“I Like the Health Insurance Plan”

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I think this is a very interesting video:

I’m quite baffled and disappointed that 1) people are so grossly uninformed about someone whom they are ready to give the god-like powers of the US presidency, and 2) are ready to pardon a murderer because they like his health care plan. I talk more about the cognitive dissonance displayed in this video at the website, notime4bull.com. What I would like to talk about here is disappointment number 3) that people for whom a health care plan is so important that they will excuse extensions of the Patriot Act and the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA and the kill lists, they clearly don’t know ANYTHING about it. Here are some excerpts from an article by Cato health care policy analyst, Michael Tanner.

Of course, it is not just the “rich” who will be hit with Obamacare taxes next year. Nearly 30 million workers, most of them middle-class, currently participate in Flexible Spending Account programs at work. Next year, the maximum tax-exempt contribution to those accounts will be cut in half, from $5,000 to just $2,500. That change will hit nearly 5.7 million workers who currently exceed the $2,500 cap, and will now have to pay more of their medical bills with after-tax dollars.

Middle-class workers will also be among the biggest losers from the changes that Obamacare imposes on tax-deductible medical expenses. Currently, Americans can take a tax deduction for medical expenses above 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI). According to the most recent IRS data, 6 percent of all taxpayers, 7.5 million Americans, took advantage of this provision. But starting next year, that floor will be raised to 10 percent of AGI, meaning that millions of middle-class workers will lose this deduction. Among those most likely to feel the pinch are older and sicker workers, especially older workers and near-retirees with limited incomes but high medical bills. For a family with an adjusted income of $80,000 per year and medical expenses of just under $8,000 per year, a not uncommon situation, this amounts to a $500 tax hike.

As well,

Workers will also be indirectly socked with the cost of Obamacare’s new business taxes. For example, next year there will be a new 2.3 percent excise tax on medical-device manufacturers. Especially pernicious, this tax is assessed against a firm’s total revenue rather than its adjusted income, making the real impact far greater than for a traditional income tax of the same size. While the industry’s 360,000 employees could pay the highest price in lost jobs and lower wages, all of us could end up paying more in higher medical costs, as much of the tax will be passed on in higher prices. We can expect everything from pacemakers to wheelchairs to become more expensive.

And

Another wave of Obamacare tax hikes will hit in 2014, including the individual-mandate “tax,” courtesy of John Roberts, that is expected to fall on as many as 6 million workers, as well as the tax accompanying Obamacare’s employer mandate. There will also be another batch of business taxes, including some levied on hospitals and insurers. Notably, there is a new assessment levied on health plans for three years starting in 2014, designed to raise $25 billion to cushion health-insurance companies from the costs of covering people with pre-existing conditions. This just-announced fee, which will start at $63 per person and fall on employer and individual health plans covering an estimated 190 million Americans, appears to be the latest invention of the far-reaching discretion granted to HHS under the health-care law.

I highly recommend reading the full article. But from these excerpts, we can gather this:

  1. People will have to pay more in taxes for their medical expenses. If people cannot afford to pay for medical care, surely they can’t afford to pay taxes on it!
  2. Same case with health insurance. It seems strange that a plan that ostensibly intends to increase health care coverage would do things to make it more expensive.
  3. Obviously, increasing taxes on medical-device manufacturers will not do anything to make them any less expensive, but the opposite. Yet this plan does so anyway.

Conclusion: It doesn’t take much understanding of economics to know that raising taxes on something does not make it cheaper. A person who wants to make medical care and health insurance more affordable would do THE OPPOSITE of much of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prescribes.

It is my sincerest hope that those who would consider themselves compassionate and caring would at the very least put in the effort to find out whether these politicians and policies they claim to support would do anything even close to what they promise and are promised to do. And then they should read some Rothbard.

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