By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
Oct 29 03:03 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - It's alive.The next thing you know AP will be claiming the healthcare bill will "impose an array of new taxes, fees and government mandates on major players in the health industry, including insurers, doctors and drugs and medical devices makers" that will eventually put private insurers, medical device manufacturer's and drug maker's out of business (at least in the U.S.).
The Medicare end-of-life planning provision that 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said was tantamount to 'death panels' for seniors is staying in the latest Democratic health care bill unveiled Thursday.
The provision allows Medicare to pay for voluntary counseling to help beneficiaries deal with the complex and painful decisions families face when a loved one is approaching death.
Health care businesses at risk in House overhaul
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
Oct 30 03:27 AM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - The health care overhaul bill produced by House Democrats would impose an array of new taxes, fees and government mandates on major players in the health industry, including insurers, doctors and drugs and medical devices makers.Seriously, what's next? Is global warming is a hoax? Obama actually didn't do anything to justify a Nobel Peace Prize? Democrats really are the party of big socialized government? How did these slip through the editors at AP-Obama?
Among the industries targeted in the bill are medical device makers—one of the few that failed to cut an early behind-the-scenes deal with Obama and Democrats to help pay for an overhaul. The House added $20 billion in taxes on sales of medical devices like artificial hips and heart stents to the legislation Democratic leaders unveiled Thursday.
The measure is less kind to drug makers, an industry that did strike a deal with Obama and key senators to hold down its costs. Pharmaceutical companies agreed to cough up $80 billion in the health overhaul. While precise figures were not immediately available, it appeared the House legislation would target the industry for much more. And it would give the government power to negotiate drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries.
Health insurers, who would gain tens of millions of new customers under the health plan, nonetheless would be ensnared by some potentially costly new measures, including eliminating their long-standing antitrust exemption.
They voiced particular concern about Democrats' inclusion of the government-run insurance plan. Karen Ignani, the chief of the insurers' main trade group, America's Health Insurance Plans, said the so-called public option would "bankrupt hospitals, dismantle employer coverage, exacerbate cost-shifting from Medicare and Medicaid, and ultimately increase the federal deficit." She said the result would be that many people, including seniors, would lose coverage or face higher costs.