Government Takeover Update

What’s the latest on ObamaKennedyDeathCare?  More not-good news, of course.

Here’s a bit more detail on exactly how this plan would penalize businesses and cost jobs:

Not only does the proposal impose new costs on employers, but a whole new layer of red tape, both of which would undoubtedly lead to job losses and lower wages. But I thought it would be worth taking the time to walk everybody through just how onerous the requirements are in this particular provision, which starts being described on page 268 of the 1,990 page bill, under the heading: “Subtitle B — Employer Responsibility.”

Under the provision, employers would have to offer every employee “qualified” health insurance coverage. The type of insurance that is considered “qualified” will be determined by the Health Choices Commissioner, a new post that will be filled by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Health Choice Commissioner, given many responsibilities throughout the legislation, would head up the newly-created Health Choices Administration. If a worker declines coverage but otherwise obtains insurance through the government-run insurance exchange, the employer will owe money to the government.

In order to prove that they’re complying with the new mandate, employers must submit whatever information that the Health Choices Commissioner requests, and the information must also be provided to the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. …

Any employer with a total annual payroll of over $500,000 that does not meet these requirements will be subject to a new tax, which reaches as high as 8 percent once payroll reaches over $750,000.

The National Federation of Independent Business has estimated that an employer mandate would cost 1.6 million jobs over the first five years, and cut GDP by $200 billion. Whether or not you choose to believe that estimate, it’s clear that taken together, the provision would make it far more costly for businesses to hire new workers and maintain current staffing levels, by raising the price of labor as well as the regulatory burden. Basic economics tells us that if you raise the price of a good or service, then people will purchase less of it. In this case, rising prices for labor will mean lost jobs and lower wages.

Kind of an important detail, don’t you think?  And evidence that the Leftist Dems are lying through their teeth about this, of course.

Oh, and speaking of lies, the CBO cost of this bill is closer to $1.5 trillion than the $900 billion that they originally promised the American people.  But don’t worry, only about $6 billion of it will be an actual slush fund.  At least, as far as we know right now.  Given that there’s 2,000 pages to get through, no one really knows yet.

Here’s a quick comparison between the 2,000-page Pelosi bill and the Republican alternative: 

Hm.  I can’t imagine which one would be more oppressive and cause more trouble, can you?

In a supreme failure to represent its members, the AARP is likely to sell out seniors and endorse ObamaKennedyDeathCare.  Seniors understand that they will likely be the ones to suffer the most at the hands of government-controlled health care, so they’re very much against it.  Too bad the AARP doesn’t care.  They’ve said in the past that they won’t endorse a plan that cuts Medicare, but they’re apparently willing to admit lying on that to play nice with the Obama administration.

In the Senate, Harry Reid still isn’t putting forward his own version of the bill yet.  He revealed why when he said this:

“…there is no bill to release publicly – it does not exist.”

And yet, they’re pretty darned sure that they need to have a vote on it right away.
Heritage has a great chart on how much influence government will suddenly have over health care purchasing:
It’s a disaster in the making.
That’s why we are now seeing some rumbles from Democrats that ObamaKennedyDeathCare may not see a vote until January of 2010:

Democrats have blown so many deadlines for getting health reform done this year that insiders are increasingly skeptical they can finish by year’s end — and some even suggest the effort might slip to a new deadline, before the State of the Union address.

The discussions are an acknowledgment that with only two months left in the year, Democrats are still a long way from sending a bill to the president’s desk. The House could take up reform on the floor as early as this week, with a good shot at passing something by Veterans Day.

But in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid is still wrangling with his moderate members to corral 60 votes just to get the debate started. …

Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad said he spoke with CBO Director Doug Elmendorf last week and that it sounded like “it would be quite a while” before the estimates were ready. The news makes a Christmas completion “a challenge,” Conrad said.

Hot Air explains:

Barack Obama knew that he needed to pass this quickly in Congress, which is why he put so much pressure on Capitol Hill to get it done by the August recess — in retrospect, a ridiculous notion.  The last thing he needed was having his two big statist agenda items, ObamaCare and cap-and-trade, leaking into an election year  Both are widely unpopular with likely voters, but having a full year between their passage and the midterms would have allowed anger to subside, especially since both bills take a couple of years to ramp up their effects.

If the health-care overhaul gets pushed into 2010, that strategy goes out the window — for both bills.  The closer their votes come to Election Day, the less enthusiastic red-state Democrats will get about either of them, perhaps especially cap-and-trade.  With majorities of likely voters unhappy with both bills, Democrats would be daring the electorate to throw them out of power in the House, and handing the Republicans an easy campaign against big government, high taxation, and undisciplined spending.

With the GOP gains — especially the down-ticket races that tend to hide, but can really indicate overall voting trends — earlier this week, moderate Democrats and Democrats in right-leaning districts are going to be even less likely to walk the plank on politically suicidal votes like ObamaKennedyDeathCare and cap-n-tax.
But…what we don’t need is to let off the pressure now.  Just because they’re talking about maybe waiting until January doesn’t mean we should let up.  Keep the pressure on.  The country doesn’t want this, and Washington knows it.  We need to deliver a continuous, crystal clear message to them that if the government enacts this stuff over our wishes, there will be some extreme political hell to pay for it.
There’s my two cents.
Related Reading:

I'm a gun-owning, Bible-thumping, bitter clinger conservative in the heartland. You can disagree with me if you want (you do, after all, have a right to be wrong)...just don't be rude or stupid and we'll get along just fine! :)

Posted in Health Care

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