The Most Deceptive Tax Increase in American History?

This exchange, between President Obama and George Stephanopoulos, should echo throughout the presidential race:

OBAMA:  My critics say everything is a tax increase.  My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy.  You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but…

STEPHANOPOULOS:  But you reject that it’s a tax increase?

OBAMA:  I absolutely reject that notion.

Here’s the video:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Yet today we learned that Obamacare could only be constitutionally salvaged as a tax, an expensive and complex new burden on the middle class that will only escalate with time.  Here’s how this tax works (taken from our ACLJ complaint challenging Obamacare):

Under the Act’s complicated shared responsibility payment structure, the minimum shared responsibility payment amount per year for each adult who lacks minimum essential coverage will be $95 for 2014, $325 for 2015, $695 for 2016, and $695 or more for 2017 or later, increased due to cost-of-living adjustments . . .

The above-mentioned shared responsibility payment calculation is disregarded when a certain percentage of the taxpayer’s household income that exceeds the applicable threshold for filing a tax return is greater than the amounts listed above for the taxable year.  The applicable percentages are 1 percent of the excess amount in 2014, 2.0 percent of the excess in 2015, and 2.5 percent in 2016 or later.

When the percentage of the excess over the filing threshold is greater than the specific amounts listed above for the taxable year-which will often be the case for Plaintiffs and many other Americans-the taxpayer must pay the amount of the excess with no specific dollar cap.  For example, where a taxpayer’s household income (minus the amount of the applicable threshold for filing a tax return) is $50,000, the shared responsibility payment amount per year would be, at a minimum, $500 for 2014, $1,000 for 2015, and $1,250 for 2016 or later.

Here’s the family tax consequence in chart form:

While I’m profoundly disappointed by the outcome of the case, I’m also deeply disturbed by an administration that would deceive Americans so brazenly.  Let’s not forget, almost immediately after Obamacare was challenged, the administration sallied into court arguing just what the Supreme Court ultimately held: the mandate wasn’t a penalty, but a tax.  The administration tells the citizens one story, the Court another, and ultimately gets what it wants — a health plan that permits and indeed requires state micromanagement of an immense and vital segment of our economy and lives.

A shorter version of this article appeared on National Review Online.

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  • Basil

    Tweet of the day: “@neeratanden: Just a reminder to my conservative friends: If you call the mandate a tax increase, then Mitt Romney increased taxes in Mass as Gov.”

    There are multiple ways to finance health care — single provider (the UK, and in the U.S. — the V.A. system), single payer (Canada, and in the U.S. – Medicare), or grouping everyone into an insurance pool to buy competing insurance plans (Switzerland, and in the U.S. — Federal employees, and also the state of Massachusetts). Unless you are Daniel Boone, living on the frontier, fending for yourself, you are going to consume health care. If you do not pay for it (i.e. uninsured), then you are freeloading on the rest of us who wind up footing the bill through higher insurance premiums, and possible higher taxes.

    Daniel Boone is dead and gone. We should let him rest in peace.

    • David K. Monroe

      It isn’t “conservative friends” who are calling it a “tax increase”, it is the SCOTUS who are calling it a “tax increase” and by so doing have saved it from being struck down. Will the Obama Admininstration fight the court on this and say that it’s not a “tax increase?” I don’t think so.

      It’s now OFFICIALLY a “tax increase.” If you’re happy about that, own it.

      • Steve Newton, CSC

        No, it is not. It is a penalty for those who do not get insured, constitutional not under the commerce laws, but administered through the IRS. Doing it that way brings it under the tax rubric, but only those who choose to remain uninsured pay it. Thus, everyone who is insured is not paying for their healthcare, but they are, through thjis penalty called a tax.

        • David K. Monroe

          Well, go tell John Roberts so we can get this cleared up once and for all. Don’t bask in the glory of the mandate’s victory because of its being re-baptized as a tax by John Roberts and then tell conservatives “Don’t you DARE call it a tax!”

    • bcarpe

      If I choose not to buy an iPad, am I freeloading on the people who do buy iPads? Sure, we could lower the cost of iPads by making everybody buy one, but if I think I can forego the use of one, why should I not be allowed to save money and not get one? Is that selfish of me? If I decide to save money by exercising, eating healthy, and trying to live safely in general so I can avoid paying for health insurance, then just accept that I might come down with some illness that I can’t afford treatment for and die, who are you or the government to say that I can’t?

      And lets not forget that if people didn’t usually pay more than their insurance provider, there would be no insurance industry.

      • Basil

        Ok Daniel Boone. If you promise never to see a doctor or a dentist, and never to have to go to a hospital, unless you pay for it in cash, and if you promise not to draw Medicare (because we all know that “socialism” or some other Fox News scare word), then yes, your argument may hold up, and you should not be penalized with extra taxes if you decide not to buy insurance.

        But that’s not true, you and I both know that. You consume health care, I consume health care, everyone consumes health care at some point in their life (probably multiple points). If you don’t pay for it (either insurance or cash), then guess what, the rest of us get stuck with the cost of you turning up to the emergency room, where it is many times more expensive to provide you with health care, and where you can’t really receive preventive care. So quit being a mooch and pay for your health care — buy your insurance policy. To do otherwise is hypocritical.

        • Hannah

          If your biggest argument for the mandate is that it will force everyone to pay for the system they use and not mooch off the free care hospitals are required to provide, why not jus change the root of the problem? Repeal the law that hospitals cannot turn anyone away and allow them to only take in those who can pay for it. Set up clinics near hospitals that offer reduced care or wellness care and are funded with grants, donations, Medicare, etc. If hospitals remove the guarantee of free health care, people will either 1) self ration to keep from paying ridiculous prices 2) purchase health insurance on their own 3) pay out of pocket. The individual mandate, from the let’s-stick-it-to-the-moochers angle, would become unnecessary.

          • Chas

            Hannah, when Reagan signed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Law (EMTALA) into law in 1986, I recall there was considerable discussion about the constitutionality of the law given that it would penalize those responsible citizens already paying for insurance by in effect forcing them to absorb the cost of those who either could not afford insurance or just chose to gamble that they would not have a significant health crisis. In fact, many have referred to Reagan’s law as an “unfunded mandate” (sound familiar). What EMTALA does not do is require emergency rooms to treat non-emergency medical situations, and there is nothing precluding an ER from billing any patient, regardless of their ability to pay, emergency or not. EMTALA is not by definition “free care”, contrary to popular misconception. The reality is that emergency room costs are so astronomically high*, that collecting is very often an issue.

            *I have a friend who’s daughter was recently treated at the ER for dehydration. She was given an IV and sent home 2 hours later. Basic blood work was done and a PA spent 5 minutes with the girl. The hospital bill alone was almost $3,000. The physician and blood work bills were extra. I think we can all agree it is a completely broken system.

            What your suggestion of eliminating EMTALA doesn’t account for is the very real cases of often uninsured critically ill folks who wind up in emergency rooms daily. Should a man without health insurance be turned away from the hospital when he’s critically injured in a hit and run accident that is not his fault? Should the uninsured parents of a child with pneumonia be sent home and told to return when they can afford care? Should a young man, who thinks he’s too healthy to need insurance, yet breaks his leg and severs his femoral artery skiing be left to die? Obviously not…unless of course we actually want to implement that Death Panel fantasy. Are there people who use the emergency room for non-life-threatening illnesses? You bet. Try getting a regular doctor to see you when you don’t carry an insurance card. Yet, these “common cold” cases are not the ones driving the costs of ER care out of control. It is unfortunately the very real, very much in need of care gunshot wounds, car accidents, or untreated illnesses, etc.

            Wellness and non-critical care centers funded by govt. grants, medicare and charity, out of the same pockets of those who already are responsible enough to carry health insurance, are not the answer. I like to believe that we are a compassionate nation and that we want to take care of our own. However, I’m paying thousands in insurance premiums and co-pays each year to cover my own family of four, and presumably many other uninsured non-paying participants in the system. I think it is a basic responsibility of a parent to make sure they have insurance to cover their family in the event of a health emergency (at the very minimum). Honestly, show me a parent of a teen who’s never had to make a run to the ER. But, the reality is that many shortsighted people think they are too healthy, too young, too poor to prepare for something that is inevitable.

            I agree with Basil. Let’s see some personal responsibility here. I don’t care what you call it — the “mandate” of 2 days ago or the “tax” of today. It’s the same thing. This was of course a GOP idea, first introduced in the 80s and supported by conservatives like The Heritage Foundation, Milton Friedman, John Chaffee, Bob Dole and the Republican Healthcare task force (note these Republicans didn’t call this a mandate, they called it a tax), and of course we’ve all heard the clips of Newt and Romney carrying on about individual responsibility and no “free riders” as the foundation of a national healthcare plan.

            On a final note, SCOTUS did not position this as a “tax increase”, as one writer shared. SCOTUS said that the mandate could not stand under the commerce clause, but was possible under congress’ taxing ability. What hasn’t changed is that the non-insured will be penalized a.k.a taxed on an escalating scale for not carrying some basic level of insurance. Call it what you like or spin it however you’d like. How it’s implemented and what it is, hasn’t changed from last week to this (or since the idea was first introduced in the 80s).

            I, like many of you, don’t think this law has all the kinks out. Nor am I convinced there will not be cost-creep. I am however glad to see changes to some very fundamentally broken things like pre-existing condition coverage, preventative care coverage, small bus tax credits, elimination of life-time caps, no more recissions, etc. and of course the addition of personal responsibility.

          • Chas

            Hannah, when Reagan signed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Law (EMTALA) into law in 1986, I recall there was considerable discussion about the constitutionality of the law given that it would penalize those responsible citizens already paying for insurance by in effect forcing them to absorb the cost of those who either could not afford insurance or just chose to gamble that they would not have a significant health crisis. In fact, many have referred to Reagan’s law as an “unfunded mandate” (sound familiar). What EMTALA does not do is require emergency rooms to treat non-emergency medical situations, and there is nothing precluding an ER from billing any patient, regardless of their ability to pay, emergency or not. EMTALA is not by definition “free care”, contrary to popular misconception. The reality is that emergency room costs are so astronomically high*, that collecting is very often an issue.

            *I have a friend who’s daughter was recently treated at the ER for dehydration. She was given an IV and sent home 2 hours later. Basic blood work was done and a PA spent 5 minutes with the girl. The hospital bill alone was almost $3,000. The physician and blood work bills were extra. I think we can all agree it is a completely broken system.

            What your suggestion of eliminating EMTALA doesn’t account for is the very real cases of often uninsured critically ill folks who wind up in emergency rooms daily. Should a man without health insurance be turned away from the hospital when he’s critically injured in a hit and run accident that is not his fault? Should the uninsured parents of a child with pneumonia be sent home and told to return when they can afford care? Should a young man, who thinks he’s too healthy to need insurance, yet breaks his leg and severs his femoral artery skiing be left to die? Obviously not…unless of course we actually want to implement that Death Panel fantasy. Are there people who use the emergency room for non-life-threatening illnesses? You bet. Try getting a regular doctor to see you when you don’t carry an insurance card. Yet, these “common cold” cases are not the ones driving the costs of ER care out of control. It is unfortunately the very real, very much in need of care gunshot wounds, car accidents, or untreated illnesses, etc.

            Wellness and non-critical care centers funded by govt. grants, medicare and charity, out of the same pockets of those who already are responsible enough to carry health insurance, are not the answer. I like to believe that we are a compassionate nation and that we want to take care of our own. However, I’m paying thousands in insurance premiums and co-pays each year to cover my own family of four, and presumably many other uninsured non-paying participants in the system. I think it is a basic responsibility of a parent to make sure they have insurance to cover their family in the event of a health emergency (at the very minimum). Honestly, show me a parent of a teen who’s never had to make a run to the ER. But, the reality is that many shortsighted people think they are too healthy, too young, too poor to prepare for something that is inevitable.

            I agree with Basil. Let’s see some personal responsibility here. I don’t care what you call it — the “mandate” of 2 days ago or the “tax” of today. It’s the same thing. This was of course a GOP idea, first introduced in the 80s and supported by conservatives like The Heritage Foundation, Milton Friedman, John Chaffee, Bob Dole and the Republican Healthcare task force (note these Republicans didn’t call this a mandate, they called it a tax), and of course we’ve all heard the clips of Newt and Romney carrying on about individual responsibility and no “free riders” as the foundation of a national healthcare plan.

            On a final note, SCOTUS did not position this as a “tax increase”, as one writer shared. SCOTUS said that the mandate could not stand under the commerce clause, but was possible under congress’ taxing ability. What hasn’t changed is that the non-insured will be penalized a.k.a taxed on an escalating scale for not carrying some basic level of insurance. Call it what you like or spin it however you’d like. How it’s implemented and what it is, hasn’t changed from last week to this (or since the idea was first introduced in the 80s).

            I, like many of you, don’t think this law has all the kinks out. Nor am I convinced there will not be cost-creep. I am however glad to see changes to some very fundamentally broken things like pre-existing condition coverage, preventative care coverage, small bus tax credits, elimination of life-time caps, no more recissions, etc…and of course the addition of personal responsibility.

          • Concerned Citizen

            What the hell? How do you self ration from having a car accident? How do you self ration from having cancer?

      • Concerned Citizen

        Nope. Increasing demand for iPads does not lower costs for iPads. But a widened pool for insurance DOES lower the cost of that insurance. That is the whole point of insurance. But thanks for playing.

        • Carthago Delenda

          No, the whole point of insurance is to mitigate the risks of unexpected but possible losses. You don’t get car insurance so that you CAN wreck your car; you get car insurance IN CASE you wreck your car. You know that you’re definitely going to pay a smaller amount (the premiums) in return for being able to draw on the pooled contributions of others to avoid possibly paying a great deal (the casualty).

          This notion is turned completely on its head when it comes to pre-existing conditions; at that point, the loss/casualty is not a possibility but a certainty. Larger pools do indeed make the average cost per policy holder lower, but that’s not the “whole point” of this wacky abstract noun known as “insurance”.

        • Rob Smith

          Being able to get insurance when you have pre-existing conditions will be more likely to narrow the pool. What’s the point of buying “health insurance” if you can wait until you get sick to purchase it (rather like being able to wait until you’re dead to buy life insurance). Insurance works because you have more people paying premiums than you have making claims. Once people realize they can get insurance only when they are making more in claims than they pay in premiums (paying a small fine to government in the meantime), the whole business model collapses.

  • Sarah Caldwell

    Why are Evanglicals for Mitt? I’m new to this site, but I wouldn’t expect to find Evangelicals for Obama here either. When Jesus says that we must hate our parents and our spouse for the faith, how can any one, Christian or not, believe that devotion to a country or a political party is exempt from that condemnation of earthly ties over spiritual ones?

    Perhaps, if Christians had done a better job of advertising God’s hatred of greed (expressed in Ephesians 5, verses 3 and 5 among many others), health care wouldn’t have gotten to the point in this country where the poor die substantially earlier than the rich and the infant mortality rate is 34th, one notch higher than Cuba’s rate.

    If Christians are going to debate health care, we’d be better off debating how often we should visit the sick, if we need to know them at all or can visit complete strangers, and whether the command, “Heal the Sick,” can be met by paying for professionals to provide care or requires us to get some form of medical training and do it ourselves.

    • syn

      I am a Christian who believes in God’s Bibical worldview. I and my siblings took loving care of both our dying Father and our dying Mother at home and without “professionals” doing such work for us. It was the most challenging of times but our family loves another enough to care for one another-we didn’t want nor need some government bureaucrat telling us how to take care of our loved ones. We are not wealthy but our love for one another made up for the lack of funds.

      From your moral indignatious viewpoint Sarah, you are saying that you have no little capacity for love and care and that you demand some government bureaucratic “professional” to do what you refuse to do.

      I forgive you Sarah, I forgive your moral indignation. I know that God loves you despite your sins and that one day He will open your heart to compasssion.

  • ymoore

    I’m glad the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Health Care Act. My daughter now still has health insurance, I can’t be denied coverage in the future because of preexisting conditions and folk who cannot now afford health care will soon be able to buy low-cost, federally subsidized, health insurance through state exchanges. This is a good thing. When my now deceased mother’s kidneys began to fail, before she went on dialysis, we got a letter from her insurance company saying her kidneys were failing so it would no longer insure her. With this ruling, that will not happen to people in the US. This seems a strange thing to have to say, but it is not ungodly for the government to help people; this is a good thing that will help millions of people.

    • David K. Monroe

      Yeah, I’ll be especially grateful if my employer decides it’s cheaper to pay the penalty than to provide us with health insurance, and we get dumped and I get to buy my own insurance and pay twice as much for it! That’ll be so awesome!

    • Rob Smith

      If your daughter is young and healthy, why does she need comprehensive health insurance? Is she such a ne’er do well that she can’t pay for routine health care costs, or is her sense of entitlement so great that she doesn’t feel she should have to? If your daughter is already sick , why would any insurance company want to insure her? Do you think you should be able to buy life insurance for someone who’s already died? Auto insurance after you’ve had an accident? Insurance companies work because they have more people paying premiums than they have making claims. If you mandate insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, you’ve removed any incentive to buy health insurance when you’re healthy, so the insurance company is left to only insure people who are making more in claims than they pay in premiums. How do you make that business model will work?

      Regarding your mother, what makes you think she will be better cared for by government run health insurance? Medicare denies lots of claims. According to the AMA, Medicare routinely denies claims at higher rates than many private health insurance companies. Now that Medicare is being cut to fund ACA, do you really think that things will improve in cases like your mother’s?

      Regarding government helping people, I would think the last 50 years of Great Society programs would have dispelled the notion that government is competent at helping people.

      • Concerned Citizen

        If your daughter is young and healthy, why does she need comprehensive health insurance?
        Because nobody ever knows if they will get cancer.
        Because she might have diabetes.
        Because she might get hit by a car.

        • Rob Smith

          I guess you’re having a problem with the concept of “comprehensive”. Why would your young, healthy daughter need anything more than an insurance policy to cover catastrophic health issues, like cancer or getting hit by a car (which would likely be covered by auto insurance)? Regarding pre-existing conditions, like diabetes, you seem to have a problem understanding the concept of insurance. Insurance is a product designed to mitigate the financial risk a catastrophic occurrence, like cancer. If you already have cancer or diabetes, you’re not buying insurance, you’re buying heavily subsidized (by young, healthy, people; who are likely also poor and heavily indebted by student loans) healthcare. It would be like buying life insurance on a dead person. You don’t have to thank me for clearing that up for you.

    • syn

      “it is not ungodly for the government to help people”

      It is ungodly to look towards government as the Savior.
      It is Goldy to look towards God as the Savior.
      Government is not God.

      Because our Nation has turned its eyes away from God and now looks towards Government our Nation will will not find peace or prosperity.

    • matthewd

      ymoore, Medicare covers ESRD at any age, so I don’t think most insurance plans have an incentive to include dialysis/kidney transplants in their coverage. Perhaps the “gold-plated” plans do (obviously if more things are covered, the premiums will increase). Some private insurance may cover costs that Medicare doesn’t pay for, but if this is something that concerns you, examine the document explaining what your insurance covers carefully.

      I don’t think ACA makes any changes in this regard. My understanding is that enrollment in Medicare is automatically done for anyone with kidney failure regardless of age.

  • Mike Ward

    This is silly. President Obama says it’s not a tax. Chief Justice Roberts says it is. THESE ARE SEPERATE PEOPLE. They aren’t required to agree. What’s Obama supposed to do? Fight to strike down a law which he believes to be Constitutional on the because he disagrees with the grounds on which the SCOTUS upheld the law? Would anyone do that?

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  • Steven

    While I am in many ways disappointed at the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling today, I am also grateful at the way it turned out because it could have been much worse! I am so grateful that John Roberts took this opportunity to restrict the power the federal government can have under the commerce clause. I am also grateful that the section that penalized states for not complying with federal mandates was ruled unconstitutional, thus defending States’ rights. Finally, I’m grateful that we have a Supreme Court that will be honest and objective even when it is extremely difficult to do so. Obama is celebrating on the surface, but inside, I think he’s probably pretty angry at this ruling — he desperately didn’t want the penalty associated with the mandate to be seen as a tax (as the video shows), and desperately wanted it to be ruled constitutional under the commerce clause, because it would have created a precedent for much more that the federal government would be able to do in the future. But now he is forced to call the penalty a “tax” and the expansion of federal power he was hoping for under the commerce clause has eluded him.

    • Jon

      Well said, Steven. I could not agree more. Many conservatives are slamming Justice Roberts, but I believe he took the most beneficial path in the long run. Setting a precedent to stop abuse of the Commerce Clause was the higher order of business. He also took a lot of steam out of any claims that Obama could have made to benefit his reelection campaign.

    • Jim

      I did have mixed feelings on the ruling in terms of the Interstate Commerce aspect until I saw an article today, then my heart fell out. (I’ll have to get Obamacare to fix that). The ominous aspect of the ruling is that Congress can now compel us to participate in Commerce by labeling whatever they want to implement as a Tax and establish a penalty for not paying the Tax. WOW! I never thought of this angle. It was from a Ron Paul article where Ron said that regulating commerce and compelling it is two different things. According to the article the original limitations on Interstate Commerce in the Constitution concerned the passage of goods from one state to another without those goods being subject to Tariffs and the like in each state it passes through. It was never meant to mean that congress can compel citizens to purchase things (in this case Health Insurance, but why would it stop here with this asinine ruling) by calling it a tax. This is indeed a very poor ruling from the Supreme Court, but as of late, IMHO, this is the norm and not the exception. With the proclivity of the Supreme Court to vote their ideology rather than to make reasoned decisions based on sound Constitutional Law, one wonders what the real benefit of having a Supreme Court is (perhaps an option to the Supreme Court would be for any issue presented for consideration to be delivered to the legislature of each and every state and decide based on the outcome of their decisions, with the President being given a vote in the process if the number of states in the Union is even and no vote if the number of states is odd). This may make the decisions seem more in touch with the totality of the citizens of this Country and not the result of ideology biased by exposure to a very limited segment of society where the decisions seem to be more in accord with that limited segment.
      The pathetic part of Robert’s decision is the Conservative’s obsession (yes, yes, I realize it’s not absolute) with taking the nobler course of several offered, by this meaning that I do not believe, for a single instant, that given the appointment of a Liberal Chief Justice that he/she would have had any problem in siding with the remainder of the Liberal Justices. No, Roberts wants to preserve the sanctity of Court and to demonstrate that his position as Chief Justice is unclouded by his political ideology. Yawn!

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  • Jim

    Obamacare is great. All preexisting conditions are covered. Hmm. I hear the next bill the Democrats are proposing is to allow you to buy car insurance after you wreck your car, and your newly purchased insurance will have to pay for the repairs of your car from that wreck, even though it occurred before you owned insurance. This is, of course, satire, but it demonstrates the folly of this bill. Young people, the ones counted on to help pay for this preposterous legislation, can, and will, elect not to purchase insurance, instead paying the yearly fines, (ahem, taxes). People that are currently insured at a cost to themselves will also be able to drop their coverage and pay the tax penalty. If they get sick, equivalent to the car accident scenario, they’ll be able to buy insurance for their ailments, which, by nature of the legislation, will be fully covered. Nice thinking politicians.

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/09/obamacare-increases-health-insurance-premiums See items #7 and #11, the rest of the article also details why there may be other problems with it. I’m sure some will look with disdain on the Heritage Foundation, but I have seen some reasoned logic there. Remember the 3 Strikes and You’re Out for Criminals. They spoke against that, saying that despite the number of crimes by an individual, the punishment should be commensurate with the severity of the crime. They also hypothesized, correctly I believe, that after the criminal had been convicted of a 2nd crime, they may be more likely to kill victims during the 3rd, since the penalty of Life in Jail would occur regardless of the homicide, and the possibility of eluding apprehension due to the loss of witnesses would be too great.

    Regards

    • Concerned Citizen

      Great point. Because having diabetes is EXACTLY like crashing your car. I am glad that intellectual heavyweights like you are arguing against the ACA. Please, keep it up.

      • Jon

        Boy, you really missed the point! Think more, emote less.

  • Jack Dawsey

    The tax is applied not to all peoples or families, but only to the people who refuse to purchase health insurance. Isn’ t personal accountablilty and responsiblity what conservatives have always contend for? What happen to your hue and que about personal responsibility? Besides, one is not required to purchase health insurance, (if they had rather pay the tax, so be it). It’s much like owning a car and purchasing gas to operate it. You are not required (mandated) to purchase the gas (should you chose not to drive). But if you intend to drive your car, you will be mandated to buy the gas to operate it. Likewise, the Affordable Health Reform Act. Suck it up! Pay the tax! And don’t spunge off me with your emergency room hospital visits.

    • Sharon

      @Jack D: I doubt that you are arguing with people on this forum who are sponging off you with unpaid ER visits. It seems the reality is that you, I, and everyone else who pays for insurance will continue to pay for those who are uninsured since hospitals just raise their costs which are passed onto us through insurance/or hospital visits to offset at least some of (if not all) the damage done by those who visit and cannot pay. It’s just now we don’t even have a choice over whether we will participate in purchasing the insurance commodity or not.

      If we are lucky enough to still have employers who will provide insurance– since polls taken asking companies if they will continue to provide employee coverage found that they would drop that benefit of Obamacare passed. But if we’re lucky, we’ll probably not only be paying for insurance through our employer, but at some point to the government as well in the form of increased taxes to compensate for the new program as well.

      Governments do not have money–so this free or affordable healthcare is going to have to be paid for by someone. The government has just created a new program for us to pay for, whether we like it or not, whether we can afford it or not. Just like the SS and Medicaid and other entitlement programs people have come to depend on. I don’t mind helping people out–but helping out should be a temporary solution. Someone who lost their job and can’t afford COBRA while looking for the next job, that’s temporary. Yes, I can agree to have some of my hard earned income go to help out, temporarily. However, it should not be my job though to take food off of my table to support anyone on a permanent basis. Between my husband and I, we work three jobs to pay bills, and we can’t afford any additional dependents on our income.

      Personally, I don’t even like insurance. We carry it, but I feel it’s a racket. If there was no such thing as health insurance and hospitals, doctors, etc, had to look you in the eye and tell you, by the way this x-ray you just had will cost you $700 dollars,that 15 minute office visit was $400 pay on your way out–they simply wouldn’t be paid by most people. Hence, they’d have to lower their costs or go out of business. I think the whole insurance business is the greatest racket ever conceived and now the government has found a way to capitalize on it. Is the USA to become the United States Socialist Republic of America–didn’t we learn anything from Russia?

  • Jim

    Rather than engage in emotional dialog, like someone needing this bill to pass since they have diabetes, look at the likelihood that the desired results of the bill will succeed in the long run. The ACA will be a flop, failing for the reasons enumerated in the Heritage Foundation article. People will discover it’s cheaper to pay the tax rather than buy the insurance, and presto, the bill is underfunded and all the savings promised now become premium and copay increases to the people, such as those with diabetes, that must have it to survive. But then, this bill was never expected to produce its stated outcome, it’s a stepping stone to socialized medicine where the services are all but non existent and for the services that do exist, there will be waiting periods months long. Folks, you’re asking the same people that cannot run the Driver License Center competently to run something exponentially more complicated.

    To Jack Dawsey, I’m not really sure what you are driving at, but if people (those that elect not to have the insurance that are healthy) elect not to purchase the insurance as required by the ACA and instead elect to pay the tax, there won’t be sufficient funds (i.e. in Government speak, revenue) to support the ACA as planned. In order to make up for this shortfall, for the balance of the people that elect to buy insurance as required by the ACA, they will need to pay increasing amounts in Premiums and Copays, Just think it through. Obamacare is not free health insurance for all, it is the requirement that all BUY insurance. The system will only work if people cooperate in a manner that the bill had anticipated. I guarantee you, they will not. The provision that insurance companies must take all preexisting conditions is the rub when it comes to the stupidity of this bill. You wait until you are sick, then buy insurance. If you’re not sick, you pay the yearly penalty (i.e. tax) which will be considerably less than the amount you needed to spend on insurance.

    You do realize that the Chief Justice, you know, the head man at the Supreme Court, thinks this is a stupid bit of legislation and essentially said that is it not the Supreme Court’s responsibility to protect citizens from their own poor choices in politicians. The difference between most of us, including myself, and the Chief Justice, is that he actually had to read the bill, unlike the morons that passed it.

    Regards.

    • Jon

      Amen, Jim!

    • Sharon

      Amen, from me too! Thanks, Jim.

    • mnemos

      Well put!

  • Jim

    The fallacy (ahem) of Death Panels.

    Sentenced to death on the NHS:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/6127514/Sentenced-to-death-on-the-NHS.html

    Sentenced to death for being old:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2126379/Sentenced-death-old-The-NHS-denies-life-saving-treatment-elderly-mans-chilling-story-reveals.html

    This individual, denied treatment for Bladder Cancer, including palliative care, because he was too old, was taken to a private Doctor in England, who eventually, after surgery and more, cured him of the cancer. If his daughter had listened to the bureaucratic pus buckets that made the decision to withhold treatment, he would not be alive today.

    I firmly believe that it will not happen in this country, but I also believe that the Check is in the mail, people from the government are here to help, and ………………………..

    I also believe in Santa Claus.

    I argued with a health care provider recently about these panels. He said that they would be necessary to reduce the cost of medical care. I told him if Obamacare was an improvement to the current system, how are they managing to pay for end of life care under current insurance coverage? His eyes kind of went crossed and he said no more.

    Bill Gates on the Death Panels, what a genius, kill off granny and keep a few more teachers from being laid off. I thought that only Bush and Biden were capable of constantly sticking their feet in their mouths.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03MZG9vK0W8 Watch starting at 2:00 Minutes.
    Billy boy will never need to worry about his health care, nor that for any of his family, but Billy knows what best for the rest of us, including you watching your spouse or progeny or sibling agonizing some day in their death throes because even the palliative care was determined to be too expensive.

    Sure, death panels don’t exist and won’t either, just the paranoid delusions of those conservative Republicans.

    Regards.

  • Elizabeth

    Hey, about the irresponsible oafs who fail to buy insurance and burden the rest of us: some time ago I read an article claiming this was untrue. Hospitals double the charges for the uninsured, then use crooked accounting to claim an ER visit is particularly pricey compared to other hospital charges, then the average uninsured patient pays 50% of the bill (considering both the deadbeats and those who do pay their charges on a payment plan), and they claim that the uninsured are a burden on society but in reality, on average, they are paying their way.

  • Jim

    This about sums it up. It’s a Health Plan, it’s a Tax, it’s two things in one.
    http://townhall.com/political-cartoons/2012/06/29/100624
    http://media.townhall.com/Townhall/Car/b/gmc10062420120629120100.jpg
    The second link is to the actual political cartoon without the balance of the page whence it came.
    Regards

  • Sharon

    “While serious proposals for government-sponsored health insurance were not put forth during the Eisenhower Administrations of 1952-1960, proponents of such legislation worked to ensure that their ideas would have a chance at passing in the future under more responsive administrations. They realized that the only way to enact government-sponsored health insurance would be to do so incrementally — and they began by focusing on the elderly (Marmor 2000).” see full article at,

    http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/thomasson.insurance.health.us

    Very interesting article about the history of healthcare insurance and the progression of government run healthcare in the US.

  • DblSlo7

    Example of why I don’t help the ‘poor’: I very recently went against my better judgement and financially helped a member of section 8 housing. I bought him clothes, shoes and gave him a phone with 350 minutes. He brought back the phone in 3 days because he’d used up the time and anyway, “I have my gov’t phones turned back on,” he said. Not a thank you…not an offer to barter the efforts made for him as a ‘friend’ (for that’s what friends do). No. Just some stalking and such at all hours at my house to see if there was more… I’ve heard on good authority that the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” just means 21 new taxes on the middle-class. The conservative scholars on talk-raido have determined that Robert’s decision means we will be taxed on what the congress/president sees fit: what we do or don’t do according to their dictates: are you fat? tak a hit; are you a smoker/drinker? take a hit. Google/facebook tracking your likes/dislikes? take a hit. Own a gun? Take another big hit. You are F’d! I’m a retired vet who’s been warned that this will cost me 2 paychecks a year. Thanks Abomanator and you stalinist sh*tsacks. Thanks you useful idiots who won’t connect the dots. May all of you…section 8 suckers and poltical-class mafi-osos melt in hell..over and over and over. I’ll meet you there and piss fire in your faces!

  • Jim

    Since Pandora’s Box has been opened, with Chief Justice Roberts agreeing, apparently, that Congress can compel American Citizens to make purchases as long as they (the items being compelled to purchase, not the Congressmen and Congresswomen) are masqueraded as a Tax, with a penalty for not making the purchase, just where will this go? Cell Phones and Computers are important, perhaps the next step will be to compel Citizens to purchase these, after all, ownership of these items are not fairly distributed among the masses, with the underclass being the most poorly equipped with these items by far. How about vehicles? Did you ever notice the dilapidated vehicles that poor people use at times? These are real polluters and they leak. Maybe a Supreme Court Supported Congressional Decree that we are only allowed to use vehicles that are 7 years old and less, maybe even 5 years old, all done by calling it a Tax and placing a penalty on those that don’t comply, but rather than a $95 penalty for non-compliance in the first year, they could set it at $10,000. Hey, it’s just a tax and a penalty for non-compliance. There is no difference, it has been established that Congress can compel you to make a purchase, whether Health Insurance, Cell Phones or Vehicles.
    Congress will, eventually, react to this like a little kid run amok in a candy store (or, to be more contemporaneous, a video game store), fortunately the legislative branches are not controlled by the same party at this time. Not that they won’t both exploit this manna from Roberts, but they are opposed on so many items that it is unlikely that they will ever agree enough to exploit it.
    When you think you’ve had enough of the insanity that seems to issue forth in a steady stream from the Supreme Court, just close your eyes, taps your heels together, and say “there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home”. Surely, just like Dorothy experienced, this MUST be a dream, or, perhaps more correctly, a nightmare.

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  • aaron

    I dont understand. The system is broken and why we just keep getting bigger hammers to fix the problem than getting someone with experiance to fix the problem. First off, I dont make enough to buy myself health insurance. I pay for my daughters with the child support. I pay the government more because I am a single WHITE male. I guess I could change my last name to get free stuff(government aid) and work under the table for cash, steal what ever I want from what ever store I walk into. then go out and get into my navigator or escalade. go home and send the money to another country. If I get hurt on the way home, I wont have to worry because free medical will take care of me(i wont have to pay because government or just wont pay). Why would I, I dont love this country. I want to bring in my culture because americans dont have any culture. and when I have made enough, I can swim home and enjoy life knowing that the stupid american people and thier government gave me everything because my vote counted.


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