Unless you add back in the $249 billion it takes to pay doctors. Really! How can you have a health care bill without including doctors?
But let's go after a couple of basic questions: 1) Being forced to buy insurance but knowing full well that services will be rationed, is there a provision which allows those who can afford it, of course, to go outside the system and pay cash?
2) When are the taxes to pay for all this going to start?
These are the two questions I asked of both Sen. Stabenow's office and Cong. Schauer's office this afternoon. The subjects were predicated when I received the first of my letters of increase ie., the Medicare Part D is being increased by $20 each for the first $40 we need to budget. We know the other part of Medicare is going to rise as well, probably in the neighborhood of $30 to $40 each making our increase $100 at a minimum. Then we add our Medigap private insurance which will no doubt be about 10% bringing us to $140-$150 per month more than this year. (Without a COLA this is a total increase.)
The answer from the Senator's office to question #1 was that yes, we could go anywhere we want and spend as much as we can afford is in the bill as we speak, but not sure it will remain. I asked that Ms. Stabenow be prepared to add an amendment to keep that little bit of freedom available. As to Question #2, she had no clue, but did not deny that a tax increase or increase in costs of health care by the government would occur.
The answer from Schauer's office was much the same. It's also in the House bill so if folks who can't afford to wait for treatment can afford private care are able to get it. I made the same suggestion per an amendment to Cong. Schauer. As to Question #2 I was referred to the website www.schauer.house.gov and again there was no denial of the fact that our costs for health care from the government would go up.
Just an FYI--the House bill costs out at $894 billion which if you factor in $249 billion for doctors is well over the trillion dollars Obama said would not be broached.
As always, have as good a weekend as possible--