The House Democrats just released their health care plan. You’ll have to forgive me, because I confess that I did not read through the entire 1018-page piece of legislation. However, I did look at the summary and scan through the tax provisions, and based on that it seems clear that the bill represents a liberal health care wish list.
In short, the bill would:
— Create a new government-run plan.
–Expand Medicaid elgibility to 133 percent of the poverty line.
–Provide subsidies to individuals earning up to 400 percent of the poverty line ($88,000 for a family of four).
–Create a new government-run insurance exchange in which individuals could use the subsidies to purchase government-designed private coverarge or the government-run plan.
–Force individuals who purchase health coverage or face a tax, and force businesses to provide coverage or face at tax.
–And this will be financed by a massive tax hike during a recession on wealthy individuals that will target gross income. Americans for Tax Reform has calculated that taken together, these tax hikes would raise the top rate above 50 percent and the capital gains rate at 30 percent. Not the way to get the economy moving again.
The Democrats are in much stronger position in the House than the Senate, but the big question is whether the moderate Blue Dog Democrats will be able to get behind such a massive expansion of government.
UPDATE: The CBO has put a pricetag of the bill at $1 trillion over, but has cautioned that this does not represent an analysis of the entire bill and is subject to change once it evaluates the language of the most recent draft. Specifically, it pegs the cost of the Medicaid expansion at $438 billion and of the subsidies at $773 billion. But as Michelle Malkin notes, the bill doesn’t fully kick in for five years.