On Monday, September 29, 2010, the U.S. Senate made two attempts to repeal a relatively minor but unpopular aspect of the Healthcare Reform laws. Though both Democrats and Republicans agreed that the aspect was an unwarranted burden on businesses, they could not agree on either of two bills devised to reform the reformation. The offending aspect, which requires that those who pay out more than $600 per year to any one entity must file a 1099 form, was intended to provide an increase in revenues by increasing compliance with an existing tax law which already requires the filing of a 1099 form under the same circumstances.
With agreement from both sides of the aisle, this should have been a no-brainer, a slam-dunk. So what happened? Some were concerned that adding it to a food safety law would threaten the passing of that bill (though it seems unlikely, since the food safety bill is quite popular.) Others complained that repealing it without determining other ways to pay for the loss of revenues that it was expected to bring is ill advised. Of course, partisan aspects remained, allowing both sides a soapbox from which to express their dissatisfaction with the provision.
One quote from it all is quite telling, and seems to represent the position of the GOP senators: Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R, TX) said “It defies description except to say that it’s one more embarrassing government intrusion on free enterprise in our country.” She went on to clinch with “We are going to do it a little bit at a time until we can repeal the whole thing and start all over.” This statement may be the end truth.
Bit by bit, piece by piece, the legislators seem to be determined to overhaul the overhaul. What will remain is more likely to resemble Frankenstein’s Monster, a clumsy, unwieldy, and disproportionate use of authority which more closely resembles a chainsaw than a scalpel, if that approach is followed. Repealing the entirety before it goes into affect leaves no solution to the ills, and means that all the efforts and expenses to date will have been for naught.
Medical Justice encourages solutions to be found by means of Repeal And Replace. We feel functional health care reform will only be achieved by non-partisan efforts, and call upon all citizens, whether patients, business owners, administrators, or healthcare providers, to bring forward their suggestions. Since a blog post or single email is unlikely to be heard amidst the din, we recommend that you make your ideas known through your respective professional organizations and affiliations, or political action groups. In this way, the value of our nation’s Melting Pot is most likely to be realized. Only by combined effort will we be able to enact healthcare reforms that will address the needs of all Americans as we move forward into this new century.