Lately, even the most elite in media have started to report some of the intended and unintended consequences of the rushed and ill-conceived federal health care bill passed earlier this year by the Barack Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress.
And I've had my first eye-opener. Like everyone of their generation, my parents automatically qualify for Medicare. Soon after the new health care bill passed, their personal physician retired. When they set about looking for a new one, they kept hearing the same refrain: "We are no longer accepting new patients."
Why? Because while Congress fashioned a massive -- and massively expensive -- new health care program, they have also allowed Medicare reimbursements to physicians to be reduced. Many seniors have physicians who are their contemporaries because they've been under their care for many years. As these older physicians retire, their patients are scrambling to find replacements. They're encountering "do not apply" signs on the doors of medical facilities.
Now that's change you can believe in.
Next comes the unfolding realization that the new law is stocked with all sorts of little gems that are destined to make life harder for the young and those still working. For example, many small businesses already dread the annual task of creating 1099 tax forms for those individual contractors they pay each year for goods and services. Apparently they now also will be required to issue similar forms to every corporation, vendor or other party they pay during the taxable year.
As interpreted by many, the new law suggests the need for, say, a local hardware store to search out the tax identification number of huge corporations they pay for products or services. If this interpretation of the law is correct, and it's truly enforced, business in America will be ground to a halt by a cascade of paperwork.
Also in the coming months, all types of entities touched by the new financial reform laws will suddenly learn that they are required to comply with new bureaucratic rules related to the ethnicity, or other demographic profiles, of their employees. Maybe this is well-intended, but once again the burden of compliance will be staggering.
There's more. Under the guise of a "watered down" climate bill, there could soon be plenty of opportunities to add even more costs to American businesses. Ultimately, those costs will be passed on to consumers, of course.
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