Healthcare Taxes

Whether you believe it or not, should the Senate pass the current 2,000+ page monstrosity called Healthcare Reform, your taxes, directly and/or indirectly, will go up.  This will be despite the promise made by the President last February:

‘If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime." – President Barack Hussein Obama’s address to Congress.

An article from the Wall Street Journal disputes the validity of this promise:

Congressional Democrats have loaded up their health bills with provisions raising taxes on the middle-class by stacks and stacks of dimes. And Senate Democrats on Tuesday made clear they won’t be bound by the President’s vow; 54 voted to kill Idaho Republican Mike Crapo’s amendment to strip the bill of taxes on families earning less than $250,000 and individuals earning less than $200,000.

Those tax hits include a mandate of up to $750 a year for Americans who fail to purchase health insurance; new levies on small businesses (many of which file individual tax returns) that don’t offer health care to employees; new tax penalties on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts; and higher taxes on medical spending, including restrictions on medical itemized deductions, as well as taxes on cosmetic surgery. A Senate Finance Committee minority staff report finds that by 2019 more than 42 million individuals and families—or 25% of all tax returns under $200,000—will on average see their taxes go up because of the Senate bill. And that’s after government subsidies.

This profusion of tax hikes is central to the Democratic fiction that the Senate bill is budget neutral. And because many Senate Democrats are cool to the House proposal to fund legislation with a surtax on the "wealthy," many of these middle-tax hikes will likely remain in final legislation. Yet President Obama is embracing the bill

So another promise by the President is set to fall by the wayside.  Who is counting the broken promises?  Not me – I’m still waiting for him to make good on one that would benefit all Americans, not those who are in Congress or in positions of power.  But I digress…

So what are we going to receive with the higher taxes?  Promises for better and cheaper healthcare available for all?  Don’t hold your breath – Senator Tom Coburn, a physician with 25 years of experience, had this to say in a different article in the Wall Street Journal:

My 25 years as a practicing physician have shown me what happens when government attempts to practice medicine: Doctors respond to government coercion instead of patient cues, and patients die prematurely. Even if the public option is eliminated from the bill, these onerous rationing provisions will remain intact.

For instance, the Reid bill (in sections 3403 and 2021) explicitly empowers Medicare to deny treatment based on cost. An Independent Medicare Advisory Board created by the bill—composed of permanent, unelected and, therefore, unaccountable members—will greatly expand the rationing practices that already occur in the program. Medicare, for example, has limited cancer patients’ access to Epogen, a costly but vital drug that stimulates red blood cell production. It has limited the use of virtual, and safer, colonoscopies due to cost concerns. And Medicare refuses medical claims at twice the rate of the largest private insurers.

Section 6301 of the Reid bill creates new comparative effectiveness research (CER) programs. CER panels have been used as rationing commissions in other countries such as the U.K., where 15,000 cancer patients die prematurely every year according to the National Cancer Intelligence Network. CER panels here could effectively dictate coverage options and ration care for plans that participate in the state insurance exchanges created by the bill.

Additionally, the Reid bill depends on the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in no fewer than 14 places. This task force was responsible for advising women under 50 to not undergo annual mammograms. The administration claims the task force recommendations do not carry the force of law, but the Reid bill itself contradicts them in section 2713. The bill explicitly states, on page 17, that health insurance plans "shall provide coverage for" services approved by the task force. This chilling provision represents the government stepping between doctors and patients. When the government asserts the power to provide care, it also asserts the power to deny care.

If the bill expands Medicaid eligibility to 133% of the poverty level, that too will lead to rationing. Because Washington bureaucrats have created a system that underpays doctors, 40% of doctors already restrict access to Medicaid patients, and therefore ration care.

Medicaid demonstrates, tragically in some cases, that access to a government program does not guarantee access to health care. In Maryland, 17,000 Medicaid patients are currently on a waiting list for medical services, and as many as 250 may have died while awaiting care, according to state auditors. Kansas, the home state of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, faces a Medicaid backlog of more than 15,000 applicants.

More cost (taxes), less availability to care (rationing)….sounds like utopia, doesn’t it?  But then, President Obama and his minions know what’s best for us, especially when paying our fair share:

Democrats are instead trying to claim that some taxes really aren’t taxes. The President in September engaged in a debate with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, with the President arguing that the individual mandate isn’t a tax since it is for the good of America. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says increasing the amount of medical expenses a person must accumulate before deducting them also isn’t a tax because "most Americans" don’t itemize. Except the millions of middle-class Americans who do. Democrats have argued their restrictions on health savings accounts simply close "tax loopholes" and therefore also aren’t new taxes.

Americans who will be paying more to the IRS can be trusted to know the difference. In April, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked if the President’s tax promise applied to health care. He replied: "The statement didn’t come with caveats." On the evidence in December, it did.

The words “Hope” and “Change” used by the President during his campaign now have new meanings.  We hope that we’re going to have some change left in our pockets…before these bastards come to get the rest of it…


Last, something I found over in the comments section of The Political Jungle:

George Bush, Queen Elizabeth, and Vladimir Putin all die and go to hell.  While there, they spy a red phone and ask what the phone is for.  The devil tells them it is for calling back to Earth.

Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes.  When he was finished the devil informs him that the cost is a million dollars, so Putin writes him a check.

Next Queen Elizabeth call England and talks for 30 minutes.  When she was finished the devil informs her that cost is 6 million dollars, so Queen Elizabeth writes him a check.

Finally George Bush gets his turn and talks for 4 hours.  When he was finished the devil informed him that there would be no charge for the call and feel free to call the USA anytime. 

When Putin hears this he goes ballistic and asks the devil why Bush got to call the USA free.  The devil replied, "Since Obama became president of the USA, the country has gone to hell, so it’s a local call."

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About Tom Roland

EE for 25 Years, Two Patents - now a certified PMP. Married twice, burned once. One son with Asperger's Syndrome. Two cats. Conservative leaning to the Right. NRA Life Member.
This entry was posted in Government, Health Care, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Healthcare Taxes

  1. Lots of complaints. Where are Republican solutions to the problem? Or do Republicans think there is no problem? Or maybe they think tort reform will solve all our medical problems?

    People are already dying. They either have no health care, or their insurance company refuses to pay for their expensive care after all the years they paid their premiums, or people are denied care because of a pre existing condition. High unemployment due to our upside down economics isn’t helping either.

    Lets get real. Anyone who believes a politicians promises when they are trying to get your vote, is lacking in common sense.

    Republicans have been saying for decades they will cut taxes, cut government, less regulations, etc. Is that what we got? We got a 12 trillion dollar national debt, larger government, high unemployment, and a financial crisis.

    If anyone thinks Obama can pay for a new program from the savings of waste from another program, is diluted. If he can do that, then he should do it for every federal department, and send a big check to pay off our national debt.

    If we think we can run this country without paying for it, we are diluted, selfish, greedy, and lazy.

    The next time a politician tells you he won’t raise your taxes, ask him why he wants to bankrupt America.

    I am against this bill, because it is bad law.

    If it were good law, I would be willing to pay higher taxes to help solve a national problem.

    Social programs do not lead to Socialist (Stalinist) government. They are a tool to help a large number of people, voted for, by the people.

    Since when are Americans no longer willing to pay, to remain the best country in the World? If we add no other programs, or stop growing, we still go bankrupt.

    The selfish, spoiled living of the last 30 years of trying to have a free lunch, has come home to roost, and it’s our selfish selves that have to clean up our own mess, and pay it off.

    What right do we have to pass our greedy habits and debts onto future Americans. We will be the first generation to pass on a country worse off, then it was given to us.

    This multi-trillion dollar debt started growing in 1983. The same year Reagan’s tax cuts went into effect. This is our debt. It was not passed onto us from our parents generation.

    Who by the way, built the greatest middle class and living standards the World has ever seen. Paid off the WW II war debt, and rebuilt Europe and Japan, all at the same time.

    At tax rates that were twice as high as we pay now.

    Tax cuts do no generate enough income to pay our bills, or employ all our people. High tax rates do not inhibit economic growth. That’s proven economic History.

  2. Tom says:

    I think my response to this comment is going to take an entire post…

  3. My post “Mondale Was Right” has graphs and more wind by me about the tax/debt issue.

Comments are closed.