(Updates at the bottom of this article.)
Harry Reid was able to make huge concessions to the state of Nebraska and bought Senator Ben Nelson’s vote a la Mary Landrieu. The vote seems headed to the floor with all 60 votes secured to impose on American’s draconian laws that would hike insurance rates and begin the downward slope towards European style socialism.
Nelson secured full federal funding for his state to expand Medicaid coverage to all individuals below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Other states must pay a small portion of the additional cost. He won concessions for qualifying nonprofit insurers and for Medigap providers from a new insurance tax. He also was able to roll back cuts to health savings accounts.
What’s in the bill that I’m aware of? I’ve broken down the Washington Post article almost verbatim below:
1. States can opt out of allowing plans to cover abortion in insurance exchanges the bill would set up to serve individuals who don’t have employer coverage. Plus, enrollees in plans that do cover abortion procedures would pay for the coverage with separate checks – one for abortion, one for rest of health-care services.
2. Instead of a public option, the final product would allow private firms for the first time to offer national insurance policies to all Americans, outside the jurisdiction of state regulations. Those plans would be negotiated through the Office of Personnel Management, the same agency that handles health coverage for federal workers and members of Congress.
3. Starting immediately, insurers would be prohibited from denying children coverage for pre-existing conditions. A complete ban on the practice would take effect in 2014, when the legislation seeks to create a network of state-based insurance exchanges, or marketplaces, where people who lack access to affordable coverage through an insurer can purchase policies.
4. Insurers competing in the exchanges would be required to justify rate increases, and those who jacked up prices unduly could be barred from the exchange. Reid’s package also would give patients the right to appeal to an independent board if an insurer denies a medical claim. And all insurance companies would be required to spend at least 80 cents of every dollary they collect in premiums on delivering care to their customers.
5. Every American would be required to obtain coverage under the proposal, and employers would be required to pay a fine if they failed to offer affordable coverage and their workers sought federal subsidies to purchase insurance in the exchanges. Reid’s package would offer additional assistance to the smallest businesses, however, increasing tax credits to purchase coverage by $12 billion over previous versions.
There is much more in the bill that is even worse that I don’t have the time to spell out yet.
The immediate costs of the bill have been quoted as being within the original $848 million estimate, but that’s what lawyers and politicians say. The more accurate prognosis would be at least twice that much, ie, meaning tax increases to come to make up for the expected funding shortages.
The premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
So as America begins to implement these socialist type of policies, there will come a point where as the years go by, we will not be able to discern our gradual ascent into socialism. Within 30 years we may have a nanny-state where our lives are heavily regulated for ‘our benefit’ by an appointed elite. Thus why I mention European style socialism.
Western Europe began their gradual ascent to socialism immediately after World War II which was accelerated during the turbulent 1960s.
Now everyone has cradle to grave coverage for broken toe-nails to government mandated two months vacations. Job growth is so heavily regulated that Europeans leave their own countries for more laissez faire economies, ie, 250,000 Frenchman live in London alone because opportunities to start their own business and get jobs are abundant while Paris and the rest of France is turning into a museum.
When government French workers go on nationwide strikes to oppose the lengthening of their work week from 35 to 40 hours, they paralyze the nation. Even if the measures are needed to keep France from falling apart, French workers have become lazy enough and self-entitled enough that they would rather see their children’s future mortgaged (that’s if they even have children), rather than work an extra five hours a week or even give up one of their eight (8) weeks of vacation time.
95% of American’s ancestors fled Europe because of job and food shortages. We are Americans, not Europeans.
In my final analysis, I don’t know if conservatives and Republicans can take back congress, but if they do, are they able to roll back this draconian bill?
So if the vote makes it to the floor this coming week we could begin our sojourn towards socialism come Christmas.
To read the article by Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post click here.
Update I: Deal W. Hudson over at InsideCatholic explained the fallacy of no government funding of abortion.
The notion of “segregated funds,” of course, is nothing but an auditor’s trick. Once dollars become part of a program they support the whole of the program, regardless in which column they are found. As Family Research Council’s Tom McClusky said to LifeNews.com in response to the new compromise, “Reid’s bill would force taxpayers to pay for abortions even if they opt out.”
Deacon Keith Fournier describes this as Nelson’s “bag of silver.” Fournier explains, “If Senator Ben Nelson actually sold his vote for a bag of silver for Nebraska then this has become a ‘Judas moment‘ not a ‘Thomas More moment’ and its implications are evil.”
Mr. Hudson wraps up his analysis saying that since “insurance companies so tightly regulated the plan becomes, in my opinion, virtually government run health care.”