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  • A First Look At The House Health Care Fix: More Bad News

    In their feverish effort to enact the Senate health bill, the House leadership recently released their 153 page bill to fix the underlying 2,409 page Senate legislation through the budget reconciliation process. As a matter of health policy, there is little that is substantively different between the Senate bill and this “fix it” bill. A closer look at the fine print shows that the latest version would only make the massive and unpopular Senate health bill even worse.

    Based on a preliminary review of the key provisions, taxpayers should be aware of the following features of the legislation.

    More Spending

    • The House reconciliation bill increases taxpayer subsidies and lowers cost sharing for individuals receiving a federal subsidy to buy health coverage. This change adds to the overall cost of the bill, while depending on unproven savings and tax hikes to pay for it.
    • Instead of removing special deals, the bill extends additional federal funding to all states for Medicaid. This “fix” is supposed to replace the scandalous requirement that federal taxpayers fund the Nebraska Medicaid expansion. In both case, however, the burden is back on the backs of federal taxpayers.

    Raising Taxes on Americans for all Income Brackets

    • The reconciliation bill increases the individual mandate penalty for some by requiring the penalty be the greater of two options. This mandate amounts to a new tax on those people who choose not to purchase a government-approved health plan regardless of income.
    • The bill also increases taxes on all consumers who use prescription drugs, medical devices or have health insurance.
    • The bill also keeps the Cadillac tax, the tax on high value health plans. But by delaying its start date and indexing the application of the tax to general inflation, it will hit more families harder when it goes into affect.
    • Finally, the reconciliation bill adds a new Medicare tax on upper income individuals and families that extends to investment earnings as well.

    Undercutting Job Creation and the Economy

    • The reconciliation bill increases the penalties on businesses for not offering health insurance and continues the penalty on businesses whose employees claim the new health care subsidy.

    Moving Backward on Entitlement Reform

    • The reconciliation bill makes changes to Medicare and Medicaid that reverse course for reforming these struggling health care programs.
    • The bill increases costs to seniors by requiring prescription drug plans in Medicare to offer more coverage and
    • The bill also undercuts any reform of Medicare by linking Medicare Advantage payments to the flawed fee for services system and by eliminating demonstration projects that utilize competitive bidding to show how an alternative that would use real market pricing would work in practice.
    • Although the sponsors of the House bill claim to address long term costs to Medicare, the bill’s dependence on traditional cuts to providers is not fundamental entitlement reform. It’s basically the same, old, tired cuts in hospital and physician payment.
    • The bill would add millions of Americans to the already broken Medicaid program. Medicaid remains fiscally unsustainable (for state or federal taxpayers) and it is a notoriously poorly performing program for those who are forced depend on it. Moreover, when new federal funding expires, states will be left with an even heftier cost.

    Taking Power Away from the States

    • The House reconciliation bill would secure a massive federal take over of the regulation of health insurance. It nullifies state authority in rate regulation of premiums, setting standards for solvency and reserves. It creates, instead, a new federal rate authority in charge of authorizing changes in politically approved premium levels and imposing penalties on health insurance companies.
    • The reconciliation bill would undercut the ability of state and local governments to control state and local government employee health plans. As a condition of receiving federal money, state and local governments must abide by the new federal regulations and bureaucracy.

    Provides for Taxpayer Funded Abortions

    • The House reconciliation bill includes major funding for community health centers with no Hyde Amendment type restrictions on federal taxpayer funding of abortions.
    • The bill, of course, does not in any way address the large loopholes for taxpayer funded abortions included in the underlying Senate bill, which it is supposed to “fix”.

    Co-authored by Ed Haislmaier and Robert Moffit.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    57 Responses to A First Look At The House Health Care Fix: More Bad News

    1. christine robinson says:

      What good could possibly come out of this? The President's interview with Fox news left me highly wanting in assurances that this is a good thing.

    2. Bill Jamison says:

      The following sentence confuses me:

      "The bill increases costs to seniors by requiring prescription drug plans in Medicare to offer more coverage ."

      Wouldn't expanidng Medicare drug plan coverage DEcrease rather than increase costs to seniors?

    3. Ric, Lawton OK says:

      Can ONE GOP or talk show host point out the OBVIOUS when Pelosi or some Democrats say “the Republicans are defending the HC companies!”

      The facts:

      - Democrats cut a deal with health insurance lobby back in May just like they did with pharma! The Democrats are the buddies of insurance!

      - The democrats are giving the insurance firms 2.5 trillion in tax subsidies and 6 trillion in higher premiums plus 30 million customers who have to pay or go to jail! Can someone please tell me if you want to “curb abuses” how handing them 8 trillion in unearned money and 30 million new customers is “making evil insurance pay”?

      - The democrats are creating a monoploy market for 5 or 6 largest insurance firms (the other 1400 odd will be mereged or bankrupted)

      Now the Democrats get “theirs” for these goodies – they get to run HC THRU the insurance firms via regulation and control of their $$$…

      This is a CORRUPT bargin – govt HC imposed for a huge amount of $$$$!

      This is FACISIM pure and simple – private mangement/profit but govt/politcal control….

      We should defend free markets and the concept of insurance – we dont need to defend or remain silent on these absurb attacks!

    4. JD, real world says:

      I imagine the cost to seniors will go up as the drug plans rise in price due to the mandate to cover more drugs.

    5. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      In answer to Bill, If the coverage is expanded it means paying more, Medicare D is not FREE, there is a cost to the medicare, then the co-pay, this co-pay also says you MUST take generic drugs if available and it also dictates which medicines they will allow. I came in this when my M.D. ordered a med. I was to take before a procedure, it was denied so he had to rewrite the script for another he did not like, results from med lower than the first. If this bill passes you will see MORE and MORE of this, the gov't. will be in charge not the doctors.

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    7. Jim Roumeliotis - Hu says:

      I can not believe the complete lack of brain matter of the pro Obamacare backers.

      Not one thing makes any sense in this H/C bill. Benifits expand and cost go up not down. How can Americans trust a government leadership that continuously lies, decieves, conives behind closed doors and misleads the American people. This administration has lost all credability and not one word can be taken in truth. They have demostrated the lack of concern for the American peoples best interest.How can these lawmakers continue to ignore the peoples loud and clear voice "Dump the bill and start over".

    8. Tim AZ says:

      Does anyone one still think this is about health care? Wake up it's about enslaving the people to their govt. rather than a govt. of the people for the people by the people. They believe this is the candy that will get you into the car.

      • rog says:

        i would like to have some coverage but you can see there are very little banks around anymore the big 5 and then the big 5 insurance mm not good for competition . what program can insurance providers come up with ? Health care over seas seem affordable because of getting sued i think has part to do with it and then cost of living etc

    9. Sanford Olnhausen - says:

      Is it true that Reid has slipped through a clause on health care on Page 1000 Sec 3403 that states;

      "It shall not be in the Senate or House of Reps to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report to change this subsection!"

      In effect that would negate any one from repealing this law!

    10. Gerald L. Hopkins says:

      If the Democrats added $2 trillion of revenue from the Budget Fairy, the CBO would have to score it that way, and the bill would reduce the deficit and the debt. Perhaps we should investigate every senator and rep. that votes for this bill to see if they get any under-the-table money from the Administration, perhaps in off-shore banking accounts.

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    13. Drew Page, IL says:

      If the Senate health care reform bill is passed and signed into law, it will take years for the true costs to reveal themselves and by then the perpetrators of this rape of the American economy will be out of office collecting their fat government pensions. they will be beyond the reach of the American voters even more so than they are now.

      I have e-mailed and called the offices of every uncommitted member of Congress begging them to kill the Senate bill and start over. Most of my phone calls couldn't get through so I took to e-mails. I have written letters to the editors of my local newspapers who publish an equal number of letters supporting and condemning this legislation, but not a one of them has taken an editorial position that even questions the claims of the administration. I have attended Tea Parties and even have participated in rallies in Washington D.C. protesting the enormous costs of this proposed legislation, which no one fully understands.

      I am sickened and disgusted by what these so-called legislators are doiing. Voting out those responsible for this mess, should it become law, will be of small solace to me. I would compare it to suing the drunken driver that killed my family with his car.

    14. Ra Vokes, PA says:

      Sanford Olnhausen said "Is it true that Reid has slipped through a clause on health care on Page 1000 Sec 3403 that states;

      “It shall not be in the Senate or House of Reps to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report to change this subsection!”

      In effect that would negate any one from repealing this law!"

      Worry not. : ) The Supreme Court has ruled on this in the past. One session of congress can't stop the next from undoing anything they choose to.

    15. sal rizzo says:

      If this monstrous,unconstitutional bill passes the house via

      the unconstitutional " deem as passed" "rule" the people of this

      republic should:

      1. demand that the senate strip out as much of garbage through

      procedural, Byrd ruleetc.

      2. in November vote out @50-60 house democrats giving control

      of the house and the pursestrings to the Republican( tea party)

      conservatives who should cut the funding of those passed bills

      and any future obama give away proposals.

      3. the house should vote to repeal this horrible bill if it passes

      Sunday.

      4. constitutional scholars should sue to overturn this bill.

    16. sal rizzo says:

      I only my message one time—–sal rizzo

    17. bill hellmich west c says:

      AT LEAST WITH A TERRORIST YOU KNOW WHO THE ENEMY IS. WITH THESE BOOZOS YOU DON'T KNOW THE GOOD GUY FROM THE BAD GUY BECAUSE THEY CHANGE THEIR MIND FROM DAY TO DAY. KEEP THE FAITH!

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    22. 1GregM says:

      Oblunder claims that "my proposal would bring down the cost of health care for millions—families, businesses and the federal government." He says it is "fully paid for" and "brings down our deficit by up to $1 trillion over the next two decades. Never before has a vast new entitlement been sold on the basis of fiscal responsibility, and one reason ObamaCare is so unpopular is that Americans understand the contradiction between untold new government subsidies and claims of spending restraint. They know a Big Con when they hear one. The sock puppet in chief's fiscal assertions are possible only because of the fraudulent accounting and budget gimmicks that Democrats spent months calibrating.

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    24. diggersstory says:

      The Government is in debt to the tune of $107 Trillion soon to be $108 Trillion http://www.usdebtclock.org/ Henry Paulson has made deals with the China for Trillins. What do you think these deal were? To assure China they would get their money back.. and how would they get their money back? Trust alone? We are enslaved and the government needs to get every dime out those who can pay. Everyone can say WAKE UP but…. I don't think our minds can even wrap around how bad it is and how bad it will be for the kids. We are out of money and we owe BIG TIME money. Our politicians on both sides have betrayed our government, our country and the children. It is not our government at fault… but the individuals who need to be held accountable. Do a search on Tim Geithner and Paulson…it's not a pretty picture.

    25. Carolyn Merry, Penns says:

      The only way this program can save money is to deny services. There are two ways to do this. The first will be an actual denial. "No, you may not have this hip replacement". Obama have already spoken about this waste of treatments when a pill will do.

      The second way is more sinister but has already begun. There will be no doctors to treat these patients. The Mayo Clinic closed one of its facilities in AZ to medicare patients as of January 1st of 2010, Yes. it's already closed to medicare. Granny has no doctor any more. Also New England Journal of Medicien has already reported that 46.3% of GPs will be forced to leave practice or will want to leave. Those who "want to leave" may be inclined to gravitate toward practicing medicine using the concierge model. Regardless of where these doctors go, the one thing is clear. They will very likely not be accepting medicare, medicaid or no pays. No treatment ergo no bill to the government! Voila! Cost savings!

    26. mike smith says:

      the tree of liberty must occasionally be watered by the blood of tyrants and patriots.

      written by 70′s radical
      T. Jefferson

      thats 1770′s radical.

    27. Lavender Blue, Misso says:

      The fact that the IRS is the enforcer of this monstrous, tyrannical law should tell *anyone* EVERYTHING he needs to know!

    28. Joanne S. in the End says:

      There's no comment that can encompass the despair I feel at this bill/amendment bill being passed/deemed to have passed. Our nation is on the brink of bankruptcy and we're taxing the small business and people who have healthcare for those who don't. That's unconstitutional.Pure and simple.

    29. margaret George, Clo says:

      The above is all true. BUT there is also a provision (in H R 4872, Reconciliation Act of 2010) Sec. 1411 NO IMPACT ON SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUNDS.

      (b) "The Secretary (of the Treasury) shall transfer, not less than quarterly, from the general revenues of the Federal Government an amount sufficient so as to ensure that the income and balances of such trust funds are not reduced as a result of the enactment of this Act."

      We are paying for the new healthcare reform act plus we are quietly slipping huge money (which we don't have) into the social security trust fund! It's a shell game, it's a hoax, it's an outrage. Am I missing something here? This means more and unlimited deficit spending.

    30. Carol Simila, Salem, says:

      This bill is a basic regulatory fix, certainly NOT a government takeover. The insurance industry has regulated itself for the past 60 years with worsening results. As a state insurance regulator I saw companies hold state regulators hostage by threatening to leave the state if forced to comply with even minimal regulation of their excesses such as rescinding coverage of women needing treatment for cancer based on their past history of getting annual exams as an indicator of a pre-existing condition! No civilized society can allow that kind of damaging, unbridled greed.

    31. Albert Wacher says:

      It is quite obvious that Obama et al are not only intent on taking over our health care with this socialized monstrosity but they are intent on controllling business and every other facit of America while demonizing America and our allies and supporting Islamic terrorists. He is the most arrogant president that this country has has had the misadventure of voting into office.

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    34. Gary Nettenstrom says:

      FIRST 'OBAMACARE', NEXT CAP&TAX, THEN AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL AILENS. WE ARE WELL ON OUR WAY TO 3RD WORLD STATUS.

      THANK YOU OBAMA, REID, PELOSI, GOD BE RID OF YOU ALL IN 2012.

    35. David Walter, Grosse says:

      I understand the new bill also includes a provision for a government takeover of the student loan program – something completely unrelated to health care. Banks will no longer be able to issue student education loans. All such loans would be controlled by a government agency.

    36. GMITCH,TX says:

      It about the constitution, power to the people or power to the goverment. Rights are from God or Government.

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    39. Becky Brewster, Ma says:

      Amazing con job helped by an equally silent Media reporting nothing but the same orchestrated words by the white house -anyone notice? Its nonsense. The administration gets away with everything so no accountability. no one asking about the words & wisdom of the self annoited Dr.I. M. Lying. His claim of cash for Pedi tonsilectomies & withholding care on diabetic patients to gauge extra fees of $30K to have a foot amputation. Started with, Drs. bad guys and now add to bad guys Ceo Wall st., Oil Co, banks, Health Insurance, ceos.Pattern here? The problem is with everyone else. We will be thankful later. Never a panel of actual Dr.'s working on cost reform. what is going on here? Facts are not verified & congress not held responsible for this distortion of decency to the democratic party or to the people. Democcrats have given the utmost in disgrace

      disgraceful demise to the democratic party and no matter how it works out you will forever be known as the party that let AMERICA & principal and your oath to your country down. It is not your decision or Pelosi Its

    40. Matt, Jackson, MI says:

      What program has the government been successful at running that would decrease cost to the American people? Why would anyone expect anything different now?

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    43. PIM says:

      I would like to see these politicians use the same health care we are going to be forced to buy……I would also like to see them pay taxes as I do and I would like to see all subsidies these politicians get, stopped.Many of them get farm subsidies every year, to not grow crops…In Pelosi's case she recieved 1.8 million to not harvest wine grapes….Funny I never knew we had to many wine grapes flooding the market….Boxer and Feinstein got a bit less….it's all on the govt website just google it……ex-president Carter and family still receive them…

    44. Joseph R Carreiro Sr says:

      If you need a 153 page additional bill to correct problems within the Senate bill then there must be lots wrong with the Senate bill to begin with. And another question is the amount of mistrust of Congress at this point,how can we be sure the changes will actually take place as stated they would. We know that Congress does not lie, but can the American people take this chance on these fixes?

    45. LINCOLN NE says:

      Our rights are given by God NOT by the federal government, Be aware … Rights given by the government can be taken away by the GOV. WAKE UP!!!!

    46. Lenny Mandeville,La. says:

      This is what happens when people don' t vote and you get one party in control of the House and Senate and the Presidency.Get the bums out. VOTE it matters.

    47. Paul -Indiana says:

      We need to work toward a veto-proof congress. With that we can roll back all of this nonsense. In addition we need to strip away the special privileges enjoyed by the politicians and put them under the same programs they have forced upon us.

    48. Jim Stone, White Plains, MD says:

      Where were all you folks when the Bush administration was raping and pillaging the economy, and gutting your civil rights? Have you read the Patriot Act? That bill does more to strip your civil liberties away in the name of “protection” than anything this health care bill does. Obama kept Mr. Paulsen and Mr. Geitner, but Mr. Bush picked them in the first place, or have you all forgotten that?

      I find it extremely offensive that you folks are out there claiming to speak for me, and for the American public. You don’t speak for me, you speak for the Republican Party, even though you claim not too. And you all come across as bigots and racists in the way you attack Mr. Obama. You gave Mr. Bush 8 years to screw up our economy, yet you were unwilling to give Mr. Obama any time at all before you began criticizing his politics.

      This bill isn’t perfect, its far too long, and probably has some “pork” added unnecessarily. However, with this bill we have corrected a few wrongs such as denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, preventing cancelling of coverage because you’ve gotten too sick. This is important, because we are least starting to do something to address the rape and pillage of the American people by the Health Insurance Industry. You folks seem to claim some higher Christian ideal, yet you’re willing to throw the sick under the bus to get your own agenda’s passed. My suggestion, lets take the good stuff from this bill and keep it. Then we can work on the stuff that isn’t so good, and get rid of it.

    49. Jack Metcalf, UT says:

      Wake Up American Patriots! The commie b—–ds have taken over the hen house. This administration is clearly owned by Soros and the union leaches who sponge off the backs of their coerced members. They think they can vote in their nominees from now on. Just wait till November 2010 and you will soon learn who will rule the roost. The first steps to take will be to freeze all government hiring, then cut 5% of all federal employees within the first 90 days after taking control, then continue to shrink the public workforce by cutting 5% per year until those who have sold out America by joining the public sector have been given the opportunity to find employment in the private sector where people create real goods and services actually wanted by the general population. Yes, this also applies to all those who have sold out to the state, municipal and county employers as well. The Public Sector is forewarned: Get a conscience and get a real job.

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    51. hotmama says:

      i believe this is going to take alot of people off of medicaid..and as a parent of a child that has health issues requiring a specialist and a special hospital which i couldnt afford without medicaid i am very concerned. I have told many people that if i ever had to pay a copay with my medicaid for each visit to the dr i would not care but to make me have to take from my paycheck and have to get insurance for myself when i need the money to make the trip to and from the hospital and clinics for my child it makes no sense….i go to a clinic that has a sliding scale so i pay very little to go to the dr now but if i have to get insurance then i have to pay every month whether i go to the dr or not and that is alot when my husband only works part time to take care of a family of 4

    52. Cowboy says:

      To Jim Stone:

      "Where were all you folks when the Bush administration was raping and pillaging the economy, and gutting your civil rights? Have you read the Patriot Act? That bill does more to strip your civil liberties away in the name of “protection” than anything this health care bill does"

      Quite false. (Aside from being entirely irrelevant)

      The Patriot Act was quite thoroughly challenged in court, and your claim is left lacking…

    53. Cowboy says:

      To Jim Stone:

      "Obama kept Mr. Paulsen and Mr. Geitner"

      Actually, Jim, the appointment of tax-cheat Geithner to head of the Treasury was entirely an Obama appointment.

      "I find it extremely offensive that you folks are out there claiming to speak for me, and for the American public. You don’t speak for me, you speak for the Republican Party, even though you claim not too. "

      Actually, Jim, we speak for ourselves as individuals with Constitutional rights that we intent to defend…

      "And you all come across as bigots and racists in the way you attack Mr. Obama."

      Sorry, Jim, but your bogus racism claims are just another diversion…

      "You gave Mr. Bush 8 years to screw up our economy, yet you were unwilling to give Mr. Obama any time at all before you began criticizing his politics."

      Sorry, Jim, but we don't hand the car keys to a drunk until he smashes up the car, either. Socialism never works. We don't have to wait for the failure to know that.

      "This bill isn’t perfect, its far too long, and probably has some “pork” added unnecessarily."

      Not to mention unaffordable and unconstitutional…

      "However, with this bill we have corrected a few wrongs such as denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, preventing cancelling of coverage because you’ve gotten too sick."

      However, it didn't take an unconstitutional, deficit inflating bill to do that…

      "This is important, because we are least starting to do something to address the rape and pillage of the American people by the Health Insurance Industry."

      You obviously prefer your raping and pillaging to be done by government.

      "You folks seem to claim some higher Christian ideal, yet you’re willing to throw the sick under the bus to get your own agenda’s passed."

      No, Jim. We simply prefer to keep our Constitutional rights, and the right to decide for ourselves how much of our money goes where for charity.

      Nobody was stopping you from making an additional tax contribution every year to be used for other people's health care. Of course, being a Christian, you did that every year with a large contribution, right, Jim??

      "My suggestion, lets take the good stuff from this bill and keep it. Then we can work on the stuff that isn’t so good, and get rid of it."

      No, Jim. That still leaves government unconstitutionally in charge of all of our health care.

    54. Cowboy says:

      To Carolyn Merry:

      "The only way this program can save money is to deny services."

      Ever heard of "eugenics", Carolyn?

      Google "eugenics socialism"

    55. Cowboy says:

      To margaret George:

      "The above is all true. BUT there is also a provision (in H R 4872, Reconciliation Act of 2010) Sec. 1411 NO IMPACT ON SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUNDS.

      (b) “The Secretary (of the Treasury) shall transfer, not less than quarterly, from the general revenues of the Federal Government an amount sufficient so as to ensure that the income and balances of such trust funds are not reduced as a result of the enactment of this Act.”

      Yeah, the Democrats ignored the Congressional rule regarding using not being able to use "reconciliation" for bills involving Social Security…

      Surprised?

      I wonder if the new Obamacare covers vaseline ???

    56. It’s remarkable to pay a visit this web site and reading the views of all colleagues concerning this post, while I am also eager of getting know-how.

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