Nov 12th newsletter from my Congressman contained the following summary of Health Care Reform just passed the House: Last Saturday, in the dark of night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the largest expansion to the federal government since the New Deal. H.R. 3962, the Nancy Pelosi health care reform bill, squeaked through by a vote of 220-215 – only 2 votes more than needed. Would you have voted for this 1,990 page bill if you knew H.R. 3962: · Costs more than $1.2 trillion over ten years, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office? · Creates 118 new government bureaucracies, office, and programs? · Increases taxes to the tune of $729.5 billion, most of which will be paid by small businesses? · Creates a nation-wide Health Insurance Exchange with a government-run public option estimated to cause upwards of 100 million people to lose their current employer-based coverage? · Requires every single American to have health insurance or face a penalty of 2.5% of income, and if you do not pay the penalty, face jail time? · Mandates that all employers offer a health insurance plan that meets the government’s requirements or face a penalty of 8 percent of payroll, causing an estimated loss of 5.5 million jobs? · Eliminates private insurance completely? · Imposes a “Health Benefits Advisory Committee,” that would empower federal bureaucrats to impose even more mandates on individuals and insurance carriers? · Makes $170 billion worth of arbitrary and harmful cuts to Medicare Advantage plans that would result in millions of seniors losing their current health coverage. · Does not eliminate cost as a factor in coverage decisions, allowing the government to ration health care as they see fit? · Would cause Medicare Part D premiums to rise by close to 50 percent after filling in the doughnut hole? · Makes no guarantee that the pro-life language added by Republicans will survive the House-Senate conference? · Does absolutely nothing to lower the cost of health care for Americans? For these reasons and countless others, I voted against the terrible piece of legislation and will continue to fight against a massive government takeover of our health care system. There is a better solution that empowers patients to make their own health care choices by focusing on lowering health care premiums for families and small businesses, increasing access to affordable, high-quality care, and promoting healthier lifestyles – without adding to the crushing debt Washington has placed on our children and grandchildren. I hope you will continue to keep up the pressure and prevent the Pelosi health care bill from becoming law. ------------- Well, there was a lot more concerns posted about this bill, but my congressman highlighted those strong points that should have appealed to most everyone regardless of parties or economic or social philosophy. What follows..... The health care plan proposed by the Republicans: Republicans’ Common-Sense Reforms Will LOWER HEALTH CARE COSTS Americans want a step-by-step, common-sense approach to health care reform, not Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s costly, 1,990-page government takeover of our nation’s health care system. Republicans’ alternative solution focuses on lowering health care premiums for families and small businesses, increasing access to affordable, high-quality care, and promoting healthier lifestyles – without adding to the crushing debt Washington has placed on our children and grandchildren. Following are the key elements of Republicans’ alternative plan: • Lowering health care premiums. The GOP plan will lower health care premiums for American families and small businesses, addressing Americans’ number-one priority for health care reform. • Establishing Universal Access Programs to guarantee access to affordable care for those with pre- existing conditions. The GOP plan creates Universal Access Programs that expand and reform high- risk pools and reinsurance programs to guarantee that all Americans, regardless of pre-existing conditions or past illnesses, have access to affordable care – while lowering costs for all Americans. • Ending junk lawsuits. The GOP plan would help end costly junk lawsuits and curb defensive medicine by enacting medical liability reforms modeled after the successful state laws of California and Texas. • Prevents insurers from unjustly cancelling a policy or instituting annual of lifetime spending caps. The GOP plan prohibits an insurer from cancelling a policy unless a person commits fraud or conceals material facts about a health condition. It also prohibits insurance plans from instituting annual or lifetime spending limits. • Encouraging Small Business Health Plans. The GOP plan gives small businesses the power to pool together and offer health care at lower prices, just as corporations and labor unions do. • Encouraging innovative state programs. The GOP plan rewards innovation by providing incentive payments to states that reduce premiums and the number of uninsured. • Allowing Americans to buy insurance across state lines. The GOP plan allows Americans to shop for coverage from coast to coast by allowing Americans living in one state to purchase insurance in another. • Codifying the Hyde Amendment. The GOP plan explicitly prohibits all federal funds, whether they are authorized funds or appropriated funds, from being used to pay for abortion. • Promoting healthier lifestyles. The GOP plan promotes prevention & wellness by giving employers greater flexibility to financially reward employees who adopt healthier lifestyles. • Enhancing Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). The GOP plan creates new incentives to save for future and long-term care needs by allowing qualified participants to use HSAs to pay premiums. • Allowing dependents to remain on their parents’ policies. The GOP plan encourages coverage of young adults on their parents’ insurance through age 25. Scorecard: Speaker Pelosi’s Government Takeover vs. GOP Common-Sense Solutions Speaker Pelosi’s Bill GOP Alternative Job Losses Up to 5.5 million 0 Medicare Cuts $500 billion 0 Tax Increases $729.5 billion 0 ============== For the PDF of the Republican Bill go here: http://jeffmiller.house.gov/Legislation/Hot.htm ============== just for the record something archived to return to for future comparison.