Posts Tagged ‘Obamacare’
The real name of Obamacare – a name known only to a few policy wonks and politically correct medical students – Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA. With a name like that, who could object to it? Who would be against “patient protection” or “affordable” when it comes to a government-funded program such as Medicare? Really, who would want “unaffordable,” though that’s generally what we get in government spending programs? But what does “Affordable Care” really mean?
Although Obamacare is fluid, being rewritten hourly, as of this moment, the plan is to create “accountable care organizations,” or ACOs. These will be defined by geographic areas that contain a certain number of patients. Currently, for example, a pilot ACO blankets a large area of northwestern Iowa.
You the patient, at first, won’t know that you “belong” to the ACO. But the government has assigned you, if you are a Medicare recipient, to a specific ACO. The ACOs will then be held responsible for quality – as defined by government – and for cost containment.
I recently attended a pie-in-the-sky, rah-rah session given by the CFO of one of the new pilot ACOs. He went into great detail about the good deal awaiting those hospital systems that play the game well. The details, as he admitted, are somewhat lacking, as the rules continue to be written. But I got the big picture. The big picture is: This is a three-step shell game to bring about the death of private practice medicine in America.
Here is how it will work.
Step one: America will be sliced up geographically into ACOs, which will gather all sorts of patient-care data for the feds and will be paid a fee for service at Medicare rates. The ACOs will be lauded as the saviors of medicine and given bonuses for quality and cost containment. Currently, they are being offered a 50-percent cash rebate for any savings they bring about. Patients can choose to go anywhere for care, in or out of the ACO. Private practitioners outside the system will be “allowed” to keep practicing, they will not be forced to join the ACOs – that would be un-American – but these small practices will be unable to survive the regulatory burden of Obamacare. So, these doctors will retire early, or close up shop or simply go to work for the ACOs, where they will do better financially.
Step two: Once private practitioners are squeezed out of existence, there will be no competition. The ACOs will be the only show in town and totally under the thumb of the federal government. At this point, the bonus money will go away, and the feds will squeeze down payment to doctors and hospitals. (The CFO who spoke at our meeting may think the federal government is willing to leave free money on the table for him to pick up, but that only is doled out to favored political donors, not to producers. The bonus is simply another bribe historically given to businesses by government in order to make them vassals of the state … and businesses never seem to learn.) Small hospitals will have to consolidate under big ones or go out of business. At this point, to prepare for the final step, rumblings of problems in the ACOs will start.
Step three: As government reimbursements diminish and there is no private option, the system will fail to deliver adequate care. Patients won’t be able to get appointments or timely surgery, doctors will complain, hospital staffs will strike and in general the system will implode. Government, always ready to leap into the breach (and reminiscent of the precedent of the Reichstag fire), will declare a national crisis and push through emergency legislation – that is already in the system – to nationalize health care. Hospitals will be taken over by the feds, doctors and nurses and all necessary personnel will have no choice but to be government employees, and at this point patients will be assigned to the ACOs without any choice in the matter. At the stroke of a pen health insurance will cease to exist, and perhaps the companies who sold insurance will be placed in charge of administrating these ACOs. (This road is already being paved as big companies like Blue Cross are given government contracts to administer Medicare.)
Think this can’t happen? Even some of the ACO administrators admit they are being set up to fail. But fail to what end? To the goal which has been the goal all along: establish a national health service ala Canada or England or Sweden. This is not a medical or societal evolution; this is programmed incremental revolution, and we – like the Russians and French and Cubans – will pay the price, because when free market medicine goes, so goes freedom. The power that brings about this government takeover will not limit itself to medicine. It will consume every facet of the social and economic life of America.
Libertatem requiescant in pace.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/05/obamacares-bigger-plan-destroy-and-rescue/#jH4ZMVz5JCOcZzR3.99
The most destructive Obamacare tax increases are just around the bend
Asked about Senator Max Baucus’s (D-Mont.) recent “train wreck” comments, President Obama today said, “A huge chunk of it [Obamacare] has already been implemented.” Unmentioned was the wave of destructive Obamacare tax increases that will begin to hit Americans during the next tax filing season and beyond:
Starting in tax year 2013:
Obamacare Surtax on Investment Income: A new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This tax hike results in the following top tax rates on investment income:
Capital Gains Dividends Other*
2013+ 23.8% 43.4% 43.4%
*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations. It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income. It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans. (Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93)
Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Increase:
All Remaining Wages
2.9% self employed
(Bill: PPACA, Reconciliation Act; Page: 2,000-2,003; 87-93)
Obamacare Medical Device Tax: Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year. In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will make everything from pacemakers to artificial hips more expensive. (Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,980-1,986)
Obamacare High Medical Bills Tax: Before Obamacare, Americans facing high medical expenses were allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). Obamacare now imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Therefore, Obamacare not only makes it more difficult to claim this deduction, it widens the net of taxable income. According to the IRS, 10 million families took advantage of this tax deduction in 2009, the latest year of available data. Almost all are middle class. The average taxpayer claiming this deduction earned just over $53,000 annually. ATR estimates that the average income tax increase for the average family claiming this tax benefit will be $200 – $400 per year. To learn more about this tax, click here. (Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994-1,995)
Obamacare Flexible Spending Account Tax: The 30 – 35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs face a new Obamacare cap of $2,500. This will squeeze $13 billion of tax money from Americans over the next ten years. (Before Obamacare, the accounts were unlimited under federal law, though employers were allowed to set a cap.) Now, a parent looking to sock away extra money to pay for braces will find themselves quickly hitting this new cap, meaning they would have to pony up some or all of the cost with after-tax dollars.
Needless to say, this tax will especially impact middle class families.
There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. Nationwide there are several million families with special needs children and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families. (Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,388-2,389)
Starting in tax year 2014:
Obamacare Individual Mandate Non-Compliance Tax: Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services — must pay an income surtax to the IRS. The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that six million American families will be liable for the tax, and as pointed out by the Associated Press: “Most would be in the middle class.”
In addition, 100 percent of Americans filing a tax return (140 million filers) will be forced to submit paperwork to the IRS showing they either had “qualifying” health insurance for every month of the tax year or they obtained an exemption to the mandate.
Americans liable for the surtax will pay according to the following schedule
1 Adult 2 Adults 3+ Adults
2014 1%AGI/$95 1%AGI/$190 1%AGI/$285
2015 2%AGI/$325 2%AGI/$650 2%AGI/$975
2016 2.5%AGI/$695 2.5%AGI/$1390 2.5%AGI/$2085
(Bill: PPACA; Page: 317-337)
Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax: 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 $2,000 for all full-time employees. This provision applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3,000. 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). (Bill: PPACA; Page: 345-346)
Obamacare Tax on Health Insurers: Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year. The tax phases in gradually until 2018. Fully imposed on firms with $50 million in profits. (Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,986-1,993)
Starting in tax year 2018:
Obamacare Tax on Union Member and Early Retiree Health Insurance Plans: Obamacare imposes a new 40 percent excise tax on high cost or “Cadillac” health insurance plans, effective in 2018. This tax increase will most directly affect union families and early retirees, who are likely to be covered by such plans. This Obamacare tax will be levied on insurance policies whose premiums exceed $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family. Middle class union members tend to be covered by such plans in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions. CPI +1 percentage point indexed. (Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,941-1,956)
The real PT Barnum once said that there is a “sucker born every minute”, and he was right. Nowhere is this maxim more clearly seen than in the slime-stained halls of Washington, DC. Liberal savior Barack Hussein Obama bragged and boasted how his Affordable Health Care Act – otherwise known as Obamacare – would revolutionize health care in America, insure each and every citizen, while not adding “one dime” to the national debt. The only thing he left out was a large order of fries. But today we see how lawmakers who have forced this travesty upon us really feel about Obamacare.
They are exempting themselves.
From Politco: Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.
If you haven’t yet figured it out, both side of the aisle are equally corrupt. Your vote is meaningless, and the fatcats get fatter as they laugh at the stupidity of the American people in closed-door meetings behind our backs
The talks — which involve Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Obama administration and other top lawmakers — are extraordinarily sensitive, with both sides acutely aware of the potential for political fallout from giving carve-outs from the hugely controversial law to 535 lawmakers and thousands of their aides. Discussions have stretched out for months, sources said.
A source close to the talks says: “Everyone has to hold hands on this and jump, or nothing is going to get done.”
Yet if Capitol Hill leaders move forward with the plan, they risk being dubbed hypocrites by their political rivals and the American public. By removing themselves from a key Obamacare component, lawmakers and aides would be held to a different standard than the people who put them in office.
Many things are holding the headlines hostage, the terrorist attacks, the crippling effects of Obamacare, the prospect of expanding war in Syria, and as always Iran.
There is one over-riding constant that defines as it divides the present era: the fact that America has a President who advances values and policies diametrically opposed to the traditional beliefs of a vast number of Americans. From bowing to foreign leaders to not knowing how many states there are, from vowing to fundamentally transform America to actually doing it, President Obama is to many the Manchurian Candidate.
Elected the first time on a vague promise of hope and change he has been re-elected on a blatant promise to re-distribute the wealth and complete the transformation of America into a welfare state. His bureaucratically imposed policies such as Cap-n-Trade and the Dream Act are blatant end runs around the authority of a Congress that overwhelmingly rejected both. The alarming reality we all must face is that for the first time in American history we may actually have a president who is anti-American.
Barack Obama is blatant in his anti-American rhetoric. Such as:
“In America, we have this strong bias toward individual action. You know, we idolize the John Wayne hero who comes in to correct things with both guns blazing. But individual actions, individual dreams, are not sufficient. We must unite in collective action, build collective institutions and organizations.” Emphasis added.
“And what would help minority workers are the same things that would help white workers: the opportunity to earn a living wage, the education and training that lead to such jobs, labor laws and tax laws that restore some balance to the distribution of the nation’s wealth …” Emphasis added.
“But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted. And the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties — says what the states can’t do to you — says what the Federal government can’t do to you — but it doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf.
And that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, the tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that …” Emphasis added.
These positive rights are what Progressives have been trying to establish since FDR floated his idea of a second bill of right which included:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad
The right of every family to a decent home
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment
The right to a good education
Now all of these sound great and in a perfect world might make up a laundry list of prizes falling out of the cornucopia of utopia. In a real world they would mandate a government large enough to provide everything and powerful enough to take everything away.
The whole idea of having a constitution is to limit the government which is in essence a charter of negative liberties.
President Obama goes on to state, “Now, just as there was in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, there is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. ‘The market will take care of everything,’ they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes — especially for the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty.
Now, it’s a simple theory. And we have to admit, it’s one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government. That’s in America’s DNA. And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It has never worked.”
And of course there is his infamous “You didn’t build that” statement which exposes his complete misunderstanding of what it takes to start and grow a business.
With a leader such as this whose basic understanding of America is at such odds with those who once constituted the majority of the citizens and the continuity of our History is it any wonder that so many feel as if they are living in a conquered nation?
Conquered by who? As Pogo once told us, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Or as Garet Garrett, quipped as he chronicled the fall of the Republic and the rise of the American bureaucratic Empire said, “There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom.”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2013 Robert R. Owens email@example.com Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
The waiting room was filled with patients.
As I approached the receptionist’s desk, I noticed that
was a large unfriendly woman who looked like a
I gave her my name.
In a very loud voice, the receptionist
I HAVE YOUR NAME HERE;
YOU WANT TO SEE THE DOCTOR ABOUT IMPOTENCE,
All the patients in the waiting room snapped their heads around to
look at me, a now very embarrassed man. But as usual, I
recovered quickly, and in an equally loud voice
‘NO, I’VE COME TO INQUIRE ABOUT A SEX CHANGE
I DON’T WANT THE SAME DOCTOR THAT DID YOURS.”
The room erupted in applause!
DO NOT MESS WITH OLD RETIRED GUYS