Next up the Senate Healthcare Bill

Lame duck Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finally unveiled the Senate Healthcare legislation which will extend coverage to all but six percent of eligible Americans and bar private industry from denying insurance because of pre-existing medical conditions. The Democrat’s $849 billion measure is designed to remake the nation’s health care system, relying on cuts in future Medicare spending to cover costs and higher payroll taxes for people making over $250,000 and a new levy on patients undergoing elective cosmetic surgery. This bill out of the gate is already bigger than the House at a whopping 2,074 pages. The claims it will reduce deficits by $127 billion over a decade and by as much as $650 billion in the next ten years, which we believe has been confirmed by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO estimated it would cost $849 billion over 10 years, spread coverage to 31 million Americans who currently lack it while still reducing federal deficits by a total of $127 billion in that decade. The bill which has been behind closed doors for weeks as we have had only rumors of higher premiums, tax increases and Medicare cuts to pay for more government. The senate measure would require most Americans to carry health insurance and would provide hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies to help those at lower incomes afford it. It also would mandate that large companies to provide coverage to their workers. Starting in 2014, it would set up new insurance marketplaces called exchanges primarily for those who now have a hard time getting or keeping coverage. The bill was outlined to rank-and-file Democratic senators at a closed-door meeting. Reid would not say if he had the 60 votes necessary to propel the bill over its first hurdle. There is no way the 40 Republicans who are united in opposition to the bill in its current form will be swayed. We noticed that the senate bill called for an increase of a half percentage point in the Medicare payroll tax for individuals with income over $200,000 a year, $250,000 for couples and a tax on high-value insurance policies, meant to curb the appetite for expensive care. The House bill had neither of those options. The 800 pound gorilla is still in the room as the plan requires the side-by-side sale of insurance policies that cover abortion services and do not, an attempt to satisfy both sides.

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