From The Foundry at Heritage.org:
Congress has outdone itself. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled a health care bill weighing in at 2,074 pages, a new record. A vote on the bill is expected Saturday.
By Amanda Reinecker
Heritage Foundation experts are still working through the specifics of the massive, $849 billion health care bill, as it is estimated to take up to 34 hours to read the entire thing. But they already know that “the major outlines of the bill are no different than the policy train wreck the House passed earlier this month,” reports Heritage’s Conn Carroll.
Both the House and Senate health care “reform” bills include:
1. A government “option.” Both the House and Senate proposals would create a one-size-fits-all public plan to “compete” with private insurers. But the government will retain its role as regulator and thus stifle any competition and causing millions to lose their private coverage.
2. More people in failed programs. Both bills would place millions of Americans under the failing government-run Medicaid program, reducing subsidized benefits from those who truly need them and increasing the financial burden on the states.
3. Employer mandates. All employers of 50 people or more will be required to provide coverage that meets new federal standards or else face a hefty penalty. This mandate will disproportionately impact low-income workers.
4. Individual mandates. For the first time in history, all Americans will be forced to purchase federally approved coverage minimums. Those who fail to comply are subject to new tax penalties and, in some cases, jail time.
The bill’s supporters may be congratulating each other for producing a health care bill that meets the President’s $900 billion cap. But its $849 price tag is a preliminary estimate only, and it really only has one place to go — up. “As history has proven, government health care programs end up costing much more than first promised,” writes Carroll.
Both the House and Senate health care reform bills require individuals to purchase federally-approved health insurance, and those who fail to do so could face criminal prosecution. “Using [criminal law] to enforce one particular notion of appropriate insurance coverage is nothing less than a tyrannical assertion of raw government power over the private lives and economic rights of individual Americans,” write Heritage legal scholars Brian Walsh and Hans von Spakovsky. This abuse of governmental power does not bode well for freedom, as it specifically targets those who choose to make their own decisions regarding their health insurance.