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Sunday, November 08, 2009

US House Narrowly Passes 220-215 $1.2 Trillion Health Reform and Mandatory Health Insurance for Everyone | Abortion Funding Restricted to Swing Votes

In a 220-215 close vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $1.2 trillion health insurance reform package that will require mandatory health insurance for everyone with federal subsidies for those who cannot afford it.

A deal to restrict abortion funding and coverage was key to swinging certain Democrats. Federal subsidies for abortion coverage would be restricted from any government plan, except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother was in danger. Abortion coverage would not be allowed in any private plan that receives federal funding.

Here's the vote summary:

Voting YES - 219 Democrats, 1 Republican
Voting NO - 176 Republicans, 39 Democrats

The U.S. Senate will next debate the bill, but here's some of the issues in the House version:

* 96% of Americans would be covered
* Health insurance would be mandatory
* Pre-existing conditions would not matter
* Health insurance companies would lose antitrust exemptions
* Government or "public option" would be available
* Massive regulation of health care

And, how does this supposedly get paid for? The bill depends on $400 billion in Medicare savings (i.e. cuts) and placing a 5.4% tax surcharge on any individual making over $500,000 or a family making over $1 million.

The Senate version is $900 billion and does not require employers to provide health insurance, uses various taxes and fees and the "public option" is still a controversial question.

Many say the Senate is unlikely to approve the House version.


Anonymous said...

Who was the sole republican that voted YES? I believe he or she just blew any chance of getting re-elected.

shawn said...

Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La)

He is in heavily Democrat populated districts in Louisiana. So his chance are still good, if this ends up working.

Ella from Toronto said...

Just 5 votes is what decided in the first round.. not much, eh?

I wonder how the bill will change before it's back on Mr Obama's table.

Good luck to you all,

Anonymous said...

The aftermath of this is going to be interesting indeed. I think companies are in for a very, very rude awakening.

For many with talent the only remaining golden handcuff is health care. If that obstacle is removed I suspect many of the large corporations will see a large scale exodus of their most productive workers as those with ability shift to more lucrative consulting positions with their former employers and the many networked connections they have established over the years. I suspect many who have earned a lot and socked it away will stop working on the corporate treadmill and retire early or move into vocations they are passionate about, where they labor more for their passion, their financial security needs already have been satiated through diligent saving.

When you look at modern corporate settings, skilled employees often ask themselves what is it the company is doing for me that I cannot do for myself. Increasing the answer has become access to group insurance policies. Pensions are gone, and while 401k are very nice more companies are eliminating the matching provisions and at precisely the moment when they matter most in terms of portfolio management (i.e you want to buy more shares when prices decline with that matching). Most large companies have eliminated or greatly curtailed education forcing the employees to reach deep into their personal time to hone leading edge skills.

So in the end, high value employees are going to ask themselves what is this company doing for me I cannot do for myself and the answer will be nothing because the last golden handcuff was removed.

I suppose the corporate defense will be to lobby for more H1B and L1 visas to fill the gap and keep their costs down. But still and all it will not prevent the corporate brain drain.

Like I said, this may prove very interesting. And while I do not know any professionals who support this expansion I do know many such as myself who are positioned to take advantage of it.

A SEP account and those nice income adjustments that allow you to pay yourself a reasonable salary and hold the rest as retained earnings should allow many of use who are abused by social security and payroll taxes we will never get a positive return from to mitigate our taxable income and the amount subject to confiscatory payroll tax rates.

Like I said it is going to be interesting.

Anonymous said...

I know how we can pay for this bill.

Just dip in the same deep pocket that pays for the war.

Leonard said...

The is only one collective pocket. That pocket belongs to those living breathing individuals that work in the PRIVATE sector.

That pocket pays for everything in this nation in the forme of taxes and in the purchase price of anything.

Contrary to the beliefs of this administration and so many before it government jobs and jobs solely dependant upon the public purse do not pay taxes those jobs pay a rebate to the employer.

Before any government employee can buy anything he or she must first receive money from the tax paying worker. It is recirculating money.

Unfortunately the geniuses in Washington, the state houses and municipal corporate governments do not seem to understand this concept.

The administration has accelerated the destruction of this nation beyond imagination.

It has always amazed me that the people that have benefitted the most from this nation and the system in place want to destroy this nation and that system.

That thought process is not that of a sane individual in mhy opinion.

Anonymous said...

US house of Representatives.....a house FULL of lieing Communist BASTARDS period.

Anonymous said...

2010 right around the corner. Vote out all the socialist bastards!

Anonymous said...

Fuck all of these bastards!

They cannot force anything mandatory on us it is unconstitutional but then again they probably have never read it.

Time to arm up and fight!

Anonymous said...

Maybe OBAMA can dip into his infamous poke. After all look what 50 years of Democratic freebies has done for DETROIT.