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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
  • by
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?  Well...you 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. 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 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
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
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
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 …
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
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.
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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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