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2010 Health Care Reform Bill

A controversial health care bill that the Senate passed on March 21, 2010.

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A Sad Day For Taxpayers.

  • Mar 22, 2010
Although I have been watching today's events like a freight train running toward a brick wall, the finality of the vote still leaves me speechless.  For the first time in my lifetime, I have witnessed the most divisive partisan legislation pass the final hurdle towards law.  A 2700-page bill rife with backroom deals and pork that will cost taxpayers an admitted 600 Billion dollars, will require young people who do not have insurance to purchase it themselves and will ultimately experience cost overruns that will make the whole budget-neutral concept laughable.

How do I know that this bill is not budget neutral?  Because it isn't.  First of all, the Doctor's Fix was taken out of the bill to make the numbers fit.  Secondly, even as the CBO was scoring the bill, President Obama was on the news stating that ANY state with a natural disaster would get the same deal as Louisiana (an obvious attempt to make that backroom deal seem legit after-the-fact...if it were legit, then Mississippi would have gotten the same deal).  So with Hawaii (according to POTUS) gets the same bill, how do you "score" that?  That factor was not presented to the CBO who can only score based on the presented details.  Third, when has the CBO effectively calculated any cost?  They are historically low on every set of numbers they have ever scored.  Fourth, how can something be budget neutral when you only get six years of service for ten years of payments?  Fifth, enormous tax increases mean that there is nothing "neutral" about this bill.  Sixth, the CBO and POTUS still have not reconciled the concept that the 500 Billion dollars CUT from Medicare were double counted.  They were counted once toward extending Medicare solvency and again towards expenditures like closing the "donut hole" in the prescription Medicare Part D.  In short...this bill is going to bankrupt America.  That is a heavy price to pay for an ideal.  

For the first time in history, Americans will be compelled to purchase a good or service just to breathe.  Although the Supreme Court has historically sided with the Federal Government on Tenth Amendment challenges (States Rights), this Bill is very different from prior challenges.  The Supreme Court decisions have been founded on the principal of the Commerce Clause.  However, one basic right provided by the Constitution is LIFE (liberty and the pursuit of happiness).  It is the most basic premise of that document.  When you exercise the privilege of driving a car, you must have insurance.  When you work, you pay taxes.  When you exercise your privilege to fly, you undergo strict security measures before boarding the plane.  Drawing breath is not a privilege.  It is a right.  It is a right not endowed by the Constitution, by Congress, the President or the Supreme Court.  It is endowed by the Creator.  It is inherent.  We are born with that right and our Constitution says it cannot be taken away.  So how can that right now be taxed, fines levied, etc for failure to purchase a good or service simply for being alive?  It will be an interesting argument to see before the Highest Court.

I am deeply saddened by this Bill.  Congress has voted against the majority of Americans.  They have mandated many things without regard for the consequences of their actions.  As a registered Independent, I feel that Health Reform is necessary.  However, there are many approaches to reform that will bring many more people onto the roles of health care without the government seizing control of twenty percent of our economy.  If health care is going to be run like Amtrak or the Post Office we are in  serious trouble.  And how do we pay for our coming watered-down health care?  Higher taxes for all.  Lucky enough to have good coverage? are going to find that long lines and rationing are right around the corner AND pay a luxury tax on your policy.  

Another question I have that no one seems capable of answering regards the 32 Million new health care recipients.  Is that 32 Million people that get free health care?  That is what the House would have you believe.  Not so.  If they are requiring people to get health care then a good portion of that number are actually going to be paying for it themselves!  It's like car insurance...if you want to drive, you have to pay.  But we aren't talking cars here.  We are talking basic human rights, not privileges.  So the pie in the sky altruistic butterflies and puppy dogs window dressing on this Bill hides the stark reality.  The government isn't giving anything away.  They are taking it.  They are eroding our rights and seizing power over a major portion of our economy.

So what is next?  I already expect the outrageous taxes and rationing of care.  If you don't think its coming, then I hope you don't live in a rural area.  Because you are going to be hit the hardest.  Go ask Canadians that live in remote areas.  There are decade long waiting lists for family doctors there and sixteen hour waiting room visits for urgent care if you don't have a primary physician.  But what OTHER costs are there going to be?  How about freedom?  Are we going to be told what we can eat?  Are we going to have to pay riders for engaging in sports?  Oh, little Johnny wants to play  little league baseball?  That's extra.  Oh, you want to eat Twinkies?  You have to pay a sin tax. 

No amount of voting in November is going to fix this.  It is done.  It cannot and will not be undone.  A horrendous ugly piece of Frankenstein legislation that was forced unilaterally through Congress without true bipartisan debate is now law.  It is a black day in American history.  Mark this day on your calendar as the day the final nail was driven into the economic coffin.

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August 20, 2010
Have you read the Pre- Existing condition Insurance Plan (Wa State) ? OMG well if your rich and unhealthy then you can be covered. Pres Obama is a joke if he thinks this is going to help a damn person. The rate for me to be covered being between the age or 34-39 and a smoker will be $346.00 a month for a $2,500 deductible and $702.00 with a 500 deductible. This is an outrage and totally out of so many peoples reach. We can listen to all the crap all the politicians feed us and either you can believe it or not, but I tell you this lady knows it is all propaganda to sell themselves to the devil..and the controllers of the puppet...yup that's right he is a puppet. :) I really feel sorry for all the people that fall for this plan.
August 12, 2010
I totally concur. I am 52 and a retired army officer and I feel terrible about the fact that this is the first time in my life that I truely beleive the best years of Aerica are behind us, not in front of us. Pax Americana is on the wane. The future is with BRIC's Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
July 03, 2010
Great commentary. Initially when the idea of universal health care was being tossed around by Obama, I was hopeful. I'm at a point in my life where I'm going to have to start paying for my own health insurance, and with the little income I currently make as a "fresh" graduate, it's not going to be easy. That's why I supported this bill in the beginning, despite admittedly not knowing much about its intricacies. When it was recently signed into law, I learned that universal healthcare would inevitably come at a price--from my own pocket. Reading your review has enlightened me on the true issues of this bill, and while I won't be so quick to believe that America's economy is completely doomed as a result of this historic legislative decision, I now agree that this may be a questionable move... Not in the wrong direction, but rather the unnecessary one. Thanks for providing your insight on the matter; I've been inspired to learn more about this bill and its consequences!
March 25, 2010
Doesn't Hawaii already have it's own universal health care program? The Post Office--don't even get me started. it worked perfectly well until they brought in computerization. After that everything went down hill because of the simple fact that computers simply can't deal with what trained human beings could. They could look at Snail Aisle for instance and know that this was how a southerner spelled her friend's street--Snell Isle.

What concerns me the most is how some people are reacting to it with VIOLENCE.
March 25, 2010
I agree on the violence thing. It does not help when Congressmen overreact and yell & scream and make comments that inflame the populace. We really need to change out the House and Senate more often. San Francisco has health care for all businesses. We're charged a few pennies on bills at restaurants, etc., and their employees get insurance benefits.
March 25, 2010
I agree. I cannot believe the way a couple of the Democrats have complained about strongly worded complaints that lacked a real threat (the tape I heard was just anger) that only further inflame the situation. The real victim of a violent act here was Congressman Cantor who kept it out of the news completely all week until it broke today. Someone SHOT at his office. I don't care if you are a D an R an I or something else. Violence is not the answer. And using it to fear-monger the press only exacerbates the situation.
March 26, 2010
There was also an instance where the gasline to a man's house was cut. He was mistaken for his brother who was to be the real target. Now THAT gasline bit was a real smart move. The tapes I heard included anger and threats.
March 26, 2010
I heard anger, but not threats. There was a woman who "wished ill" but never said SHE would take action. There is a big leap between saying you wish someone bad luck and saying you personally want to harm them. That is generally one of the elements that protective services look for when they determine the threat matrix.
March 26, 2010
The ones I heard were from men who were pretty definite about what they had in mind.
March 26, 2010
It is okay to be frustrated, but it is not okay to make threats. Personally, I would keep the threats under wraps and have them investigated rather than fanning the flames. It doesn't make much sense to further agitate the situation. Lay low and let it blow over. Politicians certainly get that stuff all the time...just not in the volume they are getting it right now (on both sides). Stupak is getting it FROM both sides.
March 27, 2010
I'm with you. Broadcasting them just adds to the problem.
March 23, 2010
I really honestly don't understand this bill. I don't understand how healthcare reform equals everyone should buy health insurance. While these insurance companies sit back and get fat there are are still americans that with or without insurance will not get quality medical care. There will still be americans that will not be able to afford both insurance and medical bills. Becuase in case everyone forgot, you still get a bill from someone no matter how much your insurance covers. I honestly think that in a desperate attempt to say that he's done something while in office Obama is coming dangerously close to destroying the very same civil rights that allowed him to be voted into office in the first place. I will make no attempt to understand something like Christian Science but I do know that the people that identify with that religion or just fundamentlally have reason to not be covered by health insurance should for certain have a right to make that decision themselves. I was once proud to be an American and now I'm embarrassed.
March 23, 2010
This is a very interesting and tough issue you mention here because of the affects such a belief system has on children of Christian Scientists. True, we have the right to freedom of religion, and adults who chose a certain belief system should not be forced by the government to go against their ideology. However, the right to life is also an important (maybe the most important) freedom. What happens when a parents' refusal to get their children medical care when they need it jeopardizes the child's life? Children are covered under parents' health insurance, and if Christian science parents refuse to pay for health care because they are morally against it, they are also denying their children this right, which may not be the right course of action (especially in a life-threatening situation when a blood transfusion is necessary to save a child's life). It's such a complicated and convoluted issue. I'm still not sure where I stand, but I definitely understand the fears of losing freedoms. 
March 23, 2010
Don't feel badly about not understanding the health care bill, you are not alone on that one. I don't even think the people that voted for it understand it. Having over 2700 pages who could read it all!! Good point on the Christian Scientists. I had not even thought about how they MUST feel about this bill. The question is what will happen to all our future freedoms. I am afraid that is this only the beginning.
March 23, 2010
I seriously don't get how having health insurance changes anything. I have health insurance, that between what my husbands employer pays and what he pays out of his check is insane and it doesn't do much of anything for us. When I was pregnant with my twins and they needed immediate inutero surgery for twin to twin transfusion syndrome that was not offered in our area the insurance company wouldn't cover it becuase I was not in the physical area of coverage. The hospital that performed the surgery told me at 5am that I couldn't be admitted for surgery and my twins would die if I didn't pay them $4000 up front. One hour after the surgery an administrator came into my room and told me that I needed to pay them $35,000 for the surgery. Except when I talked to the dr that performed the surgery he showed me what the surgery cost and it was no where near $35,000. I sprained my wrist about 6 months ago and called for a dr's appointment I got in within 24 hours but I was seen by a medical assistant, who ordered an mri for me and xrays, and other tests but I was never allowed to see an md. I went to this office three times and was never allowed to see an actual dr. My insurance didn't care, the dr's office didn't care. On top of my monthly payment for insurance that one sprained wrist cost me over $1000 in additional medical bills. It seems to me that this bill only puts money into the pockets of insurance companies. And seriously how does financial aid even work into this bill? There should be a bill passed that every bill can only address one thing at a time. I understand that people need help to pay for higher education but why is it hidden inside of a health care bill?
March 23, 2010
I agree with you that Bills should address one issue at a time, or multiple issues of the same ilk. Small bites are much easier to digest than tomes that make War and Peace and Atlas Shrugged seem like pamphlets.

One issue that you address twice is the cost of care. There are many things that can bring the cost of care down, but this bill will have the opposite affect. Tort reform would reduce costs by 5 percent. Electronic billing would further reduce costs, but I have not seen clear numbers on this. The numbers from the website Scotman provided suggest it could be as high as 31 percent (although there would still be some overhead no matter what...charts still need to be maintained, even if computerized). Either way, this bill never addressed cost, only access.
March 23, 2010
I know I shouldn't even bring up things like cost since they aren't addressed in the bill, but it's hard for me to seperate in my head sometimes. I really don't get how making everyone have health insurance addresses any healthcare problem.
March 23, 2010
You SHOULD bring up cost. Because THAT is where this legislation should have focused efforts. They completely missed the boat and are gloating over their "accomplishment." Your examples are a much more accurate portrayal of the symptoms than the many they have paraded out before the media.
March 22, 2010
Coming from a once Republican, now politically frustrated moderate... I voted for Obama, I'm pro-health care reform BUT totally disagree with this bill. This was not our only option for reforming health care, I agree it appears to be unconstitutional. However, the only way we'll get anything done in gov't (anything at all) is to stop the pissing match between the far right and the far left and start providing middle ground reform that will take this country forward.
March 23, 2010
Adding 17,000 new IRS agents isn't the answer to Health Care. It doesn't even make sense. Making health care accessible means making it affordable. Driving down costs should have been the cornerstone of this legislation. Torte reform would save 5 percent off the top. Electronic records would cut down double-billing and fraud, removing State insurance monopolies would create an open competitive market place. These would all reduce costs without a single tax increase needed.
March 22, 2010
You are right on the money with all your comments. It is as though I was writing the review myself. Is is very depressing when a government does not speak the will of its people. I agree we need to reform the medical system in this country but that should be done by reform of the current system. In the end it is the taxpayer, middle class, that will have the burden of this so called health reform.
March 23, 2010
While most Americans want health reform, a majority is against this bill. Why? It lacks integrity. Beyond the purchased votes, you have people who sold out their values to vote the party line. Why did Stupak change his vote? It wasn't the assurance from the President. Stupak is a smart guy. He KNOWS that Legislation trumps an Executive Order always. The fiscally responsible Democrats that voted for this KNOWING that removing the Doctor's Fix was one smoke and mirror trick among many to make this bill appear balanced. Plus, there is nothing fiscally responsible about raising taxes 500 Billion. Those people clearly sold out their values. I feel soiled just watching this filthy process.
March 22, 2010
I am totally with you on this one. An awful piece of legislation perpertrated by the most corrupt Congress in the history of our country. Now they want to ram through immigration reform (amnesty) something that I was willing to consider but now must oppose. America as we know it is over.
March 22, 2010
I feel close to depressed on this one. Change can be good. But we are going to be finding stuff out about this Bill for years to come. Nobody knows everything that is in this BIll. And for those Congressmen last night to tell Boehner that they've read it...they are a bunch of liars. That Bill is 2700 pages long...nobody read the final version in 72 hours.
March 22, 2010
I haven't read up enough on the facts to draw any conclusions yet, but you do bring up some good points and put out some really interesting and compelling insight.  Gives me a lot to think about.  Thanks for sharing this thoughtful review, John.
March 22, 2010
The government does nothing efficiently. Health reform is needed, but there are many avenues that could have increased coverage without seizing the entire industry. America should be scared right now. Aside from the power grab, our health care is going to suffer and our economy is headed towards disaster. We have a very pliant economy that can withstand severe jolts like we have had over the past year or so. But this is not a good time for major tax increases...
More 2010 Health Care Reform Bill reviews
review by . March 28, 2010
posted in Business Matters
Bailing out & falling short big time!
Helping others is morally good. However, when a government which is broke or on the verge of bankruptcy goes beyond and put every part of its country deeper into debt, that's totally insanity and dangerous. The U.S. is on its way to 'solve' its problems by simply printing money and pumping money that was otherwise not there to begin with? Not to mention the interest it has to pay for its sovereign debt? I don't get it! It's a no way out situation at all. What does the Obama administration …
review by . December 13, 2010
posted in Big Government
There has been a lot of false advertising about this bill.  This is an attempt to cut through a lot of this and give to the best of my ability a fair review of the changes of law.      The major issues the health care reform laws were intended to tackle were the rising cost of care and rising health insurance rates.  I can tell you my family has been without health insurance for over a year because the rates were suddenly raised on us 50% from one year to the next.  …
review by . March 22, 2010
posted in Public Policy
The ends never justify the means.
So there you have it.  President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrats have gotten their way. The 2700 page 2010 Health Care Reform Care bill will become law.  Had the Democrats played by the rules and managed to get this legislation passed I would have been upset but I could have lived with it. That is the American way!  But as we have come to discover all too often over the years Democrats rarely play by the rules. These ideologues …
review by . March 22, 2010
The Senate passed the healthcare reform bill and you're probably asking, "now what?"  There are a lot of questions being asked and many people who are confused, wondering how does this affect me?  It will be a law that all Americans are required to have health insurance and it does remedy the problem of the millions who are uninsured.  By the year 2014 all Americans will be required to have some form of health insurance or face being fined.        …
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
posted in Public Policy
Personally, what started out as an initial opinion of excited promise has since turned into a much less hopeful one. Reading up on different perspectives has revealed more cons over pros than I first thought existed. Maybe we didn't need this one after all. I'm hoping I'm wrong.
Quick Tip by . March 27, 2010
It is immoral for those of us who have health insurance to deny it to others. Scare tactics should not prevail.
Quick Tip by . March 23, 2010
Stoked the bill passed, wish it was universal health care though, rather than feeding money to insurance companies.
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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Along with the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, the act is a product of the health care reform agenda of the Democratic-controlled Congress and the Obama administration.

The bill was originally drafted by the U.S. Senate as an alternative to the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives two months earlier on November 7. However, after the Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate on January 19, 2010, the House decided to pass the Senate version and amend it with a third bill. This will allow the Senate to pass the amendments via the simple-majority reconciliation process.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed the Senate on December 24, 2009, by a vote of 60–39 and passed the House on March 21, 2010, by a vote of 219–212, with no Republicans in either house voting for the bill. At the time of the vote, there were 4 vacancies in the United States House of Representatives.
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