One week after voting to pass complicated health care legislation, the Senate Finance Committee finally posted the legislative language for us to review. Americans deserve better than this! It is not acceptable for us to see the legislation AFTER it has been approved. The bill is over 1,500 pages, so check your toner cartridge before you print. Of course, Sen. Reid is writing a whole new bill at this point to combine the two Senate bills....
From the Front Lines: Congressional Leaders Craft Final Version of ObamaCare
Throughout last week, the principle architects of government-run health care-Senators Baucus, Reid, Dodd and key Administration officials including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel-met behind closed doors to discuss the contours of the Senate bill which Mr. Reid will present to the full Senate in the coming days. They're hard at work designing a bill which will appeal to their current constituents: the 60 Senators needed for passage. But will the bill appeal to you? Here are a few things to consider:
One Plan, Two Plan, Red Plan, Blue Plan?
After further review, the Baucus plan (and its residual amendments) seems to create two "reform" plans, one for red states and the other for blue states. In classic have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too form, Senate proponents of government-run health care have passed mandates, but not fully funding the legislation. As a result, many states that are already facing significant budgetary shortfalls will soon be forced to contribute $37 billion to finance ObamaCare. Unfunded mandates are onerous enough, but it's particularly upsetting to learn that some (red) states are expected to contribute more than other (blue) states. Consider this:
Nevada. Home to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada won't pay increased Medicaid expenses for the first five years under ObamaCare. Thanks to a deal structured by Mr. Reid, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island and Michigan each qualify for a provision requiring the federal government-and by implication, other states-to pick up the tab. As Mr. Reid explained, these states are "suffering more than the most."
New York. New Yorkers must be suffering, too, because Senator Charles Schumer, member of the Senate Finance Committee, has managed to ensure that his constituents-and those of 17 other mostly blue states-don't pay the 40% tax on their health benefit plans at $21,000, like most Americans, but instead at $25,000.
New Jersey. Home to Senate Finance Committee member, Senator Bob Menendez, as well as the facilities of 15 of the world's largest 20 pharmaceutical companies, Mr. Menendez made sure to include in the Baucus Bill a $1 billion tax credit for companies investing in drug research and development.
Michigan & Massachusetts. Working in tandem, Senators Stabenow and Kerry protected unions, too. They included in the Baucus bill a provision which set aside $5 billion for a reinsurance program designed to defray the medical costs of union members.
Join the Light of Day Campaign! The blue-state-subsidies embedded in the Baucus Bill aren't about health care, they're about subsidizing political allies and punishing political enemies. Imposing harsher taxes on political opponents and their constituents - Americans who don't want government-run health care in the first place - simply doesn't pass the 'what's right' test.
Fortunately, you have a way to fight back: join the Light of Day Campaign. Encourage your Congressional representatives to support a three-day waiting period before any vote on the health care legislation, instead of producing a bill one week after the vote. Exposing middle-of-the-night, you-scratch-my-back amendments such as those discussed above will place legislation before the light of day and let Congress and the American people understand what American taxpayers are buying and who will be paying the price.
Hey, Mr. Reid, Do Americans Qualify as 'Suffering More than Most', Too?
A number of Congressional leaders have secured favorable treatment under ObamaCare for their constituents. Most Americans, of course, won't and the Baucus Bill intends to raise revenue by assessing a 'Devise Tax' which targets the consumption of the following health products:
Sutures and stitches
Birth control devices
Blood glucose monitors for diabetics
Peak airflow meters for asthmatics
Artificial knees, hips, shoulders and other joints
And almost 3,000 other items! Know anyone who might need one of those? You can find out more about the Baucus Bill's 'health tax' by reading John Goodman's Health Blog here.
YOU CAN FIGHT BACK!
The Free Our Health Care NOW! Action Army needs you! Thousands of Americans have already sent more than 120,000 letters to Congress. With your help, we can make it 250,000. It's a quick and easy way to let your voice be heard!
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