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Obama’s C-SPAN Lies

The C-SPAN Lie? See Eight Clips of Obama Promising Televised Healthcare Negotiations

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9NF9zH5ikM

 



ObamaCare: Just Another Tax On The Middle-Class

Baucus Bill Will Impose 23% Tax Rate Increase on Middle Class

TaxProf
October 14, 2009

Following up on last week’s post (80% Marginal Tax Rates After Health Care Reform), there is an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal by former Director of the Congressional Budget Office Douglas Holtz-Eakin, The Baucus Bill Is a Tax Bill; Middle-Class Families Would Get Hit With a Double-Digit Increase in Their Marginal Tax Rate:

Most astounding of all is what this Congress is willing to do to struggling middle-class families. The bill would impose nearly $400 billion in new taxes and fees. Nearly 90% of that burden will be shouldered by those making $200,000 or less.

It might not appear that way at first, because the dollars are collected via a 40% tax on sales by insurers of “Cadillac” policies, fees on health insurers, drug companies and device manufacturers, and an assortment of odds and ends.

But the economics are clear. These costs will be passed on to consumers by either directly raising insurance premiums, or by fueling higher health-care costs that inevitably lead to higher premiums. Consumers will pay the excise tax on high-cost plans. The Joint Committee on Taxation indicates that 87% of the burden would fall on Americans making less than $200,000, and more than half on those earning under $100,000.

Industry fees are even worse because Democrats chose to make these fees nondeductible. This means that insurance companies will have to raise premiums significantly just to break even. American families will bear a burden even greater than the $130 billion in fees that the bill intends to collect. According to my analysis, premiums will rise by as much as $200 billion over the next 10 years—and 90% will again fall on the middle class.

Senate Democrats are also erecting new barriers to middle-class ascent. A family of four making $54,000 would pay $4,800 for health insurance, with the remainder coming from subsidies. If they work harder and raise their income to $66,000, their cost of insurance rises by $2,800. In other words, earning another $12,000 raises their bill by $2,800—a marginal tax rate of 23%. Double-digit increases in effective tax rates will have detrimental effects on the incentives of millions of Americans.

 

Obamacare Means $1,700 More in Insurance Premiums for a Typical Family

Dick Morris
Townhall
October 14, 2009

Will a young, healthy, childless individual or couple buy health insurance costing 7.5 percent of their income as required by Obama’s health legislation? Not until they get sick. Then, they can always buy the insurance — and the Obama bill requires the insurance companies to give it to them. And, if the premiums come to more than 7.5 percent of their income because they are now sick, no problem. Obama will subsidize it.

Instead, young, healthy, childless people will likely opt to pay the $1,000 fine (a.k.a., slap on the wrist) mandated in the bill. After all, even if they make as little as $50,000 a year, the fine is a lot cheaper than 7.5 percent of their income (or $3,500 a year)!

So … these young households will not contribute to the coffers of any health insurance company until they are sick and need the coverage. By then, their costs will come to vastly more than their premiums.

Who will subsidize the difference? We will.

The insurance industry estimates that the bill will drive up premiums for the average family by $1,700 a year. By the time the bill takes effect in 2013, it estimates that the average annual family health insurance premiums (now $12,300) will rise to $17,200 if the Obama bill is passed, but only to $15,500 if it is defeated.

And who do you think the voters will blame for the hike in their premium? The Democrats who passed the bill.

Supporters of the bill are quick to counter that greater efficiency, etc. will hold down premiums. But they have little to answer the argument that, without higher fines, the young and healthy will not consent to pay an arm and a leg for insurance they don’t need.

Any lingering motivation to pay the premiums will disappear once the Obama bill requires insurance companies to cover them when they do, finally, limp in the door, desperately in need of insurance. Why pay now when you can always pay later? And, with a government subsidy, you gain nothing by paying for all those years when you don’t need insurance.

So Obama’s program turns out not to be one to spread insurance and thus spread the risk of costly illness, but one to make people pay 7.5 percent of their incomes once they get sick, with the government picking up their remaining premium and the health insurance customers paying for the medical expenses. Some deal!

So tote up the cost of this bill on the middle class:

— $1,700 more in insurance premiums for the average family.

— Medical devices like wheelchairs and hearing aids get taxed.

— Those who are sick must pay an average of about $600 more a year in income taxes because the bill raises the threshold for deducting medical expenses from 7.5 percent of income to 10 percent.

— A $404 billion cut in Medicare.

— Ending the subsidized Medicare Advantage insurance for costs over and above Medicare. Without Medicare Advantage, the elderly can only augment Medicare by buying Medigap coverage for which no subsidy is available and whose premiums are higher (offered, conveniently enough, by Obama’s buddies at the AARP).

— No importation of Canadian medicines and no competitive bidding to hold down prescription drug costs (Obama’s deal to get Pharma’s support and advertising dollars).

— A shortage of medical personnel and equipment as 30 million new patients are added without any expansion of the population of doctors and nurses. This shortage will make rationing inevitable, even if it shortens life expectancies among the elderly.

And, all of this assumes that the House bill, which imposes a 4.5 percent payroll tax (which will discourage new employment), does not pass — and that the cost estimates of this program prove realistic. Despite the Congressional Budget Office’s concurrence, one can’t help noticing that Massachusetts’ program was estimated to cost $200 million in 2005 and now costs $700 million!

This health care bill is, indeed, Obama’s first tax on the middle class.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL7ak__MGyw

 



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

 



Lawmakers Refuse To Allow Time to Read Health Care Bill

Lawmakers Refuse To Allow Time to Read Health Care Bill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3_Ay9laPW8

 



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.

 



Govt. Places Gag Order On Medicare Companies Concerning Cuts

Govt. Placed Gag Order On Healthcare Companies Concerning Cuts in Medicare

Examiner
September 23, 2009


Max Baucus, the Senator who unveiled the Obama-care proposal has placed a gag order on healthcare companies to prevent them from informing customers that the legislation would reduce their Medicare benefits.

Outraged that the federal government placed a gag order on healthcare companies concerning cuts in Medicare, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor of the Senate to condemn this muzzling of free speech and to demand that the gag order be lifted.

The entire YouTube video of McConnell’s words on the Senate floor can be viewed by clicking here.

Apparently the Humana Corporation, which offers supplemental Medicare insurance, sent out a memo in the mail to its customers warning them that certain legislation being pushed in Congress would more than likely result in a reduction of Medicare benefits.

That statement is true. Obama and the Democrats have proposed a 500 billion dollar cut in Medicare benefits over the next few years in order to help pay for ‘healthcare reform’ that will shift healthcare spending from senior adults to illegal aliens and those who do not presently have coverage.

Humana was merely informing its customers of a matter that is of extreme importance to them, as well as to the companies that offer the supplemental insurance.

However, a powerful Democrat in the Senate, incensed that a company would have to gall to state the truth and exercise its First Amendment rights to free speech, used his influence to get the federal government to issue a gag order for healthcare companies, forbidding them from disclosing any information to their customers concerning pending cuts in Medicare benefits.

We did some research into this inexcusable tactic on the part of the government and discovered that the powerful Senator who directed the Medicare agency to impose the gag order is none other than Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus, D-Montana.

Read Full Article Here