Friday, October 30, 2009

1990 pages and 19 pounds of Insanity

It seems that we now have incontrovertible proof that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has made a clean and total break from reality, if not sanity.

We have seen so many versions of health care reform from both the House and Senate that most of the people of this nation are completely confused. Even legislators are confused as they themselves are forced to await simple language versions of the bill sent to committees for review and vote. The size and arcane nature not to mention the scope of the bills themselves preclude the average person, let alone Congress members or Senators from even reading and understanding the cost, benefits, detriments and effects of these bills they must consider.

The latest incarnation has been brought to us by Her Majesty, Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. In a delusional flight of fancy, she and her denizens have drafted the largest, most convoluted piece of tripe to come down the pike yet. At 1990 pages and over 400,000 words, HR 3962 is by far the biggest health care / tax raising / freedom killing proposal yet in a cacophony of bills on the subject. The Congressional Budget Office has made preliminary estimates that this bill will cost approximately 1.055 TRILLION dollars. Dollars that must be raised on the backs of individuals and businesses in an economy still reeling from the financial crisis the entire nation finds itself. Costs in this bill are somewhat offset by massive cuts in Medicare Advantage ($426 billion), tax increases ($572 billion), and result in expansion of Medicaid enrollment by some 15 million persons due to expanded eligibility rules in the bill.

One of the interesting aspects of this bill is the list of revenue targets that Speaker Pelosi and Co. has targeted.

Medical device and drug makers: The House added $20 billion in taxes on sales of medical devices like artificial hips, pacemakers and heart stents to the legislation. The measure is even worse for the pharmaceutical makers, an industry that agreed to a deal with Obama and key senators to hold down its costs. Pharmaceutical companies agreed to pay protection to government up to $80 billion in the health overhaul. It would give the federal government power to negotiate (compel?) drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries.

Specific language in the bill has many facets. Some of the more glaring examples are:

Page 94 Section 202 (c) which will prohibit private insurance purchases not approved as part of the “public option” pool exchange created by the federal government. In other words, if you change job, and your coverage changes with employer after 2013 (Y1 or Year 1 of the start of enforcement), you MUST buy from approved plans via the government.

Page 110 Section 222 (e) states: “ COVERAGE UNDER PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION.— The public health insurance option shall provide coverage for services described in paragraph (4)(B). Nothing in this Act shall be construed as preventing the public health insurance option from providing for or prohibiting coverage of services described in paragraph (4)(A).
The aforementioned paragraphs 4(A) and (B) are specific abortion sections. 4(B) describes the abortion program elements that are allowed and 4(A) describes abortion prohibitions, which means that that Public Option Plans will be able to cover abortions...ergo, by extension; public monies will be able to cover abortions through this legislation.

Page 225 Section 330 allows for but does not require members of congress to enroll in the “Public Option”. Mind you, all the rest of us will be required to participate if we don’t have coverage or if our existing coverage’s lapse and we need to buy new plans or change carriers or coverage. Once again, congress has made a law that is elective for them but mandatory for the rest of us.

Page 297 Section 501 describes a 2.5% tax on individuals who fail to purchase “approved” insurance plans. This is in direct conflict with Barack Obama’s promises NOT to raise taxes on poor or middle income earners; those who make $250,000 or less.

Page 520 Section 1161 cuts more than $150 billion from Medicare Advantage plans, placing millions of seniors’ existing coverage in imminent jeopardy.

Page 704 Section 1308 provides for coverage of marriage counseling... There’s a vital service that needs government support subsidy and protection.

Page 1131 Section 1771 describes specific dollar amount increases in payments to the territories and possessions and protectorates of the United States that amount to billions in increased spending and subsidies to areas of the country that don’t have federal income tax burdens. We mainlanders in the 50 states will foot the bill for those who don’t have the same tax burdens that the rest of us do.

This bill is a major blow against all Americans who believe in freedom and liberty. Looking at the arcane legalisms are enough to put a speed freak to sleep, but if honest analysis is done by thoughtful people, it becomes blatantly obvious that the purpose of this bill is nothing short of placing all Americans solidly under the thumb of federal bureaucrats and removing choice from as to what health care we can expect in our futures and wealth from the private sector to government. Barack Obama said in a speech to members of labor unions prior to his election as President that he wanted to see America onto a single payer system like those used in Great Britain and Canada and other nations in Europe. He acknowledged that it may take many years, but that was his objective. This bill will put that objective on a fast track. This bill will lead to huge increases in the deficit and in tax burdens and reductions in existing programs and coverage’s for most everyone.

The only positive thing I can see about this bill is that coverage for pre-existing conditions like insanity or other psychosis such as those suffered by Nancy Pelosi, architect of this disastrous bill, would most likely be covered. Maybe she can finally get some much-needed help.

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