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Post Info TOPIC: Health Care Timeline and Taxes

Senior Member

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Health Care Timeline and Taxes

While it's despicable sell-out to socialism, at least we ought to know what's in it.

Timeline of Healthcare Bill Changes and Taxes

_ Sets up a high-risk health insurance pool to provide affordable coverage for uninsured people with medical problems. (this is why the insurance and hospitals were on board because they win by getting this off their back)

_ Starting six months after enactment, requires all health insurance plans to maintain dependent coverage for children until they turn 26; prohibits insurers from denying coverage to children because of pre-existing health problems. (this will dramatically increase premiums)

_ Bars insurance companies from putting lifetime dollar limits on coverage, and canceling policies except for fraud. (this will dramatically increase premiums)

_ Provides tax credits to help small businesses with up to 25 employees get and keep coverage for their employees.
_ Begins narrowing the Medicare prescription coverage gap by providing a $250 rebate to seniors in the gap, which starts this year once they have spent $2,830. It would be fully closed by 2020.
_ Reduces projected Medicare payments to hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes, hospices and other providers.
_ Imposes 10 percent sales tax on indoor tanning. (there also are other taxes and I am still looking for them)

_ Creates a voluntary long-term care insurance program to provide a modest cash benefit helping disabled people stay in their homes, or cover nursing home costs. Benefits can begin five years after people start paying a fee for the coverage.
_ Provides Medicare recipients in the prescription coverage gap with a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs; begins phasing in additional drug discounts to close the gap by 2020.

Provides 10 percent Medicare bonus to primary care doctors and general surgeons practicing in under-served areas, such as inner cities and rural communities; improves preventive coverage.
_ Freezes payments to Medicare Advantage plans, the first step in reducing payments to the private insurers who serve about one-fourth of seniors. The reductions would be phased in over three to seven years.
_ Boosts funding for community health centers, which provide basic care for many low-income and uninsured people.
_ Requires employers to report the value of health care benefits on employees' W-2 tax statements.
_ Imposes $2.3 billion annual fee on drug makers, increasing over time.

_ Sets up program to create nonprofit insurance co-ops that would compete with commercial insurers.
_ Initiates Medicare payment reforms by encouraging hospitals and doctors to band together in quality-driven "accountable care organizations" along the lines of the Mayo Clinic. Sets up a pilot program to test more efficient ways of paying hospitals, doctors, nursing homes and other providers who care for Medicare patients from admission through discharge. Successful experiments would be widely adopted.
_ Penalizes hospitals with high rates of preventable readmissions by reducing Medicare payments.

_ Standardizes insurance company paperwork, first in a series of steps to reduce administrative costs.
_ Limits medical expense contributions to tax-sheltered flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to $2,500 a year, indexed for inflation. Raises threshold for claiming itemized tax deduction for medical expenses from 7.5 percent of income to 10 percent. People over 65 can still deduct medical expenses above 7.5 percent of income through 2016.
_ Increases Medicare payroll tax on couples making more than $250,000 and individuals making more than $200,000. The tax rate on wages above those thresholds would rise to 2.35 percent from the current 1.45 percent. Also adds a new tax of 3.8 percent on income from investments.
_ Imposes a 2.3 percent sales tax on medical devices. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids and many everyday items bought at the drug store are exempt.

_ Prohibits insurers from denying coverage to people with medical problems, or refusing to renew their policy. Health plans cannot limit coverage based on pre-existing conditions, or charge higher rates to those in poor health. Premiums can only vary by age (no more than 3-to-1), place of residence, family size and tobacco use.
_ Coverage expansion goes into high gear as states create new health insurance exchanges supermarkets for individuals and small businesses to buy coverage. People who already have employer coverage won't see any changes.
_ Provides income-based tax credits for most consumers in the exchanges, substantially reducing costs for many. Sliding scale credits phase out completely for households above four times the federal poverty level, about $88,000 for a family of four.
_ Medicaid expanded to cover low-income people up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line, about $28,300 for a family of four. Low-income childless adults covered for the first time.
_ Requires citizens and legal residents to have health insurance, except in cases of financial hardship, or pay a fine to the IRS. Penalty starts at $95 per person in 2014, rising to $695 in 2016. Family penalty capped at $2,250. Penalties indexed for inflation after 2016.
_ Penalizes employers with more than 50 workers if any of their workers get coverage through the exchange and receive a tax credit. The penalty is $2,000 times the total number of workers employed at the company. However, employers get to deduct the first 30 workers.

_ Imposes a tax on employer-sponsored health insurance worth more than $10,200 for individual coverage, $27,500 for a family plan. The tax is 40 percent of the value of the plan above the thresholds, indexed for inflation.

_ Doughnut hole coverage gap in Medicare prescription benefit is phased out. Seniors continue to pay the standard 25 percent of their drug costs until they reach the threshold for Medicare catastrophic coverage, when their co-payments drop to 5 percent.


Senior Member

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The average family plan will cost $15,200.
Congress Votes to Socialize Health Care in United States
Monday, March 22, 2010
By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) listens to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) during a health care news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in October 2009. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
( - The U.S. House of Representatives voted 219-212 on Sunday night to socialize health care in the United States, making the government the paymaster of, and giving it sweeping regulatory authority over, the U.S. health care industry which represents one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

The legislation also enacts a dramatic and unprecedented diminution in the individual liberty of citizens. It does so by mandating that all Americans buy a government-approved health care plan while redistributing wealth on a massive scale by promising annual federal insurance subsidies to all Americans who earn less than 400 percent of the poverty level, which is currently $88,200 for a family of four.

The new health-care system the legislation will put in place over the next four years amounts to a massive and mandatory new welfare program that will ensnare middle-class and middle-aged Americans in dependency on the federal government for a vital element of their lives.

The health care legislation approved by Congress Sunday gives the administration sweeping power to regulate health insurance companies. These regulations will include instructing insurance companies on what benefits they must provide and what rates they can charge.

The mandate that all Americans buy health insurance represents a fundamental change in the relationship between individuals and the federal government in the United States. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this is the first time in the history of the country that the federal government has ever ordered American citizens to buy any good or service.

Many members of Congress, including former Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), have argued that this unprecedented mandate is unconstitutional. Hatch told last fall that if the federal government could constitutionally force individuals to buy health insurance there wasnt anything the federal government could not force individuals to do.

Many congressional advocates of the individual mandate interviewed by over the past year could not say where the Constitution authorized the federal government to force people to buy health insurance.

The final votes that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama needed to push the legislation through the House came on Sunday when Rep. Bart Stupak (D.-Mich.) and a small group of other Democrats abandoned their insistence that congressional health care legislation include language that would prevent any federal dollars from going to any health care plan that covers abortion.

Instead, Stupak and his allies accepted President Obamas promise that he would sign a draft Executive Order that simply instructs federal agencies to set accounting rules for how the health care plans that people purchase with federal funds will theoretically segregate the federal money they receive from other dollars that would theoretically pay for abortions.

President Obamas draft Executive Order speaks of this segregation mechanism as if it were the effective equivalent of the Hyde Amendment. However, the Hyde Amendment prohibits any federal funds funneled through various annual appropriations bills from going to any health plan that covers abortion. The health care bill that Congress passed Sunday and the Executive Order that Obama is promising to sign will allow federal funds to go to health care plans that cover abortion. It will only theoretically segregate these fungible funds from other dollars going to the same insurance plans that pay for abortion.

Five self-professedly pro-life Democratic congressmen joined Stupak at a Sunday press conference to say that they would vote for the health care plan after President Obama promised he would sign this Executive Order dealing with the accounting mechanisms that will be used by abortion-providing, federally subsidized health insurance plans. These congressmen were Rep. Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.), Rep. Steve Driehaus (Ohio), Rep. Alan Mollohan (W.V.), Rep. Nick Rahal (W.V.)

AccoThe average family plan will cost $15,200.rding to the CBO, by 2016, the cheapest family health care plan that Americans will be required to buy under the law will cost $12,000 per year. A family of four making $88,201 per yearor more than 400 percent of the poverty levelwill not receive any federal subsidy to purchase such a plan. They will pay taxes, however, to subsidize the health care purchases of people earning less than 400 percent of poverty.

According to the Treasury Department the Medicare system faced about $37 trillion in unfunded liabilities before Sundays bill was passed.


Profuse Pontificator

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I read that ome states are preparing legislation to oppose the healthcare bill on state levels, and a group of congressmen are preparing to challenge the constitutionality of the healthcare bill.  But for now, it's full speed ahead and damn the Constitution.  

In our circles we probably hear from lots of folks who oppose the healthcare bill.  But I'm sure there are far too many who favour it and are keeping their persuasions in the closet.  


Senior Member

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Posts: 241

Yes, there are those fond of benefits who are happy about this. They don't think things through - someone has to pay bills or the providers have to work for free. There is no other possibility.

Much, much was said about personal responsibility vs government dependence in earlier conference talks. Lately the themes seem to be enduring adversity. Hmmm, is there a message in that?

Here's another one:

What Will Be Considered Mandatory

The Federal Governments proposed mandatory health insurance will mean mandatory vaccinations/immunizations. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that for anyone who refuses to keep up-to-date vaccinations, under the new health reform, you will not be able to obtain any health care you may need until immunizations are current.

Some of us object to vaccinations.


Profuse Pontificator

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Posts: 876

For all Mitt Romney's rhetoric about the evils of this mandatory healthcare plan, read this comment about his own creation in Massachusetts.

By Doug Bandow on 10.1.09 @ 9:48AM

Mitt Romney's health care debacle in Massachusetts lives on--unfortunately. Observes Paul Hsieh in the Christian Science Monitor:

The Massachusetts plan thus violates the individual's right to spend his own money according to his best judgment for his own benefit. Instead, individuals are forced to choose from a limited set of insurance plans on terms set by lobbyists and bureaucrats, rather than those based on a rational assessment of individual needs.
Because the state-mandated health insurance is so expensive, the government must also subsidize the costs for lower-income residents. In response, the state government has cut payments to doctors and hospitals. With such poor reimbursements, physicians are increasingly reluctant to take on new patients.
Some patients in western Massachusetts must wait more than a year for a routine physical exam. Waiting times for specialists in Boston are longer than in comparable cities in other states and have gotten worse. Some desperate patients have even resorted to "group appointments" where the doctor sees several patients at once (without the privacy necessary to allow the physician to remove the patient's clothing and perform a proper physical exam). These patients all have "coverage," but that's not the same as actual medical care.
The Massachusetts plan is also breaking the state budget. Since 2006, health insurance costs in Massachusetts have risen nearly twice as fast as the national average. The state expects to spend $595 million more in 2009 on its health insurance program than it did in 2006, a 42 percent increase. Those higher health costs help explain why the state faced a $5 billion budget gap this summer. To help close it, lawmakers raised taxes sharply.

The failure of the Romney plan most obviously demonstrates what Congress should not do. Alas, Sen. Max Baucus's so-called centrist alternative would end up almost as ruinous as a more formal government take-over of health care.

But the mess left by the former governor, and his continuing defense of his handiwork, also raises questions about Romney's presumed presidential bid in 2012. If this is his vision of success, just what would President Mitt Romney do once the votes were counted and he was in office?




Senior Member

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A Constitutional Viewpoint

Friday, 26 Mar 2010 06:32 PM

By: David A. Patten
President Barack Obama is one of the worst presidents ever in terms of respecting constitutional limitations on government, and the states suing the federal government over healthcare reform "have a pretty strong case" and are likely to prevail, according to author and judicial analyst Andrew P. Napolitano.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella, Napolitano says the president's healthcare reforms amount to "commandeering" the state legislatures for federal purposes, which the Supreme Court has forbidden as unconstitutional.

"The Constitution does not authorize the Congress to regulate the state governments," Napolitano says. "Nevertheless, in this piece of legislation, the Congress has told the state governments that they must modify their regulation of certain areas of healthcare, they must surrender their regulation of other areas of healthcare, and they must spend state taxpayer-generated dollars in a way that the Congress wants it done.

"That's called commandeering the legislature," he says. "That's the Congress taking away the discretion of the legislature with respect to regulation, and spending taxpayer dollars. That's prohibited in a couple of Supreme Court cases. So on that argument, the attorneys general have a pretty strong case and I think they will prevail.

Napolitano, author of his just-released Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History and a Fox News senior judicial analyst, is the youngest Superior Court judge ever to attain lifetime tenure in the state of New Jersey. He served on the bench from 1987 to 1995.

Napolitano tells Newsmax that the longstanding precedent of state regulation of the healthcare industry makes the new federal regulations that much more problematic.

"The Supreme Court has ruled that in areas of human behavior that are not delegated to the Congress in the Constitution, and that have been traditionally regulated by the states, the Congress can't simply move in there," Napolitano says. "And the states for 230 years have had near exclusive regulation over the delivery of healthcare. The states license hospitals. The states license medications. The states license healthcare providers whether they're doctors, nurses, or pharmacists. The feds have had nothing to do with it.

"The Congress can't simply wake up one day and decide that it wants to regulate this. I predict that the Supreme Court will invalidate major portions of what the president just signed into law"

The judge also says he would rate President Obama as one of the worst presidents in terms of obedience to constitutional limitations.

"I believe we have a one party system in this country, called the big-government party," Napolitano says. "There is a Republican branch that likes war and deficits and assaulting civil liberties. There is a Democratic branch that likes welfare and taxes and assaulting commercial liberties.

"President Obama obviously is squarely within the Democratic branch. The president who had the least fidelity to the Constitution was Abraham Lincoln, who waged war on half the country, even though there's obviously no authority for that, a war that killed nearly 700,000 people. President Obama is close to that end of lacking fidelity to the Constitution. He wants to outdo his hero FDR."

For those who oppose healthcare, the Fox legal expert says, the bad news is that many of the legal challenges to healthcare reform will have to wait until 2014, when the changes become fully operational.

Until then, there would be no legal case that individuals had been actually harmed by the law. Moreover, Napolitano says it takes an average of four years for a case to work its way through the various federal courts the final hearing that's expected to come before the Supreme Court.

"You're talking about 2018, which is eight years from now, before it is likely the Supreme Court will hear this," he says.

Other issues that Napolitano addressed during the wide-ranging interview:
  • He believes American is in danger of becoming "a fascist country," which he defines as "private ownership, but government control." He adds, "The government doesn't have the money to own anything. But it has the force and the threat of violence to control just about anything it wants. That will rapidly expand under President Obama, unless and until the midterm elections give us a midterm correction which everyone seems to think, and I'm in that group, is about to come our way.
  • Napolitano believes the federal government lacks the legal authority to order citizens to purchase healthcare insurance. The Congress [is] ordering human beings to purchase something that they might not want, might not need, might not be able to afford, and might not want -- that's never happened in our history before," Napolitano says. "My gut tells me that too is unconstitutional, because the Congress doesn't have that kind of power under the Constitution."
  • The sweetheart deals in the healthcare reform bill used that persuaded Democrats to vote for it the Louisiana Purchase, Cornhusker Kickback, Gatorade Exception and others create "a very unique and tricky constitutional problem" for Democrats, because they treat citizens differently based on which state they live in, running afoul of the Constitution's equal protection clause according to Napolitano. "So these bennies or bribes, whatever you want, or horse trading as it used to be called, clearly violate equal protection by forcing people in the other states to pay the bills of the states that don't have to pay what the rest of us do," Napolitano says.
  • Exempting union members from the so-called "Cadillac tax" on expensive health insurance policies, while imposing that tax on other citizens, is outright discrimination according to Napolitano. "The government cannot draw a bright line, with fidelity to the Constitution and the law, on the one side of which everybody pays, and the other side of which some people pay. It can't say, 'Here's a tax, but we're only going to apply it to nonunion people. Here's a tax, and we're only going to apply it to graduates of Ivy League institutions.' The Constitution does not permit that type of discrimination."
  • Politicians from both parties routinely disregard the Constitutional limits imposed on them by the nation's founding document, Napolitano says. "The problem with the Constitution is not any structural problem," says Napolitano. "The problem with the constitution is that those who take an oath to uphold it don't take their oath seriously. For example, just a month ago in interviewing Congressman Jim Clyburn, who's the No. 3 ranking Democrat in the House, I said to him, Congressman Clyburn, can you tell me where in the Constitution the Congress is authorized to regulate healthcare? He said, 'Judge, most of what we do down here,' referring to Washington, 'is not authorized by the Constitution. Can you tell me where in the Constitution we're prohibited from regulating healthcare.' Napolitano says that reflects a misunderstanding of what the Constitution actually is. "He's turning the Constitution on its head, because Congress is not a general legislature," he says. "It was not created in order to right every wrong. It exists only to legislate in the 17 specific, discrete, unique areas where the Constitution has given it power. All other areas of human area are reserved for the states."
  • Napolitano says that members of Congress infringe on Constitutional rights because they fail to recognize its basis. "They reject Jefferson's argument, in the Declaration of Independence, that our rights come from our Creator, therefore they're natural rights, therefore they can't be legislated away," Napolitano says. "They think they can legislate on any activity, regulate any behavior, tax any person or thing, as long as the politics will let them survive. They're wrong, and with this healthcare legislation, they may be proven wrong, in a very direct and in-your-face way."


Senior Bucketkeeper

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RE: Health Care Timeline and Taxes

historian wrote:
The judge also says he would rate President Obama as one of the worst presidents in terms of obedience to constitutional limitations. 
I came to the same conclusion when I looked at his senate voting record two years ago. His record clearly indicated that his answer to every issue was more government intervention.



The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life. - Julie Beck

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