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Thread: Baucus Care

  1. #1
    Senior Member TXduckdog's Avatar
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    Default Baucus Care

    The long awaited, supposedly bipartisan senate bill is now out. Interestingly, Baucus dropped the bipartisan effort at the last minute rejecting at least a dozen proposed GOP amendments.

    It has no public option per se but it is loaded with stiff penalties with families facing tax penalties as high as $3,800 a year for not complying, singles $950. As one resident of Massachusetts where Mitt Romney imposed an individual mandate in 2006, this is like taxing the homeless for not buying a mansion.

    His plan remains a public option by other means....imposing vast new national insurance regulation, huge new subsidies to pay for the higher insurance costs this regulation will require and all financed by new taxes and penalties on businesses, individuals and health-care providers.

    His cost is $856 billion...the cheapest of all the other bills still pending. To help pay for this is the still as yet undefined reducing Medicaid costs. Fees on everyone from drug makers, insurance companies, medical device makers, labs and a whopping 35% excise tax on the plans that charge over $8K for singles and $20K for families.

    Doesn't he know that these added fees will simply be passed along to the consumer in some shape or form?

    Mandates for all citizens and legal residents to have health insurance. I find it terribly ironic that if liberal health care reform is supposed to be so good for us then why in hell does it require stiff, harsh penalties that force everyone to buy it? Geez--louise.

    They require individuals to get health insurance from employers, or 2 other options but yet it doesn't require employers to provide insurance, but if they do...it has to be "qualified" coverage....what the hell does that mean and who regulates that?... but yet will impose a fee...read tax...on employers with 50 or more employees that go elsewhere and get subsidized government policies. Talk about a Catch-22.


    To be fair there are a couple of positives....forbidding exclusion for pre-existing conditions, cancel coverage, and lifetime limits on coverages. My question here is...who is going to regulate this???

    Coops and state based exchanges for individuals and companies to shop policies. Why not just require all insurers to offer the same plan...nation-wide?

    All policies have to offer the same basic benefits...primary, preventive, hospitalization and prescription drugs. But yet singles, under 25 can opt out of certain coverages.

    Then there is this thing about the government subsidies.....the subsidies in the Baucus plan go to people without a job-based plan and who earn under three times the federal poverty level, or about $66,000 for a family of four.

    Take a family of four making $42,000 in 2016. While government would subsidize 80% of their premium and pay $1,500 to offset cost-sharing, they'd still pay $6,000 a year or 14.3% of their total income. A family making $54,000 could still pay 18.1% of their income, while an individual earning $26,500 would be on the hook for 15.5%, and one earning $32,400 for 17.3%. So lower-income workers would still be forced to devote huge portions of their salaries to expensive policies that they may not want or be able to afford.

    How can these kind of subsidies be justified in light of Obama's promise that the reform package not add 1 dime to the budget deficit?

    I guess this is a start but even other democrats like Rockefeller of WV is concerned about the affordibility element and says he won't support the bill.

    So the way I see it.....this plan would increase the cost of insurance and then force people to buy it, requiring subsidies. Those subsidies would be paid for by taxes that make health care and thus insurance even more expensive, requiring even more subsidies and still higher taxes and that's even before other liberal Democrats see Mr. Baucus and raise him, and then attempt to ram it all through the Senate.

    That about it?
    Last edited by TXduckdog; 09-17-2009 at 11:48 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    There go my employee insurance benefits, right out the window!

    It will be cheaper for employers to pay the fine than provide some of the cost of empolyee health insurance.
    The Libertarian Party believes that all persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. A call for the repeal of the income tax, abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. We support the passage of a "Balanced Budget Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes. LP.org

  3. #3
    Senior Member TXduckdog's Avatar
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    ABC News' Teddy Davis reports:


    It's not every day that you hear a Democratic senator charge that a fellow Democrat is proposing to raise taxes on the middle class, but that is what happened on Tuesday when Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., ripped into the health-care bill developed by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mt., the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

    The Baucus proposal would impose, starting in 2013, a 35 percent excise tax on insurance companies for "high-cost plans" -- defined as those above $8,000 for individuals and $21,000 for family plans.

    Health economists believe a tax on high-priced benefits could help slow the growth of health costs by making consumers more sensitive to prices.

    The tax contemplated by Baucus is also a big revenue raiser. It is expected to raise $200 billion, money that Baucus is hoping to use to pay for subsidies for the uninsured.

    Given how much money this kind of tax can raise, Rockefeller says he understands why it is "tempting."

    The West Virginia Democrat worries, however, that a lot of middle class workers, like the coal miners in his state, will end up facing "a big, big tax" under the Baucus bill because they currently enjoy generous employer-provided health care benefits which they receive tax free.

    Referring to Baucus, Rockefeller said, "He should understand that (his proposal) means that virtually every single coal miner is going to have a big, big tax put on them because the tax will be put on the company and the company will immediately pass it down and lower benefits because they are self insured, most of them, because they are larger. They will pass it down, lower benefits, and probably this will mean higher premiums for coal miners who are getting very good health care benefits for a very good reason. That is, like steelworkers and others, they are doing about the most dangerous job that can be done in America."

    "So that’s not really a smart idea," Rockefeller continued. "In fact, it’s a very dangerous idea, and I’m not even sure the coal miners in West Virginia are aware that this is what is waiting if this bill passes."

    Rockefeller made his comments on a conference call with reporters which was sponsored by the liberal Campaign for America's Future.

    Rockefeller, who sits on the Finance Committee, said that he cannot support the Baucus bill unless it receives major improvements during the amendment process.

    Baucus, the Finance chair, is scheduled to discuss his "chairman's mark" with reporters on Capitol Hill at 12 noon on Wednesday.
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    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    There go my employee insurance benefits, right out the window!

    It will be cheaper for employers to pay the fine than provide some of the cost of empolyee health insurance.
    So why do you provide benefits now when there is no fine and no obstacle at all to terminating the plans?

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    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    There go my employee insurance benefits, right out the window!

    It will be cheaper for employers to pay the fine than provide some of the cost of empolyee health insurance.

    Currently, it would REALLY be cheaper for them not to provide insurance. So, what's stopping them from dropping it now?
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    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    So why do you provide benefits now when there is no fine and no obstacle at all to terminating the plans?
    Maybe I should read the thread before I comment...
    "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48

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    Senior Member M&K's Retrievers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    So why do you provide benefits now when there is no fine and no obstacle at all to terminating the plans?
    Doh! Maybe it helps to attract and keep quality employees.
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    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    So why do you provide benefits now when there is no fine and no obstacle at all to terminating the plans?
    My employer provides a large part of my Health Insurance cost as a perk. I have always had my employers pay for most of my Health Insurance. They want thier compensation to be competitve within the industry that I work.

    This current proposal could lead to the entire industry dropping insurance perks. There are a lot of companies looking to cut cost and this would give them a great excuse!

    I can read the HR Bullitin now if this stupid bill were to pass; "It is no longer feasable to pay for your higher coverage cost. We suggest you get a plan from the gooberment. Good luck!"
    Last edited by Franco; 09-17-2009 at 01:45 PM.
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    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    My employer provides a large part of my Health Insurance cost as a perk. I have always had my employers pay for most of my Health Insurance. They want thier compensation to be competitve within the industry that I work.

    This current proposal could lead to the entire industry dropping insurance perks. There are a lot of companies looking to cut cost and this would give them a great excuse!

    I can read the HR Bullitin now if this stupid bill were to pass; "It is no longer feasable to pay for your higher coverage cost. We suggest you get a plan from the gooberment. Good luck!"
    If I understand what you are saying, your employer pays most of your health insurance cost now without any government compulsion in order to provide competitive compensation. You believe that once the government establishes a fine against employers that do not provide health insurance that your employer will suddenly decide to terminate the benefits it has provided without any penalty. The logic does not compute. Are you assuming that health insurance will be more expensive if the bill is passed? If anything, costs should go down since providers will not have as many patients who are unable to pay for their care and people who do not buy insurance now because they are in good health will be compelled to buy insurance, thereby reducing costs for others.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    If I understand what you are saying, your employer pays most of your health insurance cost now without any government compulsion in order to provide competitive compensation. You believe that once the government establishes a fine against employers that do not provide health insurance that your employer will suddenly decide to terminate the benefits it has provided without any penalty. The logic does not compute. Are you assuming that health insurance will be more expensive if the bill is passed? If anything, costs should go down since providers will not have as many patients who are unable to pay for their care and people who do not buy insurance now because they are in good health will be compelled to buy insurance, thereby reducing costs for others.
    Yes, it would be cheaper for an employer to pay the fine than to provide most of the cost for health insurance.

    Second, this could lead to many large corporations that have a responsiblity to thier share holders to reduce cost by not providig this perk.

    Finally, NOTHING THE GOOBERMENT GETS THIER HANDS ON GOES DOWN IN COST.
    The Libertarian Party believes that all persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. A call for the repeal of the income tax, abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution. We support the passage of a "Balanced Budget Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution, provided that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes. LP.org

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