If DemCare becomes law as it is currently written, what will it really do? In short, all of the nasty stuff takes place right away, and most of the ‘benefits’ don’t start until several years down the road. Here’s the timeline of what happens when:
Highlights from each year include:
2010: Physician Medicare payments decrease 21% effective March 1, 2010
2011: “Annual Fee” tax on health insurance, allocated according to share of total premiums. Begins at $2 billion in 2011, then increases to $4 billion in 2012, $7 billion in 2013, $9 billion in the years 2014, 2015, and 2016, and eventually $10 billion for 2017 and every year thereafter. Two insurers in Nebraska and one in Michigan are exempt from this tax.
2012: Medicare payment penalties for hospitals with the highest readmission rates for selected conditions.
2013: Medicare tax increased from 2.9% to 3.8% for incomes over $250,000 (joint filers) or $200,000 (all others). (This is stated as an increase of 0.9 percentage points, to only the employee’s share of the FICA tax.)
2014: Individual mandate begins: Tax penalties for not having insurance begin at $95 or 0.5% of income, whichever is higher, rising to $495 or 1% of income in 2015 and $750 or 2% of income thereafter (indexed for inflation after 2016). These penalties are per adult, half that amount per child, to a maximum of three times the per-adult amount per family. The penalty is capped at the national average premium for the “bronze” plan.
2015: Establishment of Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB) to recommend cuts in Medicare benefits; these cuts will go into effect automatically unless Congress passes, and the President signs, an override bill.
2016: Individual mandate penalty rises to $750 per adult ($375 per child), maximum $2,250 per family, or 2% of family income, whichever is higher (capped at the national average premium for the “bronze” plan). After 2016, the penalty will be increased each year to adjust for inflation.
2017: Itemized deduction for out-of-pocket medical expenses is limited to expenses over 10% of AGI for those over age 65.
I can’t wait to get started! Can you?
DemCare is fundamentally not about health care; rather, it is about the control of people. By definition, if someone is under control, they do not have freedom. David Hogberg gives us 20 ways in which DemCare takes away your freedom and mine:
1. You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)
2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).
3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).
4. Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).
5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesn’t allow your employers’ slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).
6. You must buy a policy that covers ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.
You’re a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover pediatric services. You’re a woman who can’t have children? Tough, your policy must cover maternity services. You’re a teetotaler? Tough, your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).
The list goes on and on. You know, I think I’m going to send this entire list off to my Democrat Senator and ask her how she can justify her vote when this legislation takes away so much freedom. It’ll be an entertaining experiment. I predict there’s a…
…50% chance she won’t respond at all
…48% chance she’ll respond with a form letter that doesn’t answer the question
…1% chance she’ll actually send back a response that indicates she knows what the Dems have done to our country but doesn’t care
…1% chance she’ll send back a real response
I’ll let you know.
Anyway, this bill is so bad that a dozen or so Attorneys General of various states are plotting a massive onslaught of lawsuits against it.
House Minority Leader John Boehner gave a fiery speech Sunday night that was outstanding. If you have an extra 10 minutes or so, this really is a must-watch:
Can we say Fight Caucus, anyone? It’s about damned time.
There’s my two cents.