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By Amanda J. Reinecker

Yesterday, after a temporary lull in the health care debates, President Obama released a “fresh attempt” to salvage his health care overhaul agenda. Though the details will not be released for some time, the ideas at the core of this 11-page outline (embedded in article) aren’t really so “fresh.” Based largely on the Senate’s flawed plan, the “new” proposal is riddled with many of the same harmful taxes, dubious mandates, and unprecedented federal regulatory powers.

But even though the Senate bill serves as its template, the president’s proposal does have some new initiatives — and they add up to $80 billion. This would increase the overall cost of health care “reform” to a staggering $950 billion over ten years, a cost likely to rise as the legislative text is finalized.

Perhaps the most alarming difference is the prospect of a Federal Health Insurance Rate Authority, which would grant federal bureaucrats the power to set and control insurance prices and thus effectively create a government-run health plan. “If government can control both health benefits and health care pricing, that’s the proverbial ball game,” writes Heritage health policy expert Bob Moffit. “Private health care is private in name only.”

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