Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Top 10 Facts About House Democrats' Health Care "Reform" Legislation

House Democrats have begun rolling out their long-awaited health care “reform” legislation, and it turns out there’s not much “reform” to it after all. Instead, it would increase taxes, raise health care costs, ration care, and leave key medical decisions to government bureaucrats, rather than patients and their doctors – a proposal that House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) warned in an op-ed published on could cause more than 100 million Americans to “be forced out of their current health care plan and onto the government rolls.” With a debate on health care reform slated to begin in Congress, here are the top 10 facts about the House Democrats’ health care proposal:

1. A Government Takeover of Health Care. The House Democrats’ plan will create a new government-run program, will make health care more expensive, limit treatments and ration care, and put bureaucrats in charge of medical decisions rather than patients and doctors. Translation: higher costs, lower quality, and fewer choices for patients.

2. Forcing More than 100 Million Out of their Health Care. The House Democrats’ plan will force more than 100 million Americans out of their current health care plan and onto the government rolls. A Lewin Group study confirms that under a new government-run health plan millions will lose their current health care coverage.

3. Rationing Health Care Treatments. The House Democrats’ plan establishes an “advisory committee” that will put bureaucrats and politicians in charge of deciding patient treatments and cures. Translation: The government will make health care treatment decisions rather than doctors and patients.

4. A New Mandate on Individuals. The House Democrats’ plan mandates that every American buy health insurance or pay a hefty tax to Washington. This would force more Americans into government-run system that will make health care more expensive, ration care, and put bureaucrats in charge of medical decisions.

5. A New Mandate on Employers. The House Democrats’ plan would impose employer mandates and cost jobs by requiring some employers – especially small businesses – to pay a new tax to Washington. The plan would also slap employers that are unable to offer coverage the government deems adequate with another new tax to Washington. These two new taxes will make it more difficult than ever for small business owners to reinvest in their businesses and create and retain good paying jobs.

6. Harming Small Businesses. The House Democrats’ plan doesn’t yet define “small businesses,” which is troubling news for millions of Americans who depend on these engines of economic growth. One Democratic draft plan revealed to date only provides assistance to ease employer mandates for small businesses with an average of 27 or fewer employees. This leaves a huge number of small businesses to deal with the onerous and expensive mandates of the Democrats’ government defined health benefit plan (“small businesses” are traditionally defined as employing less than 500 people).

7. Expanding Entitlements. The House Democrats’ plan expands the Medicare and Medicaid programs without reform, ignoring the pending insolvency of programs that millions of seniors and families rely upon. These policies will result in benefit cuts and premium increases for many Americans who depend on these programs.

8. Unfunded Mandates on States. The House Democrats’ plan creates new unfunded mandates for already cash-strapped states by expanding Medicaid, forcing both the federal government and states to pay more to finance this entitlement expansion. This will leave states no choice but to raise taxes or reduce services for citizens of those states.

9. How Many Taxes Will Democrats Raise? The House Democrats’ plan expands benefits and includes massive new subsidies and government-dictated benefits, but it doesn’t identify any significant savings to help pay for the new scheme, nor does it acknowledge the massive new costs it will impose on individuals, employers, and states. In the past, Democrats promised a series of new tax hikes to pay for their plan. How many will there be? When do Democrats plan to reveal them?

10. Shifts Massive New Costs onto Taxpayers. The House Democrats’ plan represents a bait-and-switch that will make health care more expensive and hit the middle class particularly hard with higher taxes, rationed care, and new health costs. As millions of middle-class families are struggling to make ends meet while making responsible choices, this plan forces those that make responsible decisions to foot the bill for those who don’t.

House Republicans believe there is a better way, and led by Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and his Health Care Reform Solutions Group, they are crafting better solutions to expand access to affordable, quality care regardless of pre-existing conditions; protect Americans from being forced into a government-run plan, making certain that medical decisions are made by patients and their doctors, not Washington bureaucrats; and let Americans who like their health care coverage keep it, while giving all Americans the freedom to choose the plan that best meets their needs. Will Democrats finally agree to work with Republicans on a plan to expand access to high-quality, affordable health care without raising taxes and rationing care? Or will they barrel ahead with their government-run plan? Middle-class families and small businesses are awaiting the answer.

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