Key Point: Senator Hutchison has taken $1.4 million from health care special interests — which may explain why she is proposing a health care plan to protect insurance companies and let them continue to deny Texans health care coverage based on preexisting conditions.
From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, we learned last week that Senator Hutchison has taken $1.4 million from health care special interests. From their story:
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas: $1.4 million. Since 2005, the top five industries that have donated to Hutchison have been lawyers, retirees, oil and gas, miscellaneous finance and real estate. Her donations include those from self-employed doctors, healthcare managers, even the president of the Baylor Health Care System.
That amount of health care special interest money is staggering — especially when you look at Senator Hutchison's op-ed in the Austin American-Statesman today titled, “Another Model for Health Care Reform.” Her plan protects private insurance companies by allowing them to continue to deny Texans health care coverage when they get sick or if they have preexisting conditions.
In fact, her plan is almost identical to President Obama's health care plan — with the obvious exception that she's not going to stop insurance companies from denying Texans their health care coverage based on preexisting conditions. The only reason Republicans oppose any sort of government involvement in the health care system is that then the big insurance companies they all take their checks from would no longer be able to deny Texans their health care coverage.
Take a look at the two plans side by side on three simple ideas:
Obama: “We'll do this by creating a new insurance exchange — a marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for health insurance at competitive prices.” (Source)
Hutchison: “The health exchange places all the decision-making power into the hands of the consumer. A state-level health exchange would allow consumers to compare plans at a single shopping point.” (Source)
- Portable Health Insurance
Obama: “If you lose your job or you change your job, you'll be able to get coverage. If you strike out on your own and start a small business, you'll be able to get coverage.” (Source)
Hutchison: “A health exchange would streamline coverage for families with both spouses employed by allowing contributions from multiple employers to be pooled…It could eliminate gaps in care because plan benefits are portable from job to job.” (Source)
- Choice Lowers Cost
Obama: “Insurance companies will have an incentive to participate in this exchange because it lets them compete for millions of new customers. As one big group, these customers will have greater leverage to bargain with the insurance companies for better prices and quality coverage.” (Source)
Hutchison: “As consumers are given the opportunity to make informed choices, competition will increase, which results in lower consumer cost and simplified offerings.” (Source)
Senator Hutchison is proposing the same health care plan as Democrats, only it is more expensive because it would do nothing to stop insurance companies from denying Americans coverage due to preexisting conditions.
President Obama's health care plan ends preexisting conditions:
Under this plan, it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition. As soon as I sign this bill, it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it the most. They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or in a lifetime.
Senator Hutchison doesn't care if insurance companies deny Texans their health care coverage if they get sick. That's the reason her plan is different than President Obama's — and the reason why Texans should roundly reject her proposal as nothing more than a cowardly duck-and-cover from a Senator that has taken $1.4 million from health care special interests.