US Universal Health Care Bill to be Passed by August:
President Obama has announced to US Congress that he wants a universal health care bill before August 7, the start of summer recess.
The House's legislation will be combined with two other health care bills from other committees. The final health care bill will create a public option to compete with private insurance options.
"Don't bet against us. We are going to make this thing happen," Obama said this week
The health insurance bill would act much like car insurance in that the health care insurance is compulsory and without it a fine must be paid. Companies with payrolls larger than $250, 000 must provide health care insurance or face large fines.
The bill would require virtually all Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty. And it would require all but the smallest businesses to provide health insurance for their workers or pay a substantial fee. It would also expand Medicaid to cover many more poor people, and it would create new exchanges through which millions of middle-class Americans could buy health insurance with the help of government subsidies. The result would be near-universal coverage at a surprisingly manageable cost to the federal government.
Many have criticized the budget neutral health care plan as putting the brunt of support on a disproportionate amount of people. With half of the $1 trillion dollar budget being raised through increased taxes on families making $350,000 or more annually. Conversely President Obama had requested the health care bill be financed through savings found in the health care system.
By embracing these two taxes, the House rejected the financing method recommended by most economists. The tax preference given to health insurance provided by employers (over, say, the coverage bought by the self-employed) is a market distortion that costs the exchequer some $250 billion a year. Abolishing or even merely restricting that policy could pay for much or all of the cost of universal coverage, as well as boosting labour mobility and making the cost of coverage more transparent to consumers.
Congressman John Fleming has proposed a resolution in Congress that will close a loop-hole in the health care plans. As the bill stands public servants on capital hill are allowed to keep there private health care plans. John Fleming would like to see all congressmen and senators obligated to adopt the public health care plan.
I have offered a resolution that will offer members of Congress an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, and urge their colleagues who vote for legislation creating a government-run health care plan to lead by example and enroll themselves in the same public plan.