Over at Thomas I pulled up the synopsis of the bill. In a nutshell, it appears to be an attempt to be all things to all people, or at least major donors and voting blocs, whether they are the insurance companies or Medicare recipients. If you read the section titles you'll see what I mean. Danny Davis said there was a lot of negotiating going on, and he wasn't kidding.
This bill is the forest killer at 1,000 pages. It is the epitome of "nanny" government, so reviled by conservatives. I can't blame them. Reviewing Title IV -- Amendments to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, SubTitle A Shared Responsibility, Part VIII Health Care Related Taxes (really!!) I see wording that would cheer the heart of any tax attorney yearning for full employment. Heck, there's even a new return to be filed, unless the IRS figures out how to incorporate this into the already finely detailed Form 1040 with all its attendant schedules and parts.
Skimming through the titles and clicking randomly throughout I see many amendments to existing laws. There are also new provisions regarding training of health care personnel and support for community health care centers. From participation requirements to waste, fraud and abuse it appears there is nothing this bill does not touch if it has to do with providing health care. Opponents should be forgiven for complaining about socialized medicine given the scope and breadth of this bill's reach. Like I said above, "nanny" government.
The public health option provides an option for people who cannot get or do not want employer provided health insurance. It offers protections and often specifies to a frightening level of detail what shall be provided. Like Single Payer, it will be subject to the vagaries of the budget process and the horse-trading that inevitably occurs.
It appears to be the current system, on steroids. Everyone pays something to participate or risks ponying up some cash to Uncle if they don't. It creats a new bureaucracy instead of expanding the current one (single payer) and it attempts to manage all of the details of how health care is provided, and to some degree what is provided. It is no wonder that genuine conservatives like Krauthammer are alarmed and the tinfoil hat conspiracists are having a field day. Peggy Noonan writes that people are scared and it's not hard to see why. So what then are we to do?