By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
The instant analysis of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's healthcare bill shows that not much has changed since Congress broke for the August recess.
The plan Pelosi unveiled Thursday, if passed into law, would generate higher taxes, higher premiums, Medicare cuts, and a decline in the quality of the American healthcare system. According to the pro-taxpayer group Americans for Tax Reform, a simple word search of the Pelosi bill uncovered the word "tax" 87 times, "taxable" 62 times, and found 10 instances of the phrase "excise tax." What she and her fellow Democrats are offering is not "free healthcare"—it is an illusion.
What does the bill really do and to whom does it do it? In a speech Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell mapped out how the Democrats' bill would shatter President Obama's promise not to raise taxes on American families making less than $250,000 per year.
The bottom line, McConnell said, is that "If you have insurance, you get taxed. If you don't have insurance, you get taxed. If you're a struggling business owner who can't afford insurance for your employees, you get taxed. If you use medical devices, you get taxed. If you buy over-the-counter medicine, you get taxed. In other words, Americans get taxed going and coming under the trillion-dollar plan that's making its way through Congress."
What the Democrats have proposed is not reform, if reform is defined as a plan to make things better. And to market it as such is a near criminal attempt to deceive the American people—the Justice Department might call it "honest services fraud" were they inclined to investigate.
Coming in at more than 2,000 pages—if you include the separate bill to slash Medicare reimbursements to doctors and hospitals to make the make-believe numbers balance—the Pelosi bill includes new regulations that touch on aspects of everyday American life that even many ardent supporters of healthcare reform never contemplated. What Pelosi has brought forward is not just the "big government" approach to problem-solving; it's the "all government" approach. And it's not what a self-governing nation like ours needs.