Chillin' out till it needs to be funded
Mr. Obama’s plan, released ahead of a televised health summit with congressional leaders Thursday, didn’t include any additional nods to Republican ideas. Republican leaders denounced it, suggesting that the summit is unlikely to lead to bipartisan breakthroughs.
Ok, so this holiday at home is nice as I see a battery of doctors in good old India, where even in New Delhi I have spent less than $200 in a whole week of tests and high income group disease diagnosis, not covered by any healthplans. But, the new Obamacare plan in the meantime has been a revelation after revelation.
In a last-ditch effort to salvage his overhaul of the sector, the president unveiled a $950 billion plan that lays the groundwork for his party to try pushing its legislation through Congress without Republican support.
There is no public option. Exchange traded options would more or less be introduced but not really go the mile. The objective, the bill gets into the senate, then Whitehouse, and comes out a spanking new law. Good enough.
There would be no new excise/taxes on higher priced plans till 2018. And thus of no deterrent value and very less revenue accretive value, sad to note in this discussion but nevertheless, there goes deficit control out of the window. Also, there is enough for the Republicans to shout but they would not get any mileage on it. And that is what matters. Tax on premiums above $27,500 and reviews of premium hikes purely for price control are the remnants of pressure on the industry to control prices.
There is not much resembling the new fangled laws of MA that seemed to have the same copy sheets in the initial draft.
A lot of political ground is being covered in this half baked 2nd edition that makes sure there will be another edition of reform within Obama’s term. The road blocks created by the Donkey have all been attended to, with a circuitous back door entry for each. All Medicaid spending till 2017 and 90% thence till 2020 is transferred to the Federal balance sheet, paid from Federal taxes and giving Governors a chance to refresh and regain ground in their constituencies.
Everyone earning till $96000 will qualify for Government subsidies, the joint filer tax surcharge for 5.4% of all joint filings of above $1 million comes back as the 2.9% payroll tax for joint filings above $250K
The White House would now apply that tax for the first time to income from “interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents,” details to come.
It does seem from this 11-page document that only getting the subject done is paramount right now. The same for the deficit. It all depends on the grade of rebound this year.
Meanwhile Anthem/Wellpoint are going through rigorous reviews as a first test case of the new regime in California, having gone ahead and increased premiums by up to 30% to catch up with increased costs and perhaps suspecting higher clains in the Blue Cross programs.