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  • The Five Flaws of the Reid Health Bill

    We’re still poring over Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) just released health care overhaul, but the major outlines of the bill are no different than the policy train wreck the House passed earlier this month.

    The five major flaws of both the Pelosi and Reid Bills are:

    1. A New Public Plan. Both the House and Senate bills would create a new government-run health care plan — a so-called public plan — intended to “compete” with private insurers in a new health insurance exchange. The result: widespread erosion of private insurance and substantial consolidation of federal control over health care through the exchange. Congress is incapable of guaranteeing the American people a level playing field for competition between the government plans and private health plans. As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has recently certified, what many have already concluded, millions of Americans will lose their existing employer-based coverage.

    2. Federal Regulation of Health Insurance. Both the House and Senate bills would result in sweeping and complex federal regulation of health insurance that will create a one-size-fits-all federal health plan that will drive up (not down, as promised by the President) the cost of everyone’s health insurance premiums.

    3. Massive Expansion of Medicaid and New Taxpayer-Funded Subsidies. Both the House and Senate would dramatically expand eligibility for Medicaid and extend generous taxpayer-funded subsidies to the middle class. Combined, such commitments are the biggest cost items in the bills would result in scores of Americans dependent on the government to finance their health care.

    4. Employer Mandates. Both the House and Senate bills would impose an employer mandate for employers who do not offer coverage and for those whose benefits do not meet a new federal standard. An employer mandate would hurt low-income workers and would stifle much-needed economic growth. Our country does not need a job killing employment tax at a time of 10.2% unemployment.

    5. Individual Mandates. Both the House and Senate bills would require all people to buy health insurance. Those individuals who do not purchase government qualified health care coverage would be subject to new tax penalties and in some cases jail time.

    Finally, don’t be fooled by the reported cost estimates. The Senate and House bills use budget gimmicks and unrealistic savings to make their proposals fit under the $900 billion limit put forth by the President. As history has proven, government health care programs end up costing much more than first promised.

    We will be posting more in depth analyses as our analysts read through the bill, so stay tuned. Majority Leader Reid is promising the first vote on his health bill this Saturday. With that in mind, the Dean of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Jeffrey Flier, wrote in the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

    So the majority of our representatives may congratulate themselves on reducing the number of uninsured, while quietly understanding this can only be the first step of a multiyear process to more drastically change the organization and funding of health care in America. I have met many people for whom this strategy is conscious and explicit.

    We should not be making public policy in such a crucial area by keeping the electorate ignorant of the actual road ahead.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    36 Responses to The Five Flaws of the Reid Health Bill

    1. Charles Colorado says:

      The employer mandate will bankrupt my company. I employ minimum wage workers and operate with a thin profit margin. This mandate is a bad idea for everyone, but will wreak havoc on employers in service industries that employ minimum and low wage earners.

      This will destroy our economy, any incentive for businesses to grow, and bleed jobs.

    2. Peter, New York says:

      It's over. The bill will pass mostly as it has been presented in both the House and Senate. Republicans failed to offer a real and coherent alternative and that means that the Democratic proposal will pass by default, if nothing else. Since the costs will initially be borne by a small number of individuals and the benefits will not be provided for at least three years, maybe four, protests will be limited and ineffective. It won't be for many years down the line, when people realize that to support such a massive increase in coverage that they too will have to provide support with ever increasing taxes, that real opposition will appear. By then it will be too late because it will be entitlement everyone expects to have. Only when the nation faces total bankruptcy will real fiscal responsibility begin.

    3. BC Connecticut says:

      This bill is a sweet heart deal for Unions who have high cost plans which do not start getting taxed till they exceed 23000 Whereas poor regular employees trying to deal with lower cost plans with deductibles and high prescription copays are being penalised as they will not be able to contribute more than 2500 to flexible spending arrangements.

      This is completely discriminatory and unfair to non unionised workers.

      If you want to have an excise tax then add all health benefits into one lump sum and allow deuctibilty for that and charge excise tax for deducted expenses above that amount.

      So if excise tax ceilling is 23000 and persons health insurance cost 14000 that family should be allowed put 9000 in FSA and if they put more then let them deduct and then charge excise tax like it is going to be done for unions

    4. Joe, Maryland says:

      I echo Peter's words. We all knew that the Democrats would propose something like this. The Republicans offered nothing to this equation and as a result we get a policy disaster by default that takes more than 4 years for the full impact to be felt. They made a decision early on in the process to oppose everything and made no attempt to move the legislation to a more sound footing. Instead they proposed politically dead in the water ideas that would have never been considered. The promise of 30 Republican votes in the Senate and 100 votes in the house could have peeled off some of the more onerous provisions of this bill. Instead they committed political malpractice by not seriously NEGOTIATING and at the end of the day this stinkpile will get rammed down our throats.

    5. Ret, Los Osos says:

      $900 billion to provide Coverage for 20 Million "uninsured" who mostly have free access today in "emergency medical" facilities, by law. That amounts to $4,500 per person per year over 10 years.

    6. Brandon, CA says:

      You forgot "Unconstitutional" or "Illegal." This should be number one.

    7. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      TO ALL SENATORS,

      Please put the people of the United States before, only, your constituents when you vote on Saturday night. If you move this mess forward, you will ensure the American taxpayer gets raped because something unaffordable will come of this.

      You know the Senate version of the bill is deeply flawed. The actual long term cost estimates are disingenous. This is why the “Doc Fix” with its 200+ billion price tage was put under separate legislation. CBO estimates are ALWAYS way off. The actual startup costs is trillions and you know it. How can you even consider this in light of the stimulus debacle?

      The House Leader cut deals about abortion to entice members to help her barely pass that piece of junk. Now, we fear the Senate is about to play the same game. Senators stand strong and do not vote this bill out of clocture. There is no way you even KNOW what is in this bill so how can you move it forward? Do not be bribed or bought off with concessions in the form of the American taxpayers’ money! Your honor should count for something. America’s future should count for even more. No true American would disagree.

      The majority of the American people do not want this bill passed. That should say it all. This is your chance to represent us and not your personal desires. Let this ugly mess die.

      Start over on a bipartisian path that Pelosi should have done in the first place and set egos aside.

      You KNOW the real long-term cost of this bill cannot be sustained. You KNOW this. Doing nothing is sometimes better than doing the wrong thing. Start over! Reform health care for all; don’t destroy health care for the majority of the American people.

    8. John, Michigan says:

      I am only 20 and even I can see that the numbers the govt. have put out are completly made up, like out of thin air. In 2007 Americans spent over 16% of our gdp on healthcare. I challange anyone for govt run health care to explain how it will be possibe to spend less that 900 billion OVER 10 YEARS! Anyone that believes that we can go from 2.2 trillion in one year to around 85 billion a year either has one of two angles. They actually believe everything the govt says and live in lala land where nothing has to be paid for or they dont care that they have no argument and are more concerned with expansion of big govt. for the own twisted reasons.

    9. Jeffrey E. Voyer Sr. says:

      It is time to stop voting against the people and our freedoms. This bill should be stopped, because 80% of Americans like their own Healthcare. This is no time for a power grab by the government to tax and make us slaves of the Imperial Government.

    10. Harry, Illinois says:

      I guess Harry doesn't want to keep his job. As I have been recommending in all of my post, let's invoke VOTER MANDATED TERM LIMITS. No more than 2 terms and out they go regardless of how good a job they are doing. Remember everyone, as we have all been told during our life time, no one is indispensable. There are 300 million people in this country. I find it hard to believe we can't replace a few hundred every couple of years.

      These guys are betting against us and don't believe we have the guts to do it. Lets show them how powerfull we are.

    11. Harry, Illinois says:

      Just an observation. I notice that This 2000 plus page bill is only printed on one side. I thought they were supposed to start using both sides of the paper. Another waste of taxpayers money.

      Also; I noticed watching CNN at these congressional meetings that they are all drinking bottled water. I use to remember when they use to drink water dispensed from a pitcher. I wonder how many bottles of water are thrown away at the end of each day. Multiply that times 5-6 days a week times 12 months. I bet that turns out to be quite a number. Another waste of taxpayers money. I'm sure these bottles are not free. Here in Illinois, we pay at least $1.00 – $2.00 per bottle, and I find it hard to believe these crooks are paying out of their own pockets. I wonder what big Al Gore would say about that. Just more plastic to pollute our landfills. And yet they want to run health care. Give me a break.

    12. Melvin, North Port, says:

      Saturday nite must still be the loneliest night of the week. Why else would these skunks meet on Saturday night in the dark. Shame on them!

    13. Pingback: Headlines Exposed 11.21.2009 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    14. AmericanMuser, Washi says:

      Nice post; I'm glad someone is reading this bill. As the healthcare debate is coming to a procedural head on the floor of the U.S. Senate tonight, news this week that the U.S. Postal Service lost money for the third year in a row—a staggering $3.8 billion, versus a loss of $2.8 billion last year—should give Middle America real concerns about government’s ability to effectively insert itself into individuals’ lives and deliver quality, affordable healthcare.

      Government is not a bad thing. For those who think differently, view government as a necessary evil, whose purpose is to serve the people, not vice versa. As we were reminded by Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address in 1863, “. . . this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. . .” Like it or not, government belongs to the people and it is here to stay.

      The speed with which politicians are moving to rush a 2074 page healthcare bill through Congress with little debate leads Middle America to ask the obvious question, “What’s the hurry on an issue of such great importance?”

      Well, the hurry is that this week Middle America picked up the scent of the rationing of healthcare with confusion over when and what women should get mammograms and pap smears. As time drags on, Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about how healthcare might be rationed, which has Democrats are as nervous as long-tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs.

      If ever there was an issue that touched every American personally, healthcare is it. Clearly, something has to give—there has to be some sort of healthcare reform, like the ability to shop for healthcare across state lines, a prohibition on rejecting pre-existing conditions, a requirement that every American have health insurance, etc. However, the need to get healthcare reform right greatly exceeds the political demands to just get “something” done and declare victory.

      Middle America has been betrayed in a way, since every word of every page of the 2074 page bill isn’t being discussed and publicly debated in great detail by this administration, which campaigned on “transparency.” Sound public policy requires a lucid and thorough examination of this legislation, but it appears that once again, sound public policy is being traded for political expediency.

      Obama’s advisors and Democratic consultants know that time is their enemy—the longer Congress takes to pass healthcare legislation, the less political capital they have to pass anything at all, and the more likely Middle America will thoughtfully consider how it might impact its own mammograms, pap smears, and healthcare needs.

      The honeymoon period typically extended to new presidents is now coming to an end, if it hasn’t already come and gone. Unfortunately for President Obama and Democrats, they campaigned on delivering “healthcare reform” and staked their political future on it.

      Middle America is not naïve, and will not allow itself to be played like a Stradivarius violin. Making healthcare reform their lynchpin issue was a very calculated decision by Democrats, not done hastily, but after much polling and many focus groups. Democrats have made healthcare a political football and Middle America is increasingly concerned about it.

      Understandably, Democrats exploited the issue of healthcare reform for maximum political value during the campaign, but now the campaign is over and the wolf is almost at the door. Democrats know they have to deliver something, and this “something” really needs to be thought through with great deliberation and debate. If given a choice, Middle America would be better served with nothing, rather than “something” hastily rammed through Congress.

      A. Muser
      http://americanmuser.wordpress.com

    15. alfred, Ohio says:

      1) If "government run health care" is a total disaster then why does the country force veterans into the VA. We are either hypocrites or the government can see to some of the needs of some of the people.

      2) I lived in Luxembourg for one academic year (2005/6) and had to use their health system (tests, short hospital stay) and was satisfied. Our family was issued what was essentially a Medicare card for my wife, and three children. We chose our own physicians (me for a second opinion). When I got back to the states with my med. records my physician (at OSU medical center) told me that they did exactly what he would have done.

      3) we need to have honest discussion about reform and not confuse socialized insurance with socialized medicine, and stop making fallacious attacks on those who disagree. Thank you.

    16. Dave, Pennsylvania says:

      It appears that the redistribution of wealth has begun. Not only will I be paying more for my health care to subsidize the public option, I also expect that I will be receiving less medical care for my bloated costs. Also, if anyone really believes that only the "rich" will be taxed to pay for this I have a bridge to sell you. Increased spending and increased taxes appear to be the only changes Obama's election will produce. I just hope people remember and vote accordingly in '10 and '12.

    17. jadedfellow, oregon says:

      Trusting government is an admission that one has never remotely looked at the history of mankind. If one takes the time to look back, with objectivity, it will become obvious that the fall of all societies is directly attributed to the failure of governments to be effective and accountable to the populus they are to serve. That applies to religious and/or secular governments in my observations.

      Granted there are several million individuals that make the choice to not be covered by health care insurance and I fully support their decision to assume the risk. If they choose to spend what they have earned on other things, they have the right. Do they have the right to expect another person to subsidize their choice of life style when the realization hits that they made a bad decision? Enter government and the Biblical principle of, if a man that is able to work and does not, he should not eat, gets thrown on the trash heap of electablity.

      The Word also says; you will have the poor with you always; so I believe we have a duty to reach out to assist those who for reasons beyond their control are unable to fend or care for themselves.

      Yet; government chooses to spend umpteen billions in foreign aid to countries that don't give a rat's behind about the everyday folks in this country, spend another umpteen billion to support the UN who don't give a rip about true freedom and global accountability, spend another umpteen billions to assist Brazil in their search for offshore oil while proposing cap and trade as a cure all for the revelations of Goreism, spend umpteen billions to fight wars in foreign lands where the locals don't give a defecated residue about what is going on in this country and the list goes on and on.

      In inciteful conclusion I cry out; what about your fellow Americans, it's the money we have worked for and you choose to fritter it away in your quest to leave a personal legacy, I maintain "SELF RESPECT" is a concept you need to research and come to grips with.

    18. Bruce P. DeCarlo, Lo says:

      Since no one in the Obama administration seems to care about the Constitution, it is probably also true they have no regard for the Declaration of Independence either and would choose to ignore the very strong and emphatic words"…Governments are instituted among Men deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,and so to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness". It seems to me of late, both the Safety and Happiness of the American people have been compromised by this administration's policies. Fight them and change our government with our voting power! Insist our representatives in Washington vote the way WE THE PEOPLE wish to be heard, or throw them out of office. This bill is unlawful, unconstitutional, and directly assaults our LIfe, Liberty, and our Pursuit of Happiness.

    19. Earl, Georgia says:

      The states in this United States of America need to secede from the Union. Taxes are burdensome and have always made growth in the economy weaker. It may have taken the Democratic Party 100 years to get socialized medicine passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, 80 years ago we were in the Great Depression. I see 1929 coming back again in full force and this time the Democratic Party and the Liberals in Hollywood, CA can get the credit for it!

    20. Joanne - PA says:

      Brandon, CA, Do you know if a class action lawsuit can be brought against the Senate and Congress based on this government health bill violating the U.S. Constitution?

    21. Lawrence Halter, Goo says:

      Harry from Illinois wrote on Nov. 21, 2009, that he favored 2 term limits servived and no more. I agree with this,2 term limit. I think that it would help stop the deals being brokered for "If you support this bill now, I'll support a bill later that will help your home state." Also I believe by knowing that you only have 2 terms to push for that legistration that is important and needed by your state will help keep you grounded and focasted. The brokering for votes card was played out on this Saturdays Health Care Bill vote. (Lawrence Halter, dependable independant voter)

    22. Andy,Denver says:

      Recall, the reason we are in this predicament is because republicans in congress, and our former president for that matter, lost their conservative principles and allowed years of increased gov't spending. One of my biggest fears is that when the dust clears and we restore majorities in both houses and regain the presidency,we won't have the fortitude to change/reverse these horrible bills

    23. Nick, Jacksonville, says:

      Peter and Joe, apparently you are unaware of the legislation introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn, Rep. Paul Ryan, and others. Google "Patients Choice Act" and you'll see that Republicans did offer an alternative. Of course, it was ignored by the Dumocrats and their running dog allies, the "brain-dead media." That's what happens when one party controls the whole game. Tinkering around the edges of the Democrat's bill is meaningless. As they demonstrated, they don't need a single Republican vote to do whatever they want, and they'll buy, sell, or trade whatever it takes to get their party members' votes.

    24. Karen, PA says:

      I must say that last night when the final vote on if to move forward on this bill was completed, I felt my healthcare system and my country slip away even more. I foresee this being passed on the 60-40 party line vote. I don't really know how much more can be done to stop it. Obama and this entire democratic leadership will stop at nothing to get what they want done. They put in something special for the LA senator and who knows what other little favors are tucked neatly in the future bill. I just do not think it is fair for our whole entire healthcare system to be destroyed in this way. At what point will the Republicans and the others who are weary of this direction have the power to even fight back? I am in my 20s and I will never see the level of financial security that my parents had which is very sad.

    25. Rachel, Georgia says:

      There were actually several alternative bills put forth by Republican legislators, some of which addressed real problems in the system in a meaningful way. Joe Wilson, in particular, introduced a bill (HR 3400 I think) that had real potential. For reasons addressed above, none of the alternatives got any real attention.

    26. Kristina, Gloucester says:

      The biggest problem with Socialized medicine and socialized insurance is that it is too easy to be abused. I love the posts about Americans living overseas and who have experienced Socialized Medicine – everyone was covered, they loved their doctors and had great care, and they can go to the doctor with a runny nose – and the system becomes bogged down with people who no longer have to take care of themselves – nor take on the burden of having to take care of themselves. If their very basicof needs are taken care of, then there is much more time and money to play. What else would you do with money that you are not paying for health care, food, housing? But it is evil to be extravagant, so we must take money away from those who legitamitely earn the right to play – the earners that not only pay for their own healthcare, but foot the bill for their employees, and now through taxes, carry the burden of those who can't carry the load for themselves. Those who praise the social system of medicine do so because they reap the rewards and benefits of someone elses labor, and rarely see the cost. Where is the value in taking control of your own life and health care choices? It's been skewed by 30 years of other people determining it for you. It's not determined by the individual saying "This is what it is worth to me and therefore this is how much I will set aside to pay to keep myself healthy, or for unforeseen circumstances." It's determined by money crunchers in the Medicare and Medicaid offices, off set by those who declare bankruptcy and right off medical bills, sending those of us who do pay the higher costs and higher premiums. So, when you hear the word "Unsustainable" – that is what it means. Someone has got to pay for it, and the lone entreprenuer at the top making billions of dollars can't pay for it all. Have we all forgotten the story of the Red Hen who asked for help making bread? Instead, we insist that our children share, not out of some kindness and gratitude of their own hearts, but because others feel that it is expected and obligated. Let me anger everyone on this post by stating this – you are not obligated, nor you deserve anything, but life, liberty, and to pursue your own happiness. You do not need me, except for me to treat you with fair consideration and honesty. If you have something I need, I will pay you a fair price and vice versa. If you need help, I may help you because I feel grateful for the blessings that have come my way. If I need help, I do not expect you to jump in and help. If you do, I will repay you. The saddest life story I have heard throughout this debate was that of a man on disablity, his son also on disablity, and he lost his wife to cancer because there was no one to take care of her. This bill in Congress would not have saved her because the saddest fact is, that man had been relying on everyone else to take care of him and his family for years. He is a 60 year old man who's life became a composite of whatever crumbs a bureaucratic, faceless government could give him. Is that what we all want to aspire to? Expecting everyone else to be obligated to us because instead of trying to master this life, we give up and succomb to it's crumbs?

    27. Harry, Illinois says:

      I challenge all of our representatives in both the H & S to STAND before the American Public to not only READ but EXPLAIN the bill yes all 2074 pages, or however many pages it turns out to be before voting on this bill. After all, if it is such a good bill this should be no problem. Divide the bill into however many sections they want and share in READING and EXPLAINING the PROPOSED bill including the honorable (ha)Senator Byrd. This way at least, we will know that they read the bill. Lets just call it a self imposed filibuster.

    28. lee jones says:

      what i do not see in these comments is that this move to gain further control and redistibute income, Medicare is virtually distroyed. It transfers and rations care for seniors and "redistributes". Eskeil Emanual, Olinsky philosophy is prevailing. I never paid attention to Saul Olinsky and his radical community activism of the 60's. It is the play book for democrats, Obama and Clinton. It is working!!

    29. Pingback: Senate Votes Obamacare One Step Closer to the Finish Line : Conservative Blog: Urban Conservative 2.0 – Conservative News & Politics

    30. Bob, Virginia says:

      For anyone to believe any good idea from

      a republican could clear the floor of the

      house or senate does not understand the

      agenda of President Obama. Better to spend your time trying to figure out

      what sweet heart deal the AARP got for selling out seniors. They are all about

      insurance.

    31. Wildcat from Dallast says:

      ONLY 5 flaws in Dingy Harry’s horrific health care reform bill!! How can you tell when Dingy Harry is lying? Answer: his lips are moving. No truly American citizen can believe that this 2,074 page piece of excrement has anything to do with anything positive for us relative to viable health care reform. When young citizens only 20 years old can identify the lack of logic behind the numbers concerning cost and savings estimates you have to realize that our elected representatives in both the house and senate think we are ignorant of their intentions and actions and absolutely stupid in our abilities to determine right from wrong and whether or not something passes the common sense test. It is also very obvious that SEIU had a great deal to do with producing this crap-filled pro-union, personal liberty and financial independence destroying bill.

      In response to a question from Joanne from PA concerning a class action suit against the house &/or senate concerning this bill’s violation of our Constitution. The short answer is no. Unfortunately the more correct answer is that (as I understand it from Judge Napolitano-Fox News contributor) is that someone who refuses to buy insurance and then refuses to pay the fine has to be charged first. Then, that individual has to take that litigation through the courts until that determination (or ruling) can be officially made. You may pose your question to Jay Sekulov at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). He also has a radio program where he can go into great detail.

      Other than communicating our thoughts to our elected representatives in both houses articulating our thoughts, concerns and how we want to (or demand to be) represented in this as well as all the other critical issues that have head our way and continue to do so; remember what our founding fathers did when they were taxed without representation by King George. They actively rebelled after their submitted letters where they tried to address their grievances were ignored. There may come a time very soon when our redress of grievances may appear to have fallen on deaf ears and the protests of today turn into the rebellion of tomorrow.

    32. Pingback: Senate Votes Obamacare One Step Closer to the Finish Line | Fix Health Care Policy

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    34. Jon Alan says:

      Wildcat from Dallastown, Regards your third paragraph. in my humble opinion we currently have no other option. If the administration does not chill out,so to speak, the current resistance will opt for rebellion.

    35. John Young says:

      I couldn’t tell you whether or not this bill is constitutional but it sure doesn’t square with the Preamble to the Constitution. The Preamble lists the six reasons for ordaining and establishing the Constitution. The sixth reason is to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”. Tossing people in jail for not buying government mandated health insurance is denying liberty, not securing it.

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