States of Personal Privilege
10/09/09 - WSJ Opinion by by Kimberley A. Strassel
Quip: This bill is vital to our country and will save a lot of money. We just don't want to depend on it.
Powerful senators have avoided the most costly provisions of healthcare reform for their own states. They want "reform" for the nation, so long as it doesn't disadvantage the people who support or vote for them.
- The Baucus bill vastly expands state Medicaid programs, requiring the states to pay an additional $37 billion.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is worried about losing his seat next year. He has arranged for the federal government to pay Nevada's increased Medicaid expenses for the next five years. This applies to only three other states: Oregon, Rhode Island, and Michigan, because they "are suffering more than most."
- The Baucus bill would tax expensive insurance plans at 40%, so that those with "luxury" health insurance help to pay for the poor. But states like New York and Massachusetts have a lot of those plans, having a lot of union members with great benefits, and high-cost insurance mandated by state regulations.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer didn't want angry, overtaxed voters, so he and other similarly situated Democrats carved out a deal to reduce the tax on 17 states, mostly with Democratic politics.
- The Baucus bill taxes pharmaceutical companies, on the principle that they are filthy rich and involved in health care.
But, New Jersey boasts it is the "global epicenter" of the drug industry, where "15 of the world's 20 largest pharmaceutical companies have major facilities." Its Sen. Menendez has a deal for a $1 billion tax credit for companies investing in drug R&D.
- Many Dems assure us that the Baucus bill will "bend down" the health-care cost curve. Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry aren't counting on it. They included $5 billion in the bill to reduce costs for union members.
So, health-care "reform" is good, smart, and necessary, so long as it isn't fully applied to the states of the senators who are pushing it.
Most senators are saving up their special demands for the Senate floor. Then, we'll know how much change Democrats truly believe in.
Baucus Bill Bull: The Hypocrites In DC Are Trying To Pass a Doozy
10/14/09 - PJTV: Medically Incorrect (video 3 minutes)
A video opinion of the Baucus bill by Dr. Peter Weiss.
Dr. Weiss is an OB/GYN at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the Medical Director of Rodeo Drive Women's Health Center and Rodeo Drive Dermatology and Aesthetics, and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA School of Medicine.
Obamacare Bails Out Medicare
09/12/09 - Easy Opinions by Andrew Garland
"Healthcare Reform" is a huge tax hike plus rationed medical services.