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Georgia Senate Republicans vote for yet another health care mandate

By Bert Loftman

Yesterday, all of the Georgia Republican Senators voted like RINOs by increasing the cost of most health care insurance policies. They passed SB 397, Ava’s Law. Ava is an autistic child whose mother gives a heart-rending story about autism and her fight to receive good treatment for her child. The mother seems to have gotten a fabulous result. The mother related that she had to do most of the work to find and pay for the treatments and the cost is $20,000 to $30,000 a year. This bill mandates insurance coverage for autism.

What is seen is the promise of insurance coverage for such children. What is also seen is our politicians patting themselves on the back for the good work they have done. They have mandated $35,000 of insurance benefits for autism.

The bill says it has an insurance cap but there is no dollar figure for this is in the bill. Mandates, of course, increase the cost of insurance.

With this bill, conservatives are working at cross-purposes to ObamaCare. It reads, “to the extent that this Code section requires benefits that the essential health benefits required under Section 1302(b) of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P. L. 111-148.” The House Republicans have a bill HB 707. HB 707, The Georgia Health Care Freedom and ACA Noncompliance Act. Which is it?

This is also a crony capitalist bill in at least two ways. The increased premiums add to the insurance companies profits. The increased money will allow providers to charge more for their services.

It is highly unlikely that the House will also pass this bill. It is hard not to vote for the children. By increasing costs for one disease like autism it takes money away from other diseases like childhood leukemia. Can anything be done?

Here is a thought. Most of our health care problems in the private sector occur because of employers owning the insurance policies. This happens because of subsidies in our federal income tax codes. This job-based health insurance requires “one shoe fits all” plans. This means a 55-year-old worker must cover autism and young families must cover the increased health care costs of older workers.

The private sector also has a few individuals who own their own health insurance policies. They should not have to pay for mandates designed for employer-owned plans. At the very least, conservatives should offer an amendment to strip out individually owned health insurance plans from this bill so individuals can choose the plans with the coverage they want.

In the bill, there is already a provision to exclude companies with ten or fewer employees. This exclusion should be extended to include individuals who own their own insurance policies. This is close to free market medical care and the free market does not need government regulations.

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