Skip to comments.The Death of the House Bill (Even the Original Sponsors of the House Health Bill are Walking Away)
Posted on 10/23/2009 8:03:16 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
In July, the president and the Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives argued that the time for analysis and debate was over and that the House should pass its version of health-care reform before the August recess.
Now, just three months later, House Democrats are saying that the bill they were in such a hurry to pass during the summer is old news and irrelevant. What matters now, they assert, is their new and improved version of reform, which they promise will be much better and easier to pass. Of course, they arent sufficiently confident in its virtues to open it up to public scrutiny just yet. No, they assert the bill will be different even though the legislative plan is clearly going to be just as it was in July. House Democrats are hoping to unveil their updated version of Obamacare as close as possible to a vote, probably in November, so that there is no time for public opposition to stop it.
It might work. But then again, thats what they tried to do with version 1.0. The original bill was made available on July 14 with the intention of having a vote in the full House on July 31. That strategy failed miserably because it took just a few days for the public to figure out that what House Democrats were pushing represented far more governmental control of health care than the public was comfortable with. Momentum toward passage dwindled.
Now even the original sponsors of the House bill are walking away from it. On Wednesday, Representative Pete Stark (D.-California), the chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, responded to a new and devastating analysis of the original House bill (as passed by the Ways and Means Committee on July 17) by saying that it is beside the point. House leaders are constructing a new version, so the new analysis is out-of-date relative to what will ultimately be voted on in the House, Representative Stark said.
The analysis in question was conducted by the Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Given what it says, its understandable that Representative Stark would now disown the bill he helped write. Here are some of the findings:
- Total national health spending would increase by $750 billion over the next decade. (So much for bending the cost curve.)
- The overall cost of the House bill will be $1.2 trillion over the period between 2010 and 2019. By 2019, the annual cost of the entitlement expansions would be $236 billion, rising at a rate of 9 percent annually. After all this spending, there would still be 23 million uninsured residents in 2019.
- The presidents signature initiatives to slow the pace of rising costs comparative effectiveness research, prevention and wellness efforts, and payment changes in Medicare wont work as advertised. The savings are almost non-existent.
- The cuts in Medicare Advantage plans would result in less generous benefit packages for millions of seniors. The actuaries estimate the Houses Medicare Advantage cuts, which are unlikely to change in any new version of the bill, would force about 8.5 million seniors out of the coverage they would prefer and back into the traditional program. (So much for keeping the coverage you have today.)
- Democratic proposals to impose arbitrary, across-the-board payment rate cuts for hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies based on presumed productivity gains are unlikely to work as planned. The actuaries suggest that some institutions wont be able to hit the targets because health care is more labor intensive than other sectors of the economy. Consequently, the cuts could force some organizations to leave the Medicare program, thus possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries.
In recent days, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership aides have let it be known to reporters that they have gotten more favorable reviews of their updated bill from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). According to press accounts, the new bill, which is not available to the public, comes in under $900 billion and will cut the federal budget deficit for two decades.
From a process standpoint, CBO should never allow members of Congress to characterize the findings of confidential cost estimates without consequences. Undoubtedly, CBO staff is told not to share its analysis with anyone until the bill is unveiled. But if House leaders decide to go public with CBOs apparent bottom line, CBO really should be obligated to go public with the entire analysis to ensure no misunderstanding. Otherwise CBOs findings can be distorted. House Democrats are trying to build momentum again toward passage by creating the impression they have found a painless way to turn their budget-busting bill from July into one that actually cuts the deficit. Its CBOs job to make sure no one gets away with this kind of phony free-lunch argument. If in fact a new version of the House bill reduces the federal budget deficit over two decades, someone is paying. Who? Heres betting thats its the American middle class. And as soon as that becomes known, the new updated House bill is likely to become just as unpopular as the now dead and buried old one.
Good! Let the bill die - rather than Americans under this ridiculous and tyrannical scheme.
Democrats are nothing but crooks. When in history have there been such crooks in power, and what happened to them. Any examples?
They blatantly flip the bird to the american people, and believe that is what they were elected to do. Every last one of them that conspires to pass legislation in this manner should be jailed and hung.
That would be around the mid 1700's. And we all know what happened to those crooks.
Well, Mussolini and his mistress were ‘taken care’ of. Same goes for Nikolai Cecescu and his wife.
Keep your laws off my BODY!
Tar and Feathers soon up for bid on E-Bay.
just wait till the DU crowd goes ape once they learn they ain’t getting their precious Public Option
Excellent, their morale is shattered..now, we finish the job on the Senate bill..they’re divided and fighting for a bill even THEY don’t want. And, thus, manage to fend off these idjits.
If we actually can defeat this tyrannical takeover of 1/7 of the US economy, we must go on the offensive.
Start tearing down the bureaucracy.
Start by a REAL audit of the Federal Reserve. Pass HR 1207 and S604. Then once their utter corruption and fraud is exposed, abolish it. Then abolish the unconstitutional practices and entities that are enabled by it.
We should go on offense. Destroying statism should be our goal, not pushing it off till tomorrow.
MichiganConservative wrote: “If we actually can defeat this tyrannical takeover of 1/7 of the US economy, we must go on the offensive.”
..... I’ve read claims that, even under current conditions, healthcare may ultimately reach 1/3 of the US economy. Hard to believe, but scary if accurate.
As to you exhortation about going onto the offensive, I could not agree more. The right indulges in too much bitching (even here on FR) and not enough action IMHO.
You mean, their “free public option”.
Almost everyone will be taxed, either for a high value policy or for some sort of mandated policy. Those eligible for the Medicaid program are probably already eligible and receiving it. Everyone will experience poorer care.
The only advantaged sector I can see is for those over 60 who pay for their own insurance but, due to the economy, are really in dire economic straits. Their lowered income would put them under Medicaid. They will, of course, encounter fewer physicians, fewer hospitals, fewer procedures and fewer medical devices.