Ilovebenefits’s Blog

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Health Reform Amendments

Here are several votes and their outcomes. The impact of these amendments begin to tell the story.

Apparently people below $250,000 are going to experience tax increases – of course they are, we all know that it was only posturing and campaigning around something that sounded good, but couldn’t be accomplished.

Drug reimportation – if competition across state lines by insurance companies is hailed as a way to reduce costs and increase competition, then why doesn’t competition across national boundaries create the same result?

The next amendment up on December 16 will be to allow taxes to be increased once the benefits begin. Do you want to wager on the result of that vote? If you have been following the debate you will already know that we are going to pay taxes, under this bill, beginning in 2010 and that benefits don’t begin until 2014. The impact of that is that the costing of bill relative to the deficit is significantly understated. Secondly, when we get to the 2012 elections it is going to appear as if the deficit has been dramatically reduced — only problem there is a huge bill due for health care. In the private sector that is known as FAS 106 accounting — you have to show your future liability for health care on your books currently. Not so if you are the Federal Government — apparently.

On December 15th,  there were four votes in the Senate (all needed 60 votes to win):

·         The Baucus amendment #3183 (taxes) was agreed to 97-1 <http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=1&vote=00375> ;

·         Crapo Motion to Commit to the Finance Committee and remove the tax hikes on families making less than $250,000 to keep President Obama’s promise not raise taxes on any families below that tax bracket failed 45-54 <http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=1&vote=00376> .

·         The Dorgan amendment #2793 (that would have allowed the purchase and importation of prescription drugs from other countries) failed 51-48 <http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=1&vote=00377> .

·         The Lautenberg Amendment # 3156 (HHS must certify imported drugs are safe) failed 56-43 <http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=1&vote=00378> .

The next  amendments will be:

·         Hutchison/Thune motion to commit the bill to Finance (no tax increases until health care benefits kick in)

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December 16, 2009 - Posted by | drugs, Federal Government, healthcare | , , , ,

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