangermouse » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:19 am UTC

The Reaper wrote:In this congress, we vote for things we don't read.

-sigh-



-cough cough- Just like the Patriot Act!

Oh wait, that was the republican party. They Can Do No Evil and Are Good Just Patriots.


:roll:

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby The Reaper » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:20 am UTC

sje46 wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
sje46 wrote:And we vote against things we don't read too. Repubs...

Wait a second, are you saying we shouldn't vote against things we don't read? Should we sign contracts we don't read as well? Here, sign this. It's so you can collect a billion dollars.by billion dollars we mean you give us all your vital organs and assets, while giving your debt to your family members, to include the price of removing your organs. Thanks!

You say it got passed because the liberals didn't read the bill. I'm saying that it almost didn't get passed because the Republicans didn't read the bill, implying that if they did, they would support it.

I'm saying this primarily to show what a bad comment yours was. I've only the vaguist idea what's in the bill.

I say it got passed because it was the democrats hot button issue du jour. I could care less about that. I'm more annoyed by congress passing anything and not reading it prior to doing so. Sufficed to say, not all republicans would support the bill just because they read it.

I'm fairly certain it wont get through the senate in the current form its in anyway.


as per the patriot act: did i say anything about ANY PARTY? no. I think the patriot act was just as stupid. Guess what? It wasn't only republicans that voted for it. zomgwtfbbqchurch.

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:26 am UTC

Yeah, but 676 is kind of a one-way ticket to hell if actually passed; it's more a concept than a practical idea. Actually rearranging the entire health care system with the government at the center would probably need much more than two thousand pages, really. To be honest, I don't find the page count particularly bothersome, setting up so many sweeping regulations and essentially creating a new government controlled company is no simple matter and it's not as if this bill is anywhere close to becoming actual law. We have been discussing this nationally for a good six months now, people have put a fair bit of thought into this and that 2,000 pages came out for the final debates isn't really surprising, this isn't like the stimulus that was just pulled out of the ground and passed in a matter of a few weeks.

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Philwelch » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:54 am UTC

The Reaper wrote:In this congress, we vote for things we don't read.


"I was elected to lead, not to read."
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Gelsamel » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:18 am UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:[*]Ends antitrust exemption for health insurance industry


Awesome!

Long overdue, much? Not that it should've been in the first place.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby lesliesage » Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:41 pm UTC

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby The Reaper » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:44 pm UTC

lesliesage wrote:Anthony Wiener, D-NY, health care hero, pledged to get 5 people to sign a petition in support of the public option for everyone who showed at Bachman's rally. We need to have his back on this one. Disseminate widely.
I signed it, mainly because I don't see the point of all this "health care reform" existing without it.

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby sje46 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:45 pm UTC

My high school has 4000 people in it. That crowd looks to be the same size.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby tzvibish » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:17 pm UTC

The bill may have passed in Congress, but only by a few votes. There were enough democrats were against this to make me think that even the left wing is getting jittery over this bill.

It still needs to go through a senate revision. If it passes that, you can be sure that long before 2013, it will end up before the SC in a constitutionality case.

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Philwelch » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:44 pm UTC

tzvibish wrote:The bill may have passed in Congress, but only by a few votes. There were enough democrats were against this to make me think that even the left wing is getting jittery over this bill.


The Democrats who voted against it fell into one of two groups:

1. Pro-choicers who were really hurt that it was amended to prevent federal subsidies of abortions
2. Moderate or conservative Democrats ("Blue Dogs").

I'm one of the most pro-choice people you'll meet and I think anyone who falls into category 1 is an idiot. The Blue Dogs are just a symptom of the fact that the Republicans have abandoned the center. So basically, the Democrats who voted against it were either idiots or people who would just as likely be Republicans if the Republican Party wasn't run by idiots.

tzvibish wrote:It still needs to go through a senate revision. If it passes that, you can be sure that long before 2013, it will end up before the SC in a constitutionality case.


That's actually impossible: something has to actually harm you before you make a court case out of it.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby netcrusher88 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:16 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:The Democrats who voted against it fell into one of two groups:
1. Pro-choicers who were really hurt that it was amended to prevent federal subsidies of abortions
2. Moderate or conservative Democrats ("Blue Dogs").

I don't actually think it lost any Democratic votes because of the abortion thing. Where it lost votes from progressives was - as exemplified by Kucinich (who actually seems to mostly be sulking because his state-level single-payer amendment didn't pass, but still a good example) - is the toothless public option. It's not tied to Medicare rates (it may not actually reduce costs or provide any real competition because it may not therefore be cheaper), it's only available to those without insurance, and if I'm not mistaken, states can opt out - a stupid provision that will do nothing but weaken the public option further.
tzvibish wrote:It still needs to go through a senate revision. If it passes that, you can be sure that long before 2013, it will end up before the SC in a constitutionality case.

That's actually impossible: something has to actually harm you before you make a court case out of it.

Not true. If you think you have a case you can challenge the constitutionality of a law in court.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Philwelch » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:45 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:...if I'm not mistaken, states can opt out - a stupid provision that will do nothing but weaken the public option further.


The state level opt-out is a political gambit. It won't have any actual effect:

The "opt out" part is an idea due to Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and pushed hard by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). It provides cover for red-state Democrats who feel their voters may punish them for such a plan.

In reality, the opt-out means little to nothing, as Schumer well knows. To opt out, a state will have to pass a law opting out. In states with a Democratic governor or at least one chamber of the state legislature under Democratic control, opting out is not going to happen. So, depending on the results of the 2010 elections, only a dozen or so states, where the Republicans control the entire state government, might opt out. But what will gubernatorial or legislative candidates say in these states? Maybe: "If elected, I promise to make sure you won't be able to choose cheap insurance from the blankety-blank federal government?" Probably not a winning slogan, even in the reddest states (which on the whole, are also the poorest states).

cite

netcrusher88 wrote:
That's actually impossible: something has to actually harm you before you make a court case out of it.

Not true. If you think you have a case you can challenge the constitutionality of a law in court.


Emphatically not true—you have to have "standing" to challenge the constitutionality of a law in court, which in practice means the law has to have actively harmed you. Even if you can get a class action together on this kind of thing, it still won't happen unless some actual people have been affected by the law, which isn't possible until the law takes effect.

There's even a concrete example of this: the provisions of the War Powers Act are widely held to be unconstitutional, yet it's never been challenged in court because as yet, no one seems to have standing to sue anyone over it.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby tzvibish » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:47 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:Emphatically not true—you have to have "standing" to challenge the constitutionality of a law in court, which in practice means the law has to have actively harmed you.


Given a few years to sit on the problem, someone will find a way to prove "standing"
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby netcrusher88 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:51 pm UTC

I don't think that's accurate but I am not a lawyer, so unless or until one chooses to chime in I'll leave that be.

I can't see a constitutional challenge to this getting anywhere anyway. Any fines involved are levied through tax hikes, and the feds have implemented health reform in smaller ways in the past, such as everyone's favorite American single-payer system for old people and HIPAA. Heavy regulations on companies in a particular industry is also not at all out of the ordinary, the financial field is heavily regulated.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby psyck0 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:08 pm UTC

Could someone, preferably an opponent of government health care, explain why so many people oppose it yet support it for old people, and in fact are going NUTS that new socialist health care might damage old socialist health care?

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby netcrusher88 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:15 pm UTC

Many of the current opponents of the current reform process were opponents of Medicare up until railing against how the current reform would hurt Medicare was an effective way to fight reform.

As far as the "Keep your government hands off my Medicare" crowd, they're just lemmings or something. Fortunately they're also a fairly small minority.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby kingofdreams » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:39 pm UTC

why the mandate, oh dear god why the mandate
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby tzvibish » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:42 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:Could someone, preferably an opponent of government health care, explain why so many people oppose it yet support it for old people, and in fact are going NUTS that new socialist health care might damage old socialist health care?


Because I support welfare and social services up to a point. In no way do I ascribe to the liberatarian view of every man for himself. I also agree that society as a whole benefits from providing for the needy and should be required to pay for that. However, this all has to be thought about in a high-level management viewpoint. Yes, it's important to protect the lives of thousands who can't be covered, but there is a counter-balancing idea of "can we really support this with what we have now". While I am all for saving lives, I also have to see the big picture. I don't mean in a utilitarian sense, but that the system has to be viable. That's the relevent debate point. Everything else is political fodder. I'll be happy with a reform package if someone can tell me with straight numbers that ot won't break the bank for years (or degrade quality) to come. I haven't seen sufficient proof to be satisfied.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Belial » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:51 pm UTC

Philwelch wrote:The Democrats who voted against it fell into one of two groups:

1. Pro-choicers who were really hurt that it was amended to prevent federal subsidies of abortions


Umm. As I understand it, it doesn't just not provide federal subsidies, it also bans private coverage.

Which is a pretty big deal. And is also some bullshit.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Philwelch » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:59 pm UTC

kingofdreams wrote:why the mandate, oh dear god why the mandate


Without the mandate, health insurance would no longer be a viable industry, since people could just sign up AFTER they get sick and still get covered.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Heisenberg » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:54 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:And we vote against things we don't read too. Repubs...
If only we had taken this lady's advice, and given a 3-day period to read a bill that was "thousands of pages." Anything less is of course an "abuse of power" and an "absolute outrage."
Belial wrote:Umm. As I understand it, it doesn't just not provide federal subsidies, it also bans private coverage.

Which is a pretty big deal. And is also some bullshit.
I'm not 100% clear on it, but I believe that if you or your employer pays for your care, you can abort all you like. Only if you apply for and receive federal dollars to put towards your health care is your abortion not covered.

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:42 pm UTC

Regarding the Hyde Amendment: The 1976 law only applies to the Department of Health and Human Services budget. The Stupak Amendment involves additional restrictions on public funds for insurance. The most relevant line:

Stupak Amendment wrote:No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion...

(The rest of the sentence defines an exception for abortions necessary to protect the mother's life, and for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.)

IOW, Heisenberg is basically right.

Regarding standing: You must show that you either are, or will imminently be, harmed by a law in order to challenge its constitutionality; we would not require a condemned prisoner to wait for execution to seek injunctive relief from capital punishment. But it is still true that not just any random person can bring a law to court.

Again, IANAL, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

With your MOM.

Edit: Fixed quote tag. Also, Thomas is messy as fuck, but for some reason its version of the Stupak amendment is completely different from the New York Times'. At any rate, the two versions are functionally equivalent, and full of cockery.
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Chen » Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:26 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:[*]Outlaws denying coverage or price discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, gender, or other medical history


I kinda fail to see how this is going to not kill the insurance companies. I can understand the denying coverage bit. But doesn't this essentially mean everyone will pay the same rates for their insurance? Since the insurance company will need to insure the people with cancer, won't this mean the healthy people will have to pay a large amount more than they currently are?

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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Belial » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:00 pm UTC

Heisenberg wrote:
Belial wrote:Umm. As I understand it, it doesn't just not provide federal subsidies, it also bans private coverage.

Which is a pretty big deal. And is also some bullshit.
I'm not 100% clear on it, but I believe that if you or your employer pays for your care, you can abort all you like. Only if you apply for and receive federal dollars to put towards your health care is your abortion not covered.


Which screws poor women pretty thoroughly, but the current thinking is that it will also slowly eliminate abortion coverage from nearly all private insurance plans, since all of those private companies will be selling plans to people with federal aid...

It's a fucking terrible amendment, either way, and I'm irritated as fuck that there are alleged progressives in congress and the white house that let it go through or even supported it.
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Bic Finepoint
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Bic Finepoint » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:59 pm UTC

I was denied for insurance at age 25. At 6'1 and 240 lbs I was too heavy for regular rates and had to have a physical (paid for out of my own pocket). After the physical I was denied, no explanation at all. I should note that I was not fat, I was believe it or not on the track and field team. I ran every day and weight trained 3 days a week. The doctor didn't even look up from my chart before he told me I needed more exercise.

Basing rates and denying coverage based on BMI is an abusive policy. I am glad something is being done.

Heisenberg
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:27 pm UTC

You were on the track & field team at age 25? What's that make you, a 7th-year senior?

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tzvibish
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby tzvibish » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:31 pm UTC

Bic Finepoint wrote:I was denied for insurance at age 25. At 6'1 and 240 lbs I was too heavy for regular rates and had to have a physical (paid for out of my own pocket). After the physical I was denied, no explanation at all. I should note that I was not fat, I was believe it or not on the track and field team. I ran every day and weight trained 3 days a week. The doctor didn't even look up from my chart before he told me I needed more exercise.

Basing rates and denying coverage based on BMI is an abusive policy. I am glad something is being done.


Question: What steps did you take to try and fix the problem? Did you complain? What's the highest level representative you spoke to about this issue? If your physical was releatively clean, then 240 lbs is nothing to deny about. Insurance doesn't only cover skinny models.
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psyck0
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Re: Health Care Reform Bill Passes

Postby psyck0 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:36 pm UTC

Oh, because he didn't spend days of his life fighting people whose JOB IT IS TO DENY HIM CARE, it's his fault and the system is fine?


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