More Apparent Special Deals Revealed at the 11th Hour?
An Associated Press report revealed this afternoon that there are even more apparent special deals in Obama and Pelosi’s government takeover of healthcare that target the votes of Democrats Pelosi desperately needs to force this bill down the throats of the American people:
“Tucked into President Barack Obama’s health care bill are several 11th-hour changes that help major insurance companies and doctor-owned hospitals.
“Among the beneficiaries, according to lobbyists and congressional aides, are Kaiser Permanente, the giant California-based insurance company; Geisinger Health Plan based in Pennsylvania; and doctor-owned health facilities in about a dozen states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.”
“The latest changes to the bill include:
“Tax-exempt insurers would have to pay a new fee levied on insurers on only half their premiums. Kaiser Permanente and Geisinger are both tax-exempt.
“An Aug. 1, 2010, deadline on new doctor-owned hospitals to apply to the government for eligibility to serve — and get paid for — Medicare patients would be extended to Dec. 31. Aides and lobbyists said this would help roughly 13 facilities. These include Mercy Hospital in Monclova, Ohio; Scranton Orthopedic Specialists in Dickson City, Pa.; and Paragon Rehabilitation in Goodlettsville, Tenn.
“The three facilities are represented, respectively, by Democratic Reps. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, and Bart Gordon of Tennessee. Gordon has switched to support the health legislation after opposing an earlier version and Kaptur said Sunday she would stick to her “yes” vote. Kanjorski hasn’t indicated how he would vote. Aides to all three said the lawmakers had nothing to do with the provisions and their votes would not be affected by inclusion of the language.
“A new 2.9 percent excise tax on medical devices would be lowered to 2.3 percent. But it will be broadened to apply to some lower-cost devices it hadn’t initially covered, though hearing aids, contact lenses and other items consumers buy retail would be excluded. According to one medical industry official, the changes were made at the insistence of Reps. Baron Hill and Brad Ellsworth, both Indiana Democrats, and Scott Murphy, D-N.Y., who are all now supporting the legislation.”
(Alan Fram, “Late Revisions in Health Care Bill Help Some Insurers, Doctor-Owned Hospitals,” Associated Press, 3/21/10)
Will these Democrats come clean about the apparent backroom deals?
Their Washington, DC offices are open so call and ask:
Brad Ellsworth: (202) 225-4636
Bart Gordon: (202) 225-4231
Baron Hill: (202) 225-5315
Marcy Kaptur: (202) 225-4146
Paul Kanjorski: (202) 225-6511
Scott Murphy: (202) 225-5614