Although Schwarzenegger stopped short of embracing a Democratic bill, his words of encouragement came on the heels of similar statements from other Republicans outside Congress, including former Senate Republican leader Bill Frist. The White House and Democrats highlighted them as evidence of momentum and divisionIf this is evidence of growing Republican support, I think Bacus may have to go back to the drawing board.If you can't even get solid support from that other non-Republican, Olympia Snowe, surely you know there is trouble.
within GOP ranks.
The issue? The bill will raise taxes on drug companies, medical device manufacturers and insurers, which they in turn will pass on to consumers.
On the tax issue, the Joint Committee on Taxation said in a memo prepared for Finance Committee Republicans that drug companies, medical device manufacturers and insurers would pay $121 billion over 10 years as a result of fees in the committee's bill. That compares with $92 billion originally calculated.So the real truth is, at this point you can expect your taxes to go up to pay for all the new people in the system, you can expect your premiums to rise because of all the new taxes and regulations that will burden the providers and manufacturers, and you can expect your care to go down due to all the cut backs and additional bodies.
The tax experts said the reason for the change was that the companies wouldn't be able to deduct the fees.
The Finance Committee's top Republican, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, said in a statement: "These taxes will increase insurance premiums and health care costs for individuals and families."
At the same time, they also could mean more revenue to help pay for expanding coverage to the uninsured.
The industry fees are separate from a proposed new tax on high-value insurance plans that's also in the Finance Committee bill.
This plan sounds like a winner no matter how you slice it.