tagged w/ ObamaCare
Before long, Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative leaning court will decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act that President Obama and a Democrat-controlled congress passed in early 2010. The main question that will be before the justices is the constitutionality of the portion of the Act that mandates that everyone buy health care and would tax those who didn’t.Before long, Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative leaning court will decide... more
"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."
Blanche duBois, in Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire."
Modern day Blanche duBois prefers that uninsured Americans depend on the kindness of strangers as well.
Shortly after her entire New Hampshire staff quit without warning ("I got Newted," Bachmann might have said), the Minnesota Republican and failing candidate for the GOP presidential nomination reminded a woman in Winterset, Iowa (whose son depends on Medicaid for his health care) that she could rely on the kindness of strangers, too! But first, we have to get rid of that pesky Obamacare.
http://www.examiner.com/liberal-in-baltimore/michele-bachmann-prefers-uninsured-folks-depend-on-the-kindness-of-strangers"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." Blanche duBois, in... more
The NFIB is asking the high court not only to weigh in on the law’s mandate, but also whether the entire law should fall if that provision is deemed unconstitutional. The 11th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs on that issue and agreed with the Obama administration that the mandate is severable from the rest of the law.
http://veracitystew.com/2011/09/28/supreme-court-officially-petitioned-to-review-healthcare-law/The NFIB is asking the high court not only to weigh in on the law’s mandate, but... more
Nearly 19,000 questions were submitted on YouTube for Thursday's Google and Fox News Republican Primary debate in Florida. More than 100,000 votes were cast to help determine the questions...We took those 19,000 questions, which were asked among nine varying categories, and analyzed the words people used when expressing their perspectives
http://veracitystew.com/2011/09/23/gop-debate-word-clouds-speak-volumes-image/Nearly 19,000 questions were submitted on YouTube for Thursday's Google and Fox... more
President Barack Obama is asking lawmakers to tax the health-insurance benefits of top earners, stirring opposition from congressional Democrats who fought a similar proposal in the 2010 health-care law.
The provision, tucked deep inside the 155-page jobs legislation Obama submitted to Congress on Sept. 12, would make health plans provided by employers partially taxable for couples earning more than $250,000 a year and individuals earning more than $200,000.
For these taxpayers, the proposal is a dramatic departure from their current tax treatment, in which all their health benefits are exempt from taxation. It also revives a debate among Democrats over whether taxing health-insurance plans for the wealthy sets the stage for one day expanding the tax to lower-income brackets.
“To a large degree, we’ve visited that, and we already -- in health care reform -- did some of that,” said Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat and Finance Committee member who said he would rather focus on higher taxes for big oil companies than reopen the issue of taxing health benefits.
The resistance from Obama’s fellow Democrats indicates the president’s plan may not survive intact, as leaders of the Republican-controlled House have said they oppose other tax provisions intended to offset the cost of cutting payroll tax rates and spending on infrastructure, schools and aid to states.
Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, said the caucus isn’t united behind Obama’s proposals to cover the bill’s $447 billion cost. Some Democrats would again oppose taxing some health plans, he said.
House Democrats last year forced revisions to a tax on high-value insurance plans that was included in the health-care law. Labor unions, which have fought to increase benefits for members as companies resisted wage increases, objected to the levy and pushed successfully to increase the threshold and delay implementation.
Starting in 2018, a 40 percent tax will be levied on plans worth more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. The tax will be paid by insurance companies, though opponents argue that costs will be passed on to consumers.
An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was no comparison between taxing plans for the highest earners and the earlier debate over taxing high- value, so-called Cadillac, health plans. The official, who wasn’t authorized to speak on the record about the proposal, said it targets high-income taxpayers who get a greater benefit from the current tax structure than do middle-income workers.
The official declined to comment on objections being raised by Democrats.
Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat whose state includes some of the wealthiest counties in the U.S., said she didn’t support the health-care tax.
“I disagree with the president,” she said.
The proposal, she said, would be problematic for people with fluctuating incomes. Some of her constituents “might make one year $300,000 and the next year $30,000,” she said
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Plan-to-Tax-Health-Insurance-bloomberg-3509229178.html?x=0&.v=1President Barack Obama is asking lawmakers to tax the health-insurance benefits of top... more
Matt Gratz, Political Fail Blog-
The 11th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling by Judge Roger Vinson that says the most valued (to Obama) part of "Obamacare," which forces all Americans to purchase a service from an insurance company or face a penalty, to be unconstitutional.
The debate over whether or not the health care bill that forces Americans to support corrupt heath insurance companies has attracted the legal attention of 26 states, who oppose the President's plan. The news today will be looked at as a victory for the American people, and a loss to the huge insurance companies who were set to gain a huge new pool of customers.
Some say the bill went too far and others say it doesn't go far enough. The mandate absolutely goes too far. In my opinion, the American people hired Obama to bring change to the heath care system that would benefit the people, not the companies. All this bill does is add huge amounts of revenue to a failing heath care system and forces the American people to be a part of it. The same way the American people are forced to fund unwanted and some can argue unconstitutional wars.
Some say, "Well car insurance is mandated so what's the difference?"
Not everyone drives a car, and driving is considered a privilege not a right in the United States. Human life cannot be compared to an object, and in my view, we as a society should be taking care of each other. Should we classify human life and health as a privilege or a right in the USA?
http://www.politicalfailblog.com/2011/08/obamas-mandate-to-purchase-service-from.htmlMatt Gratz, Political Fail Blog- The 11th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals has... more
Remember when we were told that “legalization isn’t in the president’s vocabulary?”
Remember when Mr. Obama laughed off a suggestion that marijuana legalization could help the economy?
Remember when he emphatically stated he would not pursue a strategy of decriminalization of marijuana?
Yeah, we do, too.
So imagine our surprise at NORML to find an ad for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign nestled in the prime ad spot on our YouTube channel: NORMLtv
What’s the campaign strategy for the marijuana smoker vote, Mr. Obama? Keeping at the head of the DEA one of Mr. Bush’s administrators? Maintaining the Bush-era policy of raiding medical marijuana providers? Escalating numbers of marijuana arrests on your watch?
Or will it just be, “Look, you think I’m bad, imagine what happens if (fill in GOP nominee) wins! I just want to force pot smokers into costly rehab they don’t need on the threat of prison. (Fill in GOP nominee) wants to (fill in terrible threat we’re already experiencing now)!”
You want the absolute guaranteed votes of 90% of the 25 million American adults who use cannabis annually in America?
Convince Congress to pass and then you sign Barney Frank and Ron Paul’s Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act.
It doesn’t cost you anything. Marijuana is still illegal in all fifty states and 99% of all marijuana arrests take place at the state and local level. It just means marijuana is no longer a federal issue; states are free to set up any marijuana regulations they choose. The people in marijuana friendly states will support you more and the ones who hate pot still think you’re a secret Muslim agent from Kenya anyway.
Well, I take that back. Your contributors from Big Pharma might not like you endorsing the competition.Remember when we were told that “legalization isn’t in the... more
WASHINGTON -- Health insurance plans must cover birth control as preventive care for women, with no copays, the Obama administration said Monday in a decision with far-reaching implications for health care as well as social mores.
The requirement is part of a broad expansion of coverage for women's preventive care under President Barack Obama's health care law. Also to be covered without copays are breast pumps for nursing mothers, an annual "well-woman" physical, screening for the virus that causes cervical cancer and for diabetes during pregnancy, counseling on domestic violence, and other services.
"These historic guidelines are based on science and existing (medical) literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/01/obama-birth-control-health-insurance_n_914818.htmlWASHINGTON -- Health insurance plans must cover birth control as preventive care for... more
CINCINNATI -- A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has upheld President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
The three-judge panel delivered a long opinion Wednesday with disagreement on some issues. But it affirmed a Michigan federal judge's earlier ruling that Congress can require Americans to have minimum insurance coverage.
More at http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/06/29/6974889-appeals-court-upholds-obama-health-care-law-CINCINNATI -- A federal appeals court in Cincinnati has upheld President Barack... more
He is in insurance, and says he has a better solution to high health insurance premi ums than existing health reform law. I didn't know how many rights we've lost with this law, and I'm certain that he is accurate in his speech. It was amazing to watch, and I'm definitely paying more attention to this issue. Can the government really take money from us now just for being alive? He asks for all of our help in his speech: Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partiers, and Independents. Best speech I've seen since 2008 election by far!He is in insurance, and says he has a better solution to high health insurance premi... more
(Reuters) - At least 30 percent of employers are likely to stop offering health insurance once provisions of the U.S. health care reform law kick in in 2014, according to a study by consultant McKinsey.
McKinsey, which based its projection on a survey of more than 1,300 employers of various sizes and industries and other proprietary research, found that 30 percent of employers will "definitely" or "probably" stop offering coverage in the years after 2014, when new medical insurance exchanges are supposed to be up and running.
"The shift away from employer-provided health insurance will be vastly greater than expected and will make sense for many companies and lower-income workers alike," according to the study, published in McKinsey Quarterly.
"While the pace and timing are difficult to predict, McKinsey research points to a radical restructuring of employer-sponsored health benefits."
Among employers with a high awareness of the health reform law, the number likely to drop health coverage for workers rises to more than 50 percent, the report predicted.
The numbers compare to a Congressional Budget Office estimate that only about 7 percent of employees currently covered by employer-sponsored plans will have to switch to subsidized-exchange policies in 2014, McKinsey said.
The consultant also found that at least 30 percent of employers would gain economically from dropping coverage even if they compensated employees for the change through other benefit offerings or higher salaries.
Losing employer-sponsored insurance would not prompt workers to leave their jobs, contrary to what many employers assume, McKinsey also predicted. The study found more than 85 percent of employees would remain at their jobs even if their employer stopped offering insurance, although about 60 percent would expect increased compensation.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/07/mckinsey-healthexchanges-idUSN0712987420110607(Reuters) - At least 30 percent of employers are likely to stop offering health... more
Of the 204 new Obamacare waivers President Barack Obama’s administration approved in April, 38 are for fancy eateries, hip nightclubs and decadent hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Northern California district.
That’s in addition to the 27 new waivers for health care or drug companies and the 31 new union waivers Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services approved.
Pelosi’s district secured almost 20 percent of the latest issuance of waivers nationwide, and the companies that won them didn’t have much in common with companies throughout the rest of the country that have received Obamacare waivers.
Other common waiver recipients were labor union chapters, large corporations, financial firms and local governments. But Pelosi’s district’s waivers are the first major examples of luxurious, gourmet restaurants and hotels getting a year-long pass from Obamacare.
For instance, Boboquivari’s restaurant in Pelosi’s district in San Francisco got a waiver from Obamacare. Boboquivari’s advertises $59 porterhouse steaks, $39 filet mignons and $35 crab dinners.
Then, there’s Café des Amis, which describes its eating experience as “a timeless Parisian style brasserie” which is “located on one of San Francisco’s premier shopping and strolling boulevards, Union Street,” according to the restaurant’s Web site.
“Bacchus Management Group, in partnership with Perry Butler, is bringing you that same warm, inviting feeling, with a distinctive San Francisco spin,” the Web site reads. Somehow, though, the San Francisco upper class eatery earned itself a waiver from Obamacare because it apparently cost them too much to meet the law’s first year requirements.
The reason the Obama administration says it has given out waivers is to exempt certain companies or policyholders from “annual limit requirements.” The applications for the waivers are “reviewed on a case by case basis by department officials who look at a series of factors including whether or not a premium increase is large or if a significant number of enrollees would lose access to their current plan because the coverage would not be offered in the absence of a waiver.” The waivers don’t allow a company to permanently refrain from implementing Obamacare’s stipulations, but companies can reapply for waivers annually through 2014.
Café Mason, a diner near San Francisco’s Union Square, got a waiver too. When The Daily Caller asked the manager about the waiver and how the president’s new sweeping federal health care law was affecting his restaurant, he hung up the phone. The Franciscan Crab restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco got a waiver. Its menu features entrees ranging from about $15 to $60. The Franciscan’s general manager didn’t return TheDC’s requests for comment.
Four-star hotel Campton Place got one too, as did Hotel Nikko San Francisco, which describes itself as “four-diamond luxury in the heart of the city.” Tru Spa, which Allure Magazine rated the “best day spa in San Francisco,” received an Obamacare waiver as well.
Before hanging up on TheDC, Tru Spa’s owner said new government health care regulations, both the federal-level Obamacare and new local laws in Northern California, have “devastated” the business. “It’s been bad for us,” he said, without divulging his name, referring to the new health care restrictions.
But, the spa owner wouldn’t talk about it or the reason his company sought a waiver. He hung up after saying, “I’ve got clients on the other line, good-bye.”
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/17/nearly-20-percent-of-new-obamacare-waivers-are-gourmet-restaurants-nightclubs-fancy-hotels-in-nancy-pelosi%e2%80%99s-district/#ixzz1MdFfjMnlOf the 204 new Obamacare waivers President Barack Obama’s administration... more
A pair of complementary bills, both titled "The American Health Care Security Act of 2011," have been introduced in both the House and the Senate. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) are the sponsors, and both aim with these bills to provide health care for every American by way of a Medicare-for-all single-payer system. They were joined at the press conference announcing the legislation by the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, the co-president of the National Nurses United, and the president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers
"The United States is the only major nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee health care as right to its people," said Mr. Sanders after revealing the legislation. "Meanwhile, we spend about twice as much per capita on health care with worse results than others that spend far less. It is time that we bring about a fundamental transformation of the American health care system. It is time for us to end private, for-profit participation in delivering basic coverage. It is time for the United States to provide a Medicare-for-all single-payer health coverage program."
"The new health care law made big progress towards covering many more people and finding ways to lower cost," said Rep. McDermott. "However, I think the best way to reduce costs and guarantee coverage for all is through a Single-payer system like Medicare. This bill does just that - it builds on the new health care law by giving states the flexibility they need to go to a single-payer system of their own. It will also reduce costs, and Americans will be healthier."
Read the entire article here:
http://www.truth-out.org/single-payer-health-care-rises-again/1305133698A pair of complementary bills, both titled "The American Health Care Security Act... more
‘Real death panels’ set to face heat in Congress, courts
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/22/real-death-panels-set-to-face-heat-in-congress-courts/#ixzz1HREGVYPv‘Real death panels’ set to face heat in Congress, courts Read more:... more
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama once promised that negotiations over his health care overhaul would be carried out openly, in front of TV cameras and microphones. Tell that to the White House now.
Republican congressional investigators got the brush-off this past week after pressing for details of meetings between White House officials and interest groups, including drug companies and hospitals that provided critical backing for Obama's health insurance expansion.
Complying with the records request from the House Energy and Commerce Committee "would constitute a vast and expensive undertaking" and could "implicate longstanding executive branch confidentiality interests," White House lawyer Robert Bauer wrote the committee. Translation: Nice try.
http://www.startribune.com/nation/117853638.htmlWASHINGTON - President Barack Obama once promised that negotiations over his health... more
The Internal Revenue Service says it will need an battalion of 1,054 new auditors and staffers and new facilities at a cost to taxpayers of more than $359 million in fiscal 2012 just to watch over the initial implementation of President Obama's healthcare reforms. Among the new corps will be 81 workers assigned to make sure tanning salons pay a new 10 percent excise tax. Their cost: $11.5 million.
"The ACA [Affordable Care Act] will require additional resources to build new IT systems; modify existing tax processing systems; provide taxpayer outreach and assistance services; make enhancements to notices, collections, and case management systems to address and resolve taxpayer issues timely and accurately; and conduct focused examinations to encourage compliance," said the newly released IRS budget.
In its request, the IRS explained that the tax changes associated with health reform are huge. "Implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 presents a major challenge to the IRS. ACA represents the largest set of tax law changes in more than 20 years, with more than 40 provisions that amend the tax laws."
Unsaid: The requests are just the beginning, since the new healthcare program is evolving and won't be fully implemented until about 2014.
The detailed IRS budget documents spell out exactly what most of the new workforce will be doing. For example, some 81 will be tasked just to handle the tax reporting of 25,000 tanning salons. They face a new 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services. Another 76 will be assigned to make sure businesses engaged in making and imported drugs pay their new fee which is expected to deliver $2.8 billion to the Treasury in 2012 and 2013. The new healthcare corps will also require new facilities and computers
http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/02/15/healthcare-reform-law-requires-new-irs-army-of-1054.The Internal Revenue Service says it will need an battalion of 1,054 new auditors and... more
Did you know that if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it?
That's $3,800 on a $100,000 home etc.
When did this happen? It's in the health care bill. Just thought you should know.
SALES TAX TO GO INTO EFFECT 2013 (Part of HC Bill) Why 2013? Could it be to come to light AFTER the 2012 elections?
REAL ESTATE SALES TAX
So, this is "change you can believe in"?
Under the new health care bill - did you know that all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% Sales Tax? The bulk of these new taxes don't kick in until 2013 If you sell your $400,000 home, there will be a $15,200 tax. This bill is set to screw the retiring generation who often downsize their homes. Does this stuff make your 2012 vote more important?
Oh, you weren't aware this was in the obamacare bill? Guess what, you aren't alone. There are more than a few members of Congress that aren't aware of it either
http://www.gop.gov/blog/10/04/08/obamacare-flatlines-obamacare-taxes-homeDid you know that if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on... more
A case challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform bill passed by Congress is headed to the Supreme Court, and Justice Clarence Thomas has a supreme ethical conflict.
It's been widely reported that the Thomas family has financial ties to the conservative organizations leading the campaign to bring down our new health care law — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Rep. Anthony Weiner and 73 other members of Congress have signed a letter detailing the appearance of ethical conflict and asking Justice Thomas to recuse himself from deliberations on the constitutionality of health care reform.
We're asking you to sign a companion letter that Rep. Weiner — a champion of progressive issues — will deliver to the Supreme Court along with the letter signed by members of Congress. (petition and letter too.. at my link you can sign automatically)
Thomas failed to disclose that his wife Ginni Thomas received a total of $686,589 in compensation from the Heritage Foundation. Furthermore his wife is currently advertising herself as a lobbyist who has "experience and connections" to conservative groups who have an explicit agenda to overturn health care reform — by repeal in the Congress or overturning the law in the courts.
Justice Thomas is no stranger to questions of ethics. Along with Justice Antonin Scalia he attended meetings organized by the secretive, Tea Party-funding billionaire Koch brothers. The Koch brothers have been key players in rewriting the political landscape after the Citizens United Supreme Court decision unleashed the floodgates of corporate money in federal politics, and Thomas's wife has received an undisclosed salary paid for by undisclosed donors as CEO of Liberty Central, a 501(c)(4) organization that was formed to take advantage of Citizens United rules and to play an active role in the 2010 elections.
Unlike other members of the federal judiciary, Supreme Court Justices have no specific code of ethics to which they may be held accountable. But there is a clear appearance of a conflict of interest between his wife's clear financial stake in overturning the health care law and Justice Thomas' personal duty to exhibit the highest degree of discretion and impartiality. To protect the honor of the highest court in the land, Thomas must recuse himself from deliberations on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.A case challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform bill passed by... more
If you would like to know what the White House really thinks of Obamacare, there’s an easy way. Look past its press releases. Ignore its promises. Forget its talking points. Instead, simply witness for yourself the outrageous way the White House protects its best friends from Obamacare.
Last year, we learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had granted 111 waivers to protect a lucky few from the onerous regulations of the new national health care overhaul. That number quickly and quietly climbed to 222, and last week we learned that the number of Obamacare privileged escapes has skyrocketed to 733.
Among the fortunate is a who’s who list of unions, businesses and even several cities and four states (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee) but none of the friends of Barack feature as prominently as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
How can you get your own free pass from Obamacare? Maybe you can just donate $27 million to President Obama‘s campaign efforts. That’s what Andy Stern did as president of SEIU in 2008. He has been the most frequent guest at Mr. Obama‘s White House.
Backroom deals have become par for the course for proponents of Obamacare. Senators were greased with special favors, like Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson and his Cornhusker Kickback and Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary L. Landrieu and her Louisiana Purchase. Even the American Medical Association was brought in line under threat of losing its exclusive and lucrative medical coding contracts with the government.
Not only are the payoffs an affront to our democracy and an outright assault on our taxpayers, the timing itself of the latest release makes a mockery of this administration’s transparency promises. More than 500 of the 733 waivers, we now know, were granted in December but kept conveniently under wraps until the day after the president’s State of the Union address. HHS is no stranger to covering up bad news; in fact, this is becoming a disturbing pattern. Last year, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius hid from Congress until after the Obamacare vote a damning report from the Medicare and Medicaid Office of the Actuary showing Obamacare would cost $311 billion more than promised and would displace 14 million Americans from their current insurance.
For this administration, transparency promises last only until the teleprompter is unplugged.
In short, the administration has decided that you will face increased health insurance premiums, but special friends in the unions will not. Look closely, and you’ll see not only the White House‘s duplicity but also what the Obama administration really thinks of its crown jewel, Obamacare. White House words say that the annual insurance benefit cap is a feature of the program, but its actions say that it’s a bug.
The question remains: If Obamacare is such a great law, why does the White House keep protecting its best friends from it?
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/28/tawdry-details-of-obamacare-420960137/If you would like to know what the White House really thinks of Obamacare,... more