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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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

Who Owes Who An Apology?

As you’ve no doubt heard, Rep. Joe Wilson shouted, “you lie” during Obama’s health care speech to a joint session of Congress. He immediately apologized and Obama accepted the apology. End of story, right? No way, the Democrats were determined to cynically milk these two words for their political advantage. First, for the first time in House history, the Democrats wasted legislative time and taxpayer money admonishing Wilson, a totally futile gesture that carries no real punishment.

But wait, there’s more. The Democrats weren’t satisfied with just an admonishment, no, somewhere along the line 2 + 2 suddenly equaled 652 and “you lie” magically became a racist slur, an opportunity for the Democrats to exercise one of their favorite pastimes, playing the race card, and this time they disgustingly dealt it from the absolute bottom of the deck.

Keep in mind the two words Wilson actually said, “you lie”, and then check out this despicable gem from Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia).

Joe Wilson shouts “you lie” at Obama during a speech and that inevitably leads to white folks in white KKK hoods riding through the countryside intimidating black people, that’s the logical conclusion, REALLY?

And, not to be outdone, Jimmy Carter, the most ant-Semitic U.S. President in modern history, trots out from under his rock to lay down the royal flush of race cards.

So, in the space of a week, because Democrats can’t control themselves when it comes to playing the race card in furtherance of their political goals, we’ve gone from Joe Wilson shouting “you lie” at Obama, apologizing and having his apology accepted, all the way to most white people in America are racists and don’t like Obama just because he’s black. Anyone who criticizes Obama is motivated by racism because, you know, it’s absurd to think that someone might actually disagree with Obama’s policies! Yes, there is racism in this country and it exists in all directions, not only white on black. Blowing Joe Wilson’s two word outburst this far out of proportion is absolutely ridiculous, enough is enough already! Even Obama himself thinks this latest Democrat race card game has gone well beyond far enough.

Obama team keeps distance from Carter’s charges of racism

On Wednesday, the White House distanced itself from Carter’s remarks. “The president does not believe that the criticism comes based on the color of his skin,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said during a briefing for reporters.

Michael Steele hit the nail on the head.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who is African American, said in a prepared statement: “Characterizing Americans’ disapproval of President Obama’s policies as being based on race is an outrage and a troubling sign about the lengths Democrats will go to disparage all who disagree with them.”

See also:
Rep. Joe Wilson admonished by House for ‘You Lie!’ cry during President Obama speech
House votes to admonish Rep. Wilson for outburst
Joe Wilson is ‘admonished,’ and everyone reaches for a dictionary
Joe Wilson Admonished, Accused of Racism on Same Day
Dem rep: Wilson outburst ‘instigated more racist sentiment’
‘Racist’ a term that must be applied cautiously
Hank Johnson should apologize — or, at least, retract
Video: Jimmy Carter calls opposition to Obama ‘racist’
Carter Says Congressman’s Comments Fuled By Racism
Carter’s Racism Charge Sparks War of Words
Jimmy Carter racism charge triggers next US race debate
Obama, Wilson, Carter and Racism in America
Obama and WH Team Turn Deaf Ear to Carter’s Racism Allegations, Deny ‘National Conversation’ on Race ‘Going on Right Now’
White House Deflects Charges of Racism Leveled at Opponents
Jimmy Carter racism charge: Obama doesn’t agree says Gibbs
Obama: Not racism
Steele blasts Carter for comment
Steele: Carter’s race-baiting ‘colors, if you will, this debate’
It’s not racism, it’s being an American
Republicans say Carter playing ‘race card’

Remember what started all this, Joe Wilson blurting out “you lie” in response to Obama’s assertion that the “health care reform” bill wouldn’t cover illegal immigrants. Although Wilson’s outburst was extremely rude and inappropriate, considering the setting, he was correct, Obama wasn’t telling the truth. H.R. 3200 says that illegal immigrants aren’t covered, but there’s no enforcement mechanism to keep them from receiving the insurance and all the enforcement mechanism amendments the Republicans proposed were voted down by the Democrats. Theoretically, illegal immigrants can’t legally receive government health insurance under H.R. 3200, but if there’s no way to enforce it by verifying citizenship, what’s to stop them? It’s like don’t ask don’t tell, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more, guarding the hen house blindfolded.

Nothing in health care bill will prevent illegal aliens from seeking coverage

Section 246, convincingly titled “NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS”, within H.R. 3200 says: “Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.” Couldn’t be clearer right? Wrong!

The Annenberg Public Policy Center dances around to say Obama was correct in his speech when he insisted illegal aliens wouldn’t receive coverage. Factcheck.org even refers to the argument: “conservative critics object to a lack of specific enforcement measures in the bill” and then says “Republicans have a point here.” Still, factcheck.org ultimately affirms “the president is correct.”

However, it turns out that Joe Wilson was right when he blurted out “you lie!” to the president. Republicans certainly have a point – there is no provisioning within the bill that asks would-be members of the public option if they are citizens of the United States. There can be all sorts of sections stating that illegal aliens won’t be covered but if there’s no enforcement the text is no more than words on a page.

The issue was particularly sensitive to Wilson because in July an amendment was proposed that would have required applicants for subsidized insurance to proof their citizenship. The Democrat majority voted down the amendment and voted instead to appoint a federal official to make up rules that will prevent illegal immigrants from joining the “public option.”

That’s the extent of enforcement – a vague promise to appoint a government bureaucrat charged with keeping undocumented citizens from enrolling in government-run health care and the text of section 246.

The Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress charged with thinking proposed policy through before it is enacted, said in mid-July, before the recess and the August town hall outbursts that:

“Under H.R. 3200, a ‘Health Insurance Exchange’ would begin operation in 2013 and would offer private plans alongside a public option…H.R. 3200 does not contain any restrictions on noncitizens – whether legally or illegally present, or in the United States temporarily or permanently – participating in the Exchange.

The loophole is glaring – so much so that Senate committees are now hard at work trying to “correct” the problem – or perhaps their motivation is to save face for the president. Either way, no details have been provided on just how this will be accomplished.

Oh, and after Wilson’s outburst, look what happened, the Democrats suddenly scrambled to include enforcement provisions in the Senate Finance Committee bill that was released today.

Senate committee tackles illegal-immigrant healthcare concerns

Key members of the Senate Finance Committee moved Friday to quell the latest furor over President Obama’s healthcare overhaul, discussing added identification and enforcement requirements intended to prevent illegal immigrants from receiving federal benefits.

Committee members ended their closed-door deliberations without reaching agreement on a response, but they are scheduled to work into the weekend.

The concern is whether the proposals being worked out by congressional Democrats with Obama’s support would make benefits available directly or indirectly to people who are in the United States illegally.

The controversy centers primarily on plans to provide government funds to help low-income workers get affordable insurance coverage.

Though drafters of the evolving healthcare bills have been considering the issue for months, it was catapulted into the national spotlight Wednesday night during Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress.

When the president said that his blueprint would not aid illegal immigrants, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) shouted, “You lie!” Wilson has since apologized for his breach of congressional courtesy, but the episode touched off a vociferous debate over the issue.

Democrats note that both the House and Senate versions of the bill already contain language that specifically bars illegal immigrants from receiving federal help to purchase healthcare coverage.

Republicans counter that a written ban means little without tough enforcement provisions, which they say Democrats have refused to include. At their meeting Friday, members of the Senate Finance Committee discussed adding enforcement safeguards to their bill, which will be presented as soon as Tuesday.

See also:
You lie!”: 100% correct statement, 100% wrong time.
Senate Revisits Illegal Immigrant Health Care Question
Sorting out the health care issue of immigrants
Health care reform and Senator Joe Wilson’s contribution
The White House Tacks Right On Illegal Immigrants In Health Care Reform

As it turns out, Joe Wilson yelling “you lie” had absolutely nothing to do with racism and had everything to do with calling Obama out on his false assertion that the proposed health care legislation would exclude illegal aliens from coverage. Granted it was the wrong way to go about it but, guess what, after Wilson’s outburst, the issue got enormous attention and the Democrats were forced to include identification and enforcement mechanisms to insure illegal aliens wouldn’t be able to obtain coverage, a major victory for taxpayers along the road to one of the biggest government boondoggles of all time, otherwise known as the Democrat plan for health reform.

/so, who owes who an apology?