Health-care overhaul legislation being drafted by House Democrats will include $600 billion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said.
Democrats will work on the bill’s details next week as they struggle through “what kind of heartburn” it will cause to agree on how to pay for revamping the health-care system, Rangel, a New York Democrat, said today. The measure’s cost is reaching well beyond the $634 billion President Barack Obama proposed in his budget request to Congress as a 10-year down payment for the policy changes.
Asked whether the cost of a health-care overhaul would be more than $1 trillion over a decade, Rangel said, “the answer is yes.” Some Senate Republicans, including Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, say the costs will likely exceed $1.5 trillion.
And higher income taxes, too:
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, is considering a proposal to apply income taxes to health-care plans if they are significantly more expensive than the basic health plan for federal employees — $13,000 for a family of four.
Rationing will bring that number closer to $13,000, too.
But hey, only “the wealthy” are affected!
Obama has pledged that health-care changes won’t add to the deficit. To accomplish that, he’s proposed getting about $600 billion by reducing tax deductions available to the wealthy, and by trimming Medicare payments to insurance companies.
Medicare payments don’t cover doctor expenses right now, particularly in procedures with complications. Can’t wait to find out what else they won’t cover.
That won’t be enough to cover the overhaul costs. Obama said this week he plans in the coming days to disclose more proposals for raising “additional sources of revenue.” In a letter last week to Senate Democrats drafting legislation he said he will be proposing between $200 billion and $300 billion in further Medicare and Medicaid cuts.
Cheer up, the details are still in the works. In the meantime, Rangel said, “Let them get a good feel for the coverage.”
Having read this, don’t you feel good already?
Don Surber on Dr. Obama’s health rationing:
“…So today, I am announcing an additional $313 billion in savings that will rein in unnecessary spending, and increase efficiency and the quality of care – savings that will ensure that we have nearly $950 billion set aside to offset the cost of health care reform over the next ten years,” Obama said.
How will he do this?
By shorting hospitals. He will cut hospital spending, just like they do in the National Health Service in Britain and long-time readers know that the goal in Britain now is to have people in emergency rooms see a doctor within 4 hours of arrival.
And they cannot meet that goal. Last year more than 43,000 Britons waited in ambulances for an hour or more before entering the ER to wait another 4 hours for treatment.
“For too long, we have stood by while our health care system has frayed at the seams. While there has been excuse after excuse to delay reform, the price of care has gone up for individuals, for business, and for the government. This time must be different. This is the moment when we must reform health care so that we can build a new foundation for our economy to grow; for our people to thrive; and for our country to pursue a responsible and sustainable path. Thank you,” Obama said.
Not once did he mention improving the quality of health care. He is simply promising to reduce spending on health care — which he knows cannot be done by government except through rationing.