According to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D. Calif.), with the passage of Obamacare yesterday, now is the time to find out what it includes. Most of you won’t like it any better now, than you did before passage, but, let’s begin.
Is Congress covered by the bill? Yes, they are, but, that doesn’t really answer your question accurately. All Americans are subject to the bill so that beginning in 2014, if you do not have a “qualified” insurance plan, you will pay a tax. However, as the health insurance Congress receives (subsidized by you, of course) is so far superior to even the best “Cadillac” insurance policy, their plan will clearly be “qualified”. A better question to ask your representative is, “will I receive the same insurance as Congress”? The answer to that is a resounding “no”. In fact, many people will be placed on Medicaid. Ask your representative if he or she would be willing to be covered by Medicaid.
What is a “qualified” plan? Actually, we don’t have any idea, nor does Congress. The bill gives complete, absolute, total discretion to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make that decision for you, as, pursuant to the thought process employed by Congress, you are completely incapable of making that decision on your own. The Secretary will decide the amount of your deductible, the amount of your co-pay, and the types of medical care that must be covered…much like the current hodge podge of State mandates that have done nothing but drive up the cost of insurance.
Can I keep my insurance if I like it? You absolutely can, but, beginning in 2014, if your insurance doesn’t have the Secretary’s “Good Housekeeping” seal of approval, you will be forced to either pay a tax, or, drop the insurance you like, and move to a government approved plan. The same is true for those who are covered by their employer’s group plan. That plan must also be qualified, leaving an employer with three choices if his or her employee plan doesn’t come “up to snuff”. First, ask the employees to increase their contribution toward the cost; second, pick up the increased costs himself; or, third, drop the plan entirely, and, pay a tax.
And, what about those taxes, how much will they be? Good question…we don’t know. Should the “Reconciliation Bill” pass the Senate, an individual will pay $695 (or 2.5% of his income, whichever is higher), and a business with more than 50 employees will pay $3000 per employee (yup, you read that right, a minimum of $150,000 per year). If the Reconciliation Bill does not pass the Senate, the taxes are somewhat smaller.
Like the bill any better now that it has passed, and, you can see it?