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ObamaCare Moves Forward

ObamaCare Moves Forward
Senate Finance Committee passes a $829 billion Baucus’ health care bill by a 14-9 vote, with the support of one Republican (Olympia Snowe R-Maine). There are many more bills health care reform has to pass before Obama signs the final bill into law.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84KkFwSHAqs

 

The Truth About the Baucus Healthcare Bill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj6GyFEA3FI

Max Baucus Placed Gag Order On Medicare Companies Concerning Cuts

 



ObamaCare: Buy Health Insurance Or Go To Jail

Americans threatened with jail time, huge fines for refusing to buy health insurance

Mike Adams
Natural News
September 29, 2009

There’s a popular video circulating on the ‘net right now about how to escape handcuffs without using a key. Americans are watching the video to bone up on essential skills that will soon be needed for health care reform, it seems, since the new laws that are about to be put in place call for Americans to be arrested and thrown in jail if they refuse to buy health insurance.

This has now been confirmed by Tom Barthold, the Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. And it’s not merely about jail time; it’s also about the $25,000 fine that could be levied by the IRS against individuals who refuse to buy health insurance.

That this is even being considered just boggles the mind. If a person is too broke to afford health insurance right now, how are they supposed to be able to buy it after paying a $25,000 fine and spending a year in prison?

As Paul Craig Roberts brilliantly pointed out in a recent essay, this is like trying to solve the homeless problem by forcing homeless people to buy a home, then throwing them in prison when they can’t afford to.

Read Full Article Here

Buy ObamaCare or Face Jail or $25,000 Fine

 



Health Insurance Mandate Includes ‘Tax’ Despite Obama Denial

Health Insurance Mandate Includes ‘Tax’ Despite Obama Denial

FOX News
September 21, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs1wvhxLgb0

A proposed requirement that all Americans buy health insurance does in fact include a “tax” increase, according to the Senate — even though President Obama insisted Sunday that it “absolutely” does not.

Obama gave ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos a stern talking-to Sunday for suggesting that the mandate to buy health insurance would amount to a tax. He even taunted the host for citing the dictionary definition of “tax” to make his point.

“The fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now,” Obama said.

But the language of the health care reform plan proposed by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., explicitly labels the penalty attached to the mandate as an “excise tax.”

Penalties for failing to obtain coverage would range from $750 to $3,800 under the plan. This is addressed in a section labeled: “Excise Tax.”

“The excise tax would apply for any period for which the individual is not covered by a health insurance plan with the minimum required benefit,” the Baucus plan says.

Republican strategist Brad Blakeman said Obama just got busted.

“The president cannot orate himself out of this one. If it feels like a tax, it says it’s a tax — Mr. President, it’s a tax,” Blakeman said.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Monday at a forum in Richmond that the House treats the penalty the same way.

“The president was on TV last night or yesterday morning saying ‘no no no, it’s not new taxes,’ whereas in this bill and in the Senate bill both, it calls what they are charging employers and individuals a tax. It’s an IRS section of our bill,” he said.

The Baucus plan does not describe the requirement itself as a tax — just the penalty.

But Julian Epstein, former Democratic counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, said the requirement is no different from requirements to obtain auto insurance.

“It’s called personally responsibility,” he said.

Obama and Stephanopoulos got in a testy exchange over the matter Sunday on “This Week.”

“Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?” the host asked.

Obama argued that the government would be providing tax credits for those who have trouble affording coverage, and that Americans who have insurance are already paying hundreds extra in premiums to cover uncompensated care.

“That may be, but it’s still a tax increase,” Stephanopoulos said.

“No. That’s not true,” Obama said. “I absolutely reject that notion.”

 

FACT CHECK: Coverage requirement enforced with tax

AP
September 21, 2009

Memo to President Barack Obama: It’s a tax. Obama insisted this weekend on national television that requiring people to carry health insurance — and fining them if they don’t — isn’t the same thing as a tax increase. But the language of Democratic bills to revamp the nation’s health care system doesn’t quibble. Both the House bill and the Senate Finance Committee proposal clearly state that the fines would be a tax.

And the reason the fines are in the legislation is to enforce the coverage requirement.

“If you put something in the Internal Revenue Code, and you tell the IRS to collect it, I think that’s a tax,” said Clint Stretch, head of the tax policy group for Deloitte, a major accounting firm. “If you don’t pay, the person who’s going to come and get it is going to be from the IRS.”

Democrats aren’t the first to propose that individuals be required to carry health insurance and fined if they refuse. The conservative Heritage Foundation called for such a mandate in the 1990s’ health care debate, although its proposal differed from the ones pending in Congress. Heritage has since dropped the idea and now favors using tax credits to encourage people to buy coverage — carrots and not sticks.

During the 2008 political campaign, Obama opposed making coverage mandatory because of the costs. His position has shifted now that it’s becoming clear such a requirement will be part of any legislation that Congress sends him. Conservative activists are calling it a violation of his pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class.

“This is exactly what George Bush Sr. did when he said he wouldn’t raise taxes, and it cost him the next election,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Obama is doing the same thing, but he’s insulting people by telling them that if you don’t call it a big purple banana, somehow it wouldn’t be a tax.”

Some liberals acknowledge that Obama might be vulnerable on the insurance requirement. But they say most people will understand as long as the legislation provides enough of a subsidy to make the coverage affordable. That’s a central issue this week as the Senate Finance Committee starts voting on legislation.

“I think it’s a metaphysical question as to whether it’s a tax or not,” said Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future. “The real question that will determine whether people are upset is whether the insurance is affordable.”

In an interview that aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Obama insisted that the insurance requirement is not a tax.

“For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” the president said. “What it’s saying is…that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore.

“Right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance,” Obama added. “Nobody considers that a tax increase.

“You just can’t make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase,” he added.

But a Democratic staff description of Sen. Max Baucus’ bill calls the proposed fines an “excise tax.” Penalties of up to $950 for individuals and $3,800 for families would be imposed on those who don’t get coverage.

The House bill uses a complex formula to calculate the penalties, calling them a “tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage.”

The coverage mandate is part of a political bargain under which the insurance industry would agree to take all applicants, regardless of prior medical history.

“If we’re going to have coverage without regard to pre-existing conditions, it makes sense,” said economist Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center. “Otherwise people will come in the door the day they get sick.” He sees no distinction between the requirement to get coverage and the fines themselves.

“The fact that it is imposed on people and they have no choice in paying it, and the fact that it’s administered through the tax system all make it look like a tax,” Williams said. The center is a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.

It wouldn’t be the first asterisk added to Obama’s campaign pledge on taxes. Earlier this year, he signed a tobacco tax increase to pay for children’s health insurance. Even that can be read as a violation of his expansive campaign promise.

“I can make a firm pledge,” he said in Dover, N.H., on Sept. 12, 2008. “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

He repeatedly promised “you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime.”

 



Buy ObamaCare or Face Jail or $25,000 Fine

Buy ObamaCare or Face Jail or $25,000 Fine

Cryptogon
September 26, 2009

Via: Politico:

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.

Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty, Barthold wrote on JCT letterhead. He signed it “Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold.”

The note was a follow-up to Ensign’s questioning at the markup.

 



Ron Paul’s Bill to Audit the Fed Becomes Veto-Proof!

Ron Paul’s Bill to Audit the Fed Becomes Veto-Proof!

RonPaul.com
September 16, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYiHE35kCQI

Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Federal Reserve (HR 1207) now has 290 co-sponsors, and the numbers keep growing! At the same time, HR 1207’s companion bill in the Senate, S 604, has already attracted 25 co-sponsors.

This is history in the making, and victory is within reach. Imagine what will happen if HR 1207, The Federal Reserve Transparency Act, comes up for vote in Congress! With a veto-proof two thirds of the House of Representatives already co-sponsoring this bill, it has real potential to pass — BUT only if we educate and rally the people to support it and get our Congresspeople to put it to vote and pass it.

Step 1: Your Representative

If your representative is not on the following list of HR 1207 co-sponsors, call their offices, write to them, email them. Let them know they need to support HR 1207. If you live in their district, let them know. Go to their office.

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Enter Your Zipcode Here to Contact Your Representative!

 



Fines Up to $3800 for Failing to Get Health Insurance

Fines Up to $3800 for Failing to Get Health Insurance

FOX News
September 8, 2009

Families who fail to get health insurance could be fined up to $3,800 under a health care reform plan proposed by a top Senate negotiator.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is leading talks among the “Gang of Six” senators to hammer out a bipartisan compromise, offered what he described on Tuesday as a “framework” and not a “final product.”

But the detailed proposal comes just days ahead of a self-imposed Sept. 15 deadline for such a deal. Baucus is pushing his committee members hard to hammer out a bill, and those details come as strong suggestions.

Baucus has set a deadline of 10 a.m. Wednesday morning for fellow members of the bipartisan group to offer “specific proposals” for a compromise bill. He made clear “time is running out” to get a deal.

“The rubber is starting to meet the road….We’re not going to dawdle,” Baucus told FOX News Tuesday evening.

“Time is running out very quickly. I suspect I’ll be making some decisions very quickly,” said Baucus, who added that he would like to have something to give to Obama before the tomorrow night’s speech to the joint session of Congress.

Baucus says he does not think the lack of a public option at all endangers the bill or its support with members of his party.

“Over the next week or so, the Finance Committee will move forward with health care reform.”

“We very much want a bipartisan agreement,” Baucus said. “To get a proposal out of the Finance Committee, it cannot have a public option.”

The framework of Baucus’ proposal, a copy of which was obtained by FOX News, includes what amounts to a no-choice option. It would make health insurance mandatory, like auto insurance.

The plan would provide tax credits to help small employers and help cover the cost for households making up to three times the federal poverty level. That’s about $66,000 for a family of four, and $32,000 for an individual.

Those who still don’t sign up would face hefty fines, starting at $750 a year for individuals and $1,500 for families — for those making up to three times the poverty level.

For those who make more than that, the penalty on individuals would jump to $950 and the penalty on families would jump to $3,800.

There would be a few exemptions, including for Native Americans and for those making incomes below the federal poverty level.

The plan does not include a government-run health insurance plan to soften the blow of the coverage mandate.

Instead, Baucus opts for a system of non-profit cooperatives, as part of a broader health insurance exchange.

As a way to pay for the package, estimated to cost under $900 billion over 10 years, Baucus is proposing a 35 percent excise tax on insurance companies for high-cost plans — defined as those above $8,000 for individuals and $21,000 for family plans.

The Senate Finance Committee is meeting Tuesday, as President Obama prepares to deliver a high-stakes speech to both chambers of Congress Wednesday night in a bid to invigorate the push for reform.

Four committees have already passed their bills; Baucus’ panel is the only one yet to act. His committee’s bill is also the only one that could be considered bipartisan.

Baucus hits major elements in his plan that other top Democrats say are important. His plan would require health insurance plans to guarantee coverage and would prohibit them from excluding coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

Premiums would be allowed to vary based only on tobacco use, age and size of family.

But the fines pose a dilemma for Obama. As a candidate, the president campaigned hard against making health insurance a requirement, saying it’s too expensive to mandate. White House officials have since backed away somewhat from that stance, but there’s no indication that Obama would support fines.

Americans Will Be Forced To Buy Health Insurance

Obama Betting His Charm Will Be Enough Counter Health Care Reform Opposition

Already, 23 Dems have said they will vote ‘no’ on healthcare reform

 



Americans Will Be Forced To Buy Health Insurance

Americans Will Be Forced To Buy Health Insurance – Big Pharma and Insurance Companies Will Benefit Greatly If Health Care Reform Passes

John Stossel
Real Clear Politics
August 12, 2009

“What disturbs Americans of all ideological persuasions is the fear that almost everything, not just government, is fixed or manipulated by some powerful hidden hand,” Frank Rich wrote in Sunday’s New York Times.

That manipulation should disturb us. But contrary to Rich, it is not the work of “corporatists” who have sprung up to attack progressive reforms proposed by Obama and the Democratic majority. Manipulation is what we got many years ago when we traded a more or less free market for the “progressive” interventionist state. When government is big, the well-connected always have an advantage over the rest of us in influencing public policy.

Observe: Although President Obama and big-government activists demonize health-insurance companies, the companies “are still mostly on board with the president’s effort to overhaul the U.S. health-care system,” the Wall Street Journal reports; and …

Although the activists criticize Big Pharma, “The drug industry has already contributed millions of dollars to advertising campaigns for the health care overhaul through the advocacy groups like Healthy Economies Now and Families USA. It has spent about $1 million on similar advertisements under its own name,” the Times reports.

Big Pharma and Big Insurance want Obama-style health-care reform?

It’s not so hard to understand. “The drug makers stand to gain millions of new customers,” the Times said.

And from the Journal: “If health legislation succeeds, the [insurance] industry would likely get a fresh batch of new customers. In particular, many young and healthy people who currently forgo coverage would be forced to sign up.” No wonder insurers are willing to stop “discriminating” against sick people. (Forget that the essence of insurance is discrimination according to risk.)

Not that Big Pharma and Big Insurance like every detail of the Democratic plan. Drug companies don’t want Medicare negotiating drug prices — for good reason. If it forces drug prices down, research and development will be discouraged. (Depending whom you believe, Obama may or may not have agreed with the drug companies on this point.)

As for the insurance companies, they worry — legitimately — that a government insurance company — the so-called public option” — would drive them out of business. This isn’t alarmism. It’s economics. The public option would have no bottom line to worry about and therefore could engage in “predatory pricing” against the private insurers.

But despite these differences, the biggest companies in these two industries are on board with “reform.”

Read Full Article Here

Obama Made Secret Deal With Big Pharma Lobbyist