House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a $894 billion health care bill Thursday that would extend coverage to 36 million Americans through a mix of subsidies, tax incentives and penalties on individuals and small businesses, but the final package falls short of the more liberal vision of a public health insurance option.While it doesn't establish a single payer health care system, it certainly will move things in that direction. It's another example of a government "solution" which will cost lots of money and only make matters worse.
Party leaders would like to start debate on the bill next week and hope to have a final vote before Veteran's Day on Nov. 11.
Unveiling the bill at the Capitol, Pelosi said the bill would meet the goals of “affordability of the middle class, security for our seniors, responsibility to our children. It reduces the deficit, meets President Obama’s call to keep the costs under $900 billion over 10 years and it insures 36 million more Americans.”Pelosi says, “The bill is fiscally sound, will not add one dime to the deficit as it expands coverage, implements key insurance reforms and promotes prevention and wellness across the health system,” Pelosi said.
The legislation would require health insurers to offer broader coverage and end practices that discriminate against higher-risk individuals. It would also establish a national insurance exchange with subsidies to lower- and middle-income households to make coverage more affordable.But then later in the story we find that in the second half of the ten year period it will create deficits.
The Congressional Budget Office offered Pelosi and her team some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the bill shouldn’t add to the deficit over the first decade after its enactment. The bad is that the legislation is projected to create deficits over the second five years, a fact that should give budget hawks plenty to worry about.
Yet the bill will have people opposing it for various reasons.
Pelosi’s decision to strip a $245 billion package of doctors’ payments also threatens to anger party moderates. The so-called “docs’ fix,” which would fill a long-standing shortfall under Medicare reimbursement rates, would put the overall cost of the bill well over $1 trillion and create more than $200 billion in red ink for the federal government over the next 10 years – two big “no-nos” from President Barack Obama’s perspective.The bill is merely another step in the wrong direction. In the end it will cost more, reduce quality and affordability of health care. Government can't run or manipulate the health care economy in a major way without messing things up.
The bill should cause plenty of headaches for the industries impacted.
The legislation imposes as much as $150 billion in Medicare cuts on the prescription-drug industry – almost double the $80 billion cuts in the Senate bill. It imposes a 2.5 percent tax on medical device manufacturers, a quietly influential force on Capitol Hill, And health insurers, who have already agreed to end many of the practices banned by the bill, would have to compete with a government-run insurance vehicle that would put pressure on them to lower premiums.
In addition, businesses with a combined annual payroll exceeding $750,000 will be forced to pay penalties for its uninsured workers.
As expected, the House bill generates most of its income by imposing a graduated surtax on married couples who make more than $1 million and individuals whose adjusted gross income exceeds $500,000. The initial income thresholds were $350,000 for couples and $280,000 for individuals.
Again the result of a flawed worldview. One which fails to understand human nature and the proper role of government.