Obama unveils health care plan; combines Senate and House bills

This bill is going to cost almost a trillion dollars... can't say that I like it at that cost. Myself I would prefer they do health care reform in a series of steps. Things i'd like to be taken care of would include opening up the borders so to speak so that insurance companies are available in any state. Would also like to see the price of health care come down... (i e no more $20 aspirin's and such). Something else would be that those people that are of able body and who might be out of work at the moment, have them perform community service type jobs to in effect pay for his and his family health care so to speak. There are other things that I would like to see done obviously but these are a couple of starters.

President Obama and the White House unveiled a new $950 billion health plan today that seeks to combine existing House and Senate
bills, and to serve as a starting point for Thursday's high-profile
summit with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders.

The combined plan calls for new federal oversight of health insurance company practices, including rate hikes; new tax credits to offset the
cost of insurance premiums; excise taxes on high-cost, so-called
"Cadillac" health care plans; and closing the "doughnut hole" coverage
gap in the existing prescription drug plan for seniors.

There is also a proposed 2.9 percent tax assessment on income from interest, dividend, annuities, royalties, and rents, applying to individuals who
make more than $200,000 annually and families that make more than

The Obama health care proposal also calls for fines on businesses that don't insure their employees for at least $2,000 per person, as well as individuals who refuse to obtain health care

The package "puts American families and small business owners in control of their own health care," said the proposal posted on the White House web site.

One thing the plan does not include: A publicly funded health insurance option, which the House included in its bill but the Senate did not.
Debates over the "public option" slowed down the legislative process in
both chambers.

The plan also essentially ignores requests from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other Republicans that the parties "start from scratch" at this week's health care
summit. Obama will sit down with House and Senate leaders from both

"It is clear this bill, like the Democrat bills that passed the House and Senate is another massive, government takeover of health care that will increase the cost of health
insurance, explode the deficit, and slash Medicare benefits," said Rep.
Dave Camp, R-Mich., top Republican on the House Ways and Means
Committee, and an invitee to the summit.

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said the House and Senate did too much good work last year for it to be simply be discarded.

"Starting from scratch doesn't make sense," Pfeiffer said. "However, we are coming to this meeting with an open mind for new ideas, and we hope the
Republicans do the same."

While Republicans now have the ability to block any health care plan with a filibuster in the Senate, Pfeiffer indicated that the White House might support efforts to enact some
provisions through a process known as reconciliation. That would
require only 51 Senate votes for passage, as opposed to the 60 needed
to break a filibuster.

"The president expects an up or down vote on health care reform," Pfeiffer said.

The White House health care package would cost an estimated $950 billion, but the plan said it would reduce the deficit by $100 billion over ten
years "by cutting government overspending and reining in waste, fraud,
and abuse."

The White House plan leans more toward the Senate version, Pfeiffer said, but there are changes. They included increased fines for companies that don't insure employees for $2,000 person, as
well as increasing the threshold for high-end plans subject to excise
taxes. A "Cadillac" plan would be defined as one of at least $27,500
per family.

The unveiling of yet another health care plan represents a new political approach by Obama, who during last year's debate outlined general principles while leaving most of the details to
Congress. The results included two very different House and Senate
plans that Obama is now trying to fuse into one.

Efforts by Obama and the Democrats to meld the House and Senate bills ran aground after the Jan. 19 election of Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican
from Massachusetts. Brown's election gives Senate Republicans the
ability to filibuster any health care plans they don't like.

Among other items, the Obama plan calls for new federal restrictions on health insurance rate hikes. The proposal is a response to the request by Anthem Blue Cross in California for premium hikes of as much as 39 percent.

The Obama plan also calls for:

- Eliminating the controversial Senate provision that would exempt the state of Nebraska from Medicaid costs; indeed, Obama called for
increasing Medicaid assistance to all states.

- Maintaining congressional efforts to prevent insurance companies from rejecting people because of illness or pre-existing conditions.

- "Strengthening the provisions to fight fraud, waste, and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid."

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Yes and they plan to decrease the number of votes required to pass it. Is that ethical? I wonder if there will be a lawsuit if it passes?
I think doubling the maximum income limits on getting medicaid/MIChild would cover nearly everyone who needs it and in a much easier way than all the craziness of these health care bills.

I had medicaid for my daughter(and myself when pregnant, one year after she was born I didn't get it anymore), then michild for her, and then worked my way up to her not qualifying at all. It was so neat, I could take her to the doctor whenever needed, now I question if I should take her there. Every cough or sniffle doesn't get me to bad, but fevers, diarrhea or vomiting episodes are spent in a state of panic. Usually they happen at night or on the weekend nights when the only choice is the ER. Taking her to the Dr. isn't such a internal argument for me but since she lost her michild she hasn't been to the ER once. I think she was there maybe 4 times before for ear infections or strep throat when she was smaller.

Could I afford the ER visit? Probably, but it would likely set me back months in my savings.

Can I afford insurance? Most likely. But I would feel I was throwing money away. I would have to take one of us to the doctor every week just to feel like I was getting my monies worth out of it. Plus I would have to meet the deductible before it even kicked in.

I want health care but I don't want to have to pay for it!! No that's not correct, I want to pay a reasonable bill for the health care that I need. Not money so insurance execs can ride around in limos and live in mansions.

I want medicaid back. At least for the kid.
Great post, Sheila. Makes a good deal of common sense. But common sense has left the building, it seems.
This is something I have not heard mentioned. If national health care is passed the next thing that follows is the Gov. legislating life styles in order to keep down costs. Such as what we can eat, what activities we are allowed to do to minimize risk, ect. If this national health care system is implemented we will see Gov. intrusion into our lives that will forever change our society. { I also posted this at LDN ]
It's worth posting here too, RJE, and posting on billboards and fliers, often. I like deep-fried foods and fructose-rich soda pop too much to give them up. And if I want to get on a skateboard and risk breaking my neck, I am not going to have some pencil-necked geek from the government tell me I can't do that.
I need some input. Could this be true?
If so, feel free to share this information. You can send faxes privately rather than pay to have them sent. Should I send a fax on this?



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