Loopholes you could fly through

Today in Unsurprising News, it turns out that lobbyists and legislators have already begun the inevitable task of finding loopholes in the health care bill to deny patients care and increase health insurance companies’profits.  Jason Rosenbaum, at FireDogLake writes:

“The Senate bill has a gaping loophole in it that could negate a central promise of health reform – that insurers can no longer charge more because you are sick.

The loophole comes in the form of an expansion to so-called “workplace wellness programs” that are supposed to reward employees for healthy habits. In practice, however, it could allow insurers to charge thousands of dollars more because, for example, a person is sick or overweight or has high cholesterol.”

Hey, what a surprise, a new way of screwing the patient.  That’s the great thing about strengthening our current health insurance system: we can all be assured that for-profit companies will find creative ways to get around any and all regulations the government pretends to establish. 

In related news, financial companies will probably do the same thing–again, big surprise.  From saddest-man-alive Paul Krugman today:

“Beyond that, an important aspect of reform should be new rules limiting bank leverage. I’ll be delving into proposed legislation in future columns, but here’s what I can say about the financial reform bill the House passed — with zero Republican votes — last month: Its limits on leverage look O.K. Not great, but O.K. It would, however, be all too easy for those rules to get weakened to the point where they wouldn’t do the job. A few tweaks in the fine print and banks would be free to play the same game all over again.” [emphasis added.]

Once that happens, I’ll either write about it or ignore it because it won’t really even be news.

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