Third Try on Health Care Hardly a Charm

As the health care circus rolls on, The Heritage Foundation has the skinny on how the Obama administration is fattening its health care bill with even more regulation, taxation, and sweetheart deals:

Cornhusker Kickback for All: Instead of just eliminating the Cornhusker Kickback, the White House chose to solve their Medicaid problem by extending the deal to all 50 states. Now all new Medicaid spending through 2017 and 90% after 2020 will be picked up by the feds.

Weakens and Delays Cost Control: The White House’s proposal is silent on whether all collective bargaining agreements will be exempt from Obamacare’s new health insurance tax, but the new plan does go ahead and weaken what was the only thing in the entire bill that even liberal health care experts thought had a chance of containing health care costs. The plan delays implementation of the new tax until 2018 (when President Obama is well out of office) and raises the threshold for taxation to $27,000.

Steals More Money from Medicare: To pay for Cornhusker Kickbacks for all, increased subsidies for health insurance, and the health insurance tax delay, the White House raises the Medicare payroll tax and extends it for the first time ever to investment income. The least they could have done is slate this new $120 billion in taxes to help plug Medicare’s existing $38 trillion unfunded liability, not fund a brand new entitlement.

Creates New Price Control Authority: The President’s plan also creates a new Federal Health Insurance Rate Authority, which would provide federal “assistance and oversight” to the states conducting reviews of “ unreasonable rate increases” and “unfair practices” of health insurance plans. This, of course, establishes for the first time a legislative basis for the imposition of price controls on health insurance. If government can control both health benefits and health care pricing, that’s the proverbial ball game. Private health care is private in name only.

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