If you don't get MyHeritage, you are under-informed, my friend.
October 28, 2009 By Amanda Reinecker
'Gigantic, unintelligible, unaffordable, over-regulatory, federal legislation'
After 13 days of secret, closed-door negotiations on health care legislation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced Monday that he had reached an agreement with Senators Chris Dodd (D-MT) and Max Baucus (D-CT), and three top administration officials. Unfortunately, Senator Reid did not tell the American people much else.
Even many lawmakers remain in the dark regarding the outcome of this "secret deal that Senator Reid wants to get passed and signed into law 'this year,'" writes
Heritage Senate Relations expert Brian Darling.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, summed it up: "It will be a thousand-page, trillion-dollar bill that raises premiums, raises taxes and slashes Medicare for our seniors to create new government spending programs. That's not reform."
Even as some of the final details of the bill do go public, it is likely that lawmakers won't know in advance entirely what it is they are voting on. This is because the legislation the Senate Finance Committee "agreed" to -- all 1,502 pages of it -- is the most massive piece of legislation ever introduced by Congress.
But length isn't the only record the "America's Healthy Future Act of 2009" claims, as Heritage health policy analyst Ed Haislmaier notes. "For the first time in fifteen years, [Congress] has set a new all-time division record for gigantic, unintelligible, unaffordable, over-regulatory, federal legislation."
What we do know about Reid's 'secret deal'
Although Senator Reid did not go into great detail about the health care "reform" legislation, he did mention that bill includes a government-run health insurance "option" that would "compete" against private health plans.
In an attempt to gain much-needed support from skeptical moderates in both parties, liberals have added a new twist to the "public option": a provision allowing states to opt out of the program. This would require states to pass legislation by 2014 rejecting participation in the federal government run plan.
But this new wrinkle is really more of the same, warns Heritage health policy analyst Nina Owcharenko. "This latest Senate ploy creates the illusion of an 'option' rather than making any fundamental changes to the controversial proposal."
Owcharenko explains why this "opt-out" model is just another government-run plan that is guaranteed to fail:
States can only opt-out of the government-run plan, not the entire bill. But the rest of the bill contains hundreds of provisions, such as the expansion of Medicaid, which will place major financial burdens on the states.
It is still a government-run plan because the government will require non-participating states to meet federal conditions. These government-determined conditions could include the creation of state-level public options that mirror the federal plan.
States will likely select the public "option" because of the bureaucracy and enormous administrative complexity required for a state opt-out. Federal conditions will limit states' ability to create alternatives.
State innovation will suffer under the massive health care proposal's employer and individual mandates, and government micromanagement of an industry that represents one-sixth of our economy.
So even though the states would be able to "opt out" of the government-run health insurance program, the federal government will make it very difficult to do so. And for the few states that do succeed in withdrawing, the government will still dominate their health care systems.
A true state "opt-out" provision would allow states to opt out of the bill in its entirety, argues Owcharenko. "Any other opt-out is just another shell game that is intended to appear as a concession but in reality provides for greater federal control and blocks much needed structural changes."