Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Health Care Takeover Act Of 2009 Has Arrived

Think for a second about Obama's standard procedure in pushing through massive legislation since he's been President:
1. hype the crisis
2. throw a gigantic bill full of pork onto Congress with little or no time to read it, never mind analyze and debate it
3. stifle dissent
4. ram it through regardless of any objections
He's done this on TARP (though he had a lot of help there), on the 'stimulus', on the omnibus spending bill, on his budget, and on the cap-n-tradetax bill that just passed the House.

Why would health care be any different?

Here it is. Once again, it is over 1,000 pages. Once again, Democrats are pushing hard to get it rammed through Congress before anyone has time to examine it thoroughly:

Once again, they're stifling dissent:
In an astonishing acceleration of the stifling of debate and transparency in the House, Democrats tonight voted to adjourn and gag the planned special orders speeches of U.S. Representatives John Carter (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA).

Carter and King had announced they would discuss Democrat Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-MD) statement that the upcoming health care reform effort would fail if Members were required to read the legislation. House Democrats accordingly silenced floor debate on the issue by voting to close early.

“The Democrats are the majority – for now,” says Carter, House Republican Conference Secretary. “They chose to silence debate on the floor by gagging House Republican Members from using their historical right to speak after the close of the day. But they cannot stop us from speaking and letting the American public know the truth about their ongoing assault against representative democracy.”

Obama lied, transparency died.

Now, here's the truth. The CBO estimates that a part of this bill will cost American taxpayers another $1 trillion, with the full amount being $2.5 trillion every 10 years! That's addition to a government takeover of the health care industry, this is yet another massive spending bill [I give it less than a week before we start to see stories about all the pork that is hiding inside those 1,000+ pages], funded by a massive tax increase. RedState has a quick-and-dirty analysis that you need to read:

The House Democrats just released their health care plan. You'll have to forgive me, because I confess that I did not read through the entire 1018-page piece of legislation. However, I did look at the summary and scan through the tax provisions, and based on that it seems clear that the bill represents a liberal health care wish list.

In short, the bill would:

-- Create a new government-run plan.

--Expand Medicaid elgibility to 133 percent of the poverty line.

--Provide subsidies to individuals earning up to 400 percent of the poverty line ($88,000 for a family of four).

--Create a new government-run insurance exchange in which individuals could use the subsidies to purchase government-designed private coverarge or the government-run plan.

--Force individuals who purchase health coverage or face a tax, and force businesses to provide coverage or face at tax.

--And this will be financed by a massive tax hike during a recession on wealthy individuals that will target gross income. Americans for Tax Reform has calculated that taken together, these tax hikes would raise the top rate above 50 percent and the capital gains rate at 30 percent. Not the way to get the economy moving again.

The Democrats are in much stronger position in the House than the Senate, but the big question is whether the moderate Blue Dog Democrats will be able to get behind such a massive expansion of government.

UPDATE: The CBO has put a pricetag of the bill at $1 trillion over, but has cautioned that this does not represent an analysis of the entire bill and is subject to change once it evaluates the language of the most recent draft. Specifically, it pegs the cost of the Medicaid expansion at $438 billion and of the subsidies at $773 billion. But as Michelle Malkin notes, the bill doesn't fully kick in for five years.

This is what Obama was thinking of when he committed to 're-making' America. This is an unprecedented overreach by the government, and will literally result in the death of millions of Americans, and probably the American economy along with them.

At the moment, not all Democrats are on board:

Rep. Mike Ross, has released a statement on behalf of Blue Dog Democrats reacting to the House Democrat's health care bill, which I'd categorize as neither supportive nor dead set against -- in fact, it doesn't really address the bill specifically. The moderate Blue Dogs hold the key to whether the legislation will pass -- liberal Democrats will get behind this bill, and it's so extreme that few, if any, Republicans will vote for it.

Here's Ross:

"The skyrocketing cost of health care is not only bankrupting American families and businesses; it is leading this country down a path to fiscal disaster. We can never balance the federal budget again without reforming the system to hold the growth of health care costs to the rate of inflation.

"The Blue Dogs are committed to passing health care reform. However, reform that does not meet the President's goals of substantially bringing down costs is not an option.

"Over the past several months, Blue Dogs have put forth substantive policy proposals aimed at achieving this objective, and we look forward to working through the legislative process to incorporate these cost cutting measures."

Last week, 40 Blue Dogs signed a letter coming out against a strong government-run plan, which the House bill includes, so make what you will of Ross's decision not to mention it.

This one will require the American people to stop, too. This is a game-changer. If the government manages to take over the health care industry, the country is finished. Rolling back tax rates or changing environmental policy is something that can be done under a new administration; you can't take away health care from people who have no other options, and you can't instantly revive private insurance/health care after it evaporates in the face of government brute force. So, it is absolutely critical that the American people begin to melt the phone lines of their Senators and Reps, and demand that they oppose this bill.

Your life and the lives of your loved ones quite literally depend on it.

I'll post more as the details emerge.

There's my two cents.

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