Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fees are Taxes Too!

Senator Max Baucus (D, MT) is floating his new plan for health care. As chairman of the Senate Finance committee, Baucus has been a key player in the health care debate.

For all the pomp and circumstance (and idle chatter about "compromise") there's precious little in the plan that we haven't already seen in the House bill, H. R. 3200. But details have been pretty sketchy thus far.

No word yet on how many millions of Americans will remain uninsured under the Baucus plan, but the cost is estimated to be around $900 billion. If history can be trusted to teach us anything, this is almost certainly a conservative estimate. (The one time when liberals are conservative is when they're estimating the cost of their stupid plans.)

Lets get down the key features:
  • No public option
  • $400 billion in cuts from Medicare
  • No tort reform
  • New job-killing taxes on employers to provide for the cost government subsidies for employees who are covered by a government-run insurance exchange
  • $6 billion a year in new taxes on the health insurance industry (starting in 2010)
  • New excise taxes on health insurance companies that provide high-end insurance plans
  • Would bar insurance companies from dropping a policyholder in the event of illness as long as that person has paid his or her premium in full.
  • Creates government-run health care cooperatives.
  • Expands Medicaid, starting in 2014, to cover millions of lower-income people.
  • Creates health insurance exchanges for small businesses and individuals.
  • Creates catastrophic insurance as an option for people 25 and younger. (Government-run or private who knows?)
  • Would provide tax credits to help low- and middle-income families purchase private insurance coverage.
  • $900 billion in new spending
  • Presumably forces everyone to be on health insurance or face some kind of financial penalty.
  • The plan would likely violate an Obama campaign pledge not to increase taxes on families earning less than $250,000 a year.

Obama's loyal servants at The New York Times and other liberal news outlets have assiduously avoided using the word "tax" in reference to the new plan, opting for the less emotionally charged term: "fee". And they have carefully refrained from pointing out that any new tax on the private health insurance industry will ultimately and inevitably be paid by individual policy holders.

The AP has taken the obfuscation one step further and has assured us that all laws of economics will be suspended and that consumers will be virtually insulated from the impact of the tax. They even quote a mystery entity: "If insurance companies passed the new fee along to customers, they would run the risk of losing out in a newly competitive environment, a source said." Hmm...a source, now I'm convinced!

Some liberals have been surprisingly honest. Ezra Klein, for example: "...we're taxing insurance companies rather than workers, even though the end result will be the same." Bottom line new taxes on the middle class.

Let's not forget Obama's solemn statements:

Exhibit A: "But let me perfectly clear, because I know you’ll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime."

Exhibit B: "On health care reform, the American people are too often offered two extremes government-run health care with higher taxes or letting the insurance companies operate without rules. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe both of these extremes are wrong."

Final words...watch for the new language:

Fee = Tax

Medicare Savings = Medicare Cuts

Government Organized = Government Run

Fair = Unprofitable

Competition = Regulation

Accountability = Government Control

Marketplace = Political Scheme

Budget-Neutral = Economically Unsustainable

Bipartisan = Liberals + Blue Dogs + Olympia Snowe

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Bungalow Bill said...

$400 billion in Medicare cuts and they claim there will be no rationing. Do the math.

Anonymous said...

Bill, Obama claims the 400 million is in fraud. He has nothing to back that up, or any plan to address it, it's just a convenient number for him to pull out of his ass.

I noticed that nothing in this new plan addresses the 12 million illegal aliens who are currently getting free health care.

RightKlik said...

BB: I don't understand how the Dems expect us to believe their absurd claims.

BATS: As you've noted, Dems have refused to include anything in the health care legislation that would require proof of citizenship for eligibility. Illegals will continue to get free health care, and with ObamaCare, they will have a card that entitles them not just to emergency care, but the full spectrum of benefits.

Here's more good news. With new entitlements will come increased health care utilization. But there won't be a sudden influx of new doctors, nurses and hospitals. So you will wait in line with the illegals.

Rational Natin USA said...

Great post. The socialist/statist agenda has all kinds of obscure code it banks on Americans not understanding.

Rational Nation USA

Anonymous said...

No tort reform.
No curbs on illegal immigrants.
Wow, this sounds like a great deal.

Soloman said...

So he thinks because he took out the phrase "public option" the American people will just take whatever their handed? 'Cause we're not smart enough to know what "Cooperatives" are.

And this guy's from Montana, no less. I'd expect better of someone from Montana.

One other "new language" term for you - if not used in this proposal, it's being used just about everywhere else -

"social justice = redistribution"

nacilbupera said...

Folks we are getting more and more worried about the gowing number of Health Care Totalitarianists (be they Marxists, Communists, Fascists, or whatever) that want to impose THEIR plan on us. We like our private healthcare insurance. We don't want to pay a trillion dollars for a healthcare bureaucracy.

What happened to freedom? What happened to freedom??

You know Patrick Henry's famous cry sums up the debate of the two sides: give us freedom or give us death [panels]!

RightKlik said...

National: Thanks. No way to push the leftist agenda in the light of day.

NG: Yeah, it's a winner.

Soloman: "social justice = redistribution" That's a big one.

nacilbupera: I like the fact that I still have the freedom to forgo health insurance.

I'd like it even better if I could purchase catastrophic health insurance in conjunction with an HSA at a reasonable price, but that wouldn't help Obama or his favorite special interest groups, so I won't hold my breath.

Soloman said...

nacilbupera - fascinating you bring up Patrick Henry. I pulled out my Psych 105 book tonight, and inside the cover I had folded some photocopies a friend gave me. One of them was "The War Inevitable, March 1775" by Patrick Henry. Great read.

BTW - Interesting story how you came by the name...

robert verdi said...

off course they are, but they come across as politically palatable, which is what this all about.

constant gina said...

after last year i gave up on politics...i just pray for the best...

RightKlik said...

RV: Yes, sweet little lies and deceptions