Update: Make sure you check the update below. Rationing!
The Baucus plan and the Waxman Murphy plan, both will tax you if you don’t have health insurance. But as we pointed out right here it’s so much more than that. You will be taxed even if you have coverage, IF, it’s not up to government standards. Remember, you read it here first?
Then of course, there was the obligatory Obama “it’s not a tax.”
Steve brought this to my attention very early in the morning (thanks Steve) and I read it on the show. From Friday night’s on-line edition of the Wall Street Journal. It’s the story of Wendy Williams and it is not pretty.
My husband retired from IBM about a decade ago, and as we aren’t old enough for Medicare we still buy our health insurance through the company. But IBM, with its typical courtesy, informed us recently that we will be fined by the state.
Why? Because Massachusetts requires every resident to have health insurance, and this year, without informing us directly, the state had changed the rules in a way that made our bare-bones policy no longer acceptable. Unless we ponied up for a pricier policy we neither need nor want—or enrolled in a government-sponsored insurance plan—we would have to pay $1,000 each year to the state.
My husband’s response was muted; I was shaking mad. We hadn’t imposed our health-care costs on anyone else, yet we were being fined (“taxed” was the word the letter used).
We’ve spent much of our lives putting away what money we could for retirement. We always intended to be self-sufficient. We’ve paid off the mortgage on our home, don’t carry credit-card debt, and have savings in case of an emergency. We also have a regular monthly income of about $3,000, which includes an IBM pension. My husband, 61, earns a little money on the side, sometimes working as an electronics consultant on renewable energy projects. I’m 58 and make some money writing science books. We are not wealthy, but we aren’t a risk of becoming a burden on society either. How did we become outlaws?
Make sure you read the whole thing here. It’s a tax, it will force you out of your current plan and into one of theirs, or as the Democrats remind us … into a “better” plan. Their plan.
Update: It’s a tax …. and there will be rationing. (From Sister Toldjah via H/T – Instapundit via Ed Morrissey). My goodness … health care in the Commonwealth is coming unglued. I bet you folks in the Bay State sure are glad you have universally distructive insurance … hmmmmmm? How’s it looking now? Hmmmmmm? It’s ok … Connecticut’s just a few miles away, for now.
The state’s ambitious plan to shake up how providers are paid could have a hidden price for patients: Controlling Massachusetts’ soaring medical costs, many health care leaders believe, may require residents to give up their nearly unlimited freedom to go to any hospital and specialist they want.
Efforts to keep patients in a defined provider network, or direct them to lower-cost hospitals could be unpopular, especially in a state where more than 40 percent of hospital care is provided in expensive academic medical centers and where many insurance policies allow patients access to large numbers of providers.
and then there is this:
Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine last month, staff writer Dr. Robert Steinbrook said the state commission failed to address the choice issue head-on. Global payments would save money only if networks “limited the volume of services, and denied certain requests from patients and providers,’’ among other measures, he wrote. “Since patient choice is such a sensitive issue, the commission waffled.’’
But Sarah Iselin, head of the state Division of Health Care Finance and Policy and cochair of the payment commission, said the panel understood the importance of addressing the effect of its recommendations on patient choice, but “felt these issues could be figured out’’ later by a board that would be created to oversee the transition to a new payment system.
You know .. later. After it’s law, later. Once we have you, later. Get it? Just pass the bill damn-it.
Mass health care has been well documented on this blog … here and here. Costs are soaring (up 42%), and it’s all happened since the Bay State decided to introduce universal mandatory health care or else. Well the citizens bought into it because their premiums were soaring. They bought into access to everything for all. They believed the politicians and now the politicians are surprised they’re what, using it?
So now you Bay Staters, your premiums are soaring … and your access will be limited. Perfect, don’t you think?