Monday, November 2, 2009

The final House Healthcare bill looks SCAAARY

I have obtained a copy of the healthcare reform bill released by the leadership of the U.S. House that merges all the versions of the bill passed thus far. This piece of work is expected to be "considered" by the full house next week.

The following are the major provisions of the bill and how it might effect you and I (in red)

  • Expansion of health insurance to an estimated 96 percent of legal US residents under 65.
  • Individual mandate with penalties. (unconstitutional)
  • The penalty would be equal to the cost of an average insurance plan or a 2.5 percent tax on incomes above the standard threshold for filing a tax return, whichever is less. There would be waivers for financial hardships. (source)
  • Employer mandate for those with payrolls over $500,000 with penalty (unconstitutional).
  • Subsidies for low- and middle-income families. To help afford insurance, families with incomes up to four times the federal poverty level would qualify for subsidies. The poverty level for a family of four is $22,050 this year.(spreading wealth the Carl Marx way)
  • Medicaid expansion for families at or near poverty level Insurance reform (paid for by taxing people who have succeeded)
  • Ban on pre-existing condition exclusions. (a better way of doing this would be to give private insurance companies a tax break for taking the risk)
  • Ban on rate adjusting based on pre-existing conditions or gender.
  • Limits on rate adjustment, limited to age and family size.
  • Public Option with negotiated provider payment rates (check out this post)

Here's how the bill will be paid for:

  • $480 billion tax increase for singles $500,000/families $1 million. (Punish the achievers to the benefit of the have nots. This will be another disincentive to take the risks needed to move up to the next income level)
  • $20 billion tax on medical devices. (which will be passed down to consumers, which are mostly the middle class Obama promised not to raise taxes on)
  • $400 million in spending cuts (mostly Medicare) (In a bill signed in 1983 Congress promised to cut spending and never did. We cannot trust Congress to do this)
  • Tax on those who don't have qualified health insurance program, including those making less than $250,000 (source)
  • The tax was never indexed for inflation, so Congress must enact a fix each year to spare about 25 million middle-income families from being hit with big tax increases (source)

The bill also includes:

  • Medicare coverage of end-of-life counseling (described as "advance care planning" in the bill). (They promised to take this death panel stuff out of the bill. If you are terminal you won't get the meds you want at the expense of the healthy)
  • SSI eligibility exemption for clinical trials participation compensation - Improving Access to ..Clinical Trials. Expansion of Comparative Effectiveness Research.
  • Provisions to address healthcare workforce shortages. Physician payment "sunshine" requirements - but with an exemption for industry- sponsored CME ..activities.
  • Expansion of Medicare quality programs. Expands Medicare and Medicaid beneficiary access to preventive services by eliminating. cost- ..sharing. (Cost reduction is great, but can more easily be done by reducing regulations for private health insurance to improve competition)
  • Strengthening of the public health infrastructure through creation of a Public Health Investment ..Fund with authorized funding of $33 billion over 5 years.
  • Creation of a Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund for community-based prevention and chronic ..disease management with authorized funding of $34 billion over 10 years.
  • Prohibits the sale of private individual health insurance policies, beginning in 2013, forcing individuals to purchase coverage through the federal government. So no private insurance allowed by 2013.
  • Cuts more than $150 billion from Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Establishes a new Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research; the bill includes no provisions preventing the government-run health plan from using such research to deny access to life-saving treatments on cost grounds, similar to Britain’s National Health Service, which denies patient treatments costing more than $35,000

The basic premise of this bill is liberals in Congress don't trust private companies or the public to do what is right, which is extremely scary. What's even scarier is they believe it's the job of the government to make sure we do what is right. They, in turn, are creating the Nanny State.

This gives me the eebie jeejies. Just reading this sends a cold, freaky tingle up my spine. It should yours too, especially the slippery slope that is bound to ensue.

We must remember that the whole purpose of this bill is not to improve the healthcare system, because we know by historical example it will not. They also don't care about cost. The goal here is to make America a socialistic nation.

Note: To get a picture of the slippery slope that will ensue if this bill is passed check out 10 things to expect from nationalized healthcare.

1 comment:

Khaki Elephant said...

Thanks for the summary. I know others will appreciate it, so I plugged and linked it on my site as well.