Well as expected (as least by me) the Democratically controlled House of Representatives has passed legislation so complex, contradictory, and confusing that they likely have no real idea what is in it. By doing so, they have effectively moved our nation closer to socialization of health care; a goal they’ve had for 70 years.
Is anyone happy about this?
I venture to say, NO. Liberals will be dissatisfied because the bill doesn’t go far enough and potentially puts lots of money in the pockets of insurance companies. Conservatives (and anyone with good sense) will disapprove because it isn’t a good plan and besides, it probably isn’t really constitutional (something Congress, the Courts, and the Executive branch have longed ceased caring about).
Just so you know, the bill requires some things:
What the government will require you to do:
• Sec. 202 (p. 91-92) of the bill requires you to enroll in a “qualified plan.” If you get your insurance at work, your employer will have a “grace period” to switch you to a “qualified plan,” meaning a plan designed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. If you buy your own insurance, there’s no grace period. You’ll have to enroll in a qualified plan as soon as any term in your contract changes, such as the co-pay, deductible or benefit.
• Sec. 224 (p. 118) provides that 18 months after the bill becomes law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will decide what a “qualified plan” covers and how much you’ll be legally required to pay for it. That’s like a banker telling you to sign the loan agreement now, then filling in the interest rate and repayment terms 18 months later.
On Nov. 2, the Congressional Budget Office estimated what the plans will likely cost. An individual earning $44,000 before taxes who purchases his own insurance will have to pay a $5,300 premium and an estimated $2,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, for a total of $7,300 a year, which is 17% of his pre-tax income. A family earning $102,100 a year before taxes will have to pay a $15,000 premium plus an estimated $5,300 out-of-pocket, for a $20,300 total, or 20% of its pre-tax income. Individuals and families earning less than these amounts will be eligible for subsidies paid directly to their insurer.
• Sec. 303 (pp. 167-168) makes it clear that, although the “qualified plan” is not yet designed, it will be of the “one size fits all” variety. The bill claims to offer choice—basic, enhanced and premium levels—but the benefits are the same. Only the co-pays and deductibles differ. You will have to enroll in the same plan, whether the government is paying for it or you and your employer are footing the bill.
• Sec. 59b (pp. 297-299) says that when you file your taxes, you must include proof that you are in a qualified plan. If not, you will be fined thousands of dollars. Illegal immigrants are exempt from this requirement.
• Sec. 412 (p. 272) says that employers must provide a “qualified plan” for their employees and pay 72.5% of the cost, and a smaller share of family coverage, or incur an 8% payroll tax. Small businesses, with payrolls from $500,000 to $750,000, are fined less.
And that is just the beginning. May God have mercy on us all!
The house has passed a health care bill.
There will be a revolt, one way or another.
We have 46 million uninsured people in America. (Some people believe that number is smaller, but let’s just say it’s 46 million.) We’re spending at least 90 billion on this bill. Wouldn’t it just be cheaper to give each of those 46 million people a million bucks a piece so they can go buy a lifetime worth of insurance premiums?
The real fun about this health care bill is that it benefits no one. Absolutely every possible group, from the already insured to the working class, from seniors on medicare to the very poor, everybody is going to suffer under this bill. You’re either facing cutbacks to the government funded insurance you already have or you’re facing fines if you can’t afford insurance premiums or your facing taxes and penalties if you have a good plan. It punishes everybody and doesn’t even seem to provide health care to those without.
Yep… it would be a lot cheaper, and despite the inflationary effects, a lot more effective. But then again it wouldn’t arrogate power to the mandarins in DC.
You know what I’m afraid to see? Every time the government passes something there is always the “oops” moment a few years later. Like oops we thought that road would cost $10 million now it cost $100 million. Or Medicare which was originally supposed to cost $3 billion but oops now it looks like it will cost $300 billion. When they say, “Opps that health care bill didn’t cost $1 trillion but $100 trillion.” I wonder what this country will look like on that day. I guess my kids and grandkids can worry about that…
Oops – Big Dig cost $15 billion and counting last I heard. Talk about misappropriation of funds. Tax dollars flow from the South to Boston to put a road underground for no good reason other than the hideousness within the city. Oh sure, it may have added a few lanes to the highway, but now they are underground and if you want to add more? Not an easy task and probably another $15 billion.
As a resident of Boston and someone born in the South, I have a right to bitch about the misappropriation of funds by the Federal government across state lines through the income tax in my opinion.