Healthcare


Lady Libertas will be updating this thread as information comes up … please let me know if there are any good suggestions for sites and resources as to what is in this outrageous law signed by the Unifier (NOT).

From HotAir: 4/2/2010 Obamacare exposes states to lawsuits over Medicaid

Small Businesses hurt by Obamacare

CONTINUED DAMAGE FROM HEALTH CARE LAW
Boeing, Goodrich, And Illinois Tool Works Join Companies That Project Major Losses As A Result Of The Newly Passed Health Care Law

“Boeing Says It Will Take A Charge Of $150 Million Due To The Recent Health Care Overhaul Legislation. The Aircraft Maker, Based In Chicago, Says The Charge Will Hurt Earnings By 20 Cents Per Share In The First Quarter Of 2010.” (“Boeing To Take Charge On Health Care Reform,” The Associated Press, 3/31/10)

“Goodrich Corp. Says It Expects To Incur A One-Time Charge Of $10 Million, Or 8 Cents Per Diluted Share, Against Its First-Quarter Results. The Company Cites The Recently Passed U.S. Health-Care Reform Legislation.” (“Goodrich Foresees $10M Charge From Health-Care Reform,” Charlotte Business Journal, 3/31/10)

·         “Charlotte-Based Goodrich (NYSE:GR) Is A Global Supplier Of Systems And Services To The Aerospace And Defense Industries.” (“Goodrich Foresees $10M Charge From Health-Care Reform,” Charlotte Business Journal, 3/31/10)

“Illinois Tool Works Inc. Lowered Its First Quarter And Yearly Earnings Forecast Tuesday Due To Costs Related To The Health Care Legislation Recently Passed By Congress. The Industrial Equipment Maker Said It Will Record A Tax Adjustment Of $22 Million, Or 4 Cents Per Share, To Reflect The Fact That Future Medicare Prescription Drug Subsidies Received By The Company For Retiree Prescription Drug Coverage Will Now Be Taxable.” (“Illinois Tool Works Lowers Outlook,” The Associated Press, 3/30/10)

Even more major employers are announcing millions of dollars in new costs this week thanks to Democrats’ job-killing health care bill, while small business owners fret that they’ll be next.

Last week, we saw that Caterpillar and John Deere announced the new law will cost each around $100 million each in new taxes. AT&T announced it would cost the company $1 billion, AK Steel said the law will cost it $31 million, and 3M said it will cost that company $90 million.

Yesterday, Prudential Financial announced that the health care bill will cost it $100 million and Illinois Tool Works said their company will see a $22 million cost.

Today, the AP reports, “Boeing says it will take a charge of $150 million due to the recent health care overhaul legislation. The aircraft maker, based in Chicago, says the charge will hurt earnings by 20 cents per share in the first quarter of 2010.”

And according to the Charlotte Business Journal, aerospace and defense industry supplier “Goodrich Corp. says it expects to incur a one-time charge of $10 million, or 8 cents per diluted share, against its first-quarter results. The company cites the recently passed U.S. health-care reform legislation.”

Apparently appalled that their massive $2.6 trillion takeover of 1/6th of the economy is generating trouble for businesses and negatives headlines, Democrats have demanded explanations. The Wall Street Journal writes in an editorial today, “Democrats have responded to these writedowns not by rethinking their policy blunder but by hauling the CEOs before Congress on April 21 for an intimidation session. The letter demanding their attendance from House barons Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak declared that ‘The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern.’”

Meanwhile, small businesses are worried that the mandates and fines in the Democrats’ health care bill will fall on them as well. Already tanning salon owners and employees across the country are reeling from the new tax imposed on their businesses. But today, another AP story points out, “The national law doesn’t require businesses offer insurance but hits employers with 50 or more workers with an annual $2,000-per-employee fee if the company doesn’t insure them and the government ends up subsidizing their workers’ coverage. . . . For critics, one of the most troubling aspects of the laws is the fines. Massachusetts has already fined more than 1,000 companies over $18 million for failing to offer medical insurance to their workers. . . .

“Such penalties make Doug Newman, owner of Newman Concrete Services in Richmond, Maine, nervous. In the past 18 months, as the economy battered the construction industry, Newman’s work force shrunk from 125 employees to just 25. He is worried that once the economy turns and he begins to hire back workers, he’ll face a critical decision when he nears the 50-worker mark and is no longer exempt from penalties. Newman now pays 60 percent of his employees’ individual premiums and 40 percent of their family premiums. ‘The 51st employee could mean $100,000 in costs. I’ve been calling it the concrete ceiling,’ he said. ‘No employer is going to hire No. 51 if it brings all these mandates down on you, because they’re pretty onerous.’”

It’s been just one week since President Obama signed his unpopular health care bill into law and so far we’ve seen major employers hit with millions of dollars in new costs, other companies preparing to lay workers off, some small businesses hit with a new tanning tax, and others bracing for the impact of new fees and mandates.

This health care bill is a job killer, and it should be repealed and replaced. As House Republican Leader John Boehner told The New York Times yesterday, “Republicans will fight to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with common-sense reforms that focus on lowering health care costs while protecting American jobs.” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said much the same thing on Saturday: “That’s why [Americans have] been clamoring for a different approach, and that’s why Republicans are committed to repealing this bill and replacing it with common sense solutions that achieve the good things that folks on both sides want to achieve without all the nasty consequences we’re already beginning to see.”

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH): “Republicans will fight to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with common-sense reforms that focus on lowering health care costs while protecting American jobs.” (“Obama Signs Bill On Student Loans And Health Care,” The New York Times, 3/30/10)

SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R-MA): “For starters, we can work in a bipartisan manner to repeal the worst parts of this bill. Americans have been clear that they do not like its $2.6 trillion cost, the higher taxes on families and businesses, the runaway spending, the state mandates, the sweetheart deals, and overcharging students to pay for health care. We should replace the worst parts of this legislation with solutions that would actually lower costs and improve the quality of care — such as allowing individuals to purchase insurance across state lines, measures that will prevent waste, fraud and abuse, support for increased prevention and wellness programs, and reforms to limit costly litigation and defensive medicine.” (Sen. Scott Brown, Op-Ed, “The Health Care Fight Is Not Over,” The Boston Globe, 3/30/10)

SEN. JIM DEMINT (R-SC): “We’ll find out in November who won or lost this battle. Over 60 percent of Americans still want Republicans to fight to repeal this. So what I do next is I`m trying to replace those who voted for this bill. I want to repeal it. And I want to replace it with some real reform that puts patients in charge of their health care again.” (CBS’ “Face The Nation,” 3/28/10)

NBC’s DAVID GREGORY: “Senator Graham, despite what you say, is a campaign of repeal — you’re a pragmatic legislator — is that realistic?” SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): “Yes, only if you replace it. It is realistic to let the American people know the Class Act, which is a new entitlement where the government offers long-term health care insurance to the population, collects $78 billion in premiums to use to be paid for this bill so when the money is spent to pay for the health care bill, and when you need your Class Act coverage, there is no money there. It is good to repeal the cuts in Medicare and to repeal the massive tax increases and replace it with opportunities to buy insurance from the private sector without cutting Medicare and raising taxes and using budget Ponzi schemes like the Class Act. Yes, there is a way to do that, and 16 million people are dumped into Medicaid. My state is going to get killed by having to serve more Medicaid people. It’s going to hurt state budgets.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 3/28/10

NEW HEALTH LAW CONTINUES TO HURT ECONOMY
Another Company Reports $100 Million Loss From Health Care Reform As Medical Device Manufacturers And Small Businesses Brace For Impact

PRUDENTIAL: HEALTH CARE LAW WILL COST THEM $100 MILLION

“Insurer Prudential Financial Inc. Said Monday That It Will Take A $100 Million Charge In The First Quarter In Relation To The Recent Health Care Overhaul Legislation. The life insurance and annuities provider said in a regulatory filing that it will take the charge against earnings in the first quarter.” (“Prudential To Take $100M Health Care Charge In 1Q,” The Associated Press, 3/30/10)

·         “Prudential Joins A Growing List Of Companies That Have Said They Will Take Accounting Charges Because Of The Health Care Bills. AT&T said last week it would take a $1 billion charge in the first quarter. AK Steel Corp., 3M Co., Caterpillar Inc., Deere & Co. and Valero Energy have also said they would take smaller charges.” (“Prudential To Take $100M Health Care Charge In 1Q,” The Associated Press, 3/30/10)

VIRGINIA MEDICAL DEVICE DISTRIBUTOR EXPECTS HIGHER COSTS

“The Health-Care Reform Bill Signed By President Obama Last Week Brings With It New Excise Taxes On The Medical Device And Pharmaceutical Industries.” (“Health-Care Reform Brings New Taxes,” Richmond BizSense, 3/29/10)

·         “Wayne Sale, The Owner Of A Henrico-Based Medical Supply Distributor Health First Who Heads Up A National Trade Group That Opposes The Tax, Says He Expects Manufacturers To Pass The Cost To Him.” (“Health-Care Reform Brings New Taxes,” Richmond BizSense, 3/29/10)

·         SALE: “It Directly Affects Me Because My Manufacturers Have To Take It On To The Bottom Line … Now They Will Sell Me What They Sell For $25 For $28 To Make Up The Difference.” (“Health-Care Reform Brings New Taxes,” Richmond BizSense, 3/29/10)

“LARGE TAX ON… LOWER AND MIDDLE CLASS WOMEN”

“Tucked Away In The Federal Health Care Reform Legislation Is What Many Say Is An Unfair Tax On Women. It’s Being Called The Tanning Tax, a 10 percent tax on tanning salon services that’s set to start in July. The government says the tax will generate $2.7 billion over 10 years.” (“Tanning Salons Upset Over 10 Percent Tax On Services,” WSAV NBC [Savannah, GA], 3/29/10)

·         “‘At First I Thought It Was A Joke, Because I Thought Surely They’re Not Going To Impose Such A Double Digit, Large Tax On… Lower And Middle Class Women,’ Said Shannah Lane, Owner Of Tan-Tastic Tanning.” (“Tanning Salons Upset Over 10 Percent Tax On Services,” WSAV NBC [Savannah, GA], 3/29/10)

“Owners Of Salons Such As Siren Tan In West Des Moines Said Are Not Happy About It. Congress will be collecting an extra 10 percent tax on indoor tanning starting July 1. The plan is to raise $2.7 billion during the next 10 years. In part, it will be used to pay for health risks blamed on too much tanning.” (“Tanning Tax Burns Salon Owners,” KCCI [Des Moines, IA], 3/29/10)

·         “‘I Think It’s Sad The Government Comes In And Tells My Customers They Are Going To Be Charged More If They Chose To Look Good,’ Said Jody Wilson, Owner Of Siren Tan.” (“Tanning Tax Burns Salon Owners,” KCCI [Des Moines, IA], 3/29/10)

“Marcy DeVries Bought Grand Rapids’ Westside Sun Spa A Few Months Ago, Which Finally Fulfilled Her Lifelong Dream Of Owning Her Own Salon.” (“10 Percent Tanning Tax To Start July 1,” WOOD-NBC [Grand Rapids, MI], 3/29/10)

·         DEVRIES: “We’re Just Surviving Right Now … It’s Going To Affect Us As Business Owners Because We’ll Take The Hit Because We Have To Lower Our Prices Again To Keep Our Customers.” (“10 Percent Tanning Tax To Start July 1,” WOOD-NBC [Grand Rapids, MI], 3/29/10)

Health Care Law Hits Medical Device Manufacturers
“The Tax Will Drive Marginally Profitable Companies Into The Red And Extend Losses For Those Already Losing Money”

MINNESOTA

“The Medical Device Excise Tax Aims To Raise $20 Billion Over Ten Years When It Goes Into Effect In 2013. It Will Apply To A Wide Range Of Medical Device Products–From Bed Pans To Stents Used For Propping Open Clogged Arteries.” (“Excise Tax Has Local Medical Device Makers Concerned,” Minnesota Public Radio, 3/29/10)

·         “Minnesota Is Teeming With Companies That Make Those Products. Med Tech Giants Medtronic, Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical, And Many Smaller Firms Have Operations In The State.” (“Excise Tax Has Local Medical Device Makers Concerned,” Minnesota Public Radio, 3/29/10)

·         “’Minnesota Is Going To Take About 25 Percent Of The Hit On The Total Tax Levied Against The Medical Technology Industry,’ Said Don Gerhardt, The Chief Executive Of Lifescience Alley, A Minnesota-Based Trade Group Representing Several Industries, Including Medical Device Makers.” (“Excise Tax Has Local Medical Device Makers Concerned,” Minnesota Public Radio, 3/29/10)

·         “‘I Think The Real Impact Is Going To Be On The Mid-Sized And Smaller Companies, Where Profit Margins Are A Lot More Narrow, and in some cases are so narrow that the effect of the tax will push a small minority of the companies from black to red,’ Perriello said.” (“Excise Tax Has Local Medical Device Makers Concerned,” Minnesota Public Radio, 3/29/10)

MASSACHUSETTS

“In Massachusetts, One Of The Industries Touted As A Job Creator For The Future Has Been The Manufacturing Of Medical Devices.” (“Government, Industry, Bracing For Impact Of Health Reform,” The Eagle Tribune [Lawrence, MA], 3/28/10)

·         “But The Health Care Reform Law Contains A Hefty New Tax On These Products, Putting The Long-Term Prospects For Some Of These Companies In Doubt.” (“Government, Industry, Bracing For Impact Of Health Reform,” The Eagle Tribune [Lawrence, MA], 3/28/10)

·         “The 225 Medical Device Manufacturers In Massachusetts Employ 21,000 People And Generate $6 Billion In Annual Sales. Their products include such items as pacemakers, defibrillators and the tools for minimally invasive joint surgery produced by Smith & Nephew Endoscopy of Andover.” (“Government, Industry, Bracing For Impact Of Health Reform,” The Eagle Tribune [Lawrence, MA], 3/28/10)

·         “That The Tax Is On Sales, Not Profits, Is Significant. The Tax Will Drive Marginally Profitable Companies Into The Red And Extend Losses For Those Already Losing Money.” (“Government, Industry, Bracing For Impact Of Health Reform,” The Eagle Tribune [Lawrence, MA], 3/28/10)

INDIANA

INDIANAPOLIS STAR: “The Legislation, In Fact, Is Likely To Accelerate Price Increases In Some Areas Of Health Care. For Instance, A Tax Increase On Medical Device Companies Is Sure To Be Passed On To Consumers And Their Insurers.” (Editorial, “Vote Is Done But Debate Continues,” Indianapolis Star, 3/23/10)

3/29/2010

The New York Times reports today, “Just days after President Obama signed the new health care law, insurance companies are already arguing that, at least for now, they do not have to provide one of the benefits that the president calls a centerpiece of the law: coverage for certain children with pre-existing conditions. . . . Insurers agree that if they provide insurance for a child, they must cover pre-existing conditions. But, they say, the law does not require them to write insurance for the child and it does not guarantee the ‘availability of coverage’ for all until 2014. William G. Schiffbauer, a lawyer whose clients include employers and insurance companies, said: ‘The fine print differs from the larger political message. If a company sells insurance, it will have to cover pre-existing conditions for children covered by the policy. But it does not have to sell to somebody with a pre-existing condition. And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost.’”

This monstrosity of a health care bill is already killing jobs, raising taxes, threatening small businesses, and not living up to its promises on health insurance. It was ill-conceived and poorly understood when it was passed an partisan basis by Democrats over the overwhelming objections of the American people. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in the Weekly Republican Address Saturday, “That’s why they’ve been clamoring for a different approach, and that’s why Republicans are committed to repealing this bill and replacing it with common sense solutions that achieve the good things that folks on both sides want to achieve without all the nasty consequences we’re already beginning to see.”

ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF HEALTH BILL MOUNT
Local News Across The Country Reports Of Job Loss And Potential Business Closures As A Result Of The Health Care Bill

FLORIDA, INDIANA, PENNSYLVANIA, NEBRASKA FACING JOB CUTS
FLORIDA: “Seven Hundred Bay County Residents Could Soon Be On The Unemployment Line Thanks To A Reconciliation Bill passed in Washington last night. Some were hopeful that the reconciliation law would help the private student loan industry but it didn’t…” (“Sallie Mae Disappointed by Reconciliation Law,” WMBB-ABC Panama City, 3/26/10)

INDIANA: “Indiana’s Unemployment Rate Held Steady In March, But With Impending Layoffs At Sallie Mae, The State May Not Be So Lucky In April… So now Sallie Mae, which currently owns 12 buildings nationwide, including five large structures like the office in Fishers, still has to determine what buildings should stay open. “For Sallie Mae, unfortunately, it is very bad news for our employees. I will give you two answers,” Kroehler said. “For Sallie Mae as a corporation long-term, we will be fine. For our employees, we are going to have a lot of employees, unfortunately, who are going to lose their jobs.” (“Sallie Mae facing thousands of layoffs,” WTHR-NBC Indianapolis, 3/26/10)

PENNSYLVANIA: “Sallie Mae Decided Against Hiring 300 Temporary Workers At Its Loan Servicing Center After The Passage Of Student Lending Reform. Still to be determined are the long-term effects on the nearly 1,000 workers at the company’s facility in the Hanover Industrial Estates. “The temporary jobs that were posted in preparation for this year’s peak loan processing season have been eliminated,” Martha Holler, spokeswoman for Sallie Mae, said in an e-mail Friday. The move was in reaction to the passage Thursday of The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act that was included in the health care reform bill.” (“Sallie Mae plan for 300 temps halted,” The Times Leader, 3/27/10)

NEBRASKA: “Congressional Votes On Thursday To End Federally Subsidized Student Lending By Private Companies Will Mean Job Cuts At Lincoln Student Loan Company Nelnet, a company spokesman said Friday. “We are very disappointed by this political news,” spokesman Ben Kiser said. “We believe it is poor public policy that will eliminate a part of our business and result in job losses in our community.” Kiser declined to give any details about the scope of the cuts, although he said they will occur over the next several months. Nelnet employs about 2,100 people, including more than 800 in Lincoln. The provision to end the Federal Family Education Loan Program and to channel all federal student lending directly through the government was tacked on to the controversial health insurance overhaul reconciliation legislation.” (“End Of Student Loan Program Will Mean Job Cuts At Nelnet,” Lincoln Journal Star, 3/26/10)

Economic Damage Of Health Bill Continues
AT&T, 3M, And AK Steel Already Report Devastating Effects Of Health Bill

“AT&T Inc. Will Take A $1 Billion Non-Cash Charge In The First Quarter Because Of The Health Care Overhaul And May Cut Benefits It Offers To Current And Retired Workers.” (“AT&T Will Take $1B Non-Cash Charge For Health Care,” The Associated Press, 3/26/10)

·         “The Telecommunications Company Also Said It Is Looking Into Changing The Health Care Benefits It Offers Because Of The New Law.” (“AT&T Will Take $1B Non-Cash Charge For Health Care,” The Associated Press, 3/26/10)

“3M Company Today That It Expects To Record A One-Time Non-Cash Charge Of $85 To $90 Million After Tax… Resulting From The Recently Enacted Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act.” “3M Company said today that it expects to record a one-time non-cash charge of $85 to $90 million after tax, or approximately 12 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2010, resulting from the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including modifications made in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 passed by Congress on March 25, 2010. The charge is due to a reduction in the value of the company’s deferred tax asset as a result of a change to the tax treatment of Medicare Part D reimbursements.” (“3M Anticipates New U.S. Healthcare Law to Result in One-Time Charge of $85 — $90 Million After Tax in First Quarter of 2010,” 3M, 3/26/10)

“AK Steel Holding Corp., The Third Largest U.S. Steelmaker By Sales, Said It Will Record A Non-Cash Charge Of About $31 Million Resulting From The Health-Care Overhaul Signed Into Law By President Barack Obama.” (“AK Steel Sees $31 Million Charge From New Health Law,” Business Week, 3/23/10)

3/26/2010

The AP writes today, “The health care overhaul will cost U.S. companies billions and make them more likely to drop prescription drug coverage for retirees because of a change in how the government subsidizes those benefits. In the first two days after the law was signed, three major companies — Deere & Co., Caterpillar Inc. and Valero Energy — said they expect to take a total hit of $265 million to account for smaller tax deductions in the future.”

Ironically, President Obama travelled to Iowa yesterday to promote his unpopular $2.6 trillion health care takeover just after the announcement from John Deere.  The Des Moines Register noted that Deere is “Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer.”

At a time when unemployment is 9.7%, this health care bill offers major new burdens for employers. Indeed, the New Hampshire Union-Leader’s John DiStaso wrote yesterday, “[New Hampshire’s] seasonal tourism industry is only now beginning to realize that it could get hammered by the new health care reform law.” DiStaso explains, “The bill signed into law on Tuesday by President Barack Obama fines businesses that do not provide health insurance to full-time employees who work more than 120 days a year. The assessment is $2,000 per employee, which, according to SkiNH lobbyist Bruce Berke and group president Alice Pearce, could mean as much as $1 million in fines to the big ski resorts, some of which hire as many as 500 seasonal workers.” And in Colorado, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. President Chris Diamond told the Steamboat Pilot, “The potential impact to Colorado Ski Country member areas is somewhere between $9 million and $14 million in penalties (per year) . . . . It’s a stunning blow to any large employer like ours that employs seasonal staff.”

The AP reports, “‘You’re increasing the incentive for companies to say “We don’t want to be in the health care business any more,”‘ said James Gelfand, senior manager of health policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which fought the overhaul. American industrial companies that are struggling to compete globally against companies with much lower labor costs are particularly likely to eventually drop retiree coverage, said Gene Imhoff, an accounting professor at the University of Michigan.”

Further, according to the AP, “As many as 1.5 million to 2 million retirees could lose the drug benefits provided by their former employer because of the tax changes, according to a study by the Moran Company, a health care consulting firm.”

Democrats were warned of this back in December, but plowed ahead anyway: “Deere and Caterpillar were among a group of 10 companies that sent a letter to congressional leaders in December warning of the cost increases. The others were Boeing Co., Con-Way Inc., Exelon Corp., Navistar Inc., Verizon, Xerox Corp., Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. and MetLife Inc. . . . The companies that signed the December letter warned that changing the way retiree drug benefits are subsidized would have a broad impact on the economy, and there are already indications that the effects will trickle down to individuals.”

We’re only beginning to see the negative consequences for business, for individuals, for the economy, and for our health care from this ill-considered and ideological health care bill.  It needs to be repealed and replaced.

THE CATERPILLAR ECONOMY
Health Bill Forces $100 Million Hit On Company The President Previously Said, “You Can Measure America’s Bottom Line By Looking At Caterpillar’s Bottom Line.”

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “So what’s happening at this company tells us a larger story about what’s happening with our nation’s economy, because, in many ways, you can measure America’s bottom line by looking at Caterpillar’s bottom line. (President Obama, Remarks To Caterpillar Employees, 2/12/09)

“Mandates In The [Health Care] Legislation Will Hinder The Company’s Recovery This Year”

“‘From Our Point Of View, A Tax Increase Like This Cannot Come At A Worse Time,’ Said Jim Dugan, A Caterpillar Spokesman.” (“Caterpillar Takes Hit On Health Care,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/25/10)

“Caterpillar Inc. Said Wednesday It Will Take A $100 Million Charge To Earnings This Quarter To Reflect Additional Taxes Stemming From Newly Enacted U.S. Health-Care Legislation.” (“Caterpillar Takes Hit On Health Care,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/25/10)

“Caterpillar Has Argued That Higher Taxes And Other Potential Cost Increases Related To Insurance Coverage Mandates In The Legislation Will Hinder The Company’s Recovery This Year After A 75% Plunge In Income During 2009.” (“Caterpillar Takes Hit On Health Care,” The Wall Street Journal, 3/25/10)

ABOUT THOSE 2,800 PAGE BILLS…
Health Bill Signed Into Law Yesterday Is Already Not Delivering On Promises

Bill Didn’t Ban Discrimination For Pre-Existing Conditions In Children Immediately As Promised

AP: “Obama Made Better Coverage For Children A Centerpiece Of His Health Care Remake, But It Turns Out The Letter Of The Law Provided A Less-Than-Complete Guarantee That Kids With Health Problems Would Not Be Shut Out Of Coverage.” (“Gap In Health Care Law’s Protection For Children,” AP, 3/23/10)

The Promise…

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “This Year, Tens Of Thousands Of Uninsured Americans With A Preexisting Condition And Parents Whose Children Have A Preexisting Condition Will Finally Be Able To Purchase The Coverage They Need.” (President Obama, Remarks, 3/23/10)

Bill Left A “Giant Loophole” That Does Not Force Current Plans To Cover Young Adults “Today”

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: “The Bill Obama Signed Leaves A Giant Loophole… The Law Exempts Current Insurance Policies From Having To Include Coverage For The Young Adults.” (“For Young Adults, There’s A Hitch In Health-Care Law,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/24/10)

The Promise…

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): “Starting today, insurance companies are going to be required to permit young people to stay on family policies until the age of 26, which is especially important, I must say, now that so many young people are having trouble finding that first job.” (Sen. Murray, Congressional Record, S.1856, 3/23/10)

HEALTH CARE “IMMEDIATE DELIVERABLES”
Medicare Cuts, Tax Increases, A Higher Deficit, And Little To No Change In Insurance Coverage

“The White House Is Encouraging These Democrats To Campaign On The ‘Immediate Deliverables’ In The Reform Bill.” (“Matheson On The Fence As Obama Hopes For A Yes From Blue Dogs,” The Salt Lake Tribune, 3/17/10)

IMMEDIATELY: MEDICARE CUTS BEGIN

2010: $100 MILLION IN CUTS TO HOSPITALS, NURSING HOMES, AND HOSPICE

“Medicare… 2010… -0.1 [Billion Dollars].” “TITLE III—Improving The Quality And Efficiency Of Health Care; Subtitle E—Ensuring Medicare Sustainability; 3401 Revision Of Certain Market Basket Updates And Incorporation Of Services Productivity Improvements Into Market Basket Updates That Do Not Already Incorporate Such Improvements (Effect Of Productivity Adjustment For Home Health Included In Estimate For Section 3131)… 2010… -0.1 [Billion Dollars].” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10, P.14)

·         2010-2019: “Medicare… -156.6 [Billion Dollars].” “TITLE III—Improving The Quality And Efficiency Of Health Care; Subtitle E—Ensuring Medicare Sustainability; 3401 Revision Of Certain Market Basket Updates And Incorporation Of Services Productivity Improvements Into Market Basket Updates That Do Not Already Incorporate Such Improvements (Effect Of Productivity Adjustment For Home Health Included In Estimate For Section 3131)… 2010-2019… -156.6 [Billion Dollars].” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10, P.14)

THE FIRST OF MORE THAN $520 BILLION IN MEDICARE CUTS BY 2019
(Senate Finance Committee Minority Staff Review Of JCT And CBO Cost Estimates, 3/18/10)

IMMEDIATELY: TAX INCREASES BEGIN

2010: $4 BILLION TAX ON TANNING SERVICES

“The One Tax Increase That Goes Into Effect Soon – In July – Is A 10 Percent Levy On Indoor Tanning Services, Dubbed The ‘Vanity Tax.’” (“Timing Right For Dem Midterm Hopes,” Politico, 3/23/10)

·         JCT: “Impose 10% Excise Tax On Indoor Tanning Services … 2010… 4 [Billion Dollars].” (“Estimated Revenue Effects Of The Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute To H.R. 4872, The “Reconciliation Act Of 2010,” In Combination With The Revenue Effects Of H.R. 3590, The “Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (‘PPACA’),” As Passed By The Senate,” Joint Committee On Taxation, P.2, 3/18/10)

THE FIRST OF MORE THAN $560 BILLION IN TAX INCREASES BY 2019
(Senate Finance Committee Minority Staff Review Of JCT And CBO Cost Estimates, 3/18/10)

IMMEDIATELY: BILLIONS ADDED TO THE DEFICIT

2010: $6 BILLION ADDED TO THE DEFICIT

“Table 1. Summary Of Preliminary Analysis Of Health And Revenue Provisions Of Reconciliation Legislation Combined With H.R. 3590 As Passed By The Senate… Change In Deficit… 2010… 6 [Billion Dollars].” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10, P.6)

IMMEDIATELY: LITTLE TO NO CHANGE IN INSURANCE COVERAGE

2010: CBO: * MILLION AMERICANS WILL GAIN INSURANCE COVERAGE

“Effects On Insurance Coverage… Change (+ / -) [From Current Law Coverage]

“Medicaid & CHIP … 2010: *”
“Employer … 2010: *.”
“Nongroup & Other … 2010: *.”
“Exchanges … 2010: 0.”

“* = between 0.5 million and -0.5 million people.” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10, P.7)

While Democrats are taking a victory lap over the passage of their monstrously bad $2.5 trillion health care takeover, the press appears to be throwing them a ticker-tape parade today. Not only that, they appear to be delighting in dumping on Republicans for their principled opposition to the bill. Yet from reading the mainstream media’s own polls, Americans don’t agree with these attitudes.

Among the triumphal headlines Democrats are enjoying today are the AP’s “Obama to sign health bill, celebrate with allies,” The Washington Post’s, “For historic vote on heath-care reform, Pelosi wielded potent symbol: The gavel.” Network morning shows had gushing segments on health care, and ABC’s Diane Sawyer asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “Most powerful woman in American history?”

Meanwhile, other news outlets are taking turns panning Republicans today. Politico features a story titled, “GOP weighs costs of losing ugly,” reciting complaints about tea partiers and frustrated Republicans. And The New York Times has a “political memo” from Adam Nagourney claiming “Republicans Face Drawbacks of United Stand on Health Bill.” Of course, the story is based almost entirely on a column by David Frum that the White House was distributing yesterday and statements from Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee chair Bob Mendendez.

However, all of this misses the reaction of the American people, which remains overwhelmingly negative. Yesterday, CNN released an extremely telling poll, showing that 59% of the public opposes the Democrats’ health care bill, while only 39% support it. In the poll, 70% say the federal budget deficit will go up under the Democrats’ health care bill while only 12% believe it will go down. The CNN poll also found that 62% say they’ll pay more for medical care under the Democrats’ health care bill and 56% say the bill creates “too much government involvement in the nation’s health care system.”

And last night a CBS News poll found that support for the Democrats’ bill is still upside down with all the intensity on the side of those opposed to the bill. And two of the most-cited benefits of the bill are two items people just aren’t buying. A plurality, 48%, continues to disapprove of the “current health care reform bill,” while only 37% support it. And on the two main arguments for the bill (coverage for pre-existing conditions and lower premiums), people aren’t buying it: Only 37% believe the health spending bill will help control the cost of premiums, 50%  don’t believe it will and only 53% believe the bill will require companies to provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

So while Democrats and the media enjoy patting each other on the back today, the reality is that Americans oppose this government takeover of 16th of the economy, and simply aren’t buying the claims made by Democrats about how great it is. One of the reasons as that stories like this one from CBS News keep popping up: “Already Insured? Get Ready to Pay More.” Americans had the common sense to realize that is the likely outcome of this bill. They said no, and Democrats ignored them and are continuing to ignore them as they congratulate each other today.

FACT CHECK: Deficit Reduction
CBO Has Said That Long Term Projections Are “Not Meaningful” While Democrats Have Already Blown Through Their Most Optimistic Savings In Health Bill

REP. JOHN BOCCIERI (D-OH): “I Will Be Voting Yes For The Bill. Yes I Got A Deficit Reduction Of $1.2 Trillion In The Second Ten Years And $138 Billion In The First Ten Years.” (Rep. Boccieri, Press Conference, 3/19/10)

Claimed Deficit Reductions Completely Overwhelmed By Democrat Spending Spree

“The Latest Posting From The Treasury Department Shows The National Debt Has Increased Over $2 Trillion Since President Obama Took Office. The debt now stands at $12.6 trillion. On the day Mr. Obama took office it was $10.6 trillion.” (“National Debt Up $2 Trillion On Obama’s Watch,” CBS News, 3/16/10)

“The Deficit Through The First Five Months Of This Budget Year Totals $651.6 Billion, 10.5 Percent Higher Than A Year Ago.” (“Budget Deficit Sets Record In February,” AP, 3/10/10)

“The Government Ran Up The Largest Monthly Deficit In History In February, Keeping The Flood Of Red Ink On Track To Top Last Year’s Record For The Full Year. The Treasury Department Said Wednesday That The February Deficit Totaled $220.9 Billion, 14 percent higher than the previous record set in February of last year.” (“Budget Deficit Sets Record In February,” AP, 3/10/10)

CBO: Estimates On Senate Bill Beyond 2019 “Not Meaningful,” Reconciliation Could Have “Zero” Impact

CBO: “A Detailed Year-By-Year Projection For Years Beyond 2019, Like Those That CBO Prepares For The 10-Year Budget Window, Would Not Be Meaningful Because The Uncertainties Involved Are Simply Too Great.” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Sen. Harry Reid, 12/19/09, P. 15)

·         CBO: “The Incremental Effect Of Enacting The Reconciliation Bill (Over And Above The Effect Of Enacting H.R. 3590 By Itself)” Could Be “Zero.” “Although CBO does not generally provide cost estimates beyond the 10-year budget projection period, certain Congressional rules require some information about the budgetary impact of legislation in subsequent decades, and many Members have requested CBO’s analyses of the long-term budgetary impact of broad changes in the nation’s health care and health insurance systems. Therefore, CBO has developed a rough outlook for the decade following the 2010-2019 period … The incremental effect of enacting the reconciliation bill (over and above the effect of enacting H.R. 3590 by itself) would thus be to further reduce federal budget deficits in that decade, with a total effect that is in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of GDP.” (CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Rep. Nancy Pelosi, 3/18/10, P.3-4)

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