Rhetoric vs. reality – health care legislation will increase costs

With the health care debate heating up in the Senate this week, perhaps it’s time to analyze what proponents of Obamacare tell us this legislation will do, and compare that with what the legislation actually will do.Rhetoric: the United States spends far too much of its gross domestic product on health care, and, once Obamacare is fully implemented, our spending on health care will decline.

Reality: nothing could be further from the truth, and this legislation ensures that will happen.

Although Obamacare will not take effect until 2013, you will see the cost of your health care increase immediately.  The legislation pending before Congress provides that beginning in 2010 there will be an annual tax of $2.3 billion imposed on drug manufacturers and importers (page 2010, section 9005), an annual tax of $2 billion imposed on medical device manufacturers (page 2020, section 9009), an annual tax of $6.7 billion imposed upon health insurers, including not for profit health insurers, (page 2026, section 9010), and a 5 percent tax on the cost of any elective cosmetic surgery (page 2045, section 9017).

Unless the legislation also allows drug manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, and insurance companies to print money, which it does not, this $11 billion annual increase in taxes has to come from somewhere, and, you are that somewhere.  What you currently pay for health insurance, prescription drugs, wheel chairs, crutches, artificial knees, walkers, canes, and virtually anything else medically related you can think of, will increase by a collective $11 billion in 2010, and continue into the foreseeable future.

Congress, of course, will pretend to be shocked and amazed when this happens, and, profess that was not what they intended, but, the reality is unless Congress thinks these industries have the power to print money, there is absolutely no other logical outcome.

All things being equal, the amount of money spent in the United States on health care will not only not decline under this legislation, it will actually increase by at least $11 billion annually, plus, of course, whatever is spent on the “botax”.

I’m not sure whether Congress thinks we are stupid, or thinks we will simply fall asleep reading this “opus” before we get to page 2010 of the Reid version of Obamacare.

Added by Steve: Here’s a post from Oct. 15 where I’ve detailed additional taxes that will be passed on to consumers from the Senate Baucus bill that was supposed to be dead. Lots of taxes carried forward from that legislation.

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The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. Dimsdale on December 1, 2009 at 4:24 am

    "I’m not sure whether Congress thinks we are stupid, or thinks we will simply fall asleep reading this “opus” before we get to page 2010 of the Reid version of Obamacare."


    Oh, I think you know!  😉


    Even sadder is the fact that they won't lose (or gain) any sleep reading it themselves.  Any pol who says "I didn't know that was in there" should be forced to resign immediately, and forgo all benefits.  It is their job to know what is in there as our representatives.  Anything less, and they are simply tools of the Democrat leadership.


    Did I say "SOS for President!" yet?

  2. sammy22 on December 1, 2009 at 6:03 am

    I already know that my healthcare insurance premiums in 2010 are going up 11% w/o Obamacare. I expect that w/o Obamacare the premiums will keep going up because there is no incentive on the part of the health insurance companies/healthcare providers/healthcare recipients to do anything different from what they are doing now.

    • Eric on December 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm

      Hey there sammy22, how about the incentive on your part to save some money and negotiate some of your health care expenses. I do it all the time and it is a cost-saver. One more point that I'd also like to make is that those "evil" insurance companies don't raise your rates just to pad their bottom line. They HAVE to be competitive in the market place, and they also have to stay in business. That's a pretty fine line to walk in these trying times. Health insurance companies, as an industry, run on a 3% margin. Wouldn't it be nice if our government could learn to do the same thing instead of borrowing us into debt that we will never be able to repay? It's too bad that more of our legislators come into office without any business skills at all. They have no idea what it takes to run a business, they're oblivious to the most common sense problems that we as taxpayers face, and they don't really care what we have to say about it anyway. We're definitely in trouble!

  3. sammy22 on December 3, 2009 at 5:09 am

    Hey Erik, negotiate health expenses? Please tells us how it is done, including what to do when one keels over from a heart attack. And I am glad you are OK with premium increases that far outstrip the cost-of-living. BTW, there are millions out there that are on a fixed income.

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