Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Senate Bill = Sausage making disaster

Dr. Frankenstein could not have created a bigger bloody disaster.

The Senate Finance Committee filed its sweeping health care reform bill Monday, and its release served largely to highlight the divisions among Democrats over the direction of reform.

The massive, 1,500-page bill is expected to serve as the backbone for Democratic reform efforts going forward, but five senators expressed concerns about one of its main provisions, a 40 percent tax on high-end insurance plans.

The tax is designed to pay for reform and lower costs by making the so-called Cadillac plans less attractive for insurers to offer. Under the bill, a plan that costs an individual more than $8,000 and a family more than $21,000 annually would be subject to the tax.

But Democratic Sens. John Kerry, Chuck Schumer, Robert Menendez, Debbie Stabenow and John Rockefeller are concerned that the threshold that defines a Cadillac plan is too low and will hit middle-class people.