Posted tagged ‘Obamacare’

SOPA & PIPA & You

January 19, 2012

Yesterday was the day of the great Blackout Protest against SOPA and PIPA. Thousands of sites participated and it did make a difference!

Four key senators abandon online piracy bills amid web protests

Congressional support for controversial online piracy legislation eroded dramatically on Wednesay in the face of an unprecedented online protest supported by tech titans such as Google, Wikipedia and Facebook.

Several key senators withdrew their support from the Senate’s Protect IP Act, including Tea Party favorite Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), an elected member of his party’s leadership.

Sen. Jon Cornyn (R-Texas), who leads the Senate GOP campaign team, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, also retreated from the bill.

Thousands of websites went dark on Wednesday to protest the two Internet piracy bills, the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA). At least two California Democrats, Rep. Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren, joined the protests by blacking out their web sites.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a leader of Senate conservatives, also came out against the bills, calling them “misguided bills that will cause more harm than good.”

“When protecting intellectual property rights, we must not undermine free speech, threaten economic growth, or impose burdensome regulations,” DeMint tweeted.

[continued…]

My favorite quote from the above has to be this: “Leahy, the chief author of the Senate bill, said the protest is based on a misunderstanding of the legislation. ”

Doesn’t it seem like every time there is widespread protest against some proposed legislation (TARP, Obamacare, NDAA…) the fascists who want it to pass resort to telling us we’re just too stupid to understand their wonderful law? LOL!

I did, however, happen across this video that tells why you SHOULD support SOPA and PIPA:

 

On a more serious note, I did learn that the President of the MPAA (the leading organization lobbying for SOPA/PIPA) is none other than retired Senator Chris Dodd. Yes, he of the now infamous Dodd-Frank law of new banking regulations and countless unintended (?) consequences.

Chris Dodd actually had the nerve to say that the blackout protests are an “abuse of power“. Do I even need to point out the irony here?

So that’s where we are now. Don’t forget about SOPA and PIPA when the blackouts are over. Harry Reid in the senate insists he will push forward. And as recent history has shown (TARP, Obamacare, NDAA…), however loud the opposition, however unpopular the bill, if “The Powers That Be” want it done it will be done. But maybe this time we’ll have better luck since virtually EVERY big web site in the world is on our side of this fight. We shall see.

New Health Care Bill Has a Tax for Everyone

October 30, 2009

From HotAir:

Americans for Tax Reform has culled the 1990-page Pelosi health-care overhaul bill to find the taxes that will supposedly collect over $540 billion in revenue over 10 years.  It’s quite an impressive list of new burdens on Americans and their health-care providers and producers — but that’s redundant.  After all, who do you think will end up paying for the medical-device taxes?  It won’t be insurers or doctors:

  • Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages.  Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000).
  • Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium.  MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.
  • Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 324)
  • Cap on FSAs (Page 325)
  • Increased Additional Tax on Non-Qualified HSA Distributions (Page 326)
  • Denial of Tax Deduction for Employer Health Plans Coordinating with Medicare Part D (Page 327)
  • Surtax on Individuals and Small Businesses (Page 336)
  • Excise Tax on Medical Devices (Page 339)
  • Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Page 344)
  • Delay in Worldwide Allocation of Interest (Page 345)
  • Limitation on Tax Treaty Benefits for Certain Payments (Page 346)
  • Codification of the “Economic Substance Doctrine” (Page 349)
  • Application of “More Likely Than Not” Rule (Page 357)

See the ATR post for detailed descriptions of each new tax. 

Calling the Obamacare Line

October 28, 2009

Fact-Checking the Obama Health Speech

September 10, 2009

o-youlieReason magazine editor-in-chief Matt Welch has the best post-speech fact-check I’ve seen so far. Going beyond just the basic true/false of what Obama said about the (nonexistant) health reform plan, Welch takes measure of the president’s character and how willing we should be to trust his promises.

 

A brief excerpt:

Again and again last night, the president’s numbers didn’t add up. “There may be those—particularly the young and healthy—who still want to take the risk and go without coverage,” he warned, in a passage defending compulsory insurance. “The problem is, such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us money. If there are affordable options and people still don’t sign up for health insurance, it means we pay for those people’s expensive emergency room visits.” No, it means that, on balance, the healthy young don’t pay for the unhealthy old. The whole point of forcing vigorous youth to buy insurance is using their cash and good actuarials to bring down the costs of covering the less fortunate.

Such fudges reveal a politician who, for whatever reason, feels like he can’t be honest about the real-world costs of expanding health care. “Add it all up, and the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years,” he said, trying hard to sound like those numbers weren’t pulled out of Joe Biden’s pants, and won’t be dwarfed by actual costs within a year or two. “We’ve estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system–a system that is currently full of waste and abuse,” he said, making him at least the eighth consecutive president to vaguely promise cutting Medicare “waste” (a promise, it should be added, that could theoretically be fulfilled without drastically overhauling the health care system). Any government-run “public option,” he claimed, somehow “won’t be” subsidized by taxpayers, but instead would “be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects.”

Read the rest

MSNBC: Gun-Toting Protesters are White Racists

August 20, 2009

MSNBC wants to keep up the “racism” propaganda against opponents of Obamacare so they had to edit the footage shown below to make it impossible to tell that the person carrying the AR-15 just happens to be African-American.

I posted two videos of this same protester a couple of days ago, here.  See for yourself how MSNBC is lying to you. Also see this post at HotAir for more on this story.

Disinformation

August 14, 2009

Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts

August 13, 2009

myFishyVerum Serum says Experts agree ObamaCare is a Trojan Horse for Single Payer.

A couple of highlights from the above:

Many Democrats are on record saying that it IS the first step toward a government-run single payer-type system. President Obama, himself, has repeatedly expressed his support for a single payer system.

So it should be no surprise that Americans have come to think that the current legislation is a step toward single payer. Apparently many Democrats think that it is, and they are driving the bus.

– James G. Gimpel, Professor of Political Science, Maryland

By the way, it is worth noting the ridiculousness of the public option idea if it is intended as anything but the first step to a government-run, single payer system. The idea that a “government option” is needed to keep the industry honest or provide consumer choice is as nutty as suggesting that we need government-run restaurants and grocery stores to keep competition honest.

– Bradley A. Smith, Professor, election law and campaign finance

And while some on the left like Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter keep trying to insist that ObamaCare protesters are “not representative of the American people”, the latest polls say otherwise.

A new poll from Rasmussen shows a grim mood in the country and very low approval ratings for Obama and Congressional leaders Pelosi, McConnell, Reid, and Boehner. Congress overall gets an approval rating of only 14%.

The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare

August 12, 2009

I’ve been jotting down notes for a few days now of the ways I think health care reform could be done effectively as opposed to the half-baked horror currently circulating in Congress.

So I was quite pleased to find the following op-ed in yesterday’s WSJ. Not only is it almost everything I’ve been thinking, it is a case study in how these ideas are actually working in real life.

Your thoughts?

The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare
Eight things we can do to improve health care without adding to the deficit.

By John Mackey

With a projected $1.8 trillion deficit for 2009, several trillions more in deficits projected over the next decade, and with both Medicare and Social Security entitlement spending about to ratchet up several notches over the next 15 years as Baby Boomers become eligible for both, we are rapidly running out of other people’s money. These deficits are simply not sustainable. They are either going to result in unprecedented new taxes and inflation, or they will bankrupt us.

While we clearly need health-care reform, the last thing our country needs is a massive new health-care entitlement that will create hundreds of billions of dollars of new unfunded deficits and move us much closer to a government takeover of our health-care system. Instead, we should be trying to achieve reforms by moving in the opposite direction—toward less government control and more individual empowerment. Here are eight reforms that would greatly lower the cost of health care for everyone:

Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs). The combination of high-deductible health insurance and HSAs is one solution that could solve many of our health-care problems. For example, Whole Foods Market pays 100% of the premiums for all our team members who work 30 hours or more per week (about 89% of all team members) for our high-deductible health-insurance plan. We also provide up to $1,800 per year in additional health-care dollars through deposits into employees’ Personal Wellness Accounts to spend as they choose on their own health and wellness.

Money not spent in one year rolls over to the next and grows over time. Our team members therefore spend their own health-care dollars until the annual deductible is covered (about $2,500) and the insurance plan kicks in. This creates incentives to spend the first $2,500 more carefully. Our plan’s costs are much lower than typical health insurance, while providing a very high degree of worker satisfaction.

• Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair.

• Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable.

• Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.

• Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are passed back to us through much higher prices for health care.

• Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost. How many people know the total cost of their last doctor’s visit and how that total breaks down? What other goods or services do we buy without knowing how much they will cost us?

• Enact Medicare reform. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility.

• Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Continue reading

Sadly, I don’t expect to see any of these excellent ideas implemented by the federal government and not just because of partisan politics either.

The unfinished plans in Congress now are heavy on sticks and light on carrots. Why? Because tax revenues have fallen off a cliff.

I Am The Mob

August 10, 2009

Ron and Rand on CNN Discussing Obamacare

August 6, 2009

Rand Paul’s Senate Campaign Web Site

Rand Paul “Money Bomb” Aug. 20, 2009