American Elephants

The Health Care Debate is Confusing, Hard-to-Understand, You Don’t Know Who To Believe, And You’re Tired of It. I Understand. by The Elephant's Child
October 4, 2009, 8:50 pm
Filed under: Economy, Freedom, Health Care, Politics | Tags: , , ,

The Senate Finance Committee, Chairman Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), is now considering what has come to be called the Baucus bill, or rather they are considering some 500 amendments to the Baucus bill. Yuval Levin describes it clearly in the Weekly Standard. It’s the “Same Old ObamaCare:”

It is a massively ambitious, costly, intrusive, inefficient and clumsy combination of mandates, taxes, subsidies, regulations and new government programs intended over time to replace the American health insurance industry with an enormous new entitlement.  And it fails to address what ever President Obama has said is the core of our health care dilemma; rising costs.  Indeed there is every reason to believe the Baucus bill would actually increase the cost of health insurance premiums. (emphasis added)

The Finance Committee has gone through all sorts of gyrations to get the cost below $1 trillion by taxing insurance companies, taxing insurance policies, taxing the wealthy, taxing the not-so-wealthy, cutting Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals and suppliers, and lots of mandates.

The CBO has estimated the cost of the Baucus bill at over $1 trillion over the ten year from 2013 when the bill takes effect to 2013.  The Democrats are claiming it will cost only $900 billion over the next ten years, that is starting now—and thus counting three years when there are no costs. Clever!

Our very own Senator Maria Cantwell has offered an amendment encouraging states to adopt a program mirroring  Washington State’s Basic Health Plan.  The amendment would allow states to put people from 133%-200% of the poverty level in a state-based government plan.  Quick research will show that premiums have soared, a number of insurance carriers have dropped out, and enrollment numbers have declined.

The state has pushed around 40,000 people off the rolls because of budget cuts. Premiums for some poor people will double in January.  The Basic Health Plan already has a waiting list of more than 30,000 people.  In other words, the plan which was created in 1993 has been a flop.

So naturally, Senator Cantwell’s amendment was accepted.

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