House Healthcare Bill Surfaces

If you thought HR 3200 was a monstrosity, hold on to your hat. 

Nancy Pelosi unveiled the house bill yesterday, and proclaimed it a history changing piece of legislation, comparing it with the New Deal and the Great Society.  It’s nearly 2000 pages long, and contains some provisions that should at least make you squirm, and should  probably make you scream. 

The touted “Public Option,” otherwise known as government-run healthcare and isn’t optional at all, is included in this bill.  This provision is supposed to promote “choice and competition.”  It won’t.  What it will do is put private insurance companies out of business and cause the real cost of care to rise.  Here’s why:

Private companies have an onus that the government won’t have:  they need to make a profit to survive.  With the government setting prices for their plans artificially low, it will cause private companies to have a difficult time competing.  Plus, the government will be able to change the rules anytime they want, since they write the rules.  If the private companies do what they are best at, which is finding a way to make more money, the government will change the rules to put a stop to that.  Private companies take a beating because they are being cast as evil empires only focused on profits.  There is one thing being left out of that comment.  Private companies write a policy, which is a contract with the customer.  The companies and their personnel are bound by this contract.  What is government bound by?  Nothing.  We are supposed to trust their virtues, that they only want to help out the little guy.  Sorry.  I just don’t buy it. 

I’ve also heard from a person in the healthcare business that people’s claims are often denied because the claim forms aren’t filled out properly.  Anyone who has ever tried to do anything with the government knows that there is a mountain of forms, all written in government-speak, and any one box not checked right results in a resubmittal of the forms, and further waiting to get the task done.  Do we think government healthcare will make this better?  I don’t.

This new bill has been estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to cost $894 billion over ten years.  The actual cost will certainly be higher, and congresspeople have already said the actual number is $1.055 trillion, but they adjusted the numbers because of the penalty dollars they expect to get from companies who cut their employees off from healthcare coverage.  That’s over billion dollars in penalties. 

This bill is also supposed to be budget neutral, but it will be funded by, you guessed it, tax increases on the people who won’t be using the coverage.  An additional 5% on people who make more than $500,000 a year, or couples who make more than a million. 

And there will certainly be a lot of strings attached.  HR3200 had a provision in it where the government got bank account numbers, supposedly to allow them to pay doctors more quickly.  But that could go either way, couldn’t it? 

I’ve had enough of this argument that we are the only industrialized nation not to provide healthcare to everyone.  We also don’t work 32 hour weeks, nor do we take government mandated month-long vacations (or holidays in Europe).  No, Americans work 60 hour weeks to get a competitive advantage over their co-workers, and over the companies they are dueling with for a bigger market share.  Americans take vacations, but usually two weeks, and their company pays them for that time.  The company is not obliged to do this, yet they do it because they know that a burned out workforce isn’t effective.  We do things differently here.  And we have the highest standard of living anywhere in the world.  I wonder why?  Maybe if we instituted siestas and 4 hour work days, we could jump ahead of the Japanese in production.  Oh, wait.  They have four hour work days in places like Nicaragua, where most of the people are poor.  Not America poor.  I mean really poor.  Peeing in hole poor.  Living in a shack made of old pallets poor. 

This healthcare bill is a disaster for our country.  It will mean government control of 20% of our economy from healthcare alone.  That doesn’t count the banks they now own, or Chrysler and GM. 

I’m pretty sure that the people in charge want to help the poorest among us to get basic necessities in life.  I want that, too, but not at the expense of everyone in the country.  Plus, the definition of “necessity” is bound to change, just like the definition of “poor” changes depending on which political party is in power.  Who’s to say that an internet connection may soon be viewed as a necessity?  Broadband must be, because the net neutrality thing I blogged about a few days ago was approved by the FCC.  Maybe a new car will be a necessity.  Maybe a bigger house, or better job will be a necessity. 

And President Obama and his guys will be there, to make sure you get all you are entitled to. 

Except that in America, all you are entitled to is what you can legally get for yourself.  Individual responsibility, personal liberty, and accountability for your life are principles our country was founded on. 

Hold on to your pocketbooks, America.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride.



2 Responses to “House Healthcare Bill Surfaces”

  1. Rhonda Says:

    Hi Jon, I just read several of your posts. Good as always. Been out of town and just busy in general and haven’t been checking your blog lately. Thanks for keeping us informed. I just about depend on you to tell me what’s happening in the world. We don’t have cable/satelite and so cannot get the REAL news. I don’t have time to listen to the talk shows (that I used to listen to before kids) with 2 little ones demanding my attention all day. So when I need to know what’s going on and want THE TRUTH, I check your blog. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

    • babaje2 Says:

      Thanks for the input. I saw on FB about your travel and it’s always fun to get away from the house for a while, even when you have a gaggle of kids trailing you.

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