Former Congressional Budget Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin says the biggest problem facing the nation now is not healthcare reform or even that the United States is engaged in fighting two wars.
It's the looming budget deficit.
"Our national debt is projected to stand at $17.1 trillion 10 years from now, or over $50,000 per American," Holtz-Eakin writes in The Wall Street Journal.
"Perhaps the most vivid example of sending the wrong message to international capital markets are the healthcare reform bills — one that passed the House earlier this month and another under consideration in the Senate. Whatever their good intentions, they have too many flaws to be defensible."
A CBO audit of the House bill found it fails to reduce the pace of healthcare spending growth, actually growing health care expenditures by 2.1 percent — about $720 billion — over 10 years, and the Senate healthcare bill is no better, Holtz-Eakin says.
Both bills betray the basic promise of healthcare reform: providing quality care at lower cost.
Tucked into the last hundred pages of the Senate bill is a 5 percent tax on cosmetic surgery that has doctors from various specialties wondering if they will soon become tax collectors who must also interpret the tax code, ABC News reports.
If the bill as proposed passes, doctors will be asked to collect tax on surgical procedures that fall under the bill's definition of "cosmetic," regardless of whether the procedure is covered by insurance.
If the doctors don't collect the tax, they are responsible for paying it.
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