» Understanding the Kennedy health care bill

by » Understanding the Kennedy health care bill. Another hat tip to InstaPundit among others.  This post outlines fifteen significant consequences of the current plan in plain English so that we can understand exactly how we’re going to be screwed if it is adopted.

As part of this effort, vast new powers of information gathering would accrue to the Secretaries of HHS and Treasury to select appropriate amounts of taxation for the purpose of encouraging participation and the creation of a Medical Advisory Council which would also have extraordinary authority over the scope and requirements of coverage.

  1. The Kennedy-Dodd bill would create an individual mandate requiring you to buy a “qualified” health insurance plan, as defined by the government.  If you don’t have “qualified” health insurance for a given month, you will pay a new Federal tax.  Incredibly, the amount and structure of this new tax is left to the discretion of the Secretaries of Treasury and Health and Human Services (HHS), whose only guidance is “to establish the minimum practicable amount that can accomplish the goal of enhancing participation in qualifying coverage (as so defined).”  The new Medical Advisory Council (see #3D) could exempt classes of people from this new tax.  To avoid this tax, you would have to report your health insurance information for each month of the prior year to the Secretary of HHS, along with “any such other information as the Secretary may prescribe.”

Congratulations.  You, your insurance company, or your employer are now filing a new set of documents to another federal agency at least once per year.  We all know how well the IRS works for income taxation, so this ought to go swimmingly.

I would ask if there is anyone out there with a functional north end of their central nervous system who thinks that adding an extensive new federal regulatory and oversight system coupled with extensive reporting requirements to the citizens which have literally incalculable costs associated with just the reporting effort is really going to extend coverage and lower costs at the same time but I think the answer is pretty obvious.  Either they are lying or they are astoundingly stupid.  I’m not certain which is a more charitble position to hold.


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