We’re not going to waste time. There is no point taking seriously the Baucus Senate Finance Committee health care bill. If we were asked to discuss whether Obama is the Messiah or just a brilliant leader we would not waste time either because we know he is a flim-flam man. Likewise we will not waste time discussing the flim-flam bill which today was voted out of the Senate Finance Committee.
Much more interesting is the latest play on the chessboard by the health insurance industry via their lobbying arm AHIP (America’s Health Insurance Plans) and what that means. To us what it means is that if the health care scam Obama is running actually passes this year, it will become the Big Story for Republicans next year as they try to wrest control of the congress from Dimocrats. More importantly, Republicans and the Obama opposition will have the financial resources not available until now. And do not doubt that more opposition money will be coming – including labor union money.
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After spending $100 million on pro-“reform” advertisements (such as this one) the insurers are not happy. Insurers thought they had a deal with Obama to have the Internal Revenue Service police and beat down any American who tried to evade paying insurers thousands of dollars in premiums, thousands more in deductibles, and then get little to no coverage of medical expenses.
No surprise to readers of Big Pink that Obama and the insurers hid The Obama Health Plan Obama Supporters Do Not Want To Discuss. Now, however, it appears there is a falling out among thieves.
The falling out among thieves – Barack Obama and the Insurance industry – came about because of even more watering down in the Senate Finance Committee of profits the industry expected from Obama. Such is the disaster emerging in Obama health care legislation that Obama will sign anything and to get something to sign Obama had to agree to water down the Baucus mess even more.
Get it? Let’s restate: (a) Obama wants a bill, which; (b) will have to be a watery mess in order to get votes. But, in watering down the bill (c) Obama had to agree to get rid of provisions which would bring billions of new profit dollars to insurers.
Darn it, now we have to waste time discussing some of the Baucus bill details. Here’s “reputable” Obama-loving Time magazine:
Under the Democratic bills, federal tax credits to help make health insurance affordable for millions of low- and middle-income households won’t start flowing until 2013 — after the next presidential election. But Medicare cuts and a sizable chunk of the tax increases to pay for the overhaul kick in immediately. [snip]
Lawmakers use a 10-year accounting window to assess new programs. Starting the Medicare cuts and some of the taxes in the early years — and pushing the bulk of new spending into the latter years — helps keep the cost of the health care overhaul within Obama’s $900 billion limit. [snip]
“It means that the full cost of the program is underestimated in the 10-year window that you are looking at,” said Gail Wilensky, who ran Medicare for former President George H.W. Bush. “It’s not like we’ve never seen this before, but people need to understand what’s going on.” [snip]
To answer Obama’s call for an immediate end to insurance company discrimination against the sick, Baucus would set aside $5 billion from 2010-2013 to help states provide affordable coverage to people denied because of a medical condition. The money would be apportioned to high-risk insurance pools that many states have set up.
It may not go far enough. State high-risk pools now spend about $1 billion a year and cover only 200,000 people. [snip]
If there’s a silver lining in the three-year wait, it’s that it will give individuals and families time to prepare for a new federal requirement to carry health insurance, starting in 2013. That won’t be a problem for the majority who with employer or government coverage. But even with the tax credits that Democrats are proposing, many middle-class families that buy their own coverage still may be unable to afford it, and risk being assessed a penalty.
But lawmakers may have figured out how to use time to their advantage. The Senate Finance Committee voted to pare down the penalties and postpone them until 2014. Because the fines would be collected through income taxes, no one will get a bill until April 2015.
It is the pared down penalties that has insurers upset because low penalties means that many Americans, especially the young, will choose to pay penalties rather than turn over thousands of dollars for “junk insurance” that will provide limited benefits after thousands of more dollars in deductibles are paid.
Labor unions are now getting ready to join AHIP in opposition to key provisions of Obama’s health care scam:
About 30 unions will run a full-page ad in newspapers Wednesday announcing their opposition to the Senate Finance Committee’s health overhaul bill, a top labor lobbyist said.
The ad will state that unions will oppose the measure on the Senate floor unless improvements are made, according to Chuck Loveless, legislative director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
The ad will state, “Real health care reform and nothing less,” Loveless said.
Labor has been a major Democratic ally in the health care debate but is unhappy the legislation lacks a publicly run insurance plan and would tax expensive policies in an effort to drive down costs.
AHIP has an advertisement out today. The ad states: “Is it right to ask 10 million seniors on Medicare advantage for more than their fair share?” “Congress is proposing over 100 billion in cuts to Medicare advantage. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says many seniors will see cuts in benefits.”
The advertisement is running in states such as Missouri, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico, Louisiana and Nevada.
A million dollars will be spent in the above ad in the next few days. Many more millions, possibly hundreds of millions of dollars are sure to follow.
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So the Big Story today is not the Senate Finance Committee vote. The Big Story is that the disaster which is the Obama health care plan will not end once there is a vote in the Senate and House.
The health care fight will be the Big Story next year and there will be hundreds of millions of dollars to punish Dimocrats for voting for the scam.