(Part 3 of 3)
by Angela Chagnon
How does one pay for the implementation of a massive government program during a time when money is scarce? The Federal deficit is $14 trillion and most states are having a difficult time finding revenue sources to close the sometimes enormous deficits in their budgets. And did I mention the Great Recession?
Bernie doesn’t seem to mind the lack of funding for government programs we currently have. In his bill, he proposes his ideas to miraculously fund his fallacious government takeover of the entire healthcare system.
One way to address rising costs is to mandate that expenses not go up. For instance, page 111, line 12 places a “limit on claims processing and billing expenditures”. By telling healthcare providers that they can’t spend more than a certain amount on administration, this will ensure that the cost of administration will not rise. Those who can distinguish reality from fantasy clearly understand that this way of thinking is pure fantasy.
But first here are some more costs proposed in Bernie’s bill. Page 114 concerns the costs of educating health professionals. Section 605 states:
(a) SEPARATE ACCOUNT.-Each State health security program shall-
(1) include a separate account for health professional education expenditures; and
(2) specify the general manner, consistent with subsection (b), in which such expenditures are to be distributed among different types of institutions and the different areas of the State.
As for the issue of ensuring there are enough healthcare providers for everyone, Bernie has an answer for that too. Subtitle A, starting on page 131, attempts to promote and expand primary care professional training by the Board. The “national goals” set by the bill are that 50% of medical residency graduates become primary care providers (pp.132-133). The Board will also set the required number of “registered nurses employed in the health care system as of January 1, 2015” (p.133). This section goes on to require that specific numbers of certain types of healthcare professionals be set by the Board.
Page 134, lines 3-7 read:
“(2) CONSIDERATION.-The program goals under paragraph (1) shall be based on the distribution of medical schools and other teaching facilities within each State health security program, and the number of positions for graduate medical education.”
States that fail to meet the Board’s set goals of the specified number of health care graduates in certain fields suffer the consequences (p. 134, lines 22-p.135 line 3):
(4) ENFORCEMENT THROUGH STATE HEALTH SECURITY BUDGETS.-The Board shall develop a formula for reducing payments to State health security programs (that provide for payments to a medical residency education program) that failed to meet the goal for the program established under this subsection.
And now for the funding for this massive healthcare system. Title 8 on page 163 sets up the “American Health Security Trust Fund” that will be used to cover health care costs. The revenue sources for this fund are as follows:
Subtitle B, on page 167, Section 811 levies a payroll tax on employers. Lines 8-13 read:
c) HEALTH CARE.-In addition to other taxes, there is hereby imposed on every employer an excise tax, with respect to having individuals in his employ, equal to 6.7 percent of the wages (as defined in section 3121(a)) paid by him with respect to employment (as defined in section 3121(b)).
The self-employed are not exempt from this tax, under lines 18-22 on p.167:
HEALTH CARE.-In addition to other taxes, there shall be imposed for each taxable year, on the self- employment income of every individual, a tax equal to 6.7 percent of the amount of the self-employment income for such taxable year.
Page 170 proposes a “Health Care Income Tax” to be imposed on individuals.
“(a) IMPOSITION OF TAX.-In the case of an individual, there is hereby imposed a tax (in addition to any other tax imposed by this subtitle) equal to the applicable amount with respect to the taxpayer for the taxable year.”
A tax table is included on p. 170. Inflation adjustments will also be added to the taxes, outlined on p.171. Lines 19, p. 172 to line 6 on p. 173 propose a “surcharge on high income individuals”. Page 175 also includes a tax on securities transactions. Other taxes and exemptions are also discussed in this section.
And what about ERISA? This Act stood in the way of Vermont’s H.202 funding plans and now stands in the way of Bernie’s healthcare system funding plans. So in section 902 on pages 183-184, Bernie proposes amending ERISA to exempt the state-run health care system from ERISA preemption.
So there you have it–a complete take-over of the healthcare system by the Government, Bernie Sanders-style. Whether Congress takes this bill seriously or not remains to be seen, but it provides some profound insight into the anti-free market, anti-individual, and anti-Constitution mindset of Bernie Sanders.