Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

A Breakdown of the House Healthcare Bill

Anthony Randazzo
July 16, 2009, 2:16pm

So, here is the skinny on the House Democrat’s three-committee healthcare overhaul bill that was released yesterday. Ultimately this is a job-killing bill wrapped up in an economy-strangling bill bundled with a deficit-increasing bill.


How to pay for it

Part of this is good, because there is a concerted effort to cut the costs of the current government run healthcare programs. But the other two parts are deadly. The payroll tax is the job killer. Forcing small businesses to offer healthcare will hurt many, the 8% payroll tax, on top of the current 15% payroll tax would destroy many, many more. The tax increase on the wealthy will also strangle economic recovery. Taking more money out of the hands of investors and producers won’t help the country get back on track. It will also hurt deficits in the future as tax increases cross the Laffer Curve threshold.

Who is covered?

This public option “exchange” is specifically for those with income between 133 and 400 percent of the poverty line. According to 2009 numbers, this means the option is available for individuals with income of up to $43,500 or families of four with an income up to $88,200.

What about the Senate?

On the Senate side, negotiations are pretty intense. There is a concerted attempt to reach out to Republicans (i.e. Olympia Snowe) so the bill isn’t totally partisan. Highlights of the negotiations thus far:

Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research

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