Friday, March 10, 2006

The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act

This is in the same series of acts as "The Healthy Skies Initiative". Doublespeak plusgood, using Orwell's language. It does have some good points for small firms which would be allowed to band together to offer health insurance. But the major way the act would make health insurance "affordable" is by demolishing all those pesky state requirements which state that certain things must be covered. The attack on states' powers here is another excellent example of doublespeak, given the wingnuts' usual penchance for giving everything to the states. Except of course all those things they want to determine centrally. Oh well.

Planned Parenthood points out that women will suffer under this Act:

"We need to move forward, not backward in expanding access to quality health care, including birth control," said Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards. "Congress should work to protect patients, not undermine them."

This federal legislation would raze hundreds of state laws that ensure patients can get the medical care they need and would

not allow women to designate their ob/gyns as primary care providers

not allow women to seek care directly from their ob/gyns, but would force them to be screened by their primary care doctors first

dismantle coverage for contraception

dismantle coverage for annual cervical cancer exams

not allow women to stay with the same doctor throughout a pregnancy, if that doctor was dropped from the insurance provider

As an aside, if women must be screened by their primary care doctors first, before getting gyneocological treatment, and if these women didn't have to be screened this way in the past the effect of this change will be to raise costs by an extra doctor visit each time one of these women wants to see her ob/gyn.

Dismantling coverage for cervical cancer exams is really idiotic, too. But I nowadays expect idiotic things from these new Acts, especially if they have bracing names such as "Modernization" and "Affordability".