Today’s 411 on health care reform

Here are some of the latest headlines on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s health care bill.

Here are some of the latest headlines on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s health care bill.

Washington Shall Control Your Health Care
The King James version of the Bible runs more than 600 pages and is crammed with celestial regulations. Newton's Principia Mathematica distilled many of the rules of physics in a mere 974 pages.
Neither have anything on Nancy Pelosi's new fiendishly entertaining health-care opus, which tops 1,900 pages.

So curl up by a fire with a fifth of whiskey and just dive in.

But drink quickly. In the new world, your insurance choices will be tethered to decisions made by people with Orwellian titles ("1984" was only 268 pages!) like the "Health Choices Commissioner" or "Inspector General for the Health Choices Administration."

Read more on Real Clear Politics
The House Health Care Bill: A $700 Billion Tax Hike
The New House Health Care Plan has several tax increases that will cost taxpayers $700 billion in the next ten years. Several of these taxes are new and were not in the earlier House bills.
The Surtax
The new Pelosi plan establishes a 5.4% surtax on joint filers with over $1 million in adjusted gross income or $500,000 for single filers. This is a single rate, which is different from the earlier House bills that had surtaxes at lower income levels. This surtax is not based on final adjusted gross income, but instead modified gross income. Thus the effective rate of the surtax is higher than just increasing marginal tax rates by 5.4%.
This surtax is also not indexed to inflation. This will cause more and more taxpayers to be hammered by the surtax even as their real income does not increase.
Read more on Heritage
Liberal Caucus Leader Criticizes Pelosi Plan
The chairman of the House Progressive Caucus expressed his "deep disappointment" today at the healthcare bill unveiled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz) blasted the plan for not including a strong enough public option. House liberals wanted the public option to reimburse doctors at a rate tied to Medicare payments. (5% higher than Medicare, to be exact.)

Pelosi's bill would instead have public option administrators negotiate reimbursements on a case-by-case basis.
Grijalva said he hopes to force a vote on the issue next week.
Read more on The Hill

Tax, Not Treat: Pelosi’s Halloween Nightmare
Just in time for Halloween, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Democrats gave birth to a giant, 1,990-page spawn of health care reform, lovingly titled the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Lurking within, though, are 13 new tax hikes (yes, 13) that will strike at the heart of the American people.
Americans for Tax Reform laid them out in detail; The Foundry includes them below:
Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages. Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000).
Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium. MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.
Read more on Heritage
Liberals Don’t Bolt for Pelosi Bill
For the past few days, the story line on the House health care bill has been simple: Nancy Pelosi couldn’t deliver for the liberals. Not enough votes for the “robust” public option.
That’s true — as far as the public option goes. But in reality, the bill she unveiled Thursday includes big pieces of what the most liberal members of her party wanted — most likely setting up a serious battle when negotiators try to merge it with the far more moderate Senate legislation.
The public option stays, even if it’s not the same one the House speaker preferred. So, too, does the so-called millionaire’s tax to help offset the $894 billion price tag. Individuals will be required to own insurance. Most employers will be legally mandated to offer it.
Read more on Politico
Let ‘Rich Tax’ Fund $894 Billion RX: House
House Democrats yesterday unveiled an $894 billion plan to reform the health-insurance industry that is paid for by a stiff tax on millionaires.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the 1,990-page bill, cobbled together from several versions passed through separate House committees, at a boisterous rally on the steps of the Capitol.
Calling it a "historic moment," she said lawmakers were "on the cusp of delivering on the promise of making affordable, quality health insurance available to every American."
A controversial key provision would set up a government-run "public option" for people who don't get care through their employers.
But in a concession to centrists, the bill, heading to the House floor as early as next week, lets the government negotiate with hospitals and insurers over prices.
Read more on the New York Post
CBO: House Health Care Bill is Deficit Neutral
House Democrats' newly unveiled healthcare reform bill will cost about $894 billion over the next 10 years -- but a combination of tax increases and spending cuts keep the bill deficit neutral, the Congressional Budget Office revealed on Thursday.
That means the bill, unveiled earlier today by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), satisfies the two cost criteria President Barack Obama established for healthcare reform earlier this year.
A few highlights from the CBO score:
- The bill would reduce the ranks of the uninsured non-elderly by 36 million, "leaving about 18 million non-elderly residents uninsured (about one-third of whom would be unauthorized immigrants).
- Roughly 21 million would purchase insurance on their own through insurance exchanges.
Read more on The Hill
Do you have an opinion on Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill? Let me know your thoughts.
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Neil Middleton
WYMT Mountain News
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