Obama Says You’re Gonna Get A Trillion Dollar Health Care Bill Whether You Like It Or Not

Is Obama deaf? 61% of Americans want Congress to scrap their current health care bills and start over. So what’s Obama’s plan? To cram a variation of the current legislation down your collective throats, I’m the Great Obama, suck on it bitches!

The President’s Proposal

/Michael Ramirez

Patient Is Showing No Improvement

The president has unveiled a reform plan of his own ahead of Thursday’s bipartisan summit. But it’s no better than the lousy Democratic proposals that Americans have already dismissed.

The Obama plan appears to be based on the bills that were passed last year in the House and in the pre-Scott Brown Senate. While it leaves out the public option that was included in the House legislation, it adds a wrinkle that’s just as harmful: price controls on insurance premiums.

Americans aren’t going to want this rancid stew of legislative arrogance any more than they wanted the bills that were rammed through Congress. Our own polling shows that 34% strongly oppose Congress’ overhaul plans while only 24% strongly support.

When the “strongly oppose” and “somewhat oppose” responses are combined, the poll shows 45% are against the Democrats’ proposals. Independents oppose the plans 51% to 34%.

While the administration’s proposal might get some initial support because it regulates insurance costs, the public will recognize the rest of the plan as something it’s seen and rejected.

It seems the White House is cynically using the new wrinkle to take advantage of the anger toward insurance companies. The good news is that wrinkle should smooth out once opponents explain why restrictions on premium increases will leave the public with less coverage, as insurers will have no choice but to ration benefits.

The opponents — hopefully every Republican holding elected office — could start by repeatedly pointing out that Larry Summers, President Obama’s chief economic adviser, not a GOP operative, said: “Price and exchange controls inevitably create harmful economic distortions. Both the distortions and the economic damage get worse with time.”

The opposition should also ceaselessly tell the public that the ultimate consequence of premium caps on health insurance — if not the ultimate goal of the Democrats — is the collapse of the industry.

Private firms will leave the market when government restrictions make it unreasonably hard to make a profit. That will happen when the caps are combined with the inevitable federal mandates outlining the wide array of conditions that insurers must pay for and the rules that govern how coverage is sold.

New York has bitter experience with coverage rules. Since the early 1990s the state has forced insurers to provide insurance to people who are already sick and required them to set premiums at the same rate for all customers despite differences in age and health.

New York’s market hasn’t yet crumbled, but only because insurers have been able to increase premiums. New York now has, at roughly $9,000 a year on average, the highest rates in the country.

Soaring premiums can’t happen in a regime in which they are capped. When caps are added to mandates, insurers have nowhere to go but out of the health insurance business.

“We are sort of a case study of what not do,” says Mark Scherzer, identified in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times as “a consumer attorney who helped lead the fight for New York’s changes in the early 1990s.”

We see nothing in the Obama proposal that makes it more acceptable than what the Democrats have already put up.

• It won’t cut costs. Its $950 billion price tag for 10 years is even higher than the federal estimates, which were insanely optimistic, for the bills that have already been passed.

• It won’t insure all the uninsured. The White House says it will cover 31 million Americans who are without coverage. That still leaves as many as 15 million or 16 million without medical insurance.

• It won’t increase Americans’ control of their health care. It will require people to buy insurance and force businesses that don’t insure their employees to provide coverage. That’s more government.

• It’s not what the people want. By more than a 2-1 margin, our IBD/TIPP poll found, Americans want Congress to start fresh with a new blueprint, not rehash what they’ve clearly rejected.

No amount of we-know-what’s-best, force-it-on-an-unwilling-public arrogance can change these facts. Yet the Democrat machine, confident its ideas are so strong that they can repeal the laws of economics, refuses to end its offensive against the people.

We are far beyond the point at which we can admire their tenacity while disagreeing with their solutions.

What we need is a clean, quick kill of a plan — an Obama course that would drive our health care system into an abyss from which it would never escape.

See also:
Obama stays on offense with health-care proposal
Obama offers new health-care reform proposal
Obama posts health blueprint
Facing headwinds, Obama offers health deal
Obama Renews Health Push
ObamaCare at Ramming Speed
Obama Rejects Advice to Shrink Health Proposal
Obama may be key part of this health care plan
Obama’s health care bill revision seeks compromise
CBO says Obama’s health plan not detailed enough to score
CBO Blog: No Cost Estimate of Obama Health Plan This Week
Plan sweetened for GOP baffles CBO
Obama’s healthcare plan gets chilly GOP reception
Can Obama Bypass Republicans on Health?
White House Sets the Table to Use ‘Reconciliation’ Rules to Finish Health Care Reform
Will Obama Health Care Plan Pass Via Reconciliation?
Charting a Course Around Filibusters
Health care has one last chance
Are the Dems really that clueless about health care?

What happened to Obama’s promise to focus on American’s top priority, jobs? Apparently, that lasted all of about a week and now it’s back to socialized health care reform, a plan already soundly rejected by the vast majority of the American public.

/Obama and the Democrats must have an insatiable political death wish, they’re going to get absolutely creamed in the 2010 midterm elections

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One Step Closer To Socialized Medicine

Health Care Bill Moves Forward

Sweeping health care legislation has cleared its first hurdle in the full Senate on a party-line vote.

The 60-39 vote clears the way for a historic debate after Thanksgiving on the legislation. The measure is designed to extend coverage to an estimated 31 million Americans who lack it and crack down on insurance industry practices that deny benefits.

The White House released a statement saying, “The President is gratified that the Senate has acted to begin consideration of health insurance reform legislation. Tonight’s historic vote brings us one step closer to ending insurance company abuses, reining in spiraling health care costs, providing stability and security to those with health insurance, and extending quality health coverage to those who lack it. The President looks forward to a thorough and productive debate.”

The rare Saturday session amounted to a first round in the fight to pass the bill in the full Senate, with the remaining Democratic holdouts announcing they would support at least the measure to open debate on the bill, avoiding an early knockout by Republicans.

Sens. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana waited until Saturday to say they would vote yes for a floor debate. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska announced Friday his support for moving the bill forward.

All three cautioned that their votes to start debate should not be construed a support for the bill in its current form.

“It is a vote to move forward to continue the good and essential and important and imperative work that is under way,” Landrieu said on the Senate floor. “I’ve decided that there’s enough significant reforms and safeguards in this bill to move forward but more work needs to be done.”

Lincoln said she still would support a filibuster if the so-called “public option,” a government-run insurance plan, remains in the health care bill.

“I along with others expect to have legitimate opportunities to influence the health care reform legislation that is voted on by the Senate later this year or early next year,” she said.

While the vote is only a procedural one, Republicans haven’t backed down.

“This is a vote about whether or not you want to fundamentally change the way health care is delivered in this country in a way which massively expands the size of government, the role of government and significantly increases the tax burden, especially for small businesses and cuts Medicare by a dramatic amount of money,” Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., told Fox News before Saturday’s session began.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill “monstrous” and, citing the Congressional Budget Office, said it would not bring down costs.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, now Harry Reid’s passing out taxpayer funded bribes to jam this health care travesty through.

Sen. Landrieu flaunts purchased vote: “It’s not $100 million; it’s $300 million!”

Facing fallout from an apparent sale of her health care vote to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the Democratic Caucus, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) took a shocking approach in response to the payoff allegations: she flaunted it!

To help secure her vote, Reid included a provision in the bill sought by Landrieu to provide increased Medicaid funds for states recovering from major disasters such as 2005’s Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. When the bill is closely examined, however, the provision provides immense financial support for only one state: Landrieu’s Louisiana.

Landrieu defended the inclusion of the provision and said Republican critics who accuse her of selling her vote for $100 million are wrong and that she has the support of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Then, in a statement sure to be repeated by Republicans endlessly over the coming weeks of Senate health care debate, the senator flaunted the inclusion of the provision. “I will correct something. It’s not $100 million, it’s $300 million, and I’m proud of it and will keep fighting for it,” Landrieu told reporters after her floor speech. “But that is not why I started this health care debate; I started this health care debate for all the reasons I just mentioned in my statement” on the floor.

The apparent purchase of the senator’s vote is already garnering significant response from Republicans as well as taxpayers footing the bill for this provision. The nickname for the provision? “The Louisiana Purchase.”

Unreal, this is just out of control. Never in U.S. legislative history have so many been screwed by so few, at such a high cost.

See also:
Historic health care bill clears Senate hurdle
Senate Health Care Reform Bill Vote, 60-39 Brings Reform Bill to the Floor
Healthcare bill advances in Senate, in 60-39 vote; it got ‘failing grade’ from healthcare experts
Biden says Senate handed Obama a big victory
Senator Corker Reacts to Senate Health Care Vote
Senate moves health care bill forward for debate
FACTBOX: Details of Senate healthcare reform bill
Landrieu votes in favor of health care debate
GOP hits Landrieu for $100 million ‘new Louisiana Purchase’
Thanks to100 million dollar bribe, Healthcare reform cloture passes Senate!

/trillions of taxpayer dollars, added to the national debt, so we can all pay more, to wait longer, for less health care, whee!

And In The Senate Corner . . . Weighing In At 2074 Pages . . . The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

From behind the closed doors of Harry Reid’s office, submitted for your perusal . . .

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Put on your hip waders, this jabberwocky assault on American health care is longer than the first four Harry Potter books combined, only without the magic or entertainment value.

Senate Health Bill Is Outlined by Reid

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid outlined for Democrats Wednesday a ten-year $849 billion bill that would overhaul the nation’s health-care system and extend insurance to 31 million Americans without coverage.

The legislation represents the Nevada Democrat’s first attempt to build consensus among Senate Democratic liberals and centrists, as well as the two independents allied with the party.

A senior Senate Democratic leadership aide said the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill, after it is implemented, would ensure that 94% of those living in the U.S., not counting unauthorized immigrants, have insurance coverage. CBO has previously estimated that about 83% of Americans now have insurance.

The aide said the CBO estimated that the Senate measure would reduce the federal budget deficit by $127 billion over the next decade, and by $650 billion over the second ten years of the program. In part, the bill achieves that reduction through new taxes on Medicare and high-value insurance plans.

The 10-year price tag comes in below the $900 billion limit set by the White House and below the $1.055 trillion cost of the health-overhaul passed by the House earlier this month.

The $849 billion figure and the prospect of deficit reduction cheered Democrats. But the figures aren’t likely to win over Republicans, who say the bill adds costly new benefits for some Americans when the federal budget deficit is reaching new heights.

“We’re going to do everything we can to defeat this monstrosity,” said Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.).

Among other things, the Senate legislation would create a new government-run health insurance plan to compete with private insurers, while allowing states the option not to participate. That is a nod to centrists worried about the federal government’s growing footprint in the private sector.

The bill would also create government subsidies to help individuals and families comply with a mandate to buy insurance, and would sharply expand Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor.

Mr. Reid’s decision to unveil a bill sets the stage for a pivotal vote, perhaps Friday or Saturday, that will determine whether the Senate can formally open debate on the bill. Mr. Reid, who met Wednesday with Vice President Joseph Biden, has voiced optimism that he can secure the votes needed to overcome Republican opposition and move to the debate. But with the outcome uncertain, the coming vote looms large as the first of several over the next month that will test Mr. Reid’s ability to hold together liberals and centrists.

See also:
Senate Democrats introduce $849 billion healthcare reform bill
Reid Unveils Senate Healthcare Bill
Senate Democrats’ Health Care Bill Will Cost $849 Billion
Senate’s health care bill cost: $849 billion
Senate health bottom line: $849 billion overhaul
Senate healthcare bill hits Obama cost target
Reid bill would cost $849B, expand coverage to 31 million people, aide says
Senate Health Plan Seeks to Add Coverage to 31 Million
$849 billion health bill sets up historic debate
Johnson, Thune On Senate Health Care Reform
New Senate Healthcare Reform Bill Features Public Option With Opt-Out
US Senate health plan includes public option-senator
Senate Health Care Bill: $370+ Billion Tax Hike
2,074-page health bill includes surgery, payroll tax hike
Stupak Abortion Measure Stopped…for the Moment
Senate Democrats backing down on tough anti-abortion measure
Senator: Pro-Life Side Lacks Votes to Stop Abortion Funding in Health Care
Stupak: I have votes to defeat health bill
DeGette says Stupak won’t have the votes to keep his amendment
Senate, House Democratic health bills compared
In The House Corner . . . Weighing In At 1990 Pages . . . The Affordable Health Care For America Act

/here we go, pass the popcorn

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

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