The House Democrats have unveiled their health care takeover bill. Responsible as always, they don’t see any need to estimate the cost.
House Democrats on Friday answered President Obama‘s call for a sweeping overhaul of the health care system, unveiling a bill that they said would cover 95 percent of Americans. But they said they did not know how much it would cost and had not decided how to pay for it.
The proposal would establish a new public health insurance plan to compete with private plans. Republicans and insurance companies strenuously oppose such an entity, saying it could lead to a government takeover of health care. The draft bill would require all Americans to carry health insurance. Most employers would have to provide coverage to employees or pay a fee equivalent to 8 percent of their payroll. The plan would also end many insurance company practices that deny coverage or charge higher premiums to sick people.
“Health insurance for most American families is just one big surprise,” said Representative George Miller of California, the chairman of the Education and Labor Committee. “When you go to use it, you find out it’s not quite as it’s represented, and you spend hours on the phone with exclusions and discussions and referrals to other legal documents that you didn’t have at the time you purchased it.”
The 852-page House bill, as expected, is more expansive than the legislation taking shape in the Senate, where work on the issue bogged down this week after early cost estimates came in far higher than expected. The initial price tag for a measure drafted by the Senate Finance Committee, for example, was $1.6 trillion over 10 years.
Similar sticker shock could hit House members when they see the cost of their bill, which incorporates many ideas from health policy experts about how to fix the health system.
Kind of has a nice ring to it: “they said they did not know how much it would cost and had not decided how to pay for it.” Just minor details, so why let them get in the way!
As I’ve said before, it’s only money. Don’t worry, be happy.