The Dirty Max Baucus Mark Up of America's Healthy Future Act is noteworthy in its corporafornication. It specifies an annual tax penalty for employers, should any of their workers receive subsidies to purchase insurance through the public exchange. Time reports:
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees would be exempt from this tax.And who can get insurance on the exchange?
In 2017, states must develop and submit to the Secretary a phase-in schedule (not to exceed five years), including applicable rating rules, for incorporating firms with 50 or more employees into the exchange. Initial phase in for these firms would begin in plan years in 2018 and beyond.Thus, the only employers allowed in the exchange are exempt from penalties. If small employers aren't paying, who is? The individual and government. The government provides tax credits to qualifying citizens. Yet, that money goes directly to insurance companies:
The Treasury would pay the premium credit amount to the insurance plan in which the individual is enrolled.The government will also make up losses from reinsurance gone bad. The plan requires a $20 billion nonprofit reinsurance system, which takes the risk off of insurance companies, now selling kajillions of private policies. Uncle Sam will backstop the re-insurer.
If the allowable costs for the plan for the year are greater than 103 percent, but not greater than 108 percent, of the target amount for the plan and year, the Secretary would make a payment to the plan equal to 50 percent of the difference between the allowable costs and 103 percent of the target amount. If the allowable costs for the plan for the year are greater than 108 percent of the target amount for the plan and year, the Secretary would make a payment to the plan equal to the sum of 2.5 percent of the target amount and 80 percent of the difference between the allowable costs and 108 percent of the target amount.
Max is still gunning for nonprofit community hospitals. He specifies additional requirements for 501(c)3 hospitals and his mark requires data collection comparing nonprofit, for-profit and government hospitals, specifically on:
Community benefit activities incurred by private tax-exempt hospitals.Corrupt Bill Thomas and lobbyist/private equity maven Tom Scully turned nonprofit community hospitals into private tax-exempt hospitals. Dirty Max and his partner in crime, Chucky Grassley, continue the tradition of dissing safety net facilities. They much prefer for-profit chains that make big campaign donations, despite having no hospitals in Montana or Iowa. How many safety net hospitals can fall to their knees, between now and 2013? How many can be bought out on the cheap by Max and Chuck's sponsors?
I'm sure there is more in the Baucus bill, but lunch is approaching. I want my food to settle. As I predicted months ago, health care deform is clearly on the way. Baucus corporafornicates with the best of 'em.