New things found in healthcare bill

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2009
New things found in healthcare bill
Wed, 04-14-2010 - 8:52pm

David Freddoso: Three more things we learned about Obamacare after it passed
By: David Freddoso
Online Opinion Editor
April 14, 2010

"e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as she rushed headlong toward passing President Obama's health care reform bill.

The idea was to pass something -- Anything! Now! -- to save the Obama presidency and possibly the Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.

The predictable result: Weeks after it became law, we're still finding out what's in it, just like the speaker said.

Would you believe that Obamacare contains a tax increase on the sick and the old?

That in their rush to save face and pass a bill, members of Congress might have accidentally left themselves and staffers without a health plan?

That Obamacare does nothing to stop the huge premium increases that Obama pointed at to justify his bill?

Last week, we looked at five surprises that came about due to legislative drafting errors and last-minute changes to the reconciliation "fix-it" bill. This week, we look at three more.

Six: Obamacare was intended, eventually, to push members of Congress and their staff out of the federal employees' health care plan and into the exchanges created by the law. The problem is, those exchanges won't exist for some time. And apparently due to an omission, the ban on offering the federal plan to Capitol Hill employees begins immediately.

The law states that "the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff" are plans created under Obamacare or offered in its exchanges. According to a 13-page report from the Congressional Research Service, prepared a week after Obamacare's passage, this might mean that your congressman has no health coverage.

It's not exactly clear, because the law also contains a clause stating that no one can be forced to give up coverage they already have. "It is difficult to predict which provision a court would find controlling," CRS notes. At the very least, new hires on the Hill and new congressman appear to be out of luck when it comes to health coverage.

If it's any consolation, a spokesman for Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., a medical doctor, tells me he might consider turning his office into a free clinic.

Seven: You don't think Democrats in Congress would knock over their own cancer-stricken mothers to squeeze out a few extra dollars for earmarks? Oh, you're so wrong.

Currently, people with massive medical expenses -- more than 7.5 percent of their income -- can deduct them on their taxes. Under Obamacare, the threshold goes up to 10 percent in 2013 for younger taxpayers and in 2017 for older ones.

According to the Hill, this unnoticed tax hike will squeeze $15.2 billion out of 15 million very sick people, 99 percent of whom make less than $200,000 per year.

Eight: Remember how President Obama railed against health insurer Anthem for boosting its premiums for some California customers by 39 percent, and used that example in speeches as a justification for passing Obamacare? He said, "How much higher do premiums have to rise until we do something about it?"

Perhaps you thought he meant he was going to do something about it. Well, ha, ha, joke's on you. That was just demagoguery.

If you were paying very close attention hours before the House vote, you would have noticed that there was nothing in the Obamacare fix-it bill to prevent 40 percent or even 100 percent premium increases.

Not that government-imposed price controls can solve health care's problems. But how can a 2,000-plus-page bill that apparently no one took the time to read carefully?

David Freddoso is the Examiner's online opinion editor. He can be reached at

the mandates in Obamacare....

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2003
Wed, 04-14-2010 - 9:51pm

Okay this guy you are citing, is known to be biased and has a history of distorting facts. This is an opinion piece after all.

Do you ever cite sources that are not opinion pieces of the right or from anyone that does not have a known history for being biased?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2010
Thu, 04-15-2010 - 12:15am

"Okay this guy you are citing, is known to be biased and has a history of distorting facts. This is an opinion piece after all. "


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
Thu, 04-15-2010 - 2:36pm

Six: You really think new hires on Capitol Hill will not have health insurance? The guy who wrote that must be living on another planet.

Seven: Raising, from 7.5 to 10%, the percentage of AGI above which medical expenses are deductible only takes place after the exchanges are in place. It makes perfect sense to raise it, so that more people are insured. The guy who wrote the article must not understand the whole purpose of health care reform.

Eight: So, nothing in the bill prevents insurance companies from raising premiums? How about the fact that those who act arrogantly and screw the public will be barred from participating in the exchanges? Again, the guy who wrote the article needs to start using his noggin.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2009
Thu, 04-15-2010 - 4:51pm

Raising the threshold for medical deductions is a good idea?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
Thu, 04-15-2010 - 8:12pm


That post makes it sound as if a ban on insurance companies hiking premiums is something conservatives would FAVOR! What a joke! We all know that if such a provision had been included it would only have provided more fuel to the "Obama is a socialist" fire.

There is no need to bar them from raising premiums because, as I said, the prospect of their being excluded from the exchanges in 2014 and forever thereafter, and denied the related future revenue, is enough of a deterrent. You will see. And if they DO raise premiums it will only help to move us closer to a single payer system, which is the only way we'll be able to sufficiently control health care costs.

That entire article was much ado about nothing.