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  • Morning Bell: What The Baucus Bill Will Cost You

    This morning the Senate Finance Committee will resume their markup of Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) health care bill. Thanks to Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) the focus today will be on whether or not the Democrats on the committee can find enough votes to include a government-run insurance program. Just like Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) preferred public plan, Rockefeller’s plan would set price controls for health reimbursements at 5% above Medicare reimbursement rates. If the public plan was opened to all individuals and families, 103.4 million Americans would end up on the public plan, 88.1 million of whom would first lose their existing private coverage.

    It is unclear at this point if centrist Democrats in Congress are really ready to force this many people out of their existing private care and into government-run health care. But even if the public option is not included, there are still plenty of regressive job killing taxes and invasions of privacy in the Baucus plan that makes it terrible public policy:

    Taxes Families – Under the plan,  everyone will have to have health insurance by 2013. The mandate will apply to all adults and their dependents under age 18. Those who failed to buy insurance would be forced to pay an annual tax between $750 and $3,800 per year. Those who fail to pay the tax could be jailed for up to one year. Worse, 7.7 million households would face a 35% excise tax on their health insurance. 94% of these households would be paying a higher tax rate on their health insurance than they would be paying on their income.

    Taxes Businesses – Employers with more than 50 employees that don’t offer health coverage would have to pay a penalty for each employee who qualifies for new federal subsidizes under the bill. To stay in business employers will be forced to cut jobs and cut wages.

    Taxes the Sick – The Baucus bill imposes higher taxes on manufacturers and importers of medical devices, health insurance companies, clinical laboratories, manufacturers and importers of drugs. In effect, the Baucus proposal would tax the sick to subsidize insurance for the healthy, and many of the taxes would be imposed on the same people “helped” by the subsidies.

    Invades Your Privacy – The Baucus bill enforces both its individual and employer mandates by deputizing the Internal Revenue Service. To enforce these provisions, the bill would therefore require individuals, health insurers, employers, and government health agencies to report detailed health insurance information on all Americans to the IRS, adding significant administrative costs and reducing privacy protections. The IRS would also be required to report personal income data to state exchanges, insurance companies, and employers because premium credits and out-of-pocket limits would depend on income.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    63 Responses to Morning Bell: What The Baucus Bill Will Cost You

    1. Chesapeake, VA says:

      Taxes Families who don't buy insurance and thus taxed, and if not paid are jailed for one year !! My God, is anyone awake in Congress or have they all gone mad! The whole bunch need to be thrown out and TRUE Americans placed into Congress.

      Are they all blind to what Obama is doing?

      I think the people of the USA need to remove Obama from office. It's our right to do so.

    2. Ken, Clinton, TN says:

      When will the folks in DC realize that when they tax or put a required fee on a service or associated equipment that those who use that service or equipment will end up paying the fee. People pay taxes not companies.

    3. FRANK COLLATT says:

      My fellow Americans, does Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jay Rockefeller D-WV) Speaker Nancy Pelosi or BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA think the American People are stupid? This

      proposed health care bill is not about your health, your well being, or your welfare, IT'S ABOUT FURTHER GOVERNMENT CONTROL!! At Tax-Payer Expense!! Then if you don't buy into it, they want to fine and/or incarcerate you? In 2010 we need to send these people a strong message, and vote them out of office. Then in 2012, we need to send them their leader BHO. If this health care plan were so great, why do they "threaten" the American People with retaliation if we don't go along with it? Would anyone in Congress adopt it for themselves or their families? JUST SAY NO TO OBAMACARE!!

    4. Harry, Illinois says:

      Socialism will now be refered to as Obamalism. The IRS will now become the Gestapo. Hail Bama.

      Not only does BO have to go, so do the rest of the idiot in congress. Impeach em all.

    5. Roberta Guagliardo, says:

      Just think how this will improve the prison system, putting innocent, non-criminal types

      into jail. The prison population will be

      uplifted. This congress has got to go!

      I have a question about the homeless population.

      Will the homeless who decide not to pay for

      insurance be fined? How will they pay? Will

      they go to jail?

      Do we still have a constitution?

    6. Jimmy, Loganville, G says:

      What difference can we make? My Representative opposes this. My Senators oppose this. I OPPOSE THIS. It doesn't matter! The President supports it. The Speaker of the House supports it. The Senate Majority Leader supports it. The Left is in charge! They do not care what ANYONE thinks or cares about. They have one agenda – POWER, and they will do ANYTHING to get it. Including, DENYING those who oppose them a voice or healthcare. My wife and I have 6 children, are self-employed and made a whopping $40,000 last year. The government took over half of it in taxes! Income tax, sales tax, Ad valorem tax, property tax, self-employment tax, gas tax, tax, tax, tax. I guess the one good thing is the government will have to provide healthcare for all the citizens they put in prison for not having healthcare.

    7. Ron Thompson says:

      A government of the people, by the people, for the people! Not! This needs to be changed to; a government mandating to all the people by the government, for the government.

      it is clear that the people in the government are not for the people out in the real world! you can call it crazy and absurd, but these elitest are going to pass this travisty! Not listening to anyone other than themselves!

    8. Joan Sarasota FL. says:

      Obama is unfit for office. He has not done one good thing since he has taken office. He is like a kid running around trying to act like adult. We deserve a real man not some kid who likes to hear himself talk.

    9. JENNIFER TREINEN, LO says:

      This does not sound like a health care bill, it sounds like a TAX!! How does this benefit my health, or the health of anyone else in America? How will illegal immigrants be treated? Sen. Baucus is just a lapdog for OBAMA, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Clearly this left-wing democrat Congress DOES NOT have the best interests of the American People at heart. Then they want to send you to jail if you don't pay?

    10. Ken - Santa Barbara says:

      Is there another non UnitedHealth owned research group we might refer to. I appreciate your citing yourself as a creditable source for your claims and Dr Book a senior research fellow at HF. His previous employer the Lewin Group seems a shoe in and go to for anti health care reform stats.

      I need some help, perhaps you have covered this in a previous article. The current median income of a family of four might be 67-70K per year. What might you expect a spread to be for insurance premiums for the family under the new plan?

      What is the current spread for Insurance premium costs for members of the congress for a family of four?

      Hope this isn't too much to ask. Seems that you would be able to get this information readily and have it posted for us to read quicker than we could ever expect. I would also be happy if you would post the sources you would use if they would be available for us to access and study.

    11. Worried says:

      Why would small business have to cut employess, pay etc? If all their competition is in the same situation, everybody raises prices and the public pays for it–another OB tax.

    12. Chris, Livonia MI says:

      Take a look at the CBO letter to Sen. Max Baucus (linked in this post: http://taxpayersoapbox.com/?p=263 )

      According to the Baucus Bill, a family of 4 earning $66K and does not health insurance today WILL be expected to pay a full 20% of their income in premiums, co-pays, deductibles, etc. before they would qualify for any federal assistance. This is based on the second lowest premium for the so-called "Silver Plan" outlined in the Baucus Bill.

      That means 20% of their income not being spent on housing, clothing, food, transportation… you name it.

      HELLO SENATORS: Good intentions do not guarantee desired results! We cannot afford this… period!

    13. Bob Veigel, Arlingto says:

      In addition to costing a lot more money, it will also reduce the quality of life care and in the long run probably result in an ealier trip to the grave. Whatever government does seldom, if ever, provides the quality service or product at a reasonable cost that is delivered by the private sector.

    14. Wayne Murray Columbu says:

      I will not buy insurance nor pay an annual tax, so put me in jail.

      My God this is unconstitutional.

      Give me liberty or give me death ((( NOW ))).

      I want no part of this idiotic stage play. Shut the curtains and kill the lights and cue my heavenly Father.

      between $750 and $3,800 per year. Those who fail to pay the tax could be jailed for up to one year. Worse, 7.7 million households would face a 35% excise tax on their health insurance. 94% of these households would be paying a higher tax rate on their health insurance than they would be paying on their income.

    15. harleyj says:

      If my Mother–God rest her soul–were at my dinner table and she subscribed to the ideas i see espoused by the Heritage Foundation and its ideological chauvinists, I would say the following to her:

      Of course, none of you ever take into consideration the multi-$billions–even $trillions–the insurance companies have and will continue to screw you out of. It amounts to $billions–in multiples–in what it does and will cost you and the rest of us as the healthcare insurance companies continue to wantonly and freely shake us all down.

      I detest the Baucus bill in favor of the House Bill 3200 (after amendments) because it is the only legislation on any table right now that will cut the cost of premiums and expansion of costs of healthcare in the USA.

      Republicans give lip service to real federal tort reform but they don't want anything of the sort to pass because they–and the insurance companies–favor state by state tort reform knowing they can manipulate the state legislators and governors much more easily than the federal government.

      Republicans give lip service, as well, to interstate insurance competition knowing full well that the insurance companies like things just the way they are. Fair competition, which would exist under true capitalism, is anathema to healthcare insurance companies. To them, fair trade means lower profits and having to share the wealth of the insured with other insurers. They love their little state monopolies with all the devices which make it legal for them to (1) reject people for minimal pre-existing conditions, (2) reject the already insured for contracted conditions after the supposedly "insured" have paid fortunes in premiums for coverage they just thought they had, (3) deny doctor prescribed medical procedures or drugs in the interest of the bottom line instead of the insured patient and to (4) increase premiums to make up for their losses in other areas of the economy (recession, inflation, deflation, stock market and/or interest rate fluctuations, whatever…).

      You Heritage Foundation people are not free-market capitalists. You wouldn't know democratic free-market capitalism if it kicked you in the teeth. You are cheerleaders for a New World Order International Corporate Security World which puts you–an American citizen and the small business entrepreneur–at the stinky rear end of the large, impersonal multi-national corporation which is and will continue to suck the lifeblood out of the American economy with no regard for your life or your quality of life. You are the reason for the perversion of capitalism.

      Because of your ignorance and stupidity, you will reap what you are sowing: the decline and fall of our Great American Experiment. Other ISMS, not even in the cards, will not destroy America. Unbridled laissez faire Corporatism will; if it hasn't, at your purposeful hands, already destroyed our great nation which once was, as that rabid socialist-communist, Abraham Lincoln said, "…of the people, by the people, for the people"!

    16. Jolene Atkins, Dalla says:

      No matter what excuses and "misinformation" President Obama and his Liberal Democratic Congress have told –They still have not listened to the American people and are still determined to ram nationalized, single-payer health care down the throats of American people.

      We have the best health care in the world. We do need Tort reform, and perhaps some tweaking —but not Government run health care. No to Obama Care! No! No! No!

      Jolene

    17. Jan Burket, Jacksonv says:

      Good Morning:

      I agree with everything you are saying is pervasive and invasive with these bills.

      However, concerning the overall costs of his majestys program, has anyone bothered to calculate let alone broadcast just what the costs will be to set up the "govt. company" to administrate this fiasco? It will take thousands of employees – no doubt many from the ranks of the perpetually unemployed, and we will be burdened with yet another govt. bureauracracy which in itself will cost us hundreds of millions on top of all the other expenses attached to this bill. How in the name of anything sensible can they say they are going to save money on this ??

      How about some expert comments on this subject.

      Thank you.

    18. Meehan NY says:

      This is the easiest way to explain the concept of “Free” it applies to anything that’s price tag is 0.0 dollars.

      Last year my daughter came home with a puppy that she got for free from the family up the street. She was very excited about her new puppy. I of course was a little less then thrilled about the dog but how could I say “no” after all she is my daughter. So I asked her who was going to take care of it, she said that she would because she “really really really wanted a puppy and Mommy said it was ok”. I fully well knew my daughter’s intentions were whole hearted and I fully understand that I would be the one walking the dog at 1am in the morning. So I struck a deal with her and told her that part of her allowance and savings would have to go towards vaccinations, food and toys and for the newly acquired family member; she agreed.

      After all was said and done I withheld one week of allowance from my daughter. She was baffled and protested by saying “This is not fair” and “You’re mean”. I then explained to her that the vaccinations, a 50 lb bag of puppy chow, a kennel and dog shampoo were very expensive and that the family had to put in about 200 dollars for everything and that her 15 dollar contribution while helpful only covered a very small amount of the total cost. She slowly came to realize that the puppy was not free and demanded her money back. For me it killed a few birds with one stone, my daughter got her first taste of buyers remorse (she still loves the dog though), she knows that if something sounds to good to be true it probably is not, and most importantly she knows that nothing is free.

      Maybe congress can take a lesson from my 10 year old.

    19. Bob Salsa, VA says:

      Chris, Livonia – thanks for providing some actual numbers instead of the usual hysteria. I'm pretty sure this is going to pass no matter whatever I do; so I'm trying to get some real sense of what this going to cost me.

      I'm confused, however, with your table – it seems to just show what people would pay without the gov't subsidies. So that is not what they are eventually going to pay, right? Do you have a chart with the real final numbers, i.e. after the govt gives back what it took?

      Also, I think the latest Baucus mark cut the penalities in half – max for family making $88K or more is now $1900 not $3800. It seems to me, anyone making $88k per year without insurance for his family is an idiot.

    20. Michael Olson, Ft. W says:

      King Obama has decreed that all of his subjects thru out his kingdom shall have health care & thus will be subjected to a small portion of the rewards of their daily labor to pay their fair share. The Lords & Ladies of his court will make sure it is so. Fines, Imprisonment & Beheadings will be used to make sure the Masses freely & willing comply.

    21. mike hutchings texas says:

      this long ago ceased being about money and has become a sruggle for power, population and thought control; modeling behavior to fit the socialist man, that after all these years still has a grip on weak imaginations and is like a donkey with a fancy saddle and polished hooves put on a race track. he is still a donkey and no matter what you call him and he wont run like a horse but instead will behave like exactly what he is.

      the devil is not in the details he is in the open for all to see in these bills that devolve power from individuals and fold them into the group with a constant degradation of liberty and the quality of life.—witness that world wide in semi-developed nations that fall under the heel of state facism, the birth rate declines and what does it say when people no longer see value in children when they know they have them too turn over to the state. these are dire times but not hopeless ones, and the government media can no longer hide what and who they are.

      take heart and know you are part of a movement that is growing without the thrust of a single leader that will grow and draw unto its self what it needs. it comes from the heart of the nation beating in time with the inherent and unique quality that makes AMERICANS a people like no other.our ranks are open to every one regardless of race or color who understands our exceptionalism and place in the world. look beyond the constant drumbeat of the government media and look inside and then around and see the force for good that we truly are in the world; and do so without apology.

    22. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      THIS CANNOT BE TRUE! IT'S A LIE! IT'S A LIE!

      OUR PRESIDENT SAID WE WOULD NOT LOSE OUR PRIVATE COVERAGE.

    23. cookie corej- michig says:

      I think we should all do the same thing that those without insurance do , Go to the Emergency room for your health problems, and claim you have no health insurance.The Federal Government has already said hospitals must provide service to all even if they don't pay. In their next statement they say that insurance companies are raising their premiums to fatten their profits. Hospitals cannot continue to provide unfunded care without raising prices, cutting staff, or cloising up shop.

      These dimwits starting with B.O. are clueless . If health care was such a pressing problem we would cover people RIGHT NOW not in 4 years when this plan will go into effect ( just long enough to get a second term for B.O.) THEN THE FIT HITS THE SHAN !!!

      The government does not have the right to force people to have health insurance.This is or was a democracy, but is quickly turning into a socialist state.

      There is no pressing need to pass a plan this bad without getting input from the American public.

      The government will not be the death squad they will force this role on your physican by telling him how to practice medicine, by prescribing only approved medicine, not ordering tests etc.

      Doctors are being recruited heavily from the U.S. right now to practice in Dubai, some will take that lucarative option.

      The government will have their hands in both our pockets extracting every last cent for healthcare, the stimulus package, cap and trade etc. Some of us will welcome death over the living HELL we will be forced to live in.

      Please list all members of the House and Senate who are up for reelection so that I and others can work to have them defeated.

      Remember the states will be resposible for this plan after a few years with all of its' unfunded mandates. We can't keep our states afloat now. Wake up AMERICANS.

    24. jim toledo says:

      It is amazing that these guys continue on the path of doing what the American people don't want. I hope this makes it crystal clear at what the democrats have become; a bunch of left wing elitests who think they are better and know more than we do and will do whatever they think is right for them. If you guys want this bill so bad then have each Congress person sign a letter of intent stating that you will give up your current and future health care insurance and opt for the 'public plan'. Also, if anyone thinks that there will be no new taxes to cover the cost of this, well to be nice, let's just say you missed the boat.

    25. Carol, AZ says:

      "States push to Block mandate ON Health Ins. Bill," MORE THAN ONE DOZ AND GREWING.

      I feel that finally, some hope from collective leadership based on States Rights, and personal rights, will block this bill.

      Democracy;

      Government by the people , rule by the majority.

      A Government in which the supreme power is held by the people.

      How can a Deomcracy tax American's who already are paying for healtih Ins,(83%).

      Who are also taxed for the cost of Medicare and Medicaid, and who will be further taxed for others who do not want health ins?

      It's not my business "why" anyone makes these decisions.

      It is called "free choice."

      Further, is is not the Gov't decison to question "why" nor interfer with their choice.

      We are already paying for the un-insured through Medicare and Medicaid.

      Pres. Reagan signed a Federal Law allowing all non-legals free health care in any emergency rm ,( public hospital ) in America, so that loop hole has been plugged.

      If the cost for all the above is too high for the Fed Gov't to pay, cut- out all the fraud in this mega monster.

      Take all the mega millions in Federal funding from former ACORN Agency's throughout the U.S and re-invest toward the Medicare debt.

      Un-necessay testing by hospitals and Doctors.

      Mandate the INS. CO. to re-design their policy's of how Buss. is being done.

      Has anyone notices NO ONE in the Obama Admin is willing to talk about…just hinted at…" when we pass this health program the INS CO. will be willing to blah, blah. blah"

      Do we Americans think that IF a bill is signed that INS CO and major Drug CO will produce some magic list of changes?

      I suppport the State that have taken action to kill this bill, and who are willing to reform the system instead of creating another useless Gov't program.

      Please support your State's for action if you agree.

    26. Richard Cancemi, Arlington, TX says:

      Where do these despotic “liberals” come from? Do they consider themselves part of the human race?

      Who the hell do they think they are?

      They act like insane and evil tyrants! They are despicable!

      Where is the opposition? There’s talk and talk but no action. The Democrats are making a travesty of the Constitution and destroying America. They are criminals and traitors to all that is American. The President needs to be impeached and the liberal congress recalled or prosecuted for malfeasance.

      They must be ousted soon or this Country will surely fracture itself along ideational lines.

      Let the liberals live with the socialists and the conservatives have their own America!

    27. Ken St Louis says:

      This all seems so simple to me, I can’t understand why its not being instituted. SECESSION is the answer! Theres no compeling reason for any state to remain in the Union. We don”t have a union anymore! WE HAVE A DICTATORSHIP IN CONTROL IN WASHINGTON! Come on folks, start writing to your states legislatures & demanding that secession be put on the ballot!
      OBUMA hates America! He’s intent on turning it into a 3rd world banana dictatorship!

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    29. JOHN PAUL JONES, M.D says:

      If they are going to Medicare + 5%, why don't they just go to Medicare for all including getting rid of Medicaid. Taxing providers(clinical providers) after reducing payments does not make sense. Of course all of Congress are idiots in the first place or they would be doing something constructive.

    30. David A. Black, Sr. says:

      I agree that the current health care system calls for serious consideration. Therefore, the Federal Government should promote legislation that assists the several States in rectifying health care in their independent States, just as the President agrees to do regarding “Tort Reform”. As a former Constitutional Professor, I would think this should have been President Obama’s first inclination.

      To read more of what I have to say, visit

      http://conservativepatriot.wordpress.com/2009/09/

    31. wagner iowa says:

      Please eveyone who cares about this bill, let's not become complacent and think this idea of public option is dead. The dems plan on pushing it through using the nuclear option if they have to. Let us not forget the congress members who voted to take $530 billion from seinors and give it to illegals!! This bill also does not into effect until 2013 AFTER the next general election. Why do you suppose that is????

    32. Alex, America says:

      How is this any different from the government requiring everyone to have auto insurance? Yes, we can this a tax, but it's really more of a penalty, of the same kind you would get charged by the FCC for violating broadcast restrictions. Technically, by the dictionary definition of the word, these are both "taxes," but this is not a tax in the colloquial use of the word. So there's a penalty for not insuring your body, just as there is one for not insuring your car. What is the harm in that?

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    34. Ron Derry Nh says:

      The American socialist party; the democrats and their liberal mouthpieces have for years set us against the right wing conservatives and claimed that the religious right was our greatest enemy, when all they proposed was prayer in school and a plaque at the state house with the Ten Commandments on it. None of which would cause national harm or egregious financial harm.

      Now that the socialist communist party is applying fascism like never before the mouthpieces can only spew rhetorical hate at Americans that stand up and voice their defiance of this dictatorial overthrow of our system.

      Never before has the financial calamity of so many been at the hands of so few that care not for this country, and see us as a pallet for their rise to power over our once great voice.

      Congress set in motion the financial failure that is about to swallow us…they are the ones resolving the situation with more of their same ineptness.

      We have but one true enemy in this country and that is the thirst for power that some have taken on with a vengeance against our freedom, liberty and choice to set our own standards without government interference.

      Our very state sovereignty is being smothered because federal mandates are breaking the system, and the best congress can come up with is more of the same entrapment, servitude and forced compliance to their will.

      This is not America!

    35. Ron Derry Nh says:

      Alex car insurance is to protect others from you…health insurance is your own body, your own choice.

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    40. Wallyblu, Zion, IL says:

      The only chance we have to stop this trend to socialism is in the 2010 spring primary elections and the 2010 November election.

      Nominate no incumbant or new candidate who voted for or supports Amnesty, Cap and Trade or Government Healthcare.

      If in November there is a choise vote for those who would allow us to make our own choices.

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    43. Ken Brinzer, Pittsbu says:

      The Baucus Bill, and the other similarly-minded attempts of the federal government to takeover our health care system will subordinate real diversity and the interests of individuals to a one size fits all, top down government approach to health care that is bound to result in an inefficient, inadequate and diminished level of health care services.

      Those familiar with the "communitarian health care" ideas of Dr. Ezechiel Emmanuel, ideas which are integral to all of the health care reform plans currently being considered as legislation in the US, will find those ideas to be radical, unjustified encroachments on common sense and decency.

    44. marcia says:

      harley…just what is your koolaid laced with?

    45. FRANK COLLATT, Louis says:

      Health Care Mandate Sparks Constitutional Debate

      The constitution allows the federal government to regulate interstate commerce but legal experts argue the insurance requirement is just an attempt to dictate personal behavior.

      By Jim Angle FOXNEWS.com

      The requirement that everyone buy health insurance — a central element to President Obama's health care plan — is flatly unconstitutional, legal experts argue.

      "At the heart of this plan is an unprecedented imposition on individual liberty," constitutional attorney David Rivkin told FOX News.

      The constitution allows the federal government to regulate interstate commerce but Rivkin argues the insurance requirement is just an attempt to dictate personal behavior.

      "What’s unique about here is the mandate imposed on individuals merely because they live," he said. "Not connected with any economic activity, not because they grow something, make something, compose something. Merely because they live. And this is absolutely unprecedented."

      During the Prohibition era, the federal government dictated personal behavior by making the consumption of alcohol illegal. But to do so, the nation had to pass a constitutional amendment.

      Health care reform depends on the individual mandate, in part because it needs the money and good health of younger people to fund the system and spread the risk.

      "When you're 25 and healthy you think you're invincible. You think you're never going to get sick, never going to get into an accident," said Doug Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center.

      And so young people don't buy insurance. But if one gets into an accident and runs up huge medical bills, taxpayers foot the bill, Kendall said.

      "The fundamental point behind pushing people into the private insurance market is to make sure that uninsured individuals who can pay for health insurance don't impose costs on other tax payers," he said.

      Kendall argues the interstate commerce clause justifies such action because it regulates insurance and health care. But when the Clinton administration wanted an individual mandate in the 1990s, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office also called such a requirement "unprecedented."

      "The government has never required people to buy any good or service, as condition of lawful residence in the United States," congressional budget officers said.

      Some question why the government cannot force Americans to buy health insurance if it can regulate other behavior such as use of illicit drugs. But if the government can do that to protect taxpayers, why couldn't it force people to stop smoking or lose weight?

      The Congressional Research Service looked into the mandate question and concluded only that Congress "may have" that power but called it "the most challenging question" — meaning the centerpiece of health care reform is still open to debate.

      How much more time will CONGRESS spend debating something in proposed legislation that NO AMERICAN WANTS, and IS PROBABLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL to begin with?

    46. ken in Santa Barbara says:

      harleyj- very much enjoyed your post.

      It appears from everything I have read here that my insurance costs even with a 20% or 35% surcharge will be less than the 15k in premium I pay now plus the deductible I have (copay and deductible now can exceed 21k/yr). What would entice me to keep that going. Hell, I'd pay more than what you folks say they're proposing for me and my family to be covered and be happier than a protester at a town hall meeting or tea party.

      I don't understand what fuels this site but it can't be the facts. It seems I have the right to choose which insurance is best for my family, and you folks aren't prepared or polite enough to divvy up control. You would be referred to in my house as the pot calling the kettle black.

      I hope those who cry out and invoke the almighty are prepared

      for the response.

      We should refer to the dictionary term "reconciliation" and see if we can benefit from the reestablishing of cordial relations to best work out a mutually beneficial declaration or

      if the less cordial political citation would better apply to giving the people the right to choose. They don't need 60 votes folks. I prefer the first application or definition.

    47. Jackie, Maryland says:

      This health care bill is just total insanity. (if anyone has really read it). What planet are those people inhabiting.

    48. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      Every body is outraged. Is anybody doing anything? Writing blogs does not help I have been writing blogs for several years now, urging people not to re-elect ANY incumbent, yet they put EVERY single one except cold cash Jefferson back in, along with obamalot, with me screaming NO as loud as I could. So this does not work. Have to DO something else. I have an Idea. Why don't everybody pick a FRIEND that they Know And TRUST and make sure this friend replaces a career politician? Forget about Party. Just make sure ALL career politicians are eliminated. Removed from our Existence.

    49. Leslie Dunn says:

      I feel as if I am in an episode of The Twilight Zone. It's as if this isn't even America, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, it's bizarre! I cannot watch ABC, NBC, or CBS anymore because it is sickeningly clear that the truth is being twisted! That people are being bamboozled. Did anyone hear Whoopi Goldberg talking about Roman Polanski, "it wasn't "rape" "rape", well what is the difference between rape and rape? I am sick and tired of listening to actors opinions, too, like that moron Jeanine Garofolo.

      On the morning news this morning in Atlanta, (before I could change the turn off the tv), I heard the announcer say.."coming up next, why American's are upset that Obama's health care plans would require all American's to have health care". Not, "why American's are upset Obama's health care plans are Socialistic, un-American, and un-Constitional". Weird. Very weird. Listen to Herman Caine on 750AM, out of Atlanta, he is awesome, his show runs in the evening, I love Herman Caine, his advice, "get off the couch and DO Something!"

    50. Pingback: “Public Option GOES DOWN Twice in Senate Committee Votes” and related posts « Twitter

    51. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      Will we have the courage to Repeal all of obamalots Laws? Once election day rolls around, and your trusted friends replace the career politicians who have done this to you, will you insist it all be reversed?

    52. jim smith says:

      This Senate Finance Committee is pathetic. Baucus, Chuck the Schmuck and Rockefeller are so out of touch, you would think they just flew in from Mongo or another dying planet.

    53. Marcio Rocon says:

      When will the folks in DC realize that when they tax or put a required fee on a service or associated equipment that those who use that service or equipment will end up paying the fee. People pay taxes not companies. http://wpclassifieds.net/

    54. Pingback: “Public Option GOES DOWN Twice in Senate Committee Votes” and related posts « Twitter

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    56. Pingback: Govt Watch: Policy, Unions and Presidential Authority « Lighthouse Patriot Journal

    57. CM Colorado says:

      Will I get health coverage in jail?

    58. Christopher Popham S says:

      Ron of Derry, N.H. nails it on the head. In fact,

      most of the comments here are accurate and reflect

      a growing revolutionary sentiment in America, that

      will soon go well beyond Tea Parties and town halls.

      Indeed, this is clearly not America any more, when our representatives in Washington draft legislation that dictates penalties and imprisonment with regards to your free choice in choosing health insurance.

      This goes beyond the pale of being unconstitutional.

      It is bordering on criminality, an exercise of political power-playing that incites the people to

      revolt. The mid-term elections of the 2010 process may not be sufficient to end this Congress. I'm no

      expert, but as in other parts of the world, perhaps

      it is time to get off our duffs and demonstrate

      publicly. The first four paragraphs of the

      Declaration of Independence give us the right to do so. Read them and read them carefully.

      If we, as a nation of 300+ million Americans, continue to allow the federal government to ride

      roughshod over us, then we are doomed, UNLESS we

      stand up for our basic rights and repudiate the power elites.

      The 21st Century American Revolution is at hand, my

      fellow Americans. If you truly care about the laws

      and founding documents upon which this country was

      established, then join me in making our voices rise

      up, loud and clear. Time is of the essence. The time

      is now, before it is too late.

      We can and must at this critical time in history join forces as one family of 300+ million Americans

      and show the world, that we are indeed the greatest

      nation on earth.

    59. Pingback: Morning Bell: What The Baucus Bill Will Cost You » The Foundry

    60. Mike Jones, Palo Alt says:

      "Taxes Families who don’t buy insurance and thus taxed, and if not paid are jailed for one year !!"

      If you don't pay your taxes, you go to jail. What's wrong with that?

      Furthermore, if you don't buy insurance and get sick, hospitals are legally required to treat you anyway. That cost is passed on to everybody else. In effect, the uninsured are stealing their insurance premiums from those who pay for insurance. That's why you should go to jail if you refuse to buy insurance.

    61. Pingback: What The Baucus Bill Will Cost You « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    62. Pingback: “Debate on Public Health Insurance Plan Poised to Explode in Senate” and related posts « Twitter

    63. Pingback: What The Baucus Bill Will Cost You « John Rysavy for Congress

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