Recently, there was a surprise Republican win in the senate election for the state of Massachusetts by Scott Brown. This victory means that the filibuster-proof senate the Democrats enjoyed is no-longer. Until Brown’s win, the Democrats had enough votes to prevent Republican lawmakers from proposing endless amendments (many of which would be trivial) in an order to stall the bill in perpetuity – this is known as a “filibuster”. Now the Republicans can essentially do this. This doesn’t bode well for the bill being passed – at least in its current state.
Brown visited Capitol Hill recently to much pomp by his Republican receivers. It seems like the Obama administration has yet another hurdle to overcome in a term that has will probably go down in history as one of the more difficult environments in which to run the country.
There are approximately 45 million Americans who do not have health care coverage. To put that into perspective that’s about 1.5 times the population of Canada. Whether or not the bill passes (in any form), one size rarely fits all. Even in Canada, we have citizens who elect to have additional coverage (either through work provided coverage or through private coverage). If you want extra insurance, you might want to assess your situation relative to the average person. If you know you are less healthy than average, you may want to consider loading up on optional insurance provided through work which lumps you into the average health of the plan participants. Note that private insurance may have a higher probability of paying out though, so it’s important to weigh this into your decision making process. If you are healthier than average, you may want to consider loading up more on the private coverage, which may end up being the cheap insurance for you if you can prove you are healthier than average, and hence less of a risk to the insurer.