Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The actual ObamaCare bill introduced

Yesterday, HR 3200, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives. This bill has been scored as costing $100B per year for subsidies for families so that families will not need to spend more than 15% of their income for health insurance, a fairly trivial sum by government standards, which will be 60% funded by shifting Medicaid uncompensated care funds to pay for the subsidies and 40% funded by increasing taxes on the wealthy by $40B per year (note that Bush gave the wealthy a $150B/year tax cut, so Obama is taking back $40B of what Bush gave). President Obama basically has told Congress, "get this shit done".

I am still reading through this bill but it is very similar to the discussion draft that I discussed earlier. Most of what I noted there still applies. There are some additional details about the employer mandate that I will cover later -- specifically, what qualifies as a small business is ludicrously low. But I need to read the bill before I do another long commentary on it -- it's 1,000 pages long, so that's going to take a while!

-- Badtux the Health Care Penguin


  1. Hi BadTux,
    My hat is off to you. I would never have the patience to read a 1000-page bill. Do you think our Senators and Representatives will read this bill before voting on it? And who writes these tome-bills? All we ever hear is that such-and-such bill came out of a committee. No names are ever mentioned. If it's a good bill, I think the fellow who wrote it should be congratulated.


  2. Congressmen have staffers for that kind of deal. Each Congressman has at least one staffer who does nothing but read healthcare bills and contribute sections for healthcare bills. The staffers dedicated to healthcare are the ones who actually get together and contribute sections to the healthcare bills. The result is a lot like sausage -- thus 1,000 pages -- but *somebody* on the Congressman's staff has read the whole bloody thing and told the Congressman yay or nay before the Congressman votes on the thing. That might sound like the staffer, not the Congressman, is voting on it. But presumably the Congressman selected that staffer because that staffer has the same general ideological bent and attitudes towards healthcare as the Congressman.

    As I commented on the previous draft, there isn't really much new in this bill. It incorporates bits and pieces of previous bills going all the way back to the original HillaryCare proposal. There's just a lot of friggin' sausage there...

    - Badtux the Wonkish Penguin


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