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Consumer Healthcare Reform Debate

The debate is raging over the future of the U.S. healthcare system.  President Obama has proposed a radical changing of our current healthcare infrastructure with consequences and results that no one is quite sure about.    The President has laid out some general guidelines but has left it up to the democratic congress to write the bill.   Many competing bills are underway with competing and contradictory outcomes.   The cost as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office is well over a Trillion Dollars.  With a largest deficits in the history, can the U.S. government afford to cover 40 million people currently without health insurance?   Who pays?  Who can guarantee that once this giant entitle begins that it will not grow exponentially?  


The Congressional Budget Office scoring of healthcare reform has a number of gimmicks to make it look like we can cover 30 million more people many getting a subsidy without increasing the debt.  The numbers can be manipulated easily. The numbers assume the cuts to Medicare which many doubt will happen.   The CBO scoring also includes a government takeover of the Student Loans which provides revenue to the government in the same bill, and thus is accounted in final score of the healthcare reform bill. 

Former Estimates of Health Care Costs WAY OFF

This information is from the Senate Joint Economic Committee’s  report studying cost over-runs of Medicare. 

From the Medicare report: 

Medicare (hospital insurance). In 1965, as Congress considered legislation to establish a national Medicare program, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated that the hospital insurance portion of the program, Part A, would cost about $9 billion annually by 1990.. Actual Part A spending in 1990 was $67 billion. The actuary who provided the original cost estimates acknowledged in 1994 that, even after conservatively discounting for the unexpectedly high inflation rates of the early ‘70s and other factors, “the actual [Part A] experience was 165% higher than the estimate.”

Medicare (entire program). In 1967, the House Ways and Means Committee predicted that the new Medicare program, launched the previous year, would cost about $12 billion in 1990. Actual Medicare spending in 1990 was $110 billion—off by nearly a factor of 10.    In 2008 the cost was 468 Billion!    

UPDATE - Health Care Reform Passes - States Immediately Challenge Constitutionality -
GOP Promises To Repeal and Replace

After a contentious vote in the House of Representatives including down-to-wire negotiations with  Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan and the six congressmen who followed him, over government funded abortion coverage in the bill, HR3590 was passed by a vote of 219-212. 

Health Reform Bill HR 3590 Signed Into Law by President Obama  March 23, 2010

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act HR 3590 - PDF 906 Pages  Vote: 219-212.

Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
The Senate Fixes to the Health Bill HR 4872   2310 Pages  Vote: 56-43

Health Care Reform Bill Overview Numbers

$528 billion in total cuts to Medicare - Must still be enacted
$206 billion in total cuts to Medicare Advantage plans - Check to see if your elderly loved ones are in this plan.
$569 billion in new taxes and tax increases - This will affect everyone as taxes are always passed on to consumer.
$52 billion in new taxes on employer from employer mandate -
16,500 new jobs for the IRS who will enforce that everyone has purchased health insurance

Details from Government point of view:

RESPONSE FROM STATE GOVERNMENTS - Many States Joining Florida Lawsuit

On March 23, 2010 immediately following the passage of The Florida Attorney General Files Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of Health Care Reform Mandate which requires all citizens to buy healthcare insurance or face penalties from the IRS.  This is the first time in U.S. history, that one citizen is required to buy a product from another citizen.  The lawsuit hinge on the interpretation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Virginia Lawsuit Against Federal Government March 23, 2010

The State of Virginia launched a separate lawsuit because it has a unique standing.  The Virginia legislature passed and the Governor signed a law making it unlawful for any citizen to be compelled to buy health care insurance in Virginia.


Health Care Resources

The Government Health Care and Health Insurance links below contain valuable consumer information, but always check with your health care professional for advice.

Health insurance helps protect you from high medical care costs. Many people in the United States get a health insurance policy through their employers. In most cases, the employer helps pay for that insurance. Insurance through employers is often with a managed care plan. These plans contract with health care providers and medical facilities to provide care for members at reduced costs.

You can also purchase health insurance on your own. It usually costs you more than employer-based insurance. People who meet certain requirements can qualify for government health insurance, such as Medicare and Medicaid. If you do not have health insurance, you must pay your medical bills directly or rely on health care providers or organizations that donate care.

About Canadian Pharmacies:  The re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada is still a hot topic and was not addressed in the Healthcare Reform Legislation of 2010.   Contact your local state government for more information.  State Government Websites

Prescription Drug Resource Center - State of Wisconsin

New Hampshire Prescription Drug Policy

Other Healthcare Resources

Assisted Living Residential Services

Auto Insurance Camarillo

Consumer Guide on Health Insurance from the Agency for Healthcare and Research and Quality

White House Proposal on Health Care Reform - President Obama

Heritage Foundation response to President's Health Care Program

Consumer Guides for Getting and Keeping Health Insurance
Guides for all 50 states and Washington D.C.

These Guides relate to The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), also known as Kassebaum-Kennedy, which was enacted in 1996, creating new national protections for people who want to buy, keep or switch their health insurance, even when they have a preexisting condition. 

Date on health insurance from the Census Bureau.

Medicare Rates for 2010

National Library of Medicine

Consumer Health Plan Information - Dept. of Labor

  • HIPAA Nondiscrimination Guidance 
  • National Medical Support Notice 
  • E-laws Health Benefits Advisor 
  • Health Benefit Claims and Appeals 
  • WHCRA Questions and Answers 
  • Health Benefits Education Campaign 
  • Recent Changes in Health Care Law 
  • Health Plan Fact Sheets


Private Insurance Websites:



Blue Cross is different in each state.







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