With yesterday’s passage of the “Baucus Plan”, the Senate Finance Committee confirmed something we all (well most of us) have known all along.
The call for “Health care reform” in the United States amounts to nothing more than a massive middle-class tax hike. Take these inconvenient truths into account:
To avoid the fate of the House bill and achieve a veneer of fiscal sensibility, the Senate did three things: It omitted inconvenient truths, it promised that future Congresses will make tough choices to slow entitlement spending, and it dropped the hammer on the middle class.
The only way they could get this “plan” through committee was to leave out all of the details, promising that those details will be filled in, in the future. Since when do we create fill in the blank legislation? I know Mad-Libs are popular, but who knew that the U.S. Senate depended on them?
One inconvenient truth is the fact that Congress will not allow doctors to suffer a 24% cut in their Medicare reimbursements. Senate Democrats chose to ignore this reality and rely on the promise of a cut to make their bill add up. Taking note of this fact pushes the total cost of the bill well over $1 trillion and destroys any pretense of budget balance.
This one simple truth makes it impossible for President Obama to sign the final legislation. Remember, he said he would not sign any health care legislation that added to the federal deficit. They’re going to be pretty hard pressed to fund a $1 trillion health plan without touching the deficit.
Oh, and remember when President Obama promised there would be no new taxes for anyone making less than $200,000?
Most astounding of all is what this Congress is willing to do to struggling middle-class families. The bill would impose nearly $400 billion in new taxes and fees. Nearly 90% of that burden will be shouldered by those making $200,000 or less.
But the economics are clear. These costs will be passed on to consumers by either directly raising insurance premiums, or by fueling higher health-care costs that inevitably lead to higher premiums. Consumers will pay the excise tax on high-cost plans. The Joint Committee on Taxation indicates that 87% of the burden would fall on Americans making less than $200,000, and more than half on those earning under $100,000.
Whoops. That’s gotta hurt. It’s amazing to watch Congress go through all these motions when it’s clear they have no intention of actually reforming health care in the first place. Did you know the CBO has estimated that by 2019, the “Baucus Plan” would leave approximately 25 million people without health insurance?
Like I said, this is less about health care reform and more about authorizing higher taxes on those who can least afford it. If they really want to reform health care why not make medicare/medicaid available to everyone who needs it? Wouldn’t that guarantee coverage for everyone?