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Monday, August 10, 2009

Let's Go Through It Together - Healthcare Bill

Let's go through this together, shall we? I'm not an attorney, I'm not a paralegal, I'm not a professor - I'm just a college-educated, former professional business owner, now stay-at-home, home-schooling mom who believes it is important that we know what our Representatives are trying to pass as the law of the land.

So let's get started:
GENERAL DEFINITIONS.
(a) PURPOSE.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The purpose of this division is to provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending.
Well - right there on page 4 we have an interesting statement - reduce the growth in health care spending. When have you ever known the government to reduce costs in anything?

Here we are on page 9 - definition of a Dependent:
The term ‘‘dependent’’ has the meaning given such term by the Commissioner
and includes a spouse.
Okay - that's clear as mud.

Another on page 9:
EMPLOYMENT-BASED HEALTH PLAN.—The term ‘‘employment-based health plan’’— (A) means a group health plan (as defined in section 733(a)(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
Anyone have a copy of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 lying around?

Page 10:
HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE; HEALTH
INSURANCE ISSUER.—The terms ‘‘health insurance coverage’’ and ‘‘health insurance issuer’’ have the meanings given such terms in section 2791 of the Public Health Service Act.
Seems we also need a copy of the Public Health Service Act. Same thing the lady on SurvivalistBoards was stating - there are tons of references to other Acts in this document. Do you think our Representatives have handy access to all these Acts to make the cross-references?

Page 22:

They are going to do a study and within 18 months of the start of this healthcare plan:
Such report shall include any recommendations the Commissioner deems appropriate to ensure that the law does not provide incentives
for small and mid-size employers to self-insure
This is done by examining "(C) The financial solvency and capital reserve levels of employers that self-insure by employer size." - how are they going to do this, audit every company? And this saves us money how?

Whomever this "Commissioner" is - he/she is going to have some incredible power.

Pages 30 - 33:
The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall recommend to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in this subtitle referred to as the ‘‘Secretary’’) benefit standards (as defined in paragraph (4)), and periodic updates to such standards.

and

BENEFIT STANDARDS DEFINED.—In this subtitle, the term ‘‘benefit standards’’ means standards respecting—(A) the essential benefits package described in section 122, including categories of covered treatments, items and services within benefit classes.
So a governmental Advisory Committee will decide what benefits (in other words, medical treatments) will be provided to members of this plan???

Another governmental agency is created - page 41:
IN GENERAL.—There is hereby established, as an independent agency in the executive branch of the Government, a Health Choices Administration (in this division referred to as the ‘‘Administration’’).
Another cost saving measure? No - more government, again. And the Commissioner is appointed by the President.

Page 42:

The Commissioner establishes the benefit standards.

Page 43:

The Commissioner can collect data (doesn't say what data) for the purposes of carrying out his/her duties.

Page 58:
‘‘(D) enable the real-time (or near real time) determination of an individual’s financial
responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility, which may include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card;
Gee, this sounds a lot to me like they'll be able to have a real-time look into your bank account to see your financial status and will have finally gotten the national ID card they've been after.

Page 107:

Now we have the appointment by the President of a "Special Inspector General"

Page 136 appears to be sliding scale determination of premium payments:
(2) PREMIUM PERCENTAGE LIMITS BASED ON TABLE.—The Commissioner shall establish premium percentage limits so that for individuals whose family income is within an income tier specified in the table in subsection (d) such percentage limits shall increase, on a sliding scale in a linear manner, from the initial premium percentage to the final premium percentage specified in such table for such income
tier.
Page 140 appears to require an income tax form as proof of income on the application:
(B) ALTERNATIVE PROCEDURES.—The Commissioner shall establish procedures for the verification of income for purposes of this subtitle if no income tax return is available for the most recent completed tax year.
Page 149 addresses the expected contributions of employers in lieu of coverage - it is 8% of their wages:
A contribution is made in accordance with this section with respect to an employee if such contribution is equal to an amount equal to 8 percent of the average wages paid by the employer during the period of enrollment (determined by taking into account all employees of the employer and in such manner as the Commissioner provides, including rules providing for the appropriate aggregation of related employers).
This is scaled down for smaller businesses on page 150.

Page 167: Individuals without "acceptable" health care coverage will pay a 2.5% tax:
‘‘SEC. 59B. TAX ON INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT ACCEPTABLE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.
‘‘(a) TAX IMPOSED.—In the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) at any time during the taxable year, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of—
‘‘(1) the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year, over
‘‘(2) the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer.
Page 174:
‘‘(6) NOT TREATED AS TAX IMPOSED BY THIS CHAPTER FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES.—The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax
imposed by this chapter for purposes of determining the amount of any credit under this chapter or for purposes of section 55.
What???

Page 190:
‘‘(2) CREDIT NOT ALLOWED WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN HIGHLY COMPENSATED EMPLOYEES.—No credit shall be allowed under subsection (a) with respect to qualified employee health coverage expenses paid or incurred with respect to any employee for any taxable year if the aggregate compensation paid
by the employer to such employee during such taxable year exceeds $80,000.
What? So now if you make $80,000 a year you are a highly compensated employee?

Page 195: Officers and employees of the Health Choices Administration have a right to review your income tax records:
shall disclose to officers and employees of the Health Choices Administration or such State-based health insurance exchange, as the case may be, return information of any taxpayer whose income is relevant in determining any affordability credit described in subtitle C of title II of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. Such return information shall be limited to—
‘‘(i) taxpayer identity information with respect to such taxpayer,
‘‘(ii) the filing status of such taxpayer,
‘‘(iii) the modified adjusted gross income of such taxpayer (as defined in section 59B(e)(5)),
‘‘(iv) the number of dependents of the taxpayer,
‘‘(v) such other information as is prescribed by the Secretary by regulation as might indicate whether the taxpayer is eligible for such affordability credits (and the
amount thereof), and
‘‘(vi) the taxable year with respect to which the preceding information relates
Pages 197-198 discuss the surcharges on high income individuals - somewhere between 1 and 5.4 percent of modified adjusted gross income for those at $350,000 and up.

Ugh. That's all I can do for now. More another day if I can stand it.

2 comments:

matthiasj said...

That's for the work TN. You've done a great job. That bill is evil!

matthiasj
Kentucky Preppers Network

wvsanta said...

Great job….. I doubt any of our elected officials will cover reading this as well as you have….. Maybe we need you to go explain it all to them…Hope to hear you on the air soon.
Santa

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