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Archive for Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Health bill by Senate panel to address GOP concerns

September 15, 2009

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— The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said Monday that he will propose an overhaul of the nation’s health care system that addresses a host of GOP concerns, including blocking illegal immigrants from gaining access to subsidized insurance, urging limits on medical malpractice lawsuits and banning federal subsidies for abortion.

But even after Max Baucus, D-Mont., spoke optimistically of gaining bipartisan backing, lawmakers continued to haggle over a question at the heart of the debate: How can the government force people to buy insurance without imposing a huge new financial burden on millions of middle-class Americans?

Even within his own party, Baucus confronted a fresh wave of concern about affordability. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., declared himself dissatisfied with the chairman’s plan, which, like other congressional reform proposals, would require every American to buy health insurance by 2013.

“Additional steps are going to have to be taken to make coverage more affordable,” Wyden said, “and my sense is that will be a concern to members on both sides of the aisle.”

Under the Baucus plan, described in a “framework” he released last week, as many as 4 million of the 46 million people who are currently uninsured would be required to buy coverage on their own, without government help, by some estimates. Millions more would qualify for federal tax credits, but could still end up paying as much as 13 percent of their income for insurance premiums — far more than most Americans now pay for coverage.

People further down the income scale would receive much bigger tax credits, effectively limiting their premiums at 3 percent of their earnings. But experts on affordability say even those families could find it difficult to meet the new mandate without straining their wallets.

“We’re talking about the equivalent of a middle-class tax increase,” said Michael D. Tanner, a health care expert at the libertarian Cato Institute. “Yes, they’re paying it to an insurance company instead of to the government. But, suddenly, these people are paying more money to somebody.”

A plan drafted by House Democratic leaders would offer more generous tax credits, but it would cost more than $1 trillion over the next decade.

Baucus’s team of three Democrats and three Republicans from the Finance Committee has labored for months to cut that cost as it crafts a reform plan that could win support from both parties. By squeezing the size and scope of the subsidies, the negotiators have lowered the cost to a more politically palatable $880 billion — within the range President Barack Obama specified last week in a speech to Congress.

But a smaller bill would mean less help for people — particularly those who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to easily slip the equivalent of a second rent payment into their budgets.

According to the latest census data, about three-quarters of the uninsured earn less than 300 percent of the poverty level, or about $32,500 for an individual and $66,150 for a family of four. Nearly half are childless adults. In surveys, many say that they are not offered coverage by their employers or that they simply cannot afford it.

Comments

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Do we need bi-partisanship? No we need medical insurance for all.

These bird brains are not only protecting the most expensive medical insurance in the world they are protecting their campaign funding and their shares of stock. This fits key legislators on all sides of the aisle according to the Washington Post.

This is a conflict of interest I would say.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

After both republican home loan scandals medicare and social security are a blessing to those who lost their retirement plans in the process.

The problem is not about government insurance or that government insurance would be bad. It's about the high profit insurance business throwing tons of health care dollars at legislators who are influenced with money and plenty of it.

And it's all about legislators as shareholders....yes their personal money making portfolios. They are among those who love to make money off the misfortune of others. There are plenty of those types waging war against smart medical insurance.

Medicare Insurance For All would be most attractive to small business,large business and familes/individuals. It's the only one that makes dollars and sense. It makes sense and would require much less money to operate because all of it could be done under one umbrella which saves money.

HR 676 represents the key to jobs jobs jobs and new economic growth to the nation. It will make the USA far more attractive to new industry and hopefully halt Toyota from relocating more factories to Canada.

HR 676 is key to ending the recession which can only happen through replacement of millions of jobs. 8 million jobs were lost from 2007 to May 2009. The USA cannot afford this type of activity. Considering jobs lost to outsourcing over the last few decades to Reaganomics/Wreckanomics this country needs 20 million new jobs to make the USA regain respect in the world of finance. Retaining the most expensive medical insurance in the world will not work.

Medicare is in place ready to for all to use. Some fine tuning is all that would be necessary. HR 676 is the key to fiscally responsible medical insurance for all.

HR 676: Smart Medical Insurance Improves Our Quality of Life And Our Wallets! http://www.healthcare-now.org/

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. This is my perception of competition.

This is the only insurance program that substantially reduces the cost of medical insurance across the board: http://www.healthcare-now.org

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Smart Medical Insurance Improves Our Quality of Life And Our Wallets!

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. This is my perception of competition.

How many of the vocal minority out there supporting the most expensive medical insurance in the world are employees and/or shareholders?

How many are receiving corrupt campaign dollars?

Some of our reps on all sides of the aisle say “Let's slow down a bit”. I say consumers have been waiting for more than 60 years for fiscal responsible medical insurance how much slower can it go?

What could possibly be more american? Providing americans with the choice of National Health Insurance. HR 676 is the only equitable approach that includes all of us.

Shouldn't taxpayers have the choice of Medicare Insurance For All? Absolutely!

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including: long term care such that cancer demands 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 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.

http://www.healthcare-now.org/

Doctors for Single Payer http://www.pnhp.org/

Unions for HR 676 http://unionsforsinglepayerhr676.org/union_endorsers

Organizations and Government Bodies Endorsing HR 676 http://www.pnhp.org/action/organizations_and_government_bodies_endorsing_hr_676.php

Health Care In the USA http://www.dollarsandsense.org/healthcare.html

Consumer Reports On Health Care http://blogs.consumerreports.org/health/health_reform/

National Health Insurance does not remove competition from the actual health care industry. It will be alive and well. Profits will be based on customer service and clinic performance based on the clients experience. This is my perception of competition.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

Doing some recycling, merrill? How many times have you made these same posts? 200 times? 300 times? Do you even keep count?

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