How Much Democrat Health Care Reform Is Really Going To Cost You

Report: Senate Health Bill Will Raise Costs

Republicans on Friday seized on a report by government actuaries that said the Senate health bill would cause national health costs to rise.

The report, compiled by the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, estimated that total health costs in the U.S. would be $234 billion higher than if the bill weren’t passed. President Barack Obama has said Democrats’ health plan would reduce the growth of health-care costs.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said Democratic lawmakers were spending large sums in the health-care bill “to make things worse.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said the report “confirms what we’ve known all along,” arguing that the bill would “increase costs, raise premiums and slash Medicare.” Democrats cited some parts of the report that were more favorable to the bill.

The report said measures in the bill to restrain Medicare costs and trim generous insurance plans “would have a significant downward impact on future health care cost growth rates,” but said those gains would be outweighed in the initial years as newly insured people sought to get more health care.

“This report is yet another clear indicator that we have to act, and act now,” said Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.), the chairman of the Finance Committee.

The report said 33 million more U.S. citizens and legal residents would be insured under the bill, resulting in 93% of Americans with health-insurance coverage. But it said the new demand for health care caused by the bill could prove “difficult to meet initially” because doctors and hospitals would charge higher fees in response to the new demand. The report also said the bill’s proposed cuts in Medicare spending “may be unrealistic.”

In addition to expanding coverage, the Senate bill creates a long-term-care insurance program that would provide a daily subsidy for those with disabilities and illnesses who require home-based care. The report cited a risk of “adverse selection,” saying people who were more likely to require care would be more likely to use the new insurance. That could cause insurance payouts to exceed premium revenue.

“There is a very serious risk that the problem of adverse selection would make the [long-term-care insurance] program unsustainable,” the report said.

See also:
CMS actuary warns Senate bill will cost more
A Blow to Health Reform? CMS Sees Cost Problems With Bill
Some Savings in Senate Reform Bill are Unrealistic, Says CMS Actuary
Report: Senate Bill’s Medicare Savings May be “Unrealistic
Roberts: CMMS study rebukes Reid health care bill
HHS Actuary Finds Senate Bill More Expensive Than “Unsustainable” Status Quo
Cost-saving reform measures questioned
Medicare cuts could hurt hospitals, expert warns
CMS Report Shows Reid Bill Is Worse Than Doing Nothing

So, let’s recap, Obama and the Democrats want to spend trillions of dollars to give us worse health care that costs more than not passing any health care legislation at all, what a deal!

/is there some rational reason for doing this or do Democrats just enjoy screwing the taxpayers and destroying our health care system?:

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1502 Pages Of Senate Deficit Deepening, Health Care Razing Gibberish

Submitted for your perusal by the Senate Finance committee. But don’t get too attached to this particular heaping helping of nonsense, the Senate Democrats are writing the real bill in secret, behind the closed doors of Harry Reid’s office. And don’t expect to get to read the final version of the health care “reform” bill before the Senate votes on it. The Democrats realize they need to try and ram this travesty through the Senate before the public gets a whiff of all the malodorous [expletive deleted] that’s crammed into it.

Mr. BAUCUS, from the Committee on Finance, reported the following original bill; which was read twice and placed on the calendar.

Read twice, really? I bet it wasn’t even read once all the way through. Here, see if you can wade through this tsunami of legislative jabberwocky.

America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009

Good luck, bring a lunch, leave a trail of bread crumbs.

Finance Committee bill has been filed

Senate Finance Committee members have been notified that the committee’s health reform bill was filed today. S. 1796 weighs in at 1,502 pages, according to a Senate Republican leadership source. It’s still not up yet on the Finance Committee website or Thomas.gov. We’ll post a link as soon as we get one.

UPDATED:

Read the entire 1,502 page Finance bill.

Read a document outlining the concerns of Sens. Kerry, Schumer, Menendez, Stabenow and Rockefeller that the tax on high-end plans will hit plans that are not overly generous.

Read Sen. Rockefeller’s expanded views on reform.

UPDATE 2: The Senate Finance Committee filed its sweeping health care reform bill Monday and its release served largely to highlight the divisions among Democrats over the direction of reform.

The massive, 1,500 page bill is expected to serve as the backbone for Democratic reform efforts going forward and five senators expressed concerns about one of its main provisions, a 40 percent tax on high-end insurance plans.

The tax is designed to pay for reform and lower costs by making the so-called Cadillac plans less attractive for insurers to offer. Under the bill, a plan that costs an individual more than $8,000 and a family more than $21,000 annually would be subject to the tax.

But Democratic Sens. John Kerry, Chuck Schumer, Robert Menendez, Debbie Stabenow and Jay Rockefeller are concerned that the threshold that defines a Cadillac plan is too low and will whack middle-class people.

“We remain concerned that the thresholds are too low and will impact plans that are not overly generous and that in 2019 far too many plans will be impacted by the excise tax. We plan to continue to work with Chairman Baucus on this issue to ensure that provision bends the cost curve, but not at the expense of middle-income Americans,” the senators wrote in a one-page “additional views” document that was released with the bill.

The document is reminiscent of a dissent that is filed with the majority opinion in a court case.

Rockefeller filed his own 13-page additional views document that spelled out his concerns, many of which he aired during the eight-day mark up of the bill. The West Virginia Democrat remains concerns that the bill does not contain a public option; that it does not uniformly apply insurance market reforms and that state-based exchanges designed to help people buy insurance will not be as effective as a single national one.

UPDATE 3: It’s important to remember that the bill won’t exist in this form for long. Senate Majority Leader Reid and Sens. Max Baucus and Chris Dodd along with senior White House aides are merging the Finance and Health Committee legislation into one bill that will be considered on the floor of the Senate. The behind-closed-doors dealings have drawn criticism from Republicans, particularly because President Obama had promised a transparent process and pledged to negotiate the health care bill on C-SPAN.

See also:
Health Care Bill Language Is Now Online
A Little Light Reading From the Senate Legislative Counsel’s Office
CEOs Tally Health-Bill Score
Healthcare merger
The Democrat-Only ‘Bipartisan’ Health Care Bill
RAW DATA: Palin Critique of Senate Finance Committee Health Care Bill
Health Care Progress Report: October 19
Hatch “No” on Senate Finance Health Bill
Be The First On Your Block To Gaze Into The Crystal Ball Of Health Care’s Future

/the only thing we know for certain at this point is that, whatever rancid health care “reform” sausage finally extrudes out the other end of the Congressional grinder, we’ll all be paying more to wait longer for lower quality health care and trillions of additional dollars will be tacked on to our national debt

Tuesday Trifecta

Today was a good day for common sense, truth, justice, and the American way.

House bonus bill is buried by the Senate

President Obama and Senate Democrats have buried a bill passed last week by the House that would have heavily taxed executive bonuses at bailed-out firms.

Despite the public outcry over $165 million in bonuses awarded at troubled insurer AIG, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) showed little inclination Monday to bring the explosive issue to the floor this week or next. Instead, Reid is likely to delay action on executive compensation until late April, after the Senate returns from a two-week recess starting April 4.

The lack of enthusiasm to expedite the bonus legislation comes after Obama said over the weekend that he didn’t think it was a good idea for Congress to target individuals with tax proposals.

“As a general proposition, I think you certainly don’t want to use the tax code … to punish people,” Obama said in the interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday.

Reacting to a frenzy of media coverage, the House last week passed a measure that would levy a 90 percent tax on bonuses received this year by executives at AIG and other companies collecting more than $5 billion in federal aid.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) last week introduced a less stringent proposal that would impose a 35 percent tax on bonuses. Both employers giving bonuses and executives who receive them would pay.

But even this modified proposal is being placed on the backburner.

So much for that overreaching travesty.

Specter delivers death blow to ‘card check’

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) announced Tuesday he will oppose card check, giving an apparent death blow to the most important congressional issue to organized labor.

Specter made the dramatic announcement in a floor speech. His opposition means Democrats can count on a maximum of 59 votes to move the bill forward, one short of the 60 required to clear Senate rules.

Winning 59 votes would require Democrat Al Franken to beat Republican Norm Coleman in the still-contested Minnesota Senate race. Democrats also would have to count on holding the rest of their votes, and several centrists have raised doubts about the bill.

In his floor speech, Specter noted that Franken’s likely win could give him the 60th vote required to make the bill law.

“If so, the decisive vote would be mine,” said Specter, who told The Hill last week in an interview that his would be the decisive vote.

“It is an anguishing position but we play the cards we’re dealt,” Specter said Tuesday on the floor.

Hmm, I wonder what the Republican leadership is blackmailing Specter with to keep him on the reservation and get him to double cross his union buddies?

Democrats Take Knife To Obama’s Budget

Key Democratic leaders were performing major surgery yesterday on President Obama’s first budget plan in an effort to bring skyrocketing annual deficits under control, while preserving the option of enacting some of the president’s most significant and costly domestic priorities.

In the budget blueprints they are scheduled to formally unveil today, Democrats in the House and Senate said they plan to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Obama’s spending request over the next five years. They also are scrapping Obama’s plan to devote more cash to the financial sector bailout. And they are restoring some of the money-saving budget gimmicks the president said he eliminated last month when he unveiled his $3.6 trillion request for the fiscal year that begins in October.

The moves come as Republicans are pounding Obama for proposing a rapid increase in government spending and taxpayers are voicing anxiety and outrage about the gargantuan sums that Washington is already pouring into the economy and banking system.

In the Senate, the result is a leaner package that would drive the annual deficit to $1.2 trillion next year, compared with $1.4 trillion under Obama’s policies. By 2014, the deficit would plummet to just over $500 billion under the Senate’s plan, requiring the nation to borrow $3.8 trillion over the next five years, compared with about $4.4 trillion under Obama’s proposal.

To meet those goals, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said he would leave out new spending for Obama’s proposed expansion of health care coverage, a program likely to cost in excess of $1 trillion over the next 10 years, as well as the president’s proposal to make permanent an $800 tax credit for working families.

Hey, every little bit cost trimming helps and it’s encouraging to see that even the Democrats realize that Obama’s budget, as is, would create unsustainable deficits and national debt. Of course the cuts don’t go far enough but, considering the precarious political position Republicans find themselves in, it’s a good start.

See also:
Drive to Tax AIG Bonuses Slows
Is That 90% Tax On AIG Bonuses Dead?
The 90% Bonus Tax Looks Dead
Tax May Not Be Needed If Bonuses Returned, Hoyer Says
Hoyer Signals AIG Tax Bill May Have Achieved Its Purpose
Specter shifts stance to oppose card check
Specter Says He Won’t Back Unions’ ‘Card-Check’ Bill
SPECTER DEALS BLOW TO CARD CHECK
Key G.O.P. Senator Reverses Course on Union Organizing Bill
A Specter of Hope on Card Check
Senate Dems propose cutting Obama budget by billions
Conrad carves up Obama’s budget
Democrats in Congress Are Ready to Pare Budget
Deficits spook Dems, spur budget whittling
Sen. Gregg says Obama budget will bankrupt US
Gregg continues budget-blasting of Obama

So, 90% punative, retroactive, unconstitutional tax on lawful bonus payments, dead! Card check, daed! Obama’s budget . . . not dead, but seriously wounded. All in all, not bad for a day’s work if you care about the future of America.

/now it’s on to cap and trade and universal health care and let’s kill those!