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Ear to the Ground

House Plan Taxes the Rich to Insure the Poor

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Posted on Jul 14, 2009
Pelosi
speaker.gov

Nancy Pelosi and her fellow progressive Democrats in the House have opened a can of health care whoop-ass that’s sure to drive Republicans and conservative Democrats nuts. The House bill, unveiled Tuesday, would tax the rich and businesses that skimp on health care coverage, provide a public option and require everybody to be covered.

It’s not single-payer, but there’s plenty of red meat for the liberal base of the party—especially considering the Blue Dog revolt that supposedly threatened the bill.

Read a summary of the bill on Nancy Pelosi’s Web site.

San Francisco Chronicle:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats opened an all-fronts charge today to pass a $1.5 trillion, 10-year health care overhaul by August, unveiling legislation that would tax the wealthy to pay for universal coverage, create a public insurance plan and require individuals to carry insurance and businesses to offer it.

The bill would also begin wide-ranging experiments to change the way doctors and hospitals are paid in an effort to slow decades of relentless cost increases.

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By Valerie, July 15, 2009 at 10:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Taxes on any one isn’t the answer. reform in pricing is the answer the only answer. office visits set over 200.00 bucks for a Dr. who will look at you for 10 min while he gives you a refill on a script! Which he could have refilled over the phone, as its a med you will take the rest of your life?..Come on people push for reform in medical pricing! A hundred bucks for a pain pill in the hospital, when you can get the same pain med for much less over the counter?.. Dr.s have priced them selves way over the top of reality, when i was in the hospital recently for an abrasion in my heart, I seen Dr.s who came to my room, that im sure where paid to do so whom did nothing for me? Lets look into why and who they where..im sure every patient in hospital care gets them.and they get paid to walk into your room say their name and do nada. Insurance company’s have a set rate for a lost finger, arm, leg, etc. well medical care should also have a set rate of care, in a reality based pricing. an office visit to a Dr. should not be 0ver 65 dollars! Especially if you are seeing only the PA, not the Dr. which at my office i go to have never seen the DR. not in the 10 yrs ive gone there. REFORM IN PRICING! NOT TAXING!

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By Valerie, July 15, 2009 at 10:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think reform must come from inside the system, we have so many foreign Dr.‘s here because no place else in the world can a Dr. become so rich, the prices set for an office visit, x-ray, pills, shots, specialist, hospital stay, surgery, you name it is way over the top, our Dr.‘s Like wall street executives, need to be called out and put on the shame list! I applaud people who want to be come DR.‘s and do an amazing jobs saving people, fixing up people. But come on, reality check here. Every one who is in the field cant become a millionaire in 5 years or less. at the expense of the people. I take meds every day that will never change, my refills should come to me with out an office visit if i need not a visit, but my meds are held hostage, until i go in for the refill, now my DR. gets 165 bucks an office visit. Im on a Medicaid program, this is one reason why Mich is in trouble. with its health care. Im forced into tests i dont want or feel i dont need. Tests should be my choice. I dont need nor want mammograms, or the horrible test called stress thallium it almost kills me, but im forced into them. i also use pain meds, im very care full with them, but my DR. makes me come in every month for a refill. knowing; all he is going to do is look at me and give me the refill. all this adds up to waste. in my book. With my gen care Dr. once a year is all i need to see him as long as my health is going fine. and my med’s arn’t changing. we need reform from inside the system. Dr.s have out priced the current system. and Hospitals also have out priced them selves. the cost of a band aid as opposed to buy a band aid in a store! Sorta like the toilet seat bought for the white house, im sure every one has herd that story. Lets put the Dr.s of America on check!

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By Kay Johnson, July 15, 2009 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

Cathy,

I wrote a reply, but it’s not here, so I’ll try again.

Sadly, your story doesn’t surprise me.

I agree, working hard isn’t always enough. And, at some point, many of us might find ourselves, strapped, and needing a little assistance. We shouldn’t have to beg for it, or sign our lives away in order to receive help.

Empathy and compassion seem to be grossly lacking in our society. Like one of my good friends says, “It’s difficult to pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you don’t have any boots.”

From what I understand, three other states also require fingerprinting, and who knows what else, in order to receive any kind of state aid.

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By Kay Johnson, July 15, 2009 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Cathy,

Sadly, I am not surprised by your story.

And, you are absolutely correct, most people, at some point in their lives, need a little help.

Working hard isn’t always enough. Empathy and compassion seem to be grossly lacking in our society. Like one of my good friends says, “It’s difficult to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, if you don’t have any boots.”

As I understand it, three other states also require fingerprinting, and who knows what else, in order to obtain state aid.

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By Folktruther, July 15, 2009 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

I haven’t read this bill and, given the comments of hippie, Kay and Cathy, won’t.  the notion that the House, which is not a home, being on the payroll of the insurance companies and the rich, would tax the rich to subsidize the poor, is laughable.

Note the comment below of Jack Smith- Working Class.  Never let it be said that the rich aren’t thinking of us all the time and, along with truthdig, getting us to think in the Right way.

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By Cathy, July 15, 2009 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

Gee, Kay, I live in New York, but never had the “pleasure” of asking for Food Stamps.  The one time I did need some help to pay a utility bill I lost more than a day of work for a crappy grant of $150 towards a $1,500 back bill.  The loss of that income created a lot of hardship, but the utility company would not keep the electricity on unless I did this.  They did not care that if they waited a week I would have been able to pay half the bill.  The next time I ran into difficulty I let them turn of the electricity.  For two weeks we had no electricity or heat at home—January and 17 degrees.  But I was able to find a location to take my computer and my transcriber and still work.  It took me two weeks to get sufficient money together to get the electric and heat turned back on. 

Yes, it was tough.  We tried to salvage some of the food in the refrigerator but for most things it was a no go.  Things happen to people no matter how hard you work and no one really cares.

So New York State figures that if you need Food Stamps or other services you’re a budding criminal. 
Well, that is sweet.

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By Kay Johnson, July 15, 2009 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

“Mandates: Individuals would be required to be insured “except in cases of hardship.” Those without coverage would be fined 2.5 percent of their income. Businesses would provide coverage or pay a tax equal to 8 percent of their payroll. Businesses with payrolls under $250,000 would be exempt.”

I’m with Cathy on this issue—and, I ask the same questions Russian Paul asks—except that if the paragraph I included from the article is true—then, yes, they can fine us if we don’t buy health insurance. Jail? That remains to be seen, doesn’t it? They’ll be reinstating the debtor prisons that our forefathers left behind. Camps? Who knows?

In NY State, in order to qualify for food stamps, or any aid from the state, people are fingerprinted. A great way to catalogue the poor and the needy, isn’t it?

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By Skeptic Tank, July 15, 2009 at 4:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By jacksmith, July 14 at 11:19 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

THIS IS IT!

The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise.
*****************************************************

If you really believe that, you are an absolute loon.

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Russian Paul's avatar

By Russian Paul, July 15, 2009 at 1:31 am Link to this comment

I don’t want to be “required” to have health insurance, I want it provided. Big difference, no? Can they fine me if I refuse insurance? Jail me?

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By The Gay Species, July 14, 2009 at 11:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The House plan is the worse of all scenarios, since it fails to address the principal problem: Financing a social good on the backs of business, which then cannot compete in the world’s marketplace, by paying tax-free income (premiums) to the well-heeled, while requiring the uninsured to pay from all taxable income. This plan does nothing to scale healthcare against the common man. The only thing worse was the Democrats tax on tobacco to pay for children’s health care. Don’t people care enough to pay for a month’s cable service to buy health insurance?

Moreover, 350 former government officials spend $1.4 million/day to insure this dog and pony show is all show, and no substance. While I generally support a program like “Medicare for All,” the compromise that the House crafted is worse than doing nothing. It exacerbates all the existent problems—problems AFL-CIO boss Walter Reuther observed some 60 years ago.

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By G.Anderson, July 14, 2009 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

At this point I’d like to see some more details, hopefully they will be forthcoming and soon..

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By jacksmith, July 14, 2009 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THIS IS IT!

The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise.

This is the type of bill that all Americans can feel good about. And this is the type of bill that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans.  Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. This bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

The house healthcare bill should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind this healthcare reform bill released by the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

You should all now support this bill with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. This healthcare bill is a VERY, VERY GOOD! bill for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of this bill if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for this bill.

AND FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!

SPREAD THE WORD

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

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By Cathy, July 14, 2009 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

It’s a crap plan.  Convoluted BS.  Read some of the comments on HuffPo after this article.  Doesn’t even go into effect until 2013 anyway.   

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/14/cbo-house-bill-would-cove_n_232032.html

I can’t even write on here anymore, I am so, so angry.

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By hippie4ever, July 14, 2009 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

“It’s not single-payer, but there’s plenty of red meat for the liberal base of the party—especially considering the blue dog revolt that supposedly threatened the bill.”

They underestimate us at their peril.

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