Sunday, November 08, 2009

About the House bill:

From McClatchy (via Yahoo), this summary:
WASHINGTON — These are some of the changes in the way health insurance would work in the United States if the House bill were to become law:

1. Creates a government-run plan, or "public option," to offer insurance coverage to compete with private sector insurance companies.

2. Sets up health insurance "exchanges," or marketplaces, where consumers can easily compare coverage and rates.

3. Requires nearly everyone to obtain health insurance coverage starting in 2013.

4. Ends blanket exemption for insurers from anti-trust laws.

5. Provides federal financial help for lower and middle income consumers so they can obtain coverage.

6. Bars insurers from denying or limiting coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

7. Bars insurers from imposing lifetime limits on coverage.

8. Expands Medicaid coverage to more people.

9. Imposes a 5.4 percent surcharge on adjusted gross incomes of more than $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for joint filers.

10. Imposes penalties on people and businesses who fail to comply with the new law.
If this gets signed into law, there would be a new bracket and rate for income tax of 40%

It seems that people earning $500,000 to, say, a few million, are not anywhere like those making tens or hundreds of millions per year. Why are they all lumped together?


The bill sucks, and will likely get worse since we won't discuss Medicare for All, which would change the debate and move it toward true coverage for all, and a true public option.

The public option in this bill is a watered down expansion of Medicaid in a few years from now. The pre-existing condition can't be denied, but the insurance carriers still control what they charge. The anti-trust exemption is a playground for lawyers that will eat up years of litigation and give consumers very little if any relief or change.

Creates mandates to people to give more money to insurance companies, without any real brakes on how wasteful insurance companies actually are.

The punishment of the rich starting at $500,000 makes less and less sense IN THIS CONTEXT. And worse, the bill puts Medicare cuts in spending GROWTH on a collision course with the watered down public option, giving Republicans a true reason to start scaring seniors. Really, how tone deaf can you get?

Kucinich voted against this bill for these reasons. This bill represents a failure of leadership on the part of Pelosi and Reid. They let right wing corporate marinated Democrats, who are tone deaf to the realities of the anger out here in America, control the agenda with Republicans just saying No and "I object" all the way.

The one Republican who voted for it will likely lose in the overwhelmingly Democratic district where he was elected...He had won a special election following a scandal involving the then incumbent. This is not any victory for Pelosi. That guy would have voted for Medicare for All, too, as he is simply a Republican version of an insider careerist that defines Pelosi herself.

By Blogger Mitchell J. Freedman, at 11/08/2009 6:50 AM  

are small businesses exempted? who'd want to kill mom&pop stores? besides wallmart lobby?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/08/2009 11:30 PM  

4. Ends blanket exemption for insurers from anti-trust laws.

isn't this a biggie? i never took seriously congress' threat to kill it. i assumed it merely posturing.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/08/2009 11:33 PM  

mitchell j. freedman-- if the watered down version barely won passage, what make you think "medicare for all" would have stood a better chance? how would single payer have gotten more votes?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/09/2009 9:53 AM  

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