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AFP: Pelosi Health Care Legislation Fact Sheet

AFP Oregon

House Health Care Proposal Facts – October 29, 2009

Many members of AFP-Oregon have told us their top national concern is stopping the government take-over of the American health care system.  With this in mind, we will from time-to-time provide you with information on Congressional proposals that seek to implement the President’s vision of increased or total government control of health care.  AFP-Oregon encourages you to contact your U.S. Senators and Congressman to express your views on this issue (the list of Oregon Senators and Congressmen is also available at www.myafpor.org).

On October 29, 2009, Speaker Pelosi introduced H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.  The bill combines versions of H.R. 3200 that were approved by the Committees on Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means, as well as others negotiated behind closed doors.  The bill is expected to move to the floor the week of November 2.  While reports indicate the bill will cost $894 billion, CBO’s score is not yet available.

Quick Facts:

  • The centerpiece of the bill is government-run insurance that could cause as many as 114 million Americans to lose their private coverage
  • Onerous regulations on the private insurance market that will force individuals to purchase coverage through the government-run exchange
  • Trillions in new federal spending that will explode the deficit and imperil long-term budget solvency
  • Taxes on all Americans: individuals who purchase insurance, individuals who do not purchase insurance and millions of small businesses
  • Cuts to Medicare Advantage that could result in higher premiums and dropped coverage for more than 10 million seniors
  • The bill is 1,990 pages long
  • $200 billion additional spending in a separate 13-page bill to handle the “doc fix.” Adding this spending to the overall bill breaks Obama’s promise to the American people not to sign a deficit-increasing bill.
  • Page 1515 – Regulation of vending machines, to ensure everyone can see the nutrition labels on items before purchasing their food
  • The bill omits original draft language ensuring “that essential benefits coverage does not lead to rationing of health care.” In other words, there is no longer a clear prohibition on the federal government rationing health care
  • Nearly all of the additional coverage comes from a huge Medicaid expansion, which will further imperil states’ budgets.  Medicaid covers low-income Americans and states must provide a match to receive federal funding.

A Few of the Tax Hikes (From our friends at ATR):

Employer Mandate Tax: If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium, the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages.  Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000).

Individual Mandate Surtax: If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he or she must pay an income surtax 2.5 percent of adjusted gross income.

Denial of Tax Deduction for Employer Health Plans Coordinating with Medicare Part D (Page 327): This would further erode private sector participation in delivery of Medicare services.

Surtax on Individuals and Small Businesses: Imposes an income surtax of 5.4 percent on MAGI over $500,000 ($1 million married filing jointly).

From AFP Health Care Policy Advisor Eric Novak:

“The bill just released by Speaker Pelosi fails on every front to achieve the real goal of all Americans: health care that is more accessible, more affordable, and higher quality. By placing over $200 billion in a separate bill to address Medicare payments to physicians, the Speaker is using the same absurd tactics that Democrats and Republicans shunned last week in the Senate.

“And by placing a new, massive spending burden on state budgets with the expansion of Medicaid, the Speaker has hidden the hundreds of billions in new state taxes that will be required– all at the expense of job creation, education, and public safety.  If the Speaker’s true intent was to give more power to Washington bureaucrats and lobbyists at the expense of American families, however, the bill can be viewed as a resounding success.”

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