More Health Care

Democrats start moving forward in the House today on health care reform in three House committees, not even two days after unveiling their latest bill.

So, if you have a local lawmaker on the Energy & Commerce, Ways & Means or Education & Labor Committees, those are the three that are working on this bill.

Ways and Means could well approve the taxes in the bill today.

Energy and Commerce will likely battle into next week.

As I've looked through this House bill, so far I haven't found any from Left Field in this bill (give it time, right?)

I did find what looks to be a different penalty that the one we discussed yesterday for businesses that don't insure their workers, which was an 8% tax on the worker's wages.

"Excise Tax With Respect to Failure to Meet Health Coverage Participation Requirements," is the subsection title, which then goes on to detail the penalty involved:

"In the case of any employer who fails (during any period with respect to which the election under subsection (a) is in effect) to satisfy the health coverage participation requirements with respect to any employee to whom such election applies, there is hereby imposed on each such failure with respect to each such employee a tax of $100 for each day in the period beginning on the date such failure first occurs and ending on the date such failure is corrected," reads the bill.

And talk about legislative gobbledygook.  What if you just screw up as a businessman and your health plans lapse for your employees.  It was an accident.

"In the case of failures which are due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, the tax imposed by subsection (a) for failures during the taxable year of the employer shall not exceed the amount equal to the lesser of--

`(i) 10 percent of the aggregate amount paid or incurred by the employer (or predecessor employer) during the preceding taxable year for employment-based health plans, or

`(ii) $500,000."

Oh, the lawyers are going to love this bill.  That's on page 182.

I was sort of surprised to see that the word "tax" only appears 78 times in the entire bill.  I figured it would be more than that.

I will put one other thing in here that I simply didn't understand, mainly because the wording seemed so filled with bureaucracy.

"Sec. 1163. Extension of Secretarial coding intensity adjustment authority."

That just sounds so complicated that I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow to read up on it and figure it out.

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