Update: Consumer Protections and subsidies in Senate Bill do not begin until 2013; Preliminary CBO score in for Reid bill- Dems meeting; Reconciliation push and Public Option in health care dead in Senate or head-fake?

Update 4: 7:16 pm EST: Carrie Budoff-Brown has some numbers from Sen Conrad:

..Unlike the House bill, there’s no surtax on the wealthy, but it does include a Medicare payroll tax of 1.95 percent on couples who earn more than $250,000 annually. The threshold for the high-end insurance tax was bumped up to apply to plans that cost more than $23,000 annually for families and $8,500 for individuals. That’s an increase from $21,000 and $8,000 respectively.

The reimbursement rates for the public plan will not be tied to Medicare, and co-ops, Conrad’s brainchild, will still be offered. And finally, the bill will include the CLASS Act, a long-term insurance program for the disabled, but will not use the revenue from the program to help pay for the bill, a move that should assuage moderates’ fiscal concerns…

Update 3: 7:05pm EST  Sen Kent Conrad says Senate bill taxes high dollar insurance plans (no dollar given and this will be key- IS IT INDEXED TO INFLATION??? Cause if not, it is a trap like the AMT to make it look good to CBO but it will catch the middle class as we go forward) and Conrad also says it will raise the Medicare Payroll tax for high earners. I assume, lol, they mean on the Medicare payroll tax that they will extend that tax to NON EARNED INCOME since high dollar earners don’t earn most of their income in a ‘payroll’ form per se.

Update 2: 6:43pm EST: Reid at the podium now, a FOX reporter said there will be a public option and states will have to offer two options one with and one without abortion.

WSJ has the CBO scoring here:

…Mr. Reid’s bill would gradually extend health-insurance coverage to nearly all Americans by providing government subsidies to help pay premiums. Starting in 2013, it would ban insurance company practices such as charging more to those in poor health, or denying them coverage altogether.

Consumer protections do not begin until 2013!? Oh boy that won’t go over well with the left.

All Americans would be required to carry health insurance, either through an employer, a government plan or by purchasing it on their own. The Medicaid health insurance program for low-income people would be significantly expanded.

The bill would set up new insurance marketplaces — called exchanges — primarily for those who now have a hard time getting or keeping coverage. Most people buying coverage through the exchanges would get tax credits to help cover the cost of premiums. They would be able to pick private coverage or a new government health insurance plan.

However, the government plan may not be available all across the country. Mr. Reid would allow individual states to opt out.

To keep down costs, the government subsidies and consumer protections don’t take effect until 2013. During the three-year transition, Mr. Reid’s bill would create a federal fund to help provide affordable coverage for people with medical problems turned down by private insurers in the meantime.

The majority of Americans who now have employer-provided health insurance would not see major changes. Among the exceptions to that rule: Children would be allowed to stay on their parents’ health insurance until their mid-20s…

FOX reporting Reid is unveiling his health care bill for the Senate Dems behind closed doors tonight, he has a preliminary CBO score. Reid’s aides indicate 849B over 10 yrs, govt run option with state opt out included, and somehow it will magically cut the deficit 127b in the first 10 years..let’s see what they say when they come out of the meeting…

RedState picks up the CQ word that reconciliation is dead in the Senate and deals are all on the table, Sounds AWESOME but I am worried it is a head fake…

I agree with RedState that it would be smart for the Dem leadership to cut a deal on this since Obama got a talking to in China about the impact of the health care bill on the deficit, and word on the street is the oncoming UE jump to 11% and the extended length of UE is likely to be so bad that they must do another ginormous stimulus asap, voters will be pixxed and they don’t need an extended fight on health care right before Son of Stimulus. The economic clock ran out on them, thanks to their own stupidity in writing the stimulus I which had an infinitesimal amount of infrastrucutre in it, the ads for the GOP in 2010 write themselves:

Senate Democrats have abandoned plans to use a fast-track parliamentary strategy to avert a threatened Republican filibuster and pass a health care overhaul — a signal that they are considering major policy concessions to moderates...The most significant of these could be restructuring or dropping altogether a proposed government-run insurance plan — the so-called public option — that many liberals consider a necessary part of the overhaul.

One possible fallback is a proposal by Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., to create a government-sanctioned insurance plan that would be available only in states deemed to lack affordable private insurance plans. Under Carper’s plan, the insurance plan would be structured as a private nonprofit entity, run by a board appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate…

But Democratic leaders had used the threat of reconciliation to try to corral support for the health care bill from moderates in both parties. That tactic largely failed.

“I think the more people studied [reconciliation], the more people realized that is not a very good way to do substantive legislation,” said Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D…

In a meeting Nov. 16 with Democrats who support a Medicare-like public option, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., indicated that he did not plan to try to move a health bill through reconciliation, other Democrats said.

“I’m not going to quote him, but suffice to say, after the meeting was over I thought it was unlikely,” said Bob Casey, D-Pa.

Regan LaChapelle, a spokeswoman for Reid, said, “We are not ruling anything out, but Sen. Reid is continuing to work to put together a bill that will garner the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster…”…

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November 18, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Healthcare, Obama Administration, Politics, Taxes. 1 comment.

More good news from Dr Doom: infrastructure stimulus needed as UE in US to hit 11% and stay there for years…

Nouriel Roubini has more gloom for us, we at MiM agree with his forecast. The fact that we spent 1 trillion and still have no meaningful job-creating frakkin infrastructure happening is really so irresponsible as to rise to the morally reprehensible IMO, the Congress Critters who let this stimulus go through and created no jobs should ALL , every one who voted yes, be voted out in 2010.

NY Daily News Op-Ed, h.t Drudge:

(…) So we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest. In other words, if you are unemployed and looking for work and just waiting for the economy to turn the corner, you had better hunker down. All the economic numbers suggest this will take a while. The jobs just are not coming back.

There’s really just one hope for our leaders to turn things around: a bold prescription that increases the fiscal stimulus with another round of labor-intensive, shovel-ready infrastructure projects, helps fiscally strapped state and local governments and provides a temporary tax credit to the private sector to hire more workers. Helping the unemployed just by extending unemployment benefits is necessary not sufficient; it leads to persistent unemployment rather than job creation.

The long-term picture for workers and families is even worse than current job loss numbers alone would suggest. Now as a way of sharing the pain, many firms are telling their workers to cut hours, take furloughs and accept lower wages. Specifically, that fall in hours worked is equivalent to another 3 million full time jobs lost on top of the 7.5 million jobs formally lost.

This is very bad news but we must face facts. Many of the lost jobs are gone forever, including construction jobs, finance jobs and manufacturing jobs. Recent studies suggest that a quarter of U.S. jobs are fully out-sourceable over time to other countries.

Other measures tell the same ugly story: The average length of unemployment is at an all time high; the ratio of job applicants to vacancies is 6 to 1; initial claims are down but continued claims are very high and now millions of unemployed are resorting to the exceptional extended unemployment benefits programs and are staying in them longer.

Based on my best judgment, it is most likely that the unemployment rate will peak close to 11% and will remain at a very high level for two years or more.

The weakness in labor markets and the sharp fall in labor income ensure a weak recovery of private consumption and an anemic recovery of the economy, and increases the risk of a double dip recession.

As a result of these terribly weak labor markets, we can expect weak recovery of consumption and economic growth; larger budget deficits; greater delinquencies in residential and commercial real estate and greater fall in home and commercial real estate prices; greater losses for banks and financial institutions on residential and commercial real estate mortgages, and in credit cards, auto loans and student loans and thus a greater rate of failures of banks; and greater protectionist pressures.

The damage will be extensive and severe unless bold policy action is undertaken now.

November 18, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Economy, Foreclosures, Housing, Music, Obama Administration, Politics, Popular Culture, Taxes, Unemployment Statistics, Wall St. 1 comment.

Unemployment Extension: Blue Dogs talk tough on second stimulus…

10/23 See Update https://moderateinthemiddle.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/unemployment-update-senate-cloture-vote-on-unemployment-extension-next-tuesday/

Oh boy, some of the Dems are getting in touch with their fiscal conservative side and are talking down the second stimulus, which is a good thing except for the fact that it unfortunately appears to include the UE extension…

If they would just agree to use the unspent stimulus money people would be getting their checks put into the mail already, arrrrgle!!!

Here is Nancy after her economic panel talking big about more job creation measures, but see the blurbs from The Hill this morning below…

Vodpod videos no longer available. The Hill:

…“I think we have just got to get serious about the deficit,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), the president of the class of freshman Democrats. “I would have to really be persuaded of a dire situation and one that’s getting worse, frankly, to have any enthusiasm for a second stimulus.”

Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.), a co-chairman of the 52-member Blue Dog Coalition, said he would have to hear a “very compelling” justification for further adding to the deficit, even for the sake of fostering more job growth. “My constituents, I think, have had it with spending,” Hill said. “And I concur with their sentiments.” Republicans are targeting Hill’s seat in the 2010 cycle.

While the ingredients for another stimulus have not been finalized, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday made two things clear: Additional stimulus measures are needed, and Democrats will add to the deficit to pay for them.

Each of the economists who spoke to reporters following the session said everyone in the room had signed off on a strategy of temporarily ignoring the budget deficit for the sake of economic recovery….

Hill said the Blue Dogs have not talked formally about their collective approach to further economic patches embraced by the White House, ranging from unemployment insurance extensions to $13 billion worth of one-time Social Security checks…

October 22, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Economy, Labor Department, Politics, Unemployment Statistics. Comments off.

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