McCaughey: Pelosi Bill Has Radical Agenda

Saturday, 07 Nov 2009 01:00 PM

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The healthcare reform plan being pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama and passed by the House on Saturday illustrates the Democrats' radical agenda, says former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey.

In an op-ed article appearing Saturday on The Wall Street Journal's Web site, McCaughey reveals shocking details of the 1,990-page bill.

Some of the more alarming aspects of the bill, according to McCaughey:

  • “Sec. 224 (p. 118) provides that 18 months after the bill becomes law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will decide what a "qualified plan" covers and how much you'll be legally required to pay for it. That's like a banker telling you to sign the loan agreement now, then filling in the interest rate and repayment terms 18 months later.”

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  • “Sec. 59b (pp. 297-299) says that when you file your taxes, you must include proof that you are in a qualified plan. If not, you will be fined thousands of dollars. Illegal immigrants are exempt from this requirement.”

  • “Sec. 1114 (pp. 391-393) replaces physicians with physician assistants in overseeing care for hospice patients.”

  • “On Nov. 2, the Congressional Budget Office estimated what the plans will likely cost. An individual earning $44,000 before taxes who purchases his own insurance will have to pay a $5,300 premium and an estimated $2,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, for a total of $7,300 a year, which is 17 percent of his pre-tax income. A family earning $102,100 a year before taxes will have to pay a $15,000 premium plus an estimated $5,300 out-of-pocket, for a $20,300 total, or 20 percent of its pre-tax income. Individuals and families earning less than these amounts will be eligible for subsidies paid directly to their insurer.”

  • “Sec. 1161 (pp. 520-545) cuts payments to Medicare Advantage plans (used by 20 percent of seniors). Advantage plans have warned this will result in reductions in optional benefits such as vision and dental care.”

  • “Sec. 399V (p. 1422) provides for grants to community 'entities' with no required qualifications except having 'documented community activity and experience with community healthcare workers' to 'educate, guide, and provide experiential learning opportunities' aimed at drug abuse, poor nutrition, smoking and obesity.”

  • “Secs. 2521 and 2533 (pp. 1379 and 1437) establishes racial and ethnic preferences in awarding grants for training nurses and creating secondary-school health science programs.”

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