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Healthcare Takeover Bill Passage: A Thief In the Night

The fact that a bill like this is passed in the House late on a Saturday (with greatly decreased news coverage and less people watching news) shows how little regard Congress has for the American people and that they know most Americans on the whole wouldn’t approve of the bill if they fully understood its details.

Details such as felony penalties for noncompliance, including massive fines and prison time. And details such as an individual mandate tax for anyone that does not obtain qualifying coverage. It looks like there’s the possibility of obtaining a religious exemption for this, although it would probably be hard to obtain (there should be religious exemptions for all income taxes). So much for Obama’s promise of no new taxes for the middle class.

The taxes certainly don’t end there and it seems that small business owners have the most to lose with this bill, during a time of deep recession and the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. But probably worst of all is the loss of individual choice and health freedom–another dagger to the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

On Opencongress.org 80% of users are opposed to the House bill 3962 — which one would expect to be a more informed group. A Gallup poll a few weeks ago showed that only 1 in 4 people supported the bill, and another poll showed that half of Americans expect their healthcare costs to get worse with the passage of this bill.

Read the full text of the bill at OpenCongress.org.

More:

[The End of America happens in the middle of the night, Freeman Institute ]
While normal everyday oblivious Americans were preparing their beds to sleep Saturday night their elected officials quietly passed H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Indeed, the passage of this act deals one of the final death blows to the Constitution and with it our liberties.

…It is the everyday middle class American that will suffer the consequences of this travesty. Indeed, while the economy is reeling and unemployment pushes depression-era levels the arrogant Congress has decided to pass the biggest expansion of government in the history of the United States. It will create a new tax that will primarily be felt by the middle class, the ones most likely affected by the current depression. This is because as Americans are forced to purchase health insurance, the wealthy will have no problem paying for escalating costs. Nor will the poor feel the burden as they will receive government health insurance subsidies. Yet, the forgotten man will be the middle class working American who now already struggling against the burden of economic ruin will be forced to pay fines or even face possible jail time for not complying with our government’s take over of his/her health care. As this tax sinks in, the middle class will be forced downward into the ranks of the working poor and therefore into the ranks of government rationed medical care. Inevitably, government healthcare will swallow the whole of the medical insurance world and there will be no escape.

This dystopian vision will consist of patients waiting in long lines and when they are finally permitted to see their doctor there will be much fruitless begging and pleading for the treatment that they desperately need. But no mercy will be given because the doctor will have become nothing more than a desk-clerk, simply following the government treatment protocols.”

Healthcare Reform Assumes Millions Will Pay Fines

Though the bill is estimated to expand coverage from the current 83 percent to 96 percent of legal U.S. residents, the windfall of projected penalty payments also exposes a potential contradiction in reform. A significant part of the plan to expand coverage relies financially on fines from the uninsured.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in its study last week that the House bill would bring in $167 billion over 10 years — $33 billion from fines paid by individuals who decline to buy insurance, and the rest from employers who don’t offer insurance to workers or contribute enough toward premiums.

Ernest Istook, a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma who is now a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, calculated that anywhere between 8 million and 14 million people would end up paying the fines.

This raises a few problems, he said. First, if those millions somehow get covered and don’t pay the fine, then the health program is faced with a budget hole.

Second, he said, it speaks to a flaw with the insurance packages that are being offered. “If you say people would rather pay $167 billion in penalties rather than buy insurance under your new plan, what’s wrong with your new plan?” he asked.

The answer, Istook said: “It’s expensive.”

11/9/09 Ron Paul: Healthcare “Reform” Will Make a Flawed System Immeasurably Worse

Ron Paul on the Government Healthcare Takeover

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4 Responses

  1. Another thought (I’m commenting on my own post here :] ).

    People are concerned about the dominant role that insurance companies have in influencing healthcare costs, as they should be. But what happens to the insurance companies’ influence once the government essentially merges with the current medical industrial complex, insurance companies and all?

    Are we really to believe that the government will be a loving, benevolent overseer that is always looking out for the patient’s best interest? Has the government been doing that previously? Who have the insurance companies and big pharma been lobbying for years to obtain the dominant position that they currently have? Congress. Who took their money and gave them what they wanted? Congress.

    A more likely conclusion is that this merger will just mean that there is one less step insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc. will have to take to push their agenda. They will become the government.

  2. While I don’t agree with lots of your article, I go agree that there is a loss of health freedom. This bill puts the government between you and your doctor. I read an intersting take on this in an article here: http://www.examiner.com/x-24103-Top-News-Examiner~y2009m11d9-Pelosi-and-House-pass-massive-health-care-bll-putting-government-between-doctors-and-patientsvideo . What are your thoughts on this angle?

  3. Excellent post! Cheers! It’s a little shocking to see so many “progressives” backing this bill as the “best possible”. As you’ve shown here, with just a wee bit of critical analysis, the cracks become more apparent.

  4. Thanks sophrosyneradical, there’s definitely cracks in this bill and it effects all of us. I’m finding that OpenCongress.org is a great place to uncover the details of bills and see other informed opinions on the bills.

    Jon, it seems that we agree that this bill creates a loss of health freedom and that is places the government between patients and their doctors. However, having read the article you linked to, I was surprised to learn that a Democrat had led the charge to prohibit the use of public funding and government subsidies for abortions.

    Since abortion is such a controversial, polarizing issue , it doesn’t make sense that someone paying taxes who may be firmly opposed to abortion would in essence be forced to help fund someone else’s abortion. I think the Congress actually got this part right, surprisingly.

    But I don’t think its the Congress’s place to redistribute taxpayer money into healthcare schemes. Healthcare is not an inalienable right, and it does not fall under their jurisdiction. Not to mention the fact that the nation is broke and the dollar is falling rapidly.

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