OVERVIEW OF HR 3200 HERE
The press corps has noticed the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that the House health bill increases the deficit by $239 billion over the next decade. But government-run health care won’t turn into a pumpkin after a decade. The underreported news is the new spending that will continue to increase well beyond the 10-year period that CBO examines, and that this blowout will overwhelm even the House Democrats’ huge tax increases, Medicare spending cuts and other “pay fors.”
Normally government activity flows by like unnoticed sludge, but Obama’s celebrity got everyone watching. What people have seen is: an $800 billion stimulus package designed by Congress, a $4 trillion budget, massive outlays by an alphabet soup of Treasury and Federal Reserve programs, Barney Frank the symbol of Democratic goals, and then the federal absorption of GM, an American icon. After all this, ObamaCare looks like a bridge too far.
They are proposing the biggest federal social program in a generation, which no one can understand (or explain), and which requires permanent federal tax increases starting with the wealthiest but threatening to engulf the middle class.
The harder the White House and Democrats push this idea, the worse it could get for them. Americans may have arrived at the limit of how much government they want or will pay for. If Barack Obama can’t sell more of it, no one can.
Even so, Mr. Obama has already broken his no-new-taxes pledge. On Feb. 4, Mr. Obama signed a $33 billion cigarette tax increase, which fell disproportionately on lower- and middle-income individuals. And the “cap and trade” energy bill, approved by the House on June 26, is a tax on anyone who owns a light switch, uses a car key, or has bought anything manufactured, shipped or sold in the U.S.
The House version of Mr. Obama’s health-care—excuse me, “health-insurance”—reform already has four taxes that will largely be paid by people making less than $250,000 a year. There’s $8.2 billion in taxes for using health savings accounts and other tax-free medical savings vehicles to purchase over-the-counter drugs. There’s an 8% tax on employers who don’t offer insurance: The Congressional Budget Office says workers in those businesses would pay the $163 billion cost via lost wages.
There’s a 2.5% “Tax on Individuals Without Acceptable Health Care Coverage” in the House bill that applies to people who either don’t have insurance or whose policies the government deems inadequate. Finally, there’s a $2 billion “Comparative Effectiveness Research Tax” on all private and “public option” insurance policies.
If some version of ObamaCare is passed, the president will break his tax pledge several more times while adding trillions to the deficit, dismantling the best elements of our health-care system and slashing Medicare by hundreds of billions of dollars.