Harry Reid Slips Lifetime Limit into Senate Bill
When President Obama gave his speech on health care on September 10, he promised that there would be no limit on lifetime benefits under the health care bill:
They will no longer be able to place some arbitrary cap on the amount of coverage you can receive in a given year or a lifetime. We will place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick.
Harry Reid didn’t agree evidently. Reid, who is solely responsible for crafting the bill that he introduced in the Senate, decided that there should be a limit on lifetime benefits. So when people get sick and have huge bills for things like biologic drugs that cost $50,000 or $100,000 a year, whose bills could become “unreasonable” because Congress is granting drug manufacturers “indefinite monopolies” (per Henry Waxman) that prevent generics from coming to market to compete with them, Harry Reid thinks they should eventually be cut off:
A loophole in the Senate health care bill would let insurers place annual dollar limits on medical care for people struggling with costly illnesses such as cancer, prompting a rebuke from patient advocates.
The legislation that originally passed the Senate health committee last summer would have banned such limits, but a tweak to that provision weakened it in the bill now moving toward a Senate vote.
As currently written, the Senate Democratic health care bill would permit insurance companies to place annual limits on the dollar value of medical care, as long as those limits are not “unreasonable.” The bill does not define what level of limits would be allowable, delegating that task to administration officials.
Adding to the puzzle, the new language was quietly tucked away in a clause in the bill still captioned “No lifetime or annual limits.”
People are asking who put this in the bill. The only person who could put this in the bill is Harry Reid. As Majority Leader, Reid alone is responsible for combining the bills that came from the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate HELP Committee into the bill that went to the floor of the Senate. But neither of those bills had a lifetime limit on benefits. That was manufactured solely by Reid–in violation of the promise made repeatedly by President Obama.
Reid is also manipulating procedure to keep the Dorgan drug reimportation amendment, which would save both the government and consumers hundreds of millions of dollars, from coming to a vote.
Notice that Reid never uses the powers he has against Joe Lieberman.
I wonder why?