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11-20-2009 03:28 PM  8 years agoPost 1
Dennis (RIP)



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A Health Bill Nobody Believes In

* Posted November 20th, 2009 at 9.32am in Health Care, Ongoing Priorities.

From The Heritage Foundation:

Last Saturday night Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) forced through a vote on her 2,032 page health care bill only a few days after releasing it to the public. Now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is poised for another Saturday night cram down, forcing a Senate cloture vote mere days before his 2,074 page bill was given to Senators. Yet again, Congress will be forced to vote on a bill that none of them have actually read. More importantly, as we pour through the details, it becomes obvious that none of them even believe the plan will do what the bill says.

Kills Jobs: All told, the Reid Bill raises taxes by $370.2 billion over the next ten years with many of those taxes starting to be collected this year while unemployment is at 10.2% and rising. Worse, the bill includes a job killing employer mandate which taxes companies for hiring people. Specifically, companies with more than 50 employees that do not offer a health plan approved by federal bureaucrats will be forced to pay a $750 per employee job tax.

Hurts Small Businesses: The Reid Bill acknowledges it is terrible public policy for small businesses and tries to address this problem by including a “small business tax credit” to minimize the impact of the job killing employer mandates and regulation-caused rises in private health insurance premiums. But the tax credit only lasts two years and largely excludes small business owners, small businesses with high-average payrolls, and firms with 25 or more workers. After all exclusions, essentially the only eligible firms are those firms with 10 or fewer workers as well as those with low-income workers—the least likely to offer coverage even with a significant price reduction.

Hurts Families: The Reid Bill includes an individual mandate that forces any American who does not have a federal bureaucrat approved health plan to pay an annual tax penalty of $750 per adult family member and $375 per child, with a maximum penalty of $2,250 per family. These penalties are indexed for inflation, which means they are likely to increase nearly every year. These taxes are fixed amounts based on family size, not income. A family of at least two adults and two children is actually worse off under the Senate bill if they make less than $99,350 a year. The only nod to affordability is a “hardship exemption” if the lowest available premium for a bare-bones plan is more than 8 percent of your income. But that saves you money only if your income is less than $28,125 a year.

Hurts Poor: The Reid Bill’s employer mandate is especially punitive on poor families. Firms that hire an employee from a low-income family who qualify for an insurance subsidy are charged a tax penalty of $3,000. So a company could save $3,000 by hiring, say, someone with a working spouse or a teenager with working parents, rather than a single mother with three children. Worse, companies only have to pay $750 an employee instead of $3,000 if one quarter of employees are low-income. This creates a situation where, if a company has a lot of low-income workers, they can actually save money by dropping their health plan and just dumping all their employees into the federal exchange at their own expense.

Hurts States: The Reid bill expands Medicaid eligibility for people below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Even with a provision aimed at Senator Landrieu’s Louisiana that picks up some state costs, the CBO estimates that state spending under the Medicaid provisions will still increase by $25 billion. The Democratic Governor of Tennessee Phil Bredesen told a state budget meeting this Wednesday: “I wish every member of Congress would have to come sit in this room and listen to the real world of what’s going on in Medicaid today. I mean how can you listen to this stuff and the stuff you are talking about eliminating just to get through this and then talk about adding a whole bunch of new expenses onto the states.”

Funds Abortion: Unlike the House-passed Stupak-Pitts amendment which treats abortion funding the same way the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan does (the same health insurance all members of Congress have), the Reid Bill fosters taxpayer funding of elective abortion by authorizing the HHS Secretary to create a funding scheme that will permit inclusion of abortion coverage in the bill’s public option and mandates the inclusion of at least one plan with elective abortion coverage in each state’s health insurance exchange.

Hides True Costs: According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Reid Bill as written would spend less than $900 billion over the next ten years. But the CBO is only allowed to score what Congress says it will do, not what everybody knows it actually will do. So the CBO warns: “These longer-term calculations assume that the provisions are enacted and remain unchanged throughout the next two decades which is often not the case for major legislation … The long-term budgetary impact could be quite different if key provisions of the bill were ultimately changed or not fully implemented.” The Senate bill depends on using cuts to Medicare to pay for its $1.2 Trillion coverage expansion. These dramatic savings, of course, assume that these spending cuts stay intact. Nobody believes they will. And the Massachusetts experience proves just that. Harvard Medical School Dean Dr. Jeffrey Flier explains:

There are important lessons to be learned from recent experience with reform in Massachusetts. Here, insurance mandates similar to those proposed in the federal legislation succeeded in expanding coverage but—despite initial predictions—increased total spending.

Selling an uncertain and potentially unwelcome outcome such as this to the public would be a challenging task. It is easier to assert, confidently but disingenuously, that decreased costs and enhanced quality would result from the current legislation.

That is exactly what the Reid health care bill is: a completely disingenuous plan to increase coverage while reducing cost. Nobody believes Congress can or will follow through with spending cuts required to keep this scheme from bankrupting our country. That is why the AMA can support Obamacare despite the fact that both the House and Senate bills call for at least a 21% cut in doctor pay starting in 2011. Nobody believes those cuts are going to happen. Nobody believes in this bill.

11-20-2009 07:20 PM  8 years agoPost 2


Corpus Christi, TX

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A list of the new taxes this bill is loaded with. These are the new ones, there's MANY in the bill that point to already existing Internal Revenue code for amounts, fees, and penalties, including prison time.

Individual Mandate Tax (Page 324/Sec. 1501/$8 bil):
Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the following schedule (capped at 8 percent of income):

..........Single...Single +1...Single +2

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS).

Employer Mandate Tax (Page 348/Sec. 1513/$28 bil):
If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $750 for all full-time employees. Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees.

If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).

Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans (Page 1979/Sec. 9001/$149.1 bil):
Starting in 2013, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($8500 single/$23,000 family). Higher threshold ($9850 single/$26,000 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions. CPI +1 percentage point indexed.

From 2013-2015, the 17 highest-cost states are 120% of this level.

Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (Page 1996/Sec. 9002/Min$):
Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns.

Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 1997/Sec. 9003/$5 bil):
No longer allowable to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin)

HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike (Page 1998/Sec. 9004/$1.3 bil):
Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent.

FSA Cap (Page 1999/Sec. 9005/$14.6 bil):
Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited).

Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Page 1999/Sec. 9006/$17.1 bil):
Requires businesses to send 1099-MISC information tax forms to corporations (currently limited to individuals), a huge compliance burden for small employers

Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (page 2001/Sec. 9007/Min$):
$50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new "community health assessment needs," "financial assistance," and "billing and collection" rules set by HHS.

Tax on Innovator Drug Companies (Page 2010/Sec. 9008/ $22.2 bil): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year.

Tax of Medical Device Manufacturers (Page 2020/Sec. 9009/$19.3 bil):
$2 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to shares of sales made that year. Exempts items retailing for <$100.

Tax on Health Insurers (Page 2026/Sec. 9010/$60.4 bil):
$6.7 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year.

Eliminate tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D (Page 2034/Sec. 9012/$5.4 bil)

Raise "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI (Page 2034/Sec. 9013/$15.2 bil) :
Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only

$500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives (Page 2035/Sec. 9014/$0.6 bil)

Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax (Page 2040/Sec. 9015/$53.8 bil):
Current law and changes:

Wages (Employer/Employee) Self-Employment Net Income
Current Law and New Rate on First $200,000 ($250,000 MFJ) 1.45%/1.45% 2.9%
New Rate on Amount Which Exceeds $200,000 ($250,000 MFJ) 1.45%/1.95% 3.4%

The 0.5% new rate addition is not deductible for the self-employment tax adjustment.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike (Page 2044/Sec. 9016/$0.4 bil):

The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services

Tax on Cosmetic Medical Procedures (Page 2045/Sec. 9017/$5.8 bil):
New 5% excise tax on elective cosmetic surgery to be paid by the surgery patient.

Ron's Heliproz South

11-20-2009 10:25 PM  8 years agoPost 3


texas - USA

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'Tricks' and 'gimmicks' in Senate healthcare bill
Jim Brown and Chad Groening - OneNewsNow - 11/20/2009 6:00:00 AM
A healthcare policy expert says there are details in the Senate healthcare bill that will frighten everyone.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has unveiled his more than 2,000-page healthcare bill with an estimated price tag of $849 billion. However, as Grace Marie Turner of the Galen Institute points out, one of the reasons the bill was scored under President Obama's $900 billion cost goal is because no one gets any benefit from the program until 2014.

"So they start collecting taxes and fees now, and...the first ten years of full implementation of this bill is $2.5 trillion, and that's only the beginning," Turner explains. "So this does not in any President Obama's budget specification. And there are all sorts of tricks that they have pulled in this bill to try to pretend that it's deficit-neutral."

Turner says although the bill is a "carefully crafted" document designed to garner as close to 60 votes as Senator Reid can, it contains lots of new taxes and $500 billion in cuts to Medicare.

"They're assuming that Congress is going to have the will to make those cuts, which they have no track record in doing -- which means they're going to have to come back to taxpayers for more and more taxes to pay for these alleged promises of accessible healthcare for more Americans," Turner suggests.

She further says that many promises President Obama made to the American people are broken in the Senate healthcare bill, including the notion that "if you like your current health insurance you'll be able to keep it." The Congressional Budget Office predicts that under the Senate's proposal, millions of Americans will lose the employer-based coverage they currently have.

Healthcare dubbed too pricy
A Mississippi senator says with a $12 trillion debt and record job-loss rate, the U.S. cannot afford the Democrats' healthcare plan.

At a Capitol Hill rally, Senate Majority Leader Reid claimed Thursday that the $849-billion, 10-year bill he unveiled hours earlier will save lives, save money, and save Medicare. The Nevada Democrat claims the bill is not just a milestone in a journey of a few months or a few years, but rather, it culminates an effort that began over a half century ago.

But Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) does not agree with Reid's assessment.

"It's a terribly expensive bill," states Wicker. "I don't know how they can tout it as something that actually saves money; except that they're using a few accounting gimmicks to maybe make it look better at first. It raises taxes to a tune of half-a-trillion dollars." (Listen to audio report)

The GOP lawmaker says there is another huge problem with the Senate bill as "it eliminates the so-called 'Stupak language' which was negotiated in the House and was designed to ensure that no taxpayer dollars go to fund abortion through these insurance plans." The Mississippi senator points out that "that language is taken out."

Wicker is hopeful he can find at least one principled pro-life Democrat who will help Republicans prevent the bill from going forward in its present form. That one vote would be enough in the Democrat-led Senate.

11-22-2009 11:18 PM  8 years agoPost 4
fla heli boy

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cape coral, florida

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and what do they do when you are self employed and pay our money end of year??? How do they collect it then??? FO... i won't pay it....

11-22-2009 11:42 PM  8 years agoPost 5


Beauklahoma,peoples republic of mexifornia,USSA

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"religious objectors"
Yahoo I have my out .
Whatever goofy religion qualifies,whatever crap I have to say I believe in ( say I do, mind you )
Praise_______ (to be filled in later)

No problem

PM  EMAIL  Attn:RR  Quote
11-23-2009 02:31 AM  8 years agoPost 6


Ohio USA

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Praise_______ (to be filled in later)
Ha!I think we might have a new church forming, the Church of ________. Our 1st commandment: Thou shalt not receive socialized health care in the U.S..

Diejenigen, die nicht lernen aus den Fehlern der Vergangenheit bestimmt sind, zu wiederholen.

11-23-2009 03:29 AM  8 years agoPost 7
fla heli boy

rrKey Veteran

cape coral, florida

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If you choose Allah, you may get a credit......

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