With a new U.S. Senator-elect from Massachusetts, it had been proposed that the House pass the Senate’s version of health care “reform,” H.R. 3590, and send it to the President. This would be unwise for several reasons.
The House and the White House negotiated with the labor unions about the so-called cadillac tax on high cost health insurance plans. If this is done, would the citizenry have to assume that the word of its representatives is dirt when they turn their back on good-faith negotiations? [Note: Those negotiations were inadequate.]
Moreover, the Senate Bill is rife with problems and is itself an offensive document: The Senate completely ignored the work of the House in H.R. 3962, when the House, too, passed it with narrow margins. I do not see how House members can just pass H.R. 3590 without having any input on H.R. 3590 whatsoever. Why doesn’t the Senate pass H.R. 3962 [I argue this theoretically because the House bill, too, is far from ideal (just not as far out as H.R. 3590)]?
The Senate Bill also has at least two significant flaws: a mandate to buy a private company’s product or be fined by the Internal Revenue Service and the tax on high cost health insurance plans, which only encourages the further erosion of expensive, basic health insurance. This is not reform at all, only a stimulation of the health insurance industry. It would be better for the health insurance companies to control their outrageous overhead first.
Real health care reform starts also with nothing less than single payer.