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Dislikes Ron Kind and health care bill

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Dear Editor,

Congressman Ron Kind has long positioned himself as a friend of the small businesses and senior citizens. On Nov. 7, he proved that to be a lie by voting for the House health reform bill (H.R. 3962).

The proof comes in a report from the Chief Actuary of Medicare and Medicaid. Kind claims that the bill will "reduce the cost of care going forward." Medicare's Chief Actuary says that's not true..." that for calendar years 2010 through 2019 national health expenditures would increase by $289 billion."

Kind claims that the bill "builds on what works...offering stability to families that are satisfied with their health insurance." Medicare's Chief Actuary says "no." She estimates that the employers' reactions to the bill "would collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 12 million."

Instead, the bill builds on something that doesn't work -- Medicaid. The Chief Actuary estimates that nearly two-thirds of people getting insurance under this bill would be getting it from Medicaid -- a program that pays doctors and hospitals so poorly that many will no longer take Medicaid patients.

For those employers who don't offer health insurance...or can no longer afford to offer it...the bill has a new 8 percent payroll tax. The Chief Actuary estimates that this new tax on small business will add up to $118 billion! For those business owners that still manage to make a profit, the bill catches them on the back-end with a 5 percent income surtax.

I wonder if Kind considered how much this bill would discourage new businesses and existing businesses from hiring.

But the biggest gift of is for seniors. To pay for this $1 trillion monstrosity, Kind voted to cut Medicare by $571 billion. Kind claims that the bill produces these savings because "it reforms the way we pay for health care from one that is volume driven to one that is value driven." Medicare's Chief Actuary disagrees. She says that the bill's value-based measures "would have a relatively small savings impact" -- $2 billion over 10 years. She puts most of the savings on cuts to providers. And what is the impact of that? She is quite clear: "providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable and might end their participation in the program."

No wonder the Wall Street Journal dubbed H.R. 3962 as "The Worst Bill Ever." I await my chance to vote for Kind's opponent next November.

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