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Reid gets favors for his state but other states face burdens from Baucus plan

Whatever’s in America's Healthy Future Act 2009 won’t be official until 24 hours before the bill is made public. Main Street will get 24 hours to read what will probably be a bill of at least 1,000 pages—the same goes for Congressmen who aren’t on the Finance Committee headed by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Voters shouldn’t bother asking their representatives about it—Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius has a gag order in place. But Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) apparently knows a few things about the bill Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is formulating.

Reid complained about the impact on Medicaid in Nevada. The New York Times said, “Now Mr. Baucus has modified the bill to spare Nevada and three other states, and Mr. Reid, who faces a potentially difficult race for re-election next year, is taking credit for getting a “major increase” in federal money for his state.”

Nothing like the Senate Majority Leader putting party above country, is there?

Here’s a rundown of the tax burden from The Heritage Foundation blog Morning Bell: “Under the plan,  everyone will have to have health insurance by 2013. The mandate will apply to all adults and their dependents under age 18. Those who failed to buy insurance would be forced to pay an annual tax between $750 and $3,800 per year. Those who fail to pay the tax could be jailed for up to one year. Worse, 7.7 million households would face a 35% excise tax on their health insurance. 94% of these households would be paying a higher tax rate on their health insurance than they would be paying on their income.”

The bill also taxes businesses. Morning Bell said, “Employers with more than 50 employees that don’t offer health coverage would have to pay a penalty for each employee who qualifies for new federal subsidizes under the bill. To stay in business employers will be forced to cut jobs and cut wages.”

IRS is deputized to enforce individual and employer mandates.

Morning Bell has other information about a bill that looks to be more complicated, more invasive and less consumer-friendly than the blighted plan known as HR 3200.

During a conference call with media on Tuesday, Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele said the impact on families and businesses will be “huge.” Steele said the Democratic Party is “poised to raise taxes,” a tactic he called “lamebrain.” Steele also mentioned a possible tax on wheelchairs and other medical devices costing more than $100. He said the economy is still “close to the precipice…still losing jobs.”

Morning Bell noted one thorny issue related to privacy, the role of IRS: “To enforce these provisions, the bill would therefore require individuals, health insurers, employers, and government health agencies to report detailed health insurance information on all Americans to the IRS, adding significant administrative costs and reducing privacy protections. The IRS would also be required to report personal income data to state exchanges, insurance companies, and employers because premium credits and out-of-pocket limits would depend on income.”

Ironically, in April, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Jan Helfeld with FreeLiberal.com, “Our system of government is a voluntary tax system.” Apparently, IRS missed that memo.

Video Note: 

In this truly hilarious video, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid explains why in America, we have a “voluntary tax system.”


--by Kay B. Day

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