Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1: Health Insurance Reform Happening In Baby Steps

By Sylvia Gurinsky

President Barack Obama has said this year is "now or never" for health insurance reform. But moving this Congress is like moving a cow stuck in mud. And even if there is Congressional action, they're likely going to pass a health insurance bill that does nothing to solve the problems of those uninsured because of preexisting conditions.

More likely, what will happen will be piecemeal, frustrating baby steps, such as Miami-Dade Blue, which Miami-Dade County is teaming up on with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. The Miami Herald had the details last week:

It does improve on the State of Florida's plan in some ways. The state's plan, with some exceptions, only kicks in if someone has been without health insurance for six months.

But Miami-Dade Blue will not cover many preexisting conditions or include various necessary medications.

The key issue that's been coming up in the debate over federal legislation has been cost. But the lowest cost does nothing for people who can't get coverage because they are ill or have been ill in the past.

Obama has seemed inclined to let Congress and the insurance companies take care of the issue. He of all people, whose dying mother battled insurance companies, needs to give Congress a few kicks. The objective is not just lower costs, but full coverage for all who want and need it.

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