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Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Obamacare: It’s All Downhill From Here
By Heritage Foundation @ 9:20 PM :: 9591 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics
This Morning Bell is the third in a five-part week-long series on how Obamacare will affect you.

PT 1: $8338 per year: Obamacare Invades Your Wallet

PT 2: Obamacare Sends Deficits Off Cliff

The scariest part about yesterday’s Senate Finance Committee vote passing its version of Obamacare, is not what is in their bill (to the extent that it even exists), but that the Finance Committee bill promises to be the high water mark for “bipartisanship” in health care reform.

Now all of the other bills will be merged together behind the closed doors. All the bills are fundamentally flawed and will only get worse as the leaders in the House and Senate have to commit to actual details.

COSTAll the proposals carry a hefty price tag. The Finance bill estimates start at $829 billion. Preliminary estimates of the House Tri-Committee bill put the price tag over $1 Trillion and adding another $245 billion to the deficit. Preliminary estimates of the HELP Committee bill would add $598 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years. And the outlook for the following ten years looks far far worse.

EMPLOYER MANDATE - More spending means more taxes. All the proposals include new taxes on employers. Taxes on employers will ultimately result in lower wages, fewer jobs, and slower economic growth. According to The Heritage Foundation, the mandates, like those in the House bill, could cost businesses up to $49 billion a year, 10.2 million workers will be at risk of slower wage growth and cuts in other benefits, and as many as 9 million low-wage and part-time workers will lose their employer-based health insurance.

PUBLIC PLAN - All the proposals include the creation of a new government health plan. The Finance proposal calls it a co-op while the House Tri-Committee bill and the Senate HELP Committee all call it a new public plan. Despite what activists on the left claim, a government run health insurance “option” will not be on a level playing field with other private options. The playing field will be skewed to push millions of Americans out of their current private health insurance and into the government run plan.

INDIVIDUAL MANDATE - All the proposals force every Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, some even threatening jail time if they do not comply. Such a mandate is a massive tax increase on individuals and families whose health insurance does not meet the new federally determined standards. This means that Congress will, for the first time in U.S. history, force Americans to buy federally designed packages of health benefits, even if they do not want or need those benefits.

MEDICAID EXPANSION - Hidden in all the proposals is a massive expansion of the Medicaid program. The result is millions more Americans would be dependent on this growing entitlement program. This means more costs to taxpayers, less flexibility for the states, and worsening markets for the privately insured.

MEDICARE CUTS - All the proposals depend heavily on billions in Medicare cuts to pay for their versions of Obamacare. Traditionally, such cuts rarely come to fruition. Special interests lobby to stop any real cuts from occurring after the bill is passed. And some so-called fraud, waste and abuse cuts, like those to the Medicare Advantage, will put millions of seniors’ benefits at risk.

Do high costs, government expansion, huge tax increases, major unfunded expansions in Medicaid and major cuts to Medicare sound like a recipe for success?  It’s all downhill from here.

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