What Does a Trigger Option Do?

by jhwygirl

A trigger option hands the insurance industry 12% of your total income. 12% of this nation’s income.

Under the trigger option, a public option will kick in some time in the future should the insurance companies fail to meet some certain thresholds like failing to provide a basic health insurance product at a cost that is no more than 12% of an individuals income. Currently, chances are here in Montana you aren’t paying 12% of your income – but your health costs are rising. A trigger option tells the industry to ‘have at it’ but don’t cross that 12% line.

Not only is government codifying the requirement to purchase insurance in the private sector, and tying that requirement to a tax penalty – of which failure to pay results in jail – it is handing the industry millions more customers and telling them that they can charge even more for their crappy product.

Congress writes laws every day that lack any real penalties – but not with insurance reform – they’ve basically said that they are going to tax you $750/person if you don’t purchase insurance from the private sector (keep in mind, here in Montana, 2 insurers hold 85% of the market – Blue Cross holding 75% in and by itself!).

Imagine the sanity of tax penalizing someone for something they already can’t afford? 12% of someone’s income in Montana means something significantly more for most than, say, 12% of someone’s income in techy and home-of-Boeing Seattle.

A Trigger does not a Public Option make. I don’t care what Obama or Olympia Snowe tries to say, they’re handing this country over to corporations.

  1. The so-called “trigger option” is nonsensical. It distracts all of us from the real issue of real health care reform involving a public option. Thanks, jhwygirl, for bringing this issue down to earth with your Montana examples.

  2. problembear

    it is also going to really piss people off when their rates rise and they realize that obama punted on giving us a real choice besides more parasites to pay…and when the trigger is never used, everyone will ask themselves “what good did this do? my rates went up so high i can barely afford them. so what good will it do to have insurance that cannot be denied or have preexisting if i can’t afford it?

    the trigger’s failure will be an easy way for republicans to recruit new voters for 2012. i can tell you that for sure.

  3. Thomas Paine

    The real problem with this is that the 12% number is simply one’s entrance fee to the health care game. It would be one thing to say that a family’s total health care costs for a given year will be limited to 12%, but that’s not what this is.

    Instead, after scooping up 12% of gross income, anyone actually needing to use this coverage then gets to pay co-pays, deductibles, and procedures that aren’t covered.

    After paying for housing, food, taxes, and transportation, the typical Montana family doesn’t remotely have this kind of money lying around. It’s nothing but mandated corporate welfare paid for by what’s left of the destroyed middle class.

  4. As with any corrupt system, people who have power never voluntarily yield it. To expect that Democrats would fix the health care system when they are as much under influence of private power as Republicans was nonsense from the start. The private sector is merely gaming us right now, and in the end, where where we were merely struggling under intense pressure, we will be pinned.

    A system like this cannot be fixed without upheaval. And upheaval is years away.

    But do keep voitng for Democrats. After all, they are not as bad as Republicans.

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