In The House Corner . . . Weighing In At 1990 Pages . . . The Affordable Health Care For America Act


From behind the closed doors of Nancy Pelosi’s office, submitted for your perusal . . .

Affordable Health Care for America Act

If you start now and read several hundred pages a day, you might be able to get through it by the time they start to debate it on the House floor next week. As with all these bills, written in legislative gibberish that would make a challenging read for a lawyer, pack a lunch and leave a trail of bread crumbs.

Oh look, PBS has already posted a summary of the bill only a few hours after it was unveiled. I wonder who they got that from, Pelosi and the Democrats? PBS staffers certainly haven’t had time to read the bill for themselves yet.

Bill Summary: Affordable Health Care for America Act

House Democrats on Thursday unveiled the Affordable Health Care for America Act. The 1,990-page legislation is a combination of bills passed by three House committees earlier this year. Key tenets include:

· New regulations | New insurance industry regulations would prohibit insurers from rejecting customers based on pre-existing conditions. The regulations would also prohibit annual or lifetime caps on benefits.

· Insurance exchange | The bill would set up a new national health insurance exchange, a marketplace where individuals who do not have employer-sponsored insurance would be able to shop for plans. The exchange would also be open to small businesses, and more would be able to join each year. Companies with 25 or fewer employees would be able to join in 2013, companies with 50 or fewer employees could join in 2014, and companies with fewer than 100 employees could join by 2015.

· Public insurance option | The health insurance exchange would include a government-run public plan. Federal officials would negotiate payment rates with doctors and hospitals that accept the plan.

· Employer mandate | Employers with annual payrolls greater than $500,000 would be required to either provide health insurance for their employees, or contribute 8 percent of their payroll to a federal fund to help subsidize employees who purchase coverage through the exchange. Employers with payrolls less than $500,000 would be exempt from the mandate.

· Individual mandate | Individuals will be required to purchase health insurance, or pay a penalty fee. Some people would be eligible to apply for a hardship waiver.

· Medicaid expansion | Medicaid would be expanded to cover everyone whose income is below 150 percent of the poverty line, or about $33,000 per year for a family of four.

· Affordability subsidies | People who earn between 150 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level would be eligible for subsidies on a sliding scale to purchase insurance through the exchange. Those subsidies would ensure that people who make 150 percent of the poverty level would not have to pay more than 3 percent of their income in premiums, while those who make 400 percent of the poverty level could pay up to 12 percent of their income in premiums.

· Out-of-pocket expenses caps | New regulations would cap yearly out-of-pocket medical expenses for individuals at $5,000 and families at $10,000. Those who earn less than 400 percent of the poverty level would have lower caps, on a sliding scale.

· Tax surcharge | The bill would help pay for itself by imposing a 5.4 percent tax surcharge on individuals earning more than $500,000 per year and families earning more than $1 million.

· End-of-life counseling | The bill retains a controversial provision that allows Medicare to pay for voluntary end-of-life counseling

Oh yeah, and did you catch the part where Pelosi said that the House bill would cost less than $900 billion? Would it surprise anyone to know that she’s lying her ass off through her Botox induced permagrin teeth?

CBO: House Bill Costs $1.055 Trillion

The Congressional Budget Office is out with its analysis of the House Democrats’ health care bill. The headline number — likely to be widely cited in media accounts — is that the bill costs $894 billion over 10 years. But in reality, the CBO says that the gross cost of the bill will be $1.055 trillion. The $894 billion number reflects the taxes being paid by individuals who don’t have insurance and employers who don’t provide insurance.

In addition, the bill relies on some of the same budgetary gimmicks as the Senate Finance Committee’s bill. Once again, we see that the Democrats backload the spending provisions into the final six years of the CBO’s 10 year budget window to make it appear cheaper. Specifically, the CBO says the bill’s gross spending will be $60 billion in the first four years, and $995 billion in the next six years (or 94 percent of the total).

Also, while the CBO says that the bill will reduce deficits by $104 billion over 10 years and keep reducing the deficit (albiet slightly) beyond that, it cautions that these estimates assume that proposed budget cuts will actually get enacted by future members of Congress. “These longer-term projections assume that the provisions of H.R. 3962 are enacted and remain unchanged throughout the next two decades, which is often not the case for major legislation,” the CBO director Douglas Elmendorf wrote. “The long-term budgetary impact of H.R. 3962 could be quite different if those provisions generating savings were ultimately changed or not fully implemented.”

The CBO estimate doesn’t include the more than $200 billion it will cost to prevent scheduled cuts to doctors’ payments under Medicare, which Democrats intend to pass through separate legislation.

The bill would also add 15 million people to the Medicaid rolls, costing states an additional $34 billion over 10 years.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the CBO report doesn’t say anything about whether the bill actually bends the health care cost curve. To be clear, while it estimates — with caveats — that the bill will reduce deficits, that isn’t the same thing as reducing national health care expenditures, which is how people derive all those statistics about how high of a percentage of GDP we spend on health care compared with other countries. If you hike taxes high enough, you can get the CBO to say it reduces deficits on paper, but that’s a lot different from bringing down the actual costs of health care to our nation.

Wait a minute, it’s not just Pelosi who’s lying about the 2000 page path to socialized medicine . . .

See also:
House Democrats announce health-care bill
Statement from President Obama on the Affordable Health Care for America Act
House health bill clocks in at 1,990 pages
House Dems unveil health care bill
House Democrats unveil healthcare legislation including public option
House Dems announce health bill
Pelosi Unveils House Health Care Bill
House takes another step on healthcare reform
Details on health care bills in House, Senate
A 1,990-Page Medical Monstrosity
It’s alive! End-of-life counseling in health bill
Clyburn: ‘Cadillac tax’ in healthcare would violate Obama’s pledge
House Healthcare Bill Longer Than ‘War and Peace’
Democrats’ Unhealthy Reform Plans
1502 Pages Of Senate Deficit Deepening, Health Care Razing Gibberish

Of course, this monsterous sham has to be passed by the House and then Reid has to come out from behing his closed office doors and unveil the Senate’s gigantic mockery of health care “reform”, which will have to be passed by the Senate. Next, Pelosi and Reid will have to take the ~4000 pages of both bills behind closed conference doors, to conjure the final bloated shamockery bill, that’ll need to pass both houses of Congress.

/hopefully, there’s still enough hoops to jump through and divisions between Democrat factions that, somewhere along the line, they’ll come up short on needed votes and the entire national debt boosting travesty will collapse under it’s own socialist weight

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