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Healthcare reform is doomed



The Tax Foundation has analyzed the Pelosi and Baucus healthcare reform proposals, and finds that they are going to be financed by huge cuts in Medicare and huge taxes on individuals. This is getting to be so ugly that I can't imagine either bill will survive. Thank goodness! Pelosi is going to make healthcare affordable for those who don't currently have it by slashing spending on Medicare for those that do have it? Baucus is going to make healthcare more affordable by imposing a huge tax on those who already have it? Ain't gonna happen. In the interest of public service, I reproduce the essentials:

The $1.05 trillion House health care reform legislation unveiled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday is financed primarily through net cuts to Medicare (which would save $472.8 billion, or 39 percent of the bill's 10-year cost), and a 5.4 percent surtax on high-income individuals (which would generate $460.5 billion, or 38 percent of the bill's cost), according to the Tax Foundation's review of the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) analysis.

By comparison, nearly half of the $829 billion Senate Finance Committee plan is financed through Medicare cuts ($377.8 billion, or 41 percent of the bill's 10-year cost), and 22 percent would come from an excise tax on so-called "Cadillac" health insurance plans, which would raise an estimated $201.4 billion over 10 years. The House plan would reduce the deficit by $104 billion and the Senate version by $81 billion.

"There are similarities and major differences between the House and Senate plans: Both rely on Medicare spending cuts, although the House plan would cut nearly $100 billion more, and both plans include one large new tax - a high-income surtax in the House version and a tax on high-value health insurance plans in the Senate version," said Tax Foundation Senior Economist Gerald Prante.
Here are the charts that summarize the financing sources for the two bills:





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