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Archive for Friday, July 3, 2009

Senate bill fines people refusing health coverage

July 3, 2009

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— Americans who refuse to buy affordable medical coverage could be hit with fines of more than $1,000 under a health care overhaul bill unveiled Thursday by key Senate Democrats looking to fulfill President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated the fines will raise around $36 billion over 10 years. Senate aides said the penalties would be modeled on the approach taken by Massachusetts, which now imposes a fine of about $1,000 a year on individuals who refuse to get coverage. Under the federal legislation, families would pay higher penalties than individuals.

In a revamped health care system envisioned by lawmakers, people would be required to carry health insurance just like motorists must get auto coverage now. The government would provide subsidies for the poor and many middle-class families, but those who still refuse to sign up would face penalties.

Called “shared responsibility payments,” the fines would be set at least at half the cost of basic medical coverage, according to the legislation. The goal is to nudge people to sign up for coverage when they are healthy, not wait until they get sick.

Comments

igby 5 years, 5 months ago

The Fed can't do this it's illegal. Besides, it being illegal it will bankrupt the nation.

igby 5 years, 5 months ago

Insurance is already classified as interstate commerce and is controlled by the state government. All 50 states would have to ratify this bill in each state house and the state has the sole enforcement of insurance not the fed. Each state in order to do this would have to amend it's constitution to force it people to comply before the federal government could take any action.

The federal government would have to classify noncompliance as a federal crime to have any jurisdiction on forcing any action.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 5 months ago

In Barry's New Order, the federal government would fine you for not voting correctly.

igby 5 years, 5 months ago

Back in the Summer of 1980. I was working at Wolf Creek Nuke Plant. There was a company in New Strawn, call Bates Fisheries, they were out of Chicago. They had a contract to fish the Redmond lake to reduce the number of Buffalo fish. I helped them fish on several weekends and one of their helpers was named Barry. He looked a lot like the early photos of Obama. We were at the Eagles club one night and me and Barry had been drinking wild turkey. We were not drunk but as we were leaving a gang of rough necks from Missouri, jumped us in the parking lot. It was because they did not like Barry. I had a 1966 ford van and the wind shield was full of several bullet holes about six. I bought the van in Houston and was looking for a replacement window. It looked like WW2 from the bullet holes. Anyway, I reached into the van and grabbed a long tire tool and backed these 5 thugs off and took Barry, home to the trailer park down the street from the skating rink. Barry was staying with the boss of the fishing company, I forget his name. If I remember correctly, Barry had family in Kansas and in Iowa and had talked about them some but I really did not pay attention.

One day, this construction worker named Buck, came in the bar at New Strawn, he had taken Barry to Iowa. He was a cowboy from Texas, working at the plant. Then the boss of the fishing company came in with a base ball bat and started to threaten Buck with it. The boss said Barry had ripped him off and stolen from him. Buck said he had nothing to do with it and that he, Barry had paid him to take him to Iowa.

I wonder if this was Barry Obama?

igby 5 years, 5 months ago

Another irony to this was that one of the thugs that jumped us, I saw him three days later at a gas station on a motor cycle. After he drove off I asked some people there who he was and they told me that he was from Missouri, was here working for some farmers hauling hay during the hay season. They told me his name was Tim James, and that he had some family living there. This was the same Tim James, that was in the LJW several years ago that did a home invasion in Jefferson County. Never forget a face or an a**hole like him. He was trying to rob us in the parking lot of the Eagles Club in Burlington Kansas in 1980.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 5 months ago

Why don't you sleep it off a little longer before posting, igby?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

If people cannot afford health insurance how will they afford fines. Key democrats and republicans are shareholders in the insurance industry.... hmmmmmmmmmm.

Because there is some evidence that $1.2 trillion medical insurance tax dollars could possibly cover all in america under HR 676 instead of only city,state and federal employees which apparently make up 60% of those in america with insurance.

That 60% is a bad bang for the tax dollar and fiscally reckless spending of taxpayer dollars. In the event that all in america could be covered under a more efficient plan for the same $1.2 trillion = fiscally responsible use of tax dollars.

In essence this HR 676 would be a huge savings to taxpayers and simply responsible spending of my tax dollars. Being fiscally responsible and fiscally conservative are two of my objectives which always make dollars and sense. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

In essence HR 676 eliminates high dollar medical insurance spending on what 1,500 health insurers add to the actual cost of providing care such as: • its bureaucracy • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders ! are the primary clients of for-profit insurance companies, not patients • Special interest campaign dollars Golden parachutes * Politicians as shareholders: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

HR676 is the ONLY option being offered NOT connected to corporate american insurance. Politicians are still concerned for themselves as you and I pick up the cost of their insurance. Each of the many politicians could easily afford to pay their own way. Yet you and I are doing so.

I cannot afford THEIR medical insurance. Why should taxpayers be forced to pay insurance for elected officials? They say paying for mine is not affordable. Then how is theirs affordable? Think about it. How many times are we paying considering the number of politicians in our lives?

All taxpayers need coverage, taxpayers need relief and big time reduction in cost.

HR 676 is the only equitable approach that includes all of us.

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care, and long term care.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

Sigmund 5 years, 5 months ago

igby (Anonymous) says… "The Fed can't do this it's illegal. Besides, it being illegal it will bankrupt the nation."

No it is not illegal. In fact the only way they can get universal health care coverage is to make it illegal not to have coverage! They probably will do this and the main stream media will cheer as they feel a thrill run up their collective legs just as Obama bitch slaps Chris Mathews.

igby (Anonymous) says… "Insurance is already classified as interstate commerce and is controlled by the state government. All 50 states would have to ratify this bill in each state house and the state has the sole enforcement of insurance not the fed. Each state in order to do this would have to amend it's constitution to force it people to comply before the federal government could take any action."

Your misunderstanding of insurance and interstate commerce apparently knows no bounds. You might want to start your analysis with the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution (Article I, section 8), that authorizes Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with Indian Tribes."

Most legal commentators see this clause as the legal foundation for much of the U.S. government's (not the several states) regulatory authority and not a limitation on it. Any modern analysis of the Commerce Clause cases recognizes almost no significant judicial limit on the power of congress to regulate business (including the insurance business) and the only significant limitation on unwise exercise of congressional Commerce Clause power is to be found at the ballot box. In other words, vote the bastards out.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 5 months ago

This is neither a Republican or a Democratic initiative. It's an Incumbent Party idea, and the insurance, HMO and Big Pharma lobbies have paid quite literally $billion to make sure that no "reforms" threaten their profits. This proposal even guarantees them.

oldvet 5 years, 5 months ago

"This is neither a Republican or a Democratic initiative."

"...under a health care overhaul bill unveiled Thursday by key Senate Democrats looking to fulfill President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority."

That sounds clearly like a Democratic initiative... that's what you get when you put a nitwit in the White House...

Ryan Neuhofel 5 years, 5 months ago

How will "insurance" be defined?

In Mass. it has been defined as health plans with "less than a $2000 deductible" (among other criteria). . . which ironically basically makes true, catastrophic insurance illegal and 'managed health care' mandatory.

merrill says, "If people cannot afford health insurance how will they afford fines. Key democrats and republicans are shareholders in the insurance industry…."

As much as I hate to agree with merrill, I think merrill is right concerning this aspect. Politicians in both parties have created this private 'managed care' monster (in addition to their gov't program monsters) and this "insurance requirement" will only continue in that tradition if it's structured like Mass. state law. Unfortunately, merrill's response to this history is to just give the 'mad scientist' full power over our lives.

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 5 months ago

bozo,

You are free to incorporate your own health insurance company and buck the trend you seem to observe.

You're also free to not purchase health insurance.

No one is forcing you to do anything. You, however, are obsessed with control and wish to force the rest of us to follow your notion of social utopia.

Music_Girl 5 years, 5 months ago

Ridiculous...it's one thing to encourage people to have insurance and encourage companies to offer decent, affordable insurance but making it so that you are fined for not having it is stupid. Having to have car insurance is one thing (liability when you're in an accident) but health insurance? Is someone going to sue me for giving them a cold? Just another government control and another stupid waste of tax dollars paying the monkeys in Washington.

notajayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight (Anonymous) says…

"You, however, are obsessed with control and wish to force the rest of us to follow your notion of social utopia."

I think you give him too much credit, STRS; pretty sure he's just a babbling moron.

Ryan Neuhofel 5 years, 5 months ago

Comments from Senator Ted Kennedy about HMO (managed care) growth on March 3, 1979 senate hearing on "health insurance" reforms . . . (he authored the first Managed Care bill in 1973) . . .

"Today the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research holds hearings on proposed amendments to federal statutes supporting the development of health maintenance organizations...These amendments would extend and strengthen current authorities supporting HMOs in this country...."

"As the author of the first HMO bill ever to pass the Senate, I find this spreading support for HMOs truly gratifying. Just a few years ago, proponents of health maintenance organizations faced bitter opposition from organized medicine. And just a few years ago, congressional advocates of HMOs faced an administration which was long on HMO rhetoric, but very short on action."

"The current revival of the HMO movement should come as no surprise. HMOs have proven themselves again and again to be effective and efficient mechanisms for delivering health care of the highest quality. HMOs cut hospital utilization by an average of 20 to 25 percent compared to the fee-for-service sector. They cut the total cost of health care by anywhere from 10 to 30 percent. And they accomplish these savings without compromising the quality of care they provide their members."

"In fact, many medical experts argue that the peer review built into group practice in the HMO setting promotes a quality of care superior to that found in the traditional health care system.... "In our enthusiasm to see HMOs proliferate throughout this country we should not lose sight of the need to guarantee the quality and integrity of the prepaid plans we create."

http://www.forhealthfreedom.org/Publications/Choice/ThenAndNow.html#FOOT1

Considering how dead wrong he was about the effect of HMOs on health care - and everyone else in Washington - do we really want bureaucrats, including Ted Kennedy, screwing up the system any further?

(Merrill, whom do you think did more to grow the private health plan industry? Ted Kennedy or Bill Frist?)

gr 5 years, 5 months ago

Step right up folks!

Get your insurance through GR's Protection and save 990 bucks! That's right, for only $10 per year, we provide insurance for you. It pays you nothing, but does keep you from being fined $1000.

snicker

Newell_Post 5 years, 5 months ago

Medical insurance is a big, screwed up, problem in this country and it needs to be fixed. But this proposal just screws it up worse. Only a bunch of Washington perverts could spin one more penalty and further infraction of our liberty as a "benefit."

You want to help us Washington? Then craft a system that provides good coverage that you can't lose then you change jobs or get sick and which provides fair, understandable, and predictable pricing. More fines and penalties aren't helping us.

Oh, wait. I forget. Washington doesn't want to help us. They only want to help those who bribe them with massive "campaign contributions." There are no such things as campaign contributions. These are bribes.

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