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House Eyes New Taxes For Health Care

From a gleeful Associated Press:

A stack of documents comprising of the health care reform bill and its amendments are seen at the seat of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Wednesday, June 17, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington, before a markup hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

House eyes new taxes as senators pare health bill

By ERICA WERNER

WASHINGTON (AP) — Early work on the ambitious health care overhaul the Obama administration is seeking has exposed the kinds of in-house fights that typify just how hard it will be to get meaningful legislation this year. Case in point: A proposal to help bankroll universal health coverage with a dime-a-can increase in the price of soft drinks.

House Democrats have lots of potential targets for higher taxes as they aim to expand health care coverage to reach the roughly 50 million that experts say are uninsured.

Also under consideration are higher alcohol taxes, increases to the Medicare payroll tax and a value-added tax, a sort of national sales tax, of up to 1.5 percent or more.

The list of options being weighed by the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, aims to raise some $600 billion over 10 years to partially pay for President Barack Obama’s goal of overhauling the nation’s health care system to tame costs and cover the 50 million uninsured.

The final price tag for that effort could top $1 trillion, with cuts to Medicare and Medicaid covering the rest of the cost.

The tax options include:

Increasing the price of soda and other sugary drinks by 10 cents a can.

Applying a potential 2 percent income tax increase to single taxpayers earning more than $200,000 a year and households earning more than $250,000.

A new employer payroll tax could target 3 percent of employers’ health care expenditures.

Taxing employer-provided health insurance benefits above certain levels — a less likely option but one that still is in the running.

House Democrats planned to unveil a draft of their sweeping health care bill Friday. It would require all individuals to obtain health insurance and force employers to offer health care to their workers, with exemptions for small businesses. A new public health insurance plan, strongly opposed by Republicans, would compete with private companies within a new health care purchasing "exchange" where Americans could shop for coverage. Government subsidies would help the poor buy care.

The draft, being released at a news conference of the chairmen of the three committees with jurisdiction — Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor — was not expected to mention the potentially unpopular tax options

What mendacity, even by the standards of the Associated Press.

The list of options being weighed by the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, aims to raise some $600 billion over 10 years to partially pay for President Barack Obama’s goal of overhauling the nation’s health care system to tame costs and cover the 50 million uninsured. The final price tag for that effort could top $1 trillion, with cuts to Medicare and Medicaid covering the rest of the cost.

As we have previously noted, the Congressional Budget Office has already projected that insuring just one third of the uninsured would cost more than a trillion dollars over the next decade.

That that projection is surely low-balled. And it doesn’t even include the vastly more expensive ‘Public Option.’

The draft, being released at a news conference of the chairmen of the three committees with jurisdiction — Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor — was not expected to mention the potentially unpopular tax options.

Gee, we wonder why.

Of course what will eventually happen is that we will get these taxes and more, including a VAT tax – but there will be no universal healthcare coverage. Not for the taxpayers, anyway.

That will be reserved only for ‘the poor’ – and of course illegal aliens.

(Thanks to Sam for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, June 19th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

26 Responses to “House Eyes New Taxes For Health Care”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    So, now that they’ve warmed us up with throwing the word “billions” around and we are more comfortable with it, they want us to start swallowing “trillions” in equally acquiescent fashion.

    Well here’s a word they need to hear, loudly and often:

    NO!

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    One trillion:

    1,000,000,000,000

    (Fixed it. I was very tired)

    • take_no_prisoners says:

      Rusty wrote
      “One trillion:

      Thanks for the fix. Still hard to get your mind around it!

    • Liberals Demise says:

      A comparison of what 1 Trillion would look like:

      A stack of million dollar bills 4 inches high = 1 billion
      A stack of million dollar bills 68.7 miles high = 1 Trillion

      I read this in a rag about 2 months ago but can’t remember which one it was.
      Staggering ain’t it?

    • take_no_prisoners says:

      How big would a stack of 1 trillion dollars worth of 1 million dollar bills be? I don’t really know but if you assume the 4 inches for a billion dollar stack is accurate 1 trillion=1000billion=4000 inches=333.33 feet which is a big stack of 1million dollar bills but a lot less than 1 mile high.

    • bronzeprofessor says:

      I read this analogy in a column by Kathleen Parker that popped up on Townhall at one point. If I am not mistaken, it was thousand-dollar bills, not million dollar bills. And I think it was that a million dollars is 4 inches high, a billion dollars is something like 330 feet, and then a trillion dollars is 69 miles high or so. My figures might be a bit off, but I think they work out. (the article was annoying because as usual Kathleen Parker was defending Obama in her used-to-be conservative accent).

      a thousand thousand-notes would make a million, so that’s why the stack would be 4 inches.

      a billion is a thousand millions, which is like 4,000 inches. Divided by twelve, I get 330 feet.

      a trillion is a thousand billions, or 330 feet X 1000, which makes 62.5 miles.

      So I think your formula makes sense if you use thousands instead of million-dollar bills.

      Any way ou cut it it’s a lot of money!

  3. tranquil.night says:

    That’ll make the jump from middle class to upper middle class a 28-35 (7%) tax increase. In other words, there’s no incentive to succeed beyond a certain point unless you’re a politician and you can afford to be a tax-loving govtanthropist.

    But it doesn’t stop there. With all the tax increases, look forward to being paid less to begin with (since it will cost more to employ you), having that money taxed even more, that money being worth less, and everything you buy being more expensive and taxed: huge sales tax, huge value added tax, tax, tax.

    Why don’t they just take away adjustments, deductions, and exemptions? That way if you’re actually making 200,000 but only earning 50,000 you can still be taxed on the 35% bracket (35% of 200k, not 50k you ninnies).

    I’m with Rusty here: NO!

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      It will have that ever-so-sophisticated result of making us like the Europeans.

      Don’t we WANT to be like them? Truly?

      (yeah, didn’t even sound right in my own head)

  4. proreason says:

    Wouldn’t it be simpler to confiscate everybody’s salary and then just dole out money to The Moron’s favored classes and criminal associates?

    • jobeth says:

      Pro!

      Have you lost it! Obalmy doesn’t need any help with new plans! LOL

    • take_no_prisoners says:

      Pro and Jobeth,
      I suspect Pro has stumbled onto the super top secret part (code name “Aspirin Tax”) of Obama’s grand plan. Better be careful or you’ll get the Joe the Plumber treatment!

  5. jobeth says:

    Uhhh,… pay no attention to that growing “deficit” gorilla in the corner of the room.

    The important thing to remember is O’blamy’s promise that he would not tax the middle class.

    The world is truly a grand place for those of us in the middle class…and upper class…and the producers in this society.

    Only the dead beat and “poor” are still needing “help’ so they can continue to suckle at the teat of the rest of us.

    • bronzeprofessor says:

      Well as long as you don’t drink soda, avoid alcohol, exercise daily, and read the Beatitudes each day to convince yourself to entertain no ambitions about ever making 6 figures, you should be fine. You won’t need health insurance and you’ll be getting $400 stimulus checks from the Democrats forever.

      Though I think that will only work until the government realizes that they’re not making money off you, and then they’ll start forcing you to pay a breathing tax. Or else they’ll re-enact that phony story they tell about Lord Amherst, and they’ll give you a free blanket infected with smallpox and then tax your corpse when you’re dead.

      This is all getting so, so dreary. When do we get to try a different party in power? Maybe the Constitution party? The Greens?

  6. Liberals Demise says:

    The trillion $$$$$ won’t even cover the 46 million that have no health care! Their own assumption says only 30 some million will get it!! The other 16 million must be used for the next crisis!!

    On a more serious note………. Before the political piggies experiment on the masses, I say let them use this new “All Inclusive” health plan for the first year or two and see if it is up to their standards. If they don’t die from it then it must be ok and worth every peso or whatever country writes the backing of this boon doggle!!

    Let us see if Congress will get rid of their health care for this crap!!

    • bronzeprofessor says:

      Yes, the problem is that once there’s a cheap public health policy offered by the government, companies will stop offering expensive insurance to employees (ESPECIALLY if the policies are being taxed) and they’ll tell workers to go buy the government option.

      But since the government option will still come with premiums, some workers who’ve lost their employers’ private insurance won’t even be able to pay the small fees for the public health plan, and they will end up being …. uninsured.

  7. Right of the People says:

    “Also under consideration are higher alcohol taxes, increases to the Medicare payroll tax and a value-added tax, a sort of national sales tax, of up to 1.5 percent or more.”

    What in the hell is a “Value-added tax”?????? Is it like the old days when Honda and Datsun dealers added a “market value adjustment fee” to the cost of a new Japanese vehicle? “We think that the company has under-valued this car so we are just bringing it up to the price it should retail for,” was what some sales wienie told me one time when I priced a Civic in the late 70’s. I told him no thanks and bought a Ford. What planet do there butt-munches come from? This one may be the straw that breaks the camels proverbial back.

    Let’s all meet at our nation’s capitol to discuss this with Barry. I’ll bring the ammo.

    • tranquil.night says:

      From Wikipedia: Value added tax (VAT), or goods and services tax (GST) is a consumption tax levied on value added. In contrast to sales tax, VAT is neutral with respect to the number of passages that there are between the producer and the final consumer; where sales tax is levied on total value at each stage, the result is a cascade (downstream taxes levied on upstream taxes). A VAT is an indirect tax, in that the tax is collected from someone who does not bear the entire cost of the tax. (I.E. The CONSUMER since businesses will have to offset their costs with higher prices, less hiring, and less production – but it doesn’t get explained this way and the consumer never sees the actual tax, making it “indirect”!)

    • take_no_prisoners says:

      The last sentence in the wikipedia entry should read “The VAT is an indirect tax, in that the tax is collected in a way that the consumer can’t see the cost of the tax.”

    • caligirl9 says:

      RotP, I’ll gather up some flies. They will be easy for me to find at work with all of the dem b.s. that’s spewed out of most co-worker’s mouths. *wink*

    • bronzeprofessor says:

      If you ever go to Canada, you will learn what a VAT tax is. Basically if I remember correctly, you get a bill for, say a $15 dinner. You pay one kind of tax and then a 15% gratuity (assuming you’re cheap and/or broke, like me, and can’t afford to highroll). Then there is a total of everything you’ve paid, including the first tax but not the gratuity (although some restaurants included the gratuity) and the VAT is assessed on the TOTAL including the initial tax.

      Imagine: D=Dinner, S=Sales Tax, T=Tip, V=Vat tax

      If S=10%, and your dinner costs $10, then S= $1 and your first subtotal is D+S, or $11.00.

      If you want to tip 15%, then T=1.50

      If V=10%, then it will be .1*11, or 1.10

      So you would give your server $12.10 for the check, then slip him $1.50 separately for tip.

      And your $10 dinner ends up costing you $13.60.

      I know it sounds nutty, and I could never figure out why Canadians taxed a total that included a tax, but that’s the way it worked as I remembered it. It was very expensive.

      I could never figure out what the heck the tax was but I figured out, at the time, that you ended up paying about a third of the original bill in sales tax, VAT, and tips, if you were cheap.

      The point is

  8. take_no_prisoners says:

    A Value-added tax is an insidious hidden sales tax. What they do is tax the value added to a product every step of the way from getting the raw materials, to the finished product, and of course the price of the material includes the value added tax to that point. Once the product is finished all the value added taxes are included in the price of the product but aren’t itemized like a sales tax. Politicians love this tax as everyone blames the producer for the price, so if they raise the tax and the price of the product goes up, the producer gets blamed not the politician.

  9. MinnesotaRush says:

    o-blah-blah’s new tax forms ..

    Name:___________________ SS#____-____-_____
    How much did you make? $__________________.00
    Send it in!

    Anything in bank, savings, CD’s, buried cans, etc?
    Send that in, too!

  10. canary says:

    Obama loves his straight up Margarita’s with his dinner.
    SO Bama
    destroys the America’s tradition of “going out on a date for a soda”. When he rises fuel it will mean at the kitchen table, and no ice cubes.

  11. canary says:

    Here is a clip using pennies to show Obama spending, and cutting. I also saw an older campaign where he said for every dollar he spent, he would put a dollar back. McCain looked like he was going to crack up laughing. Oh. well. here it is in pennies.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWt8hTayupE&NR=1

  12. bronzeprofessor says:

    Canary, Thanks for that clip. I watched it. It’s hysterical, and so smart.

    Right now I am reading “Buck Wild” a book about how the Republican Party lost its way and became the party of big spenders. The irony is that the book was published in 2006, and now all the numbers that were shocking to the author in 2006 feel like, well, pennies. The Democrats have dwarfed the big spending of even the Bush years.

  13. bronzeprofessor says:

    Why isn’t anyone bringing up Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which are the perfect examples from the housing sector of what a government-sponsored health insurance company will look like?

    The Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac model was based on a government-sponsored entity offering affordable housing to people who weren’t profitable under normal business conditions. Didn’t take us too long to figure out how that turned out. If you create a semi-public company that is forced to loan out more than it can collect, it loses money and the government has to bail it out.

    Fast forward, now it’s health care. A government-sponsored entity would offer affordable medical insuranec to people who wouldn’t be profitable under normal business conditions. So this entity will have to pay out more in claims than it takes in, as premiums. It will lose huge amounts of money and the taxpayers will have to bail it out.

    Only the health care version of Fannie Mae will be much worse, because people will only sign up for the government-sponsored insurance when they get sick. Healthy people won’t sign up, so the ratio between premiums collected and claims paid will be astronomically, inconceivably bad.

    In this book I’m reading, Buck Wild, the author points out that Bush’s Medicare drug plan was only supposed to cost $400 billion (estimated by the Congressional Budget Office) between 2005 and 2015. Not it’s looking like it will cost closer to $750 billion.

    The CBO says Obama’s health plan will cost about $1.4 trillion over ten years. Going on past experience, I’d say that’s a low estimate. And it will be sheer, unadulterated liability. Fannie Mae on steroids, gone nuclear.


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