Posted tagged ‘universal health care’

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. 

Advertisements

The Great Recession is Over!

October 29, 2009

celebrationThird quarter GDP is up 3.5%!

The media and the federal government today are reporting the Great Recession is over(maybe, sort of).

Never mind that the bulk of that growth came from Cash for Clunkers (which cost taxpayers $24,000 per vehicle). Never mind that the numbers of jobs “saved or created” by Obama’s stimulus was overstated by the White House. The recession is over!

More house buying credits for everyone! Even four-year olds! Go for it – the IRS doesn’t require you to prove you actually bought a house (shhhh).

And hey, while we’re at it – how about “free” health insurance for everybody! Read all about it here – only 1990 pages long!

So come on, people – let’s celebrate! The good times are rolling again!

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

John Stossel Takes on Healthcare Reform

August 3, 2009

Health Care Reform Is Making Me Sick

July 16, 2009

o-laughThe House of Representatives passed their health reform bill and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed a $600 billion version today – a version that will require individuals to get health insurance and require employers to contribute to the cost as well.

And what if an individual does not buy a health insurance plan? For about 8 million of us, it means we will pay a new tax of 2.5% – and still not have health insurance.

Keith Hennessey lays it out:

As expected, the House bill would mandate that individuals and families have or buy health insurance.

But what if they don’t buy it?

Then Section 401 kicks in.  Any individual (or family) that does not have health insurance would have to pay a new tax, roughly equal to the smaller of 2.5% of your income or the cost of a health insurance plan. …

I assume the bill authors would respond, “But why wouldn’t you want insurance?  After all, we’re subsidizing it for everyone up to 400% of the poverty line.”

That is true.  But if you’re a single person with income of $44,000 or higher, then you’re above 400% of the poverty line.  You would not be subsidized, but would face the punitive tax if you didn’t get health insurance.  This bill leaves an important gap between the subsidies and the cost of health insurance.  CBO says that for about eight million people, that gap is too big to close, and they would get stuck paying higher taxes and still without health insurance.

Continue reading

Wondering where your income falls in terms of the federal poverty line? The numbers are on the Health and Human Services web site. Here is the chart for the 48 contiguous states and DC:

Persons in family Poverty guideline
1 $10,830
2 14,570
3 18,310
4 22,050
5 25,790
6 29,530
7 33,270
8 37,010
For families with more than 8 persons, add $3,740 for each additional person.

You can do your own math. With figures as ridiculously low as those, even multiplying the appropriate number by 4 isn’t going to give you an income that would have you living in the lap of luxury.

But if you do happen to be among the so-called wealthy with an income of $250K or more, you may end up paying even more – a 5.4% “surtax” whether you have your own health insurance or not. Interestingly, the “surtax” would be mostly charged to… doctors.

Good plan there – make the doctors angry about having to pay a big new tax and then force them to take on a boatload of new patients. What could go wrong?

Yet all of this for “reform” would enroll less than 5% of Americans and will very likely surpass the $1 trillion price tag currently attached to it according to the Congressional Budget Office.

On a preliminary basis … the proposal’s provisions affecting health insurance coverage would result in a net increase in federal deficits of $1,042 billion for fiscal years 2010 through 2019,” the report said, citing additional expenses for Medicaid and other federal subsidies. One Democratic aide said the bill would add up to $1.5 trillion over the next decade. But the CBO estimate showed that even if the price tag holds to $1 trillion, more than 80 percent of the costs will hit in the last five years. This indicates that after 2019, taxpayers could be hit with a rising tidal wave of health care expenses resulting from the shift in health care coverage from the private to public sector. 

Continue reading

So, what will health care “reform” look like? According to House Republicans, it will look like this:

But this is a crisis and we can’t do nothing, right, Mr. President? We need to get this thing going before the end of the year!

So buck up, America. Hey, it’s for your own good. Don’t you want top-quality health care like military women get from the VA, like wounded soldiers get from Walter Reed or like Indian Health Services?

Then again, on second thought, no. Universal health care just isn’t worth our freedom.

 

More links on this topic – if you’re feeling up to it:

Health care reform still has a long way to go before passage
Committee: Health care overhaul a yes
Concern grows that healthcare overhaul won’t cut costs
House Democrats would have us believe that the rich can pay for it all
9 reasons Pelosi’s healthcare surtax is disastrous
Small Business Faces Big Bite
What if Obamacare Fails?

Health Care Reformers Don’t Get It

May 28, 2009

An interesting take by F. Paul Wilson on the coming “universal health care”.

Health Care reformers: They don’t get it

Left, right, center, all the pols are on one reform bandwagon or another.  The idea is to bring all the uninsured (according to the National Coalition on Health Care, that means 46 million people) under some sort of medical coverage.

Am I going to carp about how we’re going to pay for it?  Nah.  Not my job.  (Although, in this Weimar zeitgeist, I suppose we’ll simply print more money.)

No, I’m thinking about bodies – 46 million of them.  That’s an amazing number.  And once they enter the system, they’ll want to utilize it.  They’ll want/need physical exams and their cholesterol checked, and their blood pressure and diabetes treated.  They’ll want vaccinations and pre-school exams for their well kids and throat cultures and medications for their sick ones.

So here’s the next question, the one no one on the Hill seems to be asking:

Who’s going to treat them?

Continue reading

Even if the plan will include money to train more providers there will be a long ramp-up to an adequate ratio of patients-to-providers.

In the meantime, we can only hope there won’t be too many incidents like this one in which a woman died on the waiting room floor of a county hospital, even as staffers saw – and ignored – her in distress.

Obama: We are broke

May 24, 2009

jokerburningmoney_tbiYa think?

But wait — Obama says we are out of money because we have not spent enough! If only we had spent billions or trillions of dollars on Universal Health Care, we wouldn’t be broke today! Oooooh — now I get it. Or not.

Obama: We are broke. Well, Duh!

I am utterly amazed at the continued arrogance of the Obama administration, which has managed to make the Bush administration look to be prudent, which is a major accomplishment. Obama tells C-SPAN that “We are out of money,” but then claims that this is because the government had not taken over healthcare. (I’d hate to see our medical system when government actually does completely control it, given that it pretty much is a government-run system now.)

His comments simply are stunning:

So we’ve got a short-term problem, which is we had to spend a lot of money to salvage our financial system, we had to deal with the auto companies, a huge recession which drains tax revenue at the same time it’s putting more pressure on governments to provide unemployment insurance or make sure that food stamps are available for people who have been laid off.So we have a short-term problem and we also have a long-term problem. The short-term problem is dwarfed by the long-term problem. And the long-term problem is Medicaid and Medicare. If we don’t reduce long-term health care inflation substantially, we can’t get control of the deficit.

So, one option is just to do nothing. We say, well, it’s too expensive for us to make some short-term investments in health care. We can’t afford it. We’ve got this big deficit. Let’s just keep the health care system that we’ve got now.

Along that trajectory, we will see health care cost as an overall share of our federal spending grow and grow and grow and grow until essentially it consumes everything…

 Yes, this is an administration that when it found out we were in a deep recession has turned on the Federal Reserve spigots at full blast and is throwing money around. Now that the U.S. Dollar is tanking, suddenly they realize they are painted into a corner.

What to do? It is obvious; pour another round of drinks, have a toga party, and print more money. When prices of goods skyrocket upwards, Obama will blame business (and especially the oil companies), and the media and most of the country will slavishly believe him.

source