Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reform: Does it exist in the Senate health care bill?

This morning the Senate just passed, 60-39, Sen. Reid's manager's amendment and paved the way for passage of the Senate version of health care reform by the Christmas deadline. Regardless if the bill passes the Senate it will take several weeks of hard negotiations in conference committee as Congress hammers out some major differences between the House and Senate versions. A friend of mine on Facebook posted an interesting article put out by the FDL. The article written by Jane Hamsher points out 10 reasons to kill the Senate health care bill:

  1. Forces you to pay up to 8% of your income to private insurance corporations — whether you want to or not.
  2. If you refuse to buy the insurance, you'll have to pay penalties of up to 2% of your annual income to the IRS.
  3. Many will be forced to buy poor-quality insurance they can't afford to use, with $11,900 in annual out-of-pocket expenses over and above their annual premiums.
  4. Massive restriction on a woman's right to choose, designed to trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.
  5. Paid for by taxes on the middle class insurance plan you have right now through your employer, causing them to cut back benefits and increase co-pays.
  6. Many of the taxes to pay for the bill start now, but most Americans won't see any benefits — like an end to discrimination against those with preexisting conditions — until 2014 when the program begins.
  7. Allows insurance companies to charge people who are older 300% more than others.
  8. Grants monopolies to drug companies that will keep generic versions of expensive biotech drugs from ever coming to market.
  9. No re-importation of prescription drugs, which would save consumers $100 billion over 10 years.
  10. The cost of medical care will continue to rise, and insurance premiums for a family of four will rise an average of $1,000 a year — meaning in 10 years, your family's insurance premium will be $10,000 more annually than it is right now.

The article does offer links to parts of the bill that support the assertions made by the author. See the entire article here: http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/12/21/10-reasons-to-kill-the-senate-bill/

Other points of interest in the Senate bill are the bonuses, or bribes, given to certain Senators to get their vote. Florida seniors are now exempt, grandfathered in, from Medical Advantage cuts. Nebraska will have all Medicare and Medicaid payments made by the Federal Government after the three window closes. Vermont and Massachusetts will get additional Medicaid funds. The AMA supports the bill after hearing that 5% tax on cosmetic surgeries and cuts to elective coverage were dropped from the Senate bill. Does the Senate bill really create reform? Will it raise taxes? Will it increase your premiums? Should Congress pass something just to pass something?

Senator Sanders (I-VT) just admitted on Morning Joe that the insurance and drug companies will make out "like bandits" from this reform. If that is the case, then why pass legislation under the guise of "reform"?