|"Find out what’s in it, away from the fog of controversy" - Nancy Pelosi|
"One of the more illuminating remarks during the health-care debate in Congress came when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told an audience that Democrats would 'pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it, away from the fog of controversy'....
"To fill this vacuum, Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the top House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee, asked his staff to prepare a study of the law, including a flow chart that illustrates how the major provisions will work.
"The result, made public July 28, provides citizens with a preview of the impact the health-care overhaul will have on their lives.
"The Democrats’ takeover of health care creates a byzantine network of 159 new federal programs and bureaucracies to make decisions that should be between just the patient and their doctor
"Based on the administration’s own numbers, as many as 117 million people might have to change their health plans by 2013 as their employer-provided coverage loses its grandfathered status and becomes subject to the new Obamacare mandates.
"In addition to capturing the massive expansion of government and the overwhelming complexity of new regulations and taxes, the chart portrays:
- $569 billion in higher taxes;
- $529 billion in cuts to Medicare;
- swelling of the ranks of Medicaid by 16 million;
- 17 major insurance mandates; and
- the creation of two new bureaucracies with powers to impose future rationing: the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Independent Payments Advisory Board.
"To pay for this expansion, the bill takes $529 billion from Medicare, with roughly 39 percent of the cut coming from the Medicare Advantage program. This represents a large transfer of resources, sacrificing the care of the elderly in order to increase the Medicaid rolls.
"For all this supposed reform, you, the American taxpayer, can expect a bill to the tune of $569 billion.
"Front and center among the new taxes is the 40 percent excise tax on those lucky people with so-called Cadillac health plans. The higher insurance costs that are driven by the government mandates will push many more ordinary plans into Cadillac territory.
"If the idea of taxing people with coverage deemed too good doesn’t bother you, maybe the new 3.8 percent tax on investment income will. That will apply even to a small number of home sales, those that generate $250,000 in profit for an individual or $500,000 for a married couple.
"In vivid color and detail, Congressman Brady’s chart captures the huge expansion of government coming under Obamacare. Harder to show on paper is the pain it will cause."
(For the complete Bloomberg commentary, see http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-02/obamacare-only-looks-worse-upon-further-review-kevin-hassett.html).