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  • The Senate Health Bill: Ordinary Americans Have Been Warned

    As the House of Representatives prepares for a final round of debate on the health care legislation, ordinary Americans must grasp the huge impact on the future of the country. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pulling out all the stops to get the 216 votes needed to pass the Senate health bill, H.R. 3590 (PDF). The Speaker is also promising to fix the Senate bill’s many objectionable components later through the budget reconciliation process, parliamentary rules normally used to reconcile tax and spending provisions with the annual congressional budget resolution.

    Meanwhile, the House leadership is also reportedly pursuing the controversial “Slaughter Rule,” in which the entire Senate bill be “deemed” to have passed the House without an “up or down” vote on the Senate language.

    Regardless of whatever procedural shenanigans the House leadership tries to play, the end result would be enactment of the Senate health bill as the law of the land. That’s the end game. Period.

    In a recent analysis, Heritage’s Kathryn Nix and Bob Moffit examine the consequences of policies embodied in the Senate bill. It would have enormous consequences for jobs, the economy, and the health care of every American. For example, it:

    • Bends the Cost Curve Up: The Senate bill is projected to further increase the cost of health care. According to the latest report (PDF) by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill would increase health care spending by $210 billion over the next ten years.Provisions in the bill such as federal regulations on insurers and taxes on medical devices and prescription drugs distort health care markets by creating the wrong economic incentives.
    • Increases the Federal Deficit: The Senate leadership used accounting tricks and budgetary gimmicks to claim that the Senate Bill is “deficit neutral.” However, when government outlays and revenue collection are considered together in a 10-year period, Medicare cuts are not double-counted, and the “doc fix” is included, the bill will substantially increase the deficit, with an overall cost of approximately $2.3 trillion.
    • Expands Medicaid: The bill calls for an expansion of Medicaid, an already-inefficient entitlement program. Heritage analysis has shown that Medicaid expansion is costly, and yet failures to meet the health care needs of its beneficiaries.
    • Imposes additional costs on insurance. New federal regulations will include a minimum medical loss ratio, an excise tax on high-cost insurance plans, and federally defined benefits. These provisions would increase premiums
    • Invites Insurance Market Instability : The combination of an individual mandate and the requirement of insurance companies to guarantee coverage regardless of preexisting conditions invites instability in health insurance markets. Younger and healthier Americans are likely to pay the cheaper mandate penalty rather than purchase a more costly health plan. The end result would be a “death spiral” with only sick people comprising the risk pool—causing a substantial increase in premiums
    • Creates Incentives for Employers to Drop Group Insurance Plans: The structure of the employer mandate creates incentives for firms that hire a large percentage of low-income workers to drop health insurance all together.
    • Discriminates Against Low Income Workers: Employers would be required to pay a $3000 fine for each low-income employee that opts out of the employer coverage and into the state government exchanges. This creates incentives for employers to discriminate against workers from low income families when hiring
    • Creates New Inequities Among Employees: Because eligibility for subsidies in state government exchanges is determined by family income, employees making the same wage can receive vastly different enumerations based on family size and the spouse’s income. The lower the income of the entire family, the greater the amount of federal assistance an employee will receive relative to another with higher family size and/or income.
    • Creates an Uneven Playing Field for Private Insurance: The legislation requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to sponsor two health plans that would compete nationwide against private health plans in the state insurance exchanges. This could create a de facto public option, with separate rules on benefits, profits, and medical loss ratios Ultimately, this separate treatment under the rules could work against private plans that compete with government-sponsored plans. Worse, there is always a danger of dunning taxpayers to bailout the OPM-administered plans.
    • Taxes the Middle Class: Contrary to President Obama’s campaign promises to add no new taxes to the middle class, the bill calls for several taxes that would hit the middle class, including but not limited to an excise tax on high cost insurance plans taxes on medical devices and prescription drugs and a tax on investment income included in the President’s proposal, which would presumably be included by reconciliation.
    • Penalizes Marriage: The structure of health insurance subsidies are inequitable, offering more financial assistance to non-married couples than married couples with comparable incomes.

    The Senate health bill fails to address many of the underlying deficiencies in health care, while it concentrates power in the hands of government officials. Contrary to what the president keeps insisting, it is indeed a federal takeover of health care.

    Rick Sherwood currently is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/About/Internships-Young-Leaders/The-Heritage-Foundation-Internship-Program

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to The Senate Health Bill: Ordinary Americans Have Been Warned

    1. Mike Phillips, DC says:

      The key to real reform is controlling costs, and the way to achieve this goal is not with more government regulation. Kaiser Permanente just announced that they have successfully entered all 8.6 million California patients into an electronic database. Less paper, and less time spent looking for papers, means money saved.

      Check out the article here: http://bit.ly/kaiserperm

    2. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Rather than debating what's in the U.S. Senate bill, congressional conservatives should be challenging the constitutional limits of federal governance in domestic affairs. If Pelosi gets her way and Obama signs the senate bill, the U.S. Supreme Court can plan their next docket around the constitutionality of a federal takeover of people's personal healthcare. Fact is, Social Security and Medicare might be in question as being states' business. Instead of adding more layers of unconstitutional FDR and LBJ type social entitlements, congress should be working toward returning our nation to its intended federalist design.

    3. Carol from Californi says:

      It also imposes a fine and jail time for those who either will not or cannot pay for this insurance. This is a violation of our freedom in this country. This is bringing back the old debtor's prison to America. Any bill that has been created behind closed doors with what appears to be threats and bribes to pass it, should throw up a red flag to Americans. What else are they hiding in this bill that makes them want to rush this bill through so fast? It is like a used car salesman pushing you to sign on the dotted line before you find out you bought a lemon.

    4. Pingback: The Senate Health Bill: Ordinary Americans Have Been Warned | The … | Health Blog

    5. Tamara says:

      Rasmussen is of off and the numbers against this bill are 75-90%, and even though your warning and were calling, they are not listening.

    6. Diane Branton, GA says:

      And don't forget: Mandatory, forced immunizations/drugging; Huge entitlement programs; Severe penalties, fines & fees; Access to your bank accounts for electronic funds transfers; Access to "All" your personal information by the Secretary and any "Contractors", etc. that the Secretary deems appropriate; Increased payments (in the millions of taxpayer dollars) to certain Territories; Many "panels" and "special rules" and "priority will be given to" clauses. Reportedly, the very Constitutionalism of this bill is being debated on many levels. The vast majority of the American people have made it well known that this health care legislation is unacceptable and not in the best interests of America and her citizens. The people have said "No!", that should be the end of it! Anything more is a clear and present betrayal of the trust and confidence of the American citizenry.

      Consequentially, The American Heritage Dictionary defines treason as: "Any betrayal of trust or confidence; treachery".

    7. Pingback: GayPatriot » Heritage Warns the “Ordinary Americans”

    8. Pingback: Obama Lies… Freedom Dies

    9. SB Owner Springfield says:

      Millions will refuse to obey this bill should it pass. Thomas Jeffferson said; when the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.

      Americans have plenty to fear from this government. I feel the Democrats in power are no longer Americans, they are foreign occupiers.

    10. robert shaw dayton o says:

      why the congressman will not bring up the possibly of 20 million illegal imigrantants being included in the health care

      bill in the future .it would keep the future imigrant laws being promoted by the present administration in the future . this ought to be highlighted every time the health care bill is talked about.,this would definately increase the cost of the bill by billions of dollars. come on mr bainter get this to the forefront of the bill and highlight appx. cost not included in the bill. PLEASE PLEASE let the public know and i,m sure it will help when imigration bill is also introduced. THANK YOU

    11. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      The American people were "warned" when Obama began his campaign. Only Fox News and some radio talk shows knew and preached (warned if you will) who and what Obama is. Those people were demonized by the left-wing news media and people believed the left and the lies and distortions Obama used to get elected. Now, it's too late to cry. ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES! We have another election in November. I pray people will remember, IF this nation is still intact.

    12. Dennis Social Circle Ga. says:

      We are a nation lead by those that seek absolut power and controll. During the campaign we all were told that wealth should be distributed to all, well we are now seeing just how that will happen. The dems and obama are intent on looting this country and seeing it go down the tubes. Will we the people sit back and let this happen, or will we go to the polls in 2010 and put these back door dealers out in the street???? I certanly hope so.

    13. Nancy, American Taxp says:

      If you had voted NO; what in the world makes you undecided now? This odious piece of legislation gets worse with every comment made by Democratic leadership. Americans are not children and are not so stupid as to think "voting yes to deem passage is not voting". The oath taken by each Representative must just be words, not a moral, honest commitment to do what voters tell them to do. The majority of Americans have been against this "THING called HEALTH CARE REFORM" from the beginning. Reform means cleaning up, removing waste, caring about voters opinions-not adding more crap to an already bad system.

      American voters care. All these yo-yo's best be sure they do the will of the people and not be puppets to their party, President, or Pelosi.

    14. DANNY HALTER TENNESS says:

      IF THESE SO CALLED ELECTED OFFICIALS PASS THIS SO CALLED HEALTH DESTRUCTION BILL,IT WILL BE THE START TO THE END OF THE GREATEST NATION IN THE WORLD.CAN PEOPLE BE SO STUPID TO THINK THAT WE CAN AFFORD THIS MESS.WHY DO YOU THINK ALL THE POLITICIONS FROM COUNTR'S WITH SOCIALIZED MEDICINE COME TO AMERICA TO GET TREATMENT? IF WE DON'T STOP THESE PEOPLE, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER OUR CHILDREN WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT A WONDERFUL NATION THEY MISSED.PLEASE LORD FORGIVE US AND CHANGE OUR LEADERS HEARTS TO DO GOOD.GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

    15. Erich Harrold Calfor says:

      27.

      Distract, divide, all are ploys of the “Progressives”! They are rife in both parties and they have the same goals. COMPLETE CONTROL to turn this republic into an OLIGARCHY.

      OUR APATHY has allowed them to use our tax monies to fund their agenda and with this HealthCare legislation they will have us so bound and restricted it will turn our lives into

      government SLAVES. I hope to God we have not waited TOO LONG to stop this total

      SUBVERSION OF OUR CONSTITUTION.

    16. Drew Page, IL says:

      Mr. Obama and his accomplices in the Democrat party have revealed themselves for what they are. They have lied again and again about the costs of this legislation, saying it will reduce the deficit. They compare ten years of funding to six years of costs, since benefits payable wouldn't begin until 2014, but funding for this would begin in 2010. They have resorted to bribery of Senators to secure they votes for passage of health care reform. The Second Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker Kickback ar eonly two of the most noteworthy briberies; additional briberies are as yet unrevealed. They have rationalized the use of the "Slaughter rule" which would DEEM legislation to have been approved by the House when no actual vote on the Senate bill was taken.

      Harry Reid has buried obnoxious and, I believe, un-Constitutional language in the Senate bill. Section 3403, found on page 1,000 of the Senate bill contains language that says "it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution or amendment that would repeal or change the provisions of this Section." Section 3403 concerns the regulatory power of the Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB) to reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending, making the IMAB the ultimate arbitorof cost, quality and quantity of health care. Think about the unmitigated gall of this so-called Senator. He has now buried in this bill, that neither President Obama, nor Madam Pelosi, nor the majority of those in Congress have thoroughly read, language that precludes the future representatives of the people from ever changing the provisions of this Section. Imagine giving these people in Congress the power to make laws that can never be repealed or amended. And of course those voting for the Senate bill will say,"I didn't reealize this was in there", that is if they are still in Congress when, as Madam Pelosi states, we will all discover what was in that bill that no one could explain prior to passage.

    17. Pingback: DUTCH TREAT- Cal Fox's Blog

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