September 17, 2009
The Senate Budget Committee has completed its work on a so-called bi-partisan health care bill. It is being attacked from both sides of the aisle. Committee Chairman Max Baucus says young people who are not now insured are going to have to pay for insurance they currently do not have, even if they don't want it. It is likely to cost employers more money which means either less salary for employees or a reduction in benefits.
The Finance Committee bill would fine individuals who do not buy coverage. An early draft of the proposal set the penalty at $750 or $950 per year for single people, depending on income. But according to various insurance experts, even the least expensive plan under the bill would cost more than $100 per month, making it cheaper for people to pay the fine rather than buy insurance.
You can bet the new plan will take more out of the income of people in their 20's, who by the way voted for President Obama in huge numbers. With their careers just beginning, I suspect not many are going to appreciate large amounts of cash disappearing from their checks along with all the taxes they already are paying. How's that "hope and change" working out for you so far?
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.