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Let Us Review The Healthcare Reform Act

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

Nancy Pelosi said we must pass President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Law in “order to find out what is in it”.During the past year Americans have started to understand some of the implications of the bill.



Last year President Obama forced his bill through Congress. He issued an arbitrary deadline to the Democratic controlled House and Senate for passage of his health-care legislation. Democrats voted for a bill that was deeply flawed. In order to pass the bill he had to make some backroom deals. He also made lots of false promises .

Americans are calling for:

  1. Defunding of the 256 new agencies formed by President Obama. The budget deficit and the recent GAO report of thousands of agency duplications are encouraging defunding.
  2. Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with better alternative.

As the problems with President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act become apparent Americans, Republican congressional representatives, state and local government are realizing the defects in this deeply flawed bill.

1. More than half the states (28) are challenging the law in court, saying that it violates the constitutional rights of their citizens and the sovereignty of the states.

2. A Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce Committees study found states face at least $118 billion increase in their state deficits over the next 10 years because of President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act. I believe this is an underestimate.

3. Over 1,000 waivers to allow select companies, unions, and states to escape the law, at least temporarily.

4. Experts have shown the law will cause the cost of care to increase faster than it would without the law. The Congressional Budget Office expects the price of a family policy in the individual market will be $2,100 higher by 2016 than it would have been had the law not passed.

5. Even with SCHIP it is now impossible to buy child-only health insurance because onerous new rules imposed by many states.

6. Seniors are presently at risk of losing access to physicians and their medical care. As the Medicare deductible goes up ($162) and Medicare Part F becomes more expensive seniors cannot afford Medicare premiums and deductibles.

7. Medicare actuaries say that the cuts built into the law will force as many as 40% of providers to eventually stop seeing Medicare patients or go bankrupt.

8. Employers are increasing deductibles or eliminating healthcare insurance as a benefit leaving many uninsured.

9. Healthcare insurance companies are leaving the market for insuring individuals.

10. Many thousands became unemployed in the last few years. They have lost their healthcare coverage.

11. Douglas Holtz-Eakin estimates a cost explosion for President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act as employers opt to drop coverage and send their workers to the new, federally subsidized health exchanges for coverage.

12. The estimate is that the Healthcare Reform Act will drive up the cost of Medicare by $1 trillion or more in the first 10 years.

13. Employers will lose their ability to deduct healthcare insurance as an expense.

14. President Obama has used tricks to increase tax revenue. He is increasing taxes or decreasing tax credits. These increases are not well advertised.

15. In 2013, the threshold for taking medical deductions increase to 10 percent of adjusted gross income, from 7.5 percent.

16. In 2014, a new $2,500 limit kicks in for flexible spending accounts making them less desirable.

17. The Medicare payroll tax has been increased by including investment income. This includes capital gains, dividends, interest, annuities, rents, and royalties. It does not apply to distributions from retirement plans or interest from municipal bonds.

18. In 2013, there will be an additional tax on net investment income of 3.8% to help pay for the Healthcare Reform Act.

19. In order to pay for the increase cost of healthcare home sales will be included as a capital gains. The existing exclusion of $500,000 ($250,000 for single filers) still applies. This means a home-selling couple would not experience a tax unless the profit was more than $500,000 and their income was more than $250,000. This provision is essentially a tax on the rich to fund the Healthcare Reform Act.

20. The new law increases the Medicare hospital insurance tax, to 2.35 percent from 1.45 percent, on employees.

21. Providing a 1099 form for services over $600 has been rejected and is in the process of being repealed.

22. The tanning bed tax of 10% is in force represent a tax to increase funding for the Healthcare Reform Act.

I know I missed some of the consequences of President Obama’s Healthcare Reform Act. However, I thought it would be important to list as many as I could think of and put them in one article.

It would have been nice if Nancy Pelosi told the American people what was in the bill before she rammed it through the House of Representatives.

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

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