House Democrats released their 1,018 page health care reform bill, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, yesterday.
This bill is a dog’s breakfast of bad ideas paid for by more than $500 billion in new taxes. The reform would impose an individual mandate on individuals, requiring every American to buy a government designed insurance package or pay a new tax equal to 2.5 percent of their income. At a time of rising unemployment, businesses would be required to provide health insurance to workers or pay a new tax equal to 8 percent of workers wages. These new taxes could drive the total cost to taxpayers much higher than the $500 billion in direct taxes in the bill.
In addition, the bill includes a host of new insurance regulations that will drive up the cost of insurance premiums, and a new government-run insurance plan that will “compete” with private insurance. That government-run plan will ultimately force millions of Americans out of their current insurance plan and into the government-run system. This is a health care “reform” under which Americans will pay more for worse care.
To get an idea of what sort of bureaucratic nightmare that would ensue with passage of this bill is illustrated by the Republican Staff of the Joint Economic Committee here.
For regular updates on the reform process as it progresses, check out Cato’s health care Web site.