• Obamacare

    ObamaCare: The List of Taxes

    drobama5116834 ObamaCare Poll Watch: 75 Per Cent Want Health Care Law Changed

    As the House debates and votes on repeal of the health care reform legislation known as ObamaCare, it might be time to review a comprehensive list of tax increases in the legislation.

    Next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on an historic repeal of the Obamacare law.  While there are many reasons to oppose this flawed government health insurance law, it is important to remember that Obamacare is also one of the largest tax increases in American history.  Below is a comprehensive list of the two dozen new or higher taxes that pay for Obamcare’s expansion of government spending and interference between doctors and patients.

    1. Individual Mandate Excise Tax (Jan 2014)
    2. Employer Mandate Tax (Jan 2014)
    3. Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013)
    4. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans($32 bil/Jan 2018)
    5. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax($86.8 bil/Jan 2013)
    6. Medicine Cabinet Tax($5 bil/Jan 2011)
    7. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike($1.4 bil/Jan 2011)
    8. Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka“Special Needs Kids Tax”($13 bil/Jan 2013)
    9. Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers($20 bil/Jan 2013)
    10. Raise “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI($15.2 bil/Jan 2013)
    11. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010)
    12. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D($4.5 bil/Jan 2013)
    13. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike($0.4 bil/Jan 2010)
    14. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals(Min$/immediate)
    15. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies($22.2 bil/Jan 2010)
    16. Tax on Health Insurers($60.1 bil/Jan 2014)
    17. $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives($0.6 bil/Jan 2013)
    18. Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2(Min$/Jan 2011)
    19. Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting($17.1 bil/Jan 2012)
    20. “Black liquor” tax hike(Tax hike of $23.6 billion)
    21. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine”(Tax hike of $4.5 billion)

    Read all of the piece here or download the Pdf file here.

    Is there any wonder why employers are not hiring new workers with ObamaCare taxes hanging over their heads – all due within the next few years.

    The House and Senate should vote for repeal and make the President veto the legislation. Then, American voters will veto President Obama in the 2012 elections.

  • Obamacare

    ObamaCare Poll Watch: 75 Per Cent Want Health Care Law Changed

    According to the latest Rasmussen Poll.

    Voters overwhelmingly want to see last year’s health care law changed, but there is substantial disagreement about how best to do it.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of Likely U.S. Voters want to change the law, while only 18% want it left alone. Those figures include 20% who want the law repealed and nothing done to replace it, 28% who want it repealed and then have its most popular provisions put into a new law and 27% who say leave the law in place but get rid of the unpopular provisions.

    It is worth noting that a majority (55%) take one of the middle ground approaches—repeal and replace or leave it and improve.

    Voters will likely favor the plan revision that costs THEM the LEAST. This is human nature.

    But, the ObamaCare law should be repealed in total first and then new approaches to health care can be added back, if there is political support.

    The costs of the law are too great and too much of a drag on employers and business. The economy will NOT improve until ObamaCare is gone – all of it.

    Since President Obama will likely veto any total repeal legislation, it may have to wait until after the 2012 Presidential election. In the meantime, the GOP House should refuse to fund the law and hold hearings as to the effects of ObamaCare on the economy.

  • Obamacare

    ObamaCare: Repeal It Now – Sign the Petition

    A House GOP bill repealing ObamaCare will likely pass the Republican controlled House of Representatives. However, it will be bogged down in the U.S. Senate before reaching President Obama’s veto pen.

    But, all is not doomed. The process of repeal will just take some time.

    American Solutions has begun a state oriented petition drive to persuade Senators – especially the ones who will be up for re-election in 2012, along with President Obama.

    So, go to the new website No More ObamaCare, and sign the petition.

    A citizen’s guide to repealing ObamaCare is here and offers some worthwhile suggestions on how to get involved.

    Do it today.

  • Obamacare

    Video: No! ObamaCare Will NOT Reduce the Deficit

    One of the main selling points of health care reform was that it would cut the federal deficit by a supposed $143 billion over the next decade and a trillion-plus dollars in the one after that.

    But not only will the legislation not cut one thin dime from the deficit, it will also certainly cost far more than the $940 billion in new spending already on the table for at least three reasons.

    Unbelievable that anyone would consider the contrary. But, just in case anyone is persuaded to think that ObamaCare actually cuts the deficit, here are a couple of pieces that you should read:

    No, Ezra Klein, Obamacare Will Not Reduce the Deficit

    Does ObamaCare Reduce Health Care Spending? The short answer is no

  • Obamacare

    ObamaCare: Here Come the Insurance Rate Increases

    We all knew it was going to happen, right? – Blue Shield of California seeks rate hikes of as much as 59% for individuals

    Another big California health insurer has stunned individual policyholders with huge rate increases — this time it’s Blue Shield of California seeking cumulative hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers March 1.

    Blue Shield’s action comes less than a year after Anthem Blue Cross tried and failed to raise rates as much as 39% for about 700,000 California customers.

    San Francisco-based Blue Shield said the increases were the result of fast-rising healthcare costs and other expenses resulting from new healthcare laws.

    “We raise rates only when absolutely necessary to pay the accelerating cost of medical care for our members,” the nonprofit insurer told customers last month.

    In all, Blue Shield said, 193,000 policyholders would see increases averaging 30% to 35%, the result of three separate rate hikes since October.

    Nearly 1 in 4 of the affected customers will see cumulative increases of more than 50% over five months.

    While most policyholders received separate notices for the successive rate hikes, others were given the news all at once because they had contracts guaranteeing their rate for a year, Blue Shield spokesman Tom Epstein said.

    Michael Fraser, a Blue Shield policyholder from San Diego, learned recently that his monthly bill would climb 59%, to $431 from $271.

    “When I tell people, their jaws drop and their eyes bug out,” said Fraser, 53, a freelance advertising writer. “The amount is stunning.”

    An unintended consequence of President Obama’s health care reform?

    No – somebody has to pay for those pre-existing conditions and the other goodies that Democrats placed in ObamaCare legislation to obtain passage.

    The House will vote next week to repeal ObamaCare and even though complete repeal would be blocked by the Senate and Obama (via veto), American voters will demand selective repeal and replacement over the next two years before the Presidential election.

  • Obamacare,  Sarah Palin

    Updated: ObamaCare: Does Sarah Palin Deserve an Apology Over Death Panels?

    I guess Sarah Palin deserves THAT apology, as today the Obama administration alters rule on paying for end-of-life planning.

    The Obama administration, reversing course, will revise a Medicare regulation to delete references to end-of-life planning as part of the annual physical examinations covered under the new health care law, administration officials said Tuesday.

    The move is an abrupt shift, coming just days after the new policy took effect on Jan. 1.

    Many doctors and providers of hospice care had praised the regulation, which listed “advance care planning” as one of the services that could be offered in the “annual wellness visit” for Medicare beneficiaries.

    While administration officials cited procedural reasons for changing the rule, it was clear that political concerns were also a factor. The renewed debate over advance care planning threatened to become a distraction to administration officials who were gearing up to defend the health law against attack by the new Republican majority in the House.

    Although the health care bill signed into law in March did not mention end-of-life planning, the topic was included in a huge Medicare regulation setting payment rates for thousands of physician services. The final regulation was published in the Federal Register in late November. The proposed rule, published for public comment in July, did not include advance care planning.

    An administration official, authorized by the White House to explain the mix-up, said Tuesday, “We realize that this should have been included in the proposed rule, so more people could have commented on it specifically.”

    “We will amend the regulation to take out voluntary advance care planning,” the official said. “This should not affect beneficiaries’ ability to have these voluntary conversations with their doctors.”

    And, Sarah proves herself right again.

  • Barack Obama,  Obamacare,  Sarah Palin

    ObamaCare: Does Sarah Palin Deserve an Apology Over Death Panels?

    Here is what Sarah Palin wrote in 2009 about ObamaCare and posted on her Facebook page.

    Yesterday President Obama responded to my statement that Democratic health care proposals would lead to rationed care; that the sick, the elderly, and the disabled would suffer the most under such rationing; and that under such a system these “unproductive” members of society could face the prospect of government bureaucrats determining whether they deserve health care.

    The President made light of these concerns. He said:

    “Let me just be specific about some things that I’ve been hearing lately that we just need to dispose of here. The rumor that’s been circulating a lot lately is this idea that somehow the House of Representatives voted for death panels that will basically pull the plug on grandma because we’ve decided that we don’t, it’s too expensive to let her live anymore….It turns out that I guess this arose out of a provision in one of the House bills that allowed Medicare to reimburse people for consultations about end-of-life care, setting up living wills, the availability of hospice, etc. So the intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they’re ready on their own terms. It wasn’t forcing anybody to do anything.” [1]

    The provision that President Obama refers to is Section 1233 of HR 3200, entitled “Advance Care Planning Consultation.” [2] With all due respect, it’s misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients. The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context.

    Section 1233 authorizes advanced care planning consultations for senior citizens on Medicare every five years, and more often “if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual … or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility… or a hospice program.” [3] During those consultations, practitioners must explain “the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice,” and the government benefits available to pay for such services. [4]

    Now put this in context. These consultations are authorized whenever a Medicare recipient’s health changes significantly or when they enter a nursing home, and they are part of a bill whose stated purpose is “to reduce the growth in health care spending.” [5] Is it any wonder that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care? As Charles Lane notes in the Washington Post, Section 1233 “addresses compassionate goals in disconcerting proximity to fiscal ones…. If it’s all about obviating suffering, emotional or physical, what’s it doing in a measure to “bend the curve” on health-care costs?” [6]

    As Lane also points out:

    Though not mandatory, as some on the right have claimed, the consultations envisioned in Section 1233 aren’t quite “purely voluntary,” as Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.) asserts. To me, “purely voluntary” means “not unless the patient requests one.” Section 1233, however, lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive — money — to do so. Indeed, that’s an incentive to insist.

    Patients may refuse without penalty, but many will bow to white-coated authority. Once they’re in the meeting, the bill does permit “formulation” of a plug-pulling order right then and there. So when Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) denies that Section 1233 would “place senior citizens in situations where they feel pressured to sign end-of-life directives that they would not otherwise sign,” I don’t think he’s being realistic. [7]

    Even columnist Eugene Robinson, a self-described “true believer” who “will almost certainly support” “whatever reform package finally emerges”, agrees that “If the government says it has to control health-care costs and then offers to pay doctors to give advice about hospice care, citizens are not delusional to conclude that the goal is to reduce end-of-life spending.” [8]

    So are these usually friendly pundits wrong? Is this all just a “rumor” to be “disposed of”, as President Obama says? Not according to Democratic New York State Senator Ruben Diaz, Chairman of the New York State Senate Aging Committee, who writes:

    Section 1233 of House Resolution 3200 puts our senior citizens on a slippery slope and may diminish respect for the inherent dignity of each of their lives…. It is egregious to consider that any senior citizen … should be placed in a situation where he or she would feel pressured to save the government money by dying a little sooner than he or she otherwise would, be required to be counseled about the supposed benefits of killing oneself, or be encouraged to sign any end of life directives that they would not otherwise sign. [9]

    Of course, it’s not just this one provision that presents a problem. My original comments concerned statements made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor to President Obama and the brother of the President’s chief of staff. Dr. Emanuel has written that some medical services should not be guaranteed to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens….An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” [10] Dr. Emanuel has also advocated basing medical decisions on a system which “produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.” [11]

    President Obama can try to gloss over the effects of government authorized end-of-life consultations, but the views of one of his top health care advisors are clear enough. It’s all just more evidence that the Democratic legislative proposals will lead to health care rationing, and more evidence that the top-down plans of government bureaucrats will never result in real health care reform.

    – Sarah Palin

    [1] See http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/08/president-obama-addresses-sarah-palin-death-panels-wild-representations.html.
    [2] See http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf
    [3] See HR 3200 sec. 1233 (hhh)(1); Sec. 1233 (hhh)(3)(B)(1), above.
    [4] See HR 3200 sec. 1233 (hhh)(1)(E), above.
    [5] See http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf
    [6] See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/07/AR2009080703043.html].
    [7] Id.
    [8] See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/10/AR2009081002455.html].
    [9] See http://www.nysenate.gov/press-release/letter-congressman-henry-waxman-re-section-1233-hr-3200.
    [10] See http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/Where_Civic_Republicanism_and_Deliberative_Democracy_Meet.pdf
    [11] See http://www.scribd.com/doc/18280675/Principles-for-Allocation-of-Scarce-Medical-Interventions.

    So, apparently, Sarah deserves an apology.


    Sarah Palin deserves an apology. When she said that the new health-care law would lead to “death panels” deciding who gets life-saving treatment and who does not, she was roundly denounced and ridiculed.

    Now we learn, courtesy of one of the ridiculers — The New York Times — that she was right. Under a new policy not included in the law for fear the administration’s real end-of-life game would be exposed, a rule issued by the recess-appointed Dr. Donald M. Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, calls for the government to pay doctors to advise patients on options for ending their lives. These could include directives to forgo aggressive treatment that could extend their lives.

    This rule will inevitably lead to bureaucrats deciding who is “fit” to live and who is not. The effect this might have on public opinion, which by a solid majority opposes Obamacare, is clear from an e-mail obtained by the Times. It is from Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), who sent it to people working with him on the issue. Oregon and Washington are the only states with assisted-suicide laws, a preview of what is to come at the federal level if this new regulation is allowed to stand. Blumenauer wrote in his November e-mail: “While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet. This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”

    Ah, but it’s not a myth, and that’s where Palin nailed it. All inhumanities begin with small steps; otherwise the public might rebel against a policy that went straight to the “final solution.” All human life was once regarded as having value, because even government saw it as “endowed by our Creator.” This doctrine separates us from plants, microorganisms and animals.

    Doctors once swore an oath, which reads in part: “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.” Did Dr. Berwick, a fan of rationed care and the British National Health Service, ever take that oath? If he did, it appears he no longer believes it.

    Obama and his Far Left minions in the last Congress knew they could not legislate these provisions in the ObamaCare bill. Hence, the end around.

    I do not mind conversations between physician and patient regarding medical directives – even if paid for by Medicare (the government). But, I DO mind that some nameless bureaucrat in DC will decide to pull the plug or deny payment for some life extending treatment/medication on ME.

    In order to socialize American medicine, Obama and the LEFT must ration care (practice cost control) or the entire system falls because of its own expensive weight.

    What makes Obama think that by installing a U.K. National Health Service type of socialized medicine that there will be any difference in the health care model?

    Sarah Palin had it RIGHT and ObamaCare must be repealed in part and replaced with meaningful reforms.

  • Obamacare

    ObamaCare Poll Watch: Support for Repeal at 60 Per Cent

    This will increase when Medicare rules go into effect and the physicans and hospitals start to bitch and moan.

    For the second time this month, 60% of Likely Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the national health care law, while the number who expect health care costs to increase is at its highest level since August.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 49% Strongly Favor repeal of the plan. Thirty-eight percent (38%) oppose the law’s repeal, including 29% who Strongly Oppose repeal.

    Support for repeal has ranged from 50% to 63% in weekly tracking since the bill became law in late March. Last week, support for repeal was at 55%.

    But last week also marked the first time a majority of voters believe the measure is likely to be repealed.

    Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters now say the law will be bad for the country, the highest level measured since September. Thirty-six percent (36%) say the plan will be good for the country.

    Since late March, those who think the law will be bad for the country have ranged from a low of 48% to a high of 57%. Those who think it will be good for America have run from 33% to 41% in the same period.

    The GOP House will first hold hearings and the details of ObamaCare will sink public support. President Obama and the Democrats have played “hide the ball” with the American people with regards to their health care and I doubt this will play very well with voters, particularly Seniors.

  • Obamacare

    ObamaCare: Individual Mandate Ruled Unconstitutional – Full Text

    It was just a matter of time, as I said during the ObamaCare debate.

    A federal judge in Virginia has declared the Obama administration’s health care reform law unconstitutional.

    U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson is the first judge to rule against the law, which has been upheld by two others in Virginia and Michigan.

    Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed the lawsuit challenging the law’s requirement that citizens buy health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.

    He argues the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional authority to impose the requirement.

    Other lawsuits are pending, including one filed by 20 states in a Florida court. Virginia is not part of that lawsuit.

    I doubt the issue will be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. Why?

    The issue will be resolved in the new GOP Congress and the next President before ObamaCare EVER becomes fully implemented. Some reforms may remain but the main thrust towards “Socialized Medicine” is not playing well with American voters.


    Here is the full text of the federal court opinion:

    Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sibelius et al

  • Day By Day,  Obamacare

    Day By Day December 8, 2010 – Shot

    Day By Day by Chris Muir

    After the machinations in Washington over the Bush Era Tax cuts and whatever happens to pop up in the lameduck session of Congress, attention will be turned to repealing most of ObamaCare. This will be accomplished by the House refusing to fund key portions of the reform bill. ObamaCare will likely die from death by a thousand cuts in funding.

    Some reforms will remain but if the climate for medicine/dentistry is not changed, we may very well have a health care system which may turn away from the excellence which has been its hallmarks.

    Watch the retirements of baby boom generation physicians over the next few years. They WILL accelerate and people may have trouble finding a physician or a medical clinic where they can be seen on a timely basis.


    The Day By Day Archve