I have just received a publication from Rep. Joe Donnelly which relates a few of the benefits of the health care bill for which he voted. Medicare's actuary estimated that the $206 billion hole in Advantage will reduce benefits, cause insurers to withdraw from the program and reduce overall enrollment by half.
Joe neglects to mention the bill's problems. Indiana's budget committee chairman suggested that we drop out of the Medicaid program. The new health care program could add 1.55 million enrollees and $3.6 billion to our costs.
The health care bill creates 113 new agencies and will add around 150,000 new employees, which is part of the reason that it will cost over a trillion dollars. It will also add $500 billion in new taxes and will reduce Medicare by around $500 billion. Advantage cuts start in 2011, as well as cuts for home care, MRIs, ambulance services, diagnostic labs and medical equipment. Also in 2011, cuts to long-term hospitals, nursing homes and in-patient rehab facilities begin.
In 2012, cuts to dialysis treatment begin, along with cuts to in-patient psych hospitals and cuts to hospitals with high readmission rates.
In 2013, the Medicare wage tax is increased by 0.9 percent and a 2.3 percent excise tax is imposed on medical devices. In 2014, individuals without government-approved coverage are subject to a tax of 2.5 percent of their income and employers who fail to offer "affordable" coverage would pay a penalty of $3,000 for each employee. If no insurance is provided, the penalty is $2,000.
Considering all of this, the best course for us is to repeal the health care bill and remove those who voted for it in the next election.