The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
There is a small amount of hope. Healthcare costs and taxes are going to rise after this goes into effect. The amount you could have made with your Social Security taxes will always be theoretical to people, but rising taxes and costs will not be. The issue is that the higher taxes will kick in next year, and the higher healthcare prices will happen after 2013. They will not be linked in people's minds. Not to mention the GOP is a spineless pack of rascals whose idea of smaller government means growing Leviathan at a slightly smaller rate.
Basically, we're doomed.
There is a small amount of hope.
Basically, we're doomed.
Somehow those two don't go together.
With the economy cratering, a number of people have taken early retirement, and/or dropped out of senior jobs that were paying a fair bit into Social Security.
Meaning that SS is now in the red, officially. It's now paying out more than payroll taxes are taking in. (Previously, this was predicted to happen between 2012-2016).
There isn't a SS surplus to tap anymore.
"Healthcare costs and taxes are going to rise after this goes into effect. "
And you know this how exactly, Britt? Please show me your facts using logic.
"Basically, we're doomed."
Well, as long as you don't lead with your feelings:)
The thing that strikes me as particularly interesting/scary is whether the concept of an individual mandate can pass constitutional muster. I'm not seeing a manner in which the gov't can force you to buy insurance as a condition of being a citizen, AND be considered to have its power constrained in any meaningful sense.
Mark, can we agree that regulation increases costs? I mean, can you offer me a single case in which government regulation made something cost less? It is you and your ilk who hold that this bill will lower healthcare costs and balance the budget. You have to prove this assertion, because you're the one offering it. Back of the envelope is fine, but prove to me that a trillion dollar increase in the federal budget will balance it.
This is distinct from the price. If a health plan is a 1000 dollars a year, and the taxpayers pick up 500 dollars of the cost, then the price has been lowered. Cost remains the same. Explain how using one or all of governments three tools: theft, imprisonment, or assault will bring down the cost of health care.
>And you know this how exactly, Britt? Please show me your facts using logic.
Mark, wouldn't asking someone else to demonstrate "facts and logic" require you to show some understanding of the concepts yourself?
Don't worry though, I think there is a better than even chance that your "side" will win. That you are unable to conceive of why that might be a bad thing is precisely why it has such a good chance..
"And you know this how exactly, Britt? Please show me your facts using logic."
While you asked Britt, I'll step in and procalim that past performance, especially where government entitlement programs are concerned, is a pretty good indicator of future results:
"“At its start, in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion. The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost only about $ 12 billion by 1990 (a figure that included an allowance for inflation). This was a supposedly “conservative” estimate. But in 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 billion.”"
An OUTSTANDING article written 16 years ago in 1993...the last time we went 'round this particular mulberry bush.
After you read that article, come back and tell me what factual basis you might have for supporting such a radical change in the status quo.
Not about your FEELINGS, and no appeals to emotion, just concrete and factual reasons that you think government could manage health care better than private sector.
BTW, had your swine flu shot yet?
Standing in a line of hundreds...how very Soviet of us, huh?
I'll also add that the Great Society programs as a whole were sold to the American people as a cost cutting measure. It was said that people were in poverty due to no fault of their own, and a massive but time-limited infusion of education, healthcare, and straight cash would transform the poor into productive middle class citizens. LBJ argued that, in the long run, this would save money. Needless to say, costs exploded, the temporary programs never ended, and the poor stayed poor.
I'm summarizing, but Thomas Sowell addressed the matter in his excellent book The Vision of the Anointed: Self Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy.
"And you know this how exactly, Britt? Please show me your facts using logic."
Hypocrisy boy, you come across as a six-year-old child who (ahem) thinks he has learned a couple of new words. Have you no shame at all?
And you know this how exactly
Well, I know it because I'm not an asshat.
That, and there are over 100(so far) new bureacratic organizations, boards, commissions.
That's 100 that need directors, admin assistants, underlings, auditors, offices, computers, phone systems, PR people, HR people....
That aren't in the mix now. One would think that your FCC bitchslapping might have taught you something, but you are solid-state-stupid.
And that's before those boards, commissions, directors, politicians, start making decisions and ordering things paid for, impacting the market, etc.
Well, as long as you don't lead with your feelings
He's not. But we've demonstrated many times that you're too historically illiterate to understand. (Plus, it's been explained to you in graphic detail before.. that you did tl;dr, apparently.)
Imperial Senate made me think Star Wars, so I led with a little Yoda and closed with a little C3P0.
This is a bit sobering.
Insurance companies survive over time by using the profits of good years to pay the losses of bad years. Just as casualty insurers don't control hurricanes or earthquakes, medical insurers don't control heart attacks or cancer. This provision will require medical insurers to operate on a year-only basis; they will not be allowed to accumulate reserves to pay for higher-than-expected claims.
Now for the 64 dollar question: Would you invest your own money in a health insurance company with this rule in place?
I can't help but wonder how many more land mines like this one will appear once people have a chance to actually read this bloody bill.
That's a nice bit of quoting Britt. Didn't catch that. Well done!
Thank you Dean. My inner nerd on display for all.
I'm still waiting for Mark to explain how regulation makes things cost less. It's rather in line with telling a pilot that adding garbage to the cargo hold will give you more range.
Oh, and since I have to spell it out for Captain "Critical Thinker", the higher taxes I refer to are the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. I also happen to think additional tax hikes are inevitable, and would be willing to wager some money that there are new taxes hidden in the two thousand pages of the bill itself.
Britt, you should have started off: "A small amount of hope there is.";)
Smells like a Minnesota fart in here. Pray, continue.
The King James version of the Bible runs more than 600 pages and is crammed with celestial regulations. Newton's Principia Mathematica distilled many of the rules of physics in a mere 974 pages.
In the new world, your insurance choices will be tethered to decisions made by people with Orwellian titles ("1984" was only 268 pages!) like the "Health Choices Commissioner" or "Inspector General for the Health Choices Administration."
It's going to take some time to deconstruct this lengthy masterpiece, but as you flip through the pages of the House bill, you will notice the word "regulation" appears 181 times. "Tax" is there 214 times. "Fees," 103 times. As we all know, nothing says "affordability" like higher taxes and fees.
The word "shall" - as in "must" or "required to" - appears over 3,000 times. The word, alas, is never preceded by the patriotic phrase "mind our own freaking business." Not once.
"Well, as long as you don't lead with your feelings"
Coming from Marky-aye-aye-aye, the irony within this statment is rich and thick. I mean, it's not as if a fanatical adherant to a failed religion based on the selfsame "feeling" warned us about using such faulty diagnostic tools to make decisions.
Er, that previous Anti-Markadelphia troll post was mine.
Darn sister's computer!
"I also happen to think additional tax hikes are inevitable, and would be willing to wager some money that there are new taxes hidden in the two thousand pages of the bill itself."
You'd win the bet, Britt.
Go see what Pelosi has to say about this bill. Note that this page on her web site does not have the word "tax" anywhere on it (at least, as of 11/08/09 at 5:45 PM CST, it doesn't). Golly. I wonder why ...
She provides a link to a ten page summary, which states, in part (emphasis added):
"Revenue. The bill would impose a surcharge on taxpayers with adjusted gross income in excess of $1 million (married filing a joint return) and $500,000 (single) at a rate of 5.4 percent. ..."
That's a new tax, ladies and gents. It is not a current tax.
It's also the tip of the iceberg. The Heritage Foundation lists quite a few new taxes the bill would levy and explains the effects in some detail. For example:
"The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that taxes will be approximately $200 billion over 10 years. The Joint Tax Committee (JTC) estimates $560 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years, with the bulk of these increases coming from the surtax."
Regarding the surtax, it states the following:
"The new Pelosi plan establishes a 5.4 percent surtax on joint filers with over $1 million in adjusted gross income or $500,000 for single filers. This is a single rate, which is different from the earlier House bills that had surtaxes at lower income levels. This surtax is not based on final adjusted gross income but instead on modified gross income. Modified gross income excludes only deductions for investment income and is calculated before considering all other exemptions and deductions. Thus, the effective rate of the surtax is higher than the effect of merely increasing marginal tax rates by 5.4 percent.
"This surtax is also not indexed to inflation. Consequently, more and more taxpayers will be hammered by the surtax even as their real income does not increase. This is one of the reasons that the JTC expects the cost of the surtax to more than double in year 10 of its estimate--from $30.9 billion to $68.4 billion. The JTC estimates that taxpayers will be forced to pay $460.5 billion in higher taxes due to this provision. This is a larger tax increase than the 1993 Clinton income tax increase provisions that created a new tax bracket for high-income taxpayers, increased the AMT, and limited deductions and exemptions for high income earners."
Nah, no new taxes, really. It's all done with magic, y'see.
I had hoped my kids could be free. I'm sad, but mad too. I just don't know if there is a critical mass of people who are mad enough.
Me and Vin Suprynowicz versus the entire federal government is not my idea of a fun time.
Bilgerman, try this article on for size. It is notable for its zingers, such as:
"Name any government program that has been around for more than five years, and the odds are good it costs at least triple what its opponents originally said it would cost."
"The last thing any consumer should ever be willing to surrender is the ability to take his business elsewhere."
"Only a foolish people trust their lives and souls to an entity defined by its ability to punish non-compliance with force."
But this is why I suggest you read it:
"Medicare originally cost about $3 billion, when it began in 1965, and was projected to cost about $12 billion by 1990, adjusted for inflation. The actual cost in 1990 was nearly ten times that figure, $107 billion. It was up to $440 billion by 2007. The architects of the program would have been run out of town on a rail, if these future costs had been known to the voters of 1965."
Damn, but we're gonna be screwed.
I surprised myself this afternoon by being pleased that I am not any younger, because if I were, I'd have to endure this even longer.
While we're tossing good reads around:
And here, California is decidedly lacking. The biggest factor accounting for California’s loss of population to the other 49 states, bond ratings that would embarrass Chrysler or GM, and state politics contentious and feckless enough to shame a banana republic, has to be its public sector’s diminishing willingness and capacity to fulfill its promises to taxpayers. “Twenty years ago, you could go to Texas, where they had very low taxes, and you would see the difference between there and California,” Joel Kotkin, executive editor of NewGeography.com and a presidential fellow at Chapman University in Southern California, told the Los Angeles Times this past March. “Today, you go to Texas, the roads are no worse, the public schools are not great but are better than or equal to ours, and their universities are good. The bargain between California’s government and the middle class is constantly being renegotiated to the disadvantage of the middle class.”
Similarly, the CEO of a manufacturing company in suburban Los Angeles told a Times reporter that his business suffered less from California’s high taxes than from its ineffectual services. As a result, the company pays “a fortune” to educate its employees, many of whom graduated from California public schools, “on basic things like writing and math skills.” According to a report issued earlier this year by McKinsey & Company, Texas students “are, on average, one to two years of learning ahead of California students of the same age,” though expenditures per public school student are 12 percent higher in California.
In California, by contrast, more and more spending consists of either transfer payments to government dependents (as in welfare, health, housing, and community development programs) or generous payments to government employees and contractors (reflected in administrative costs, pensions, and general expenditures). Both kinds of spending weaken California’s appeal to consumer-voters, the first because redistributive transfer payments are the least publicly beneficial type of public good, and the second because the dues paid to Club California purchase benefits that, increasingly, are enjoyed by the staff instead of the members.
. It turns out, for example, that all the pointless boards and commissions are bulletproof because they provide golden parachutes to politicians turned out of the state legislature by California’s strict term limits.
I'll hit those additional articles, but fellas, I hold a lamp aloft...look far out to sea.
(no...the southern one, with the hurricane in it)
Two terms that may save us:
1) Bill of Attainder
2) Unjust Enrichment
"Bill of Attainder"
Interesting. Each no-way-will-I-pay refusenik will be entitled to his day in court. Perhaps it will go all the way to the Supreme Court, resulting either in overturning the penalties or clogging the court dockets.
I confess. I'm missing this one.
Though I read about and saw this incident when it was first reported, I am still infuriated by it. As a constituent of Mr. Massa's district (NY-29), I am incensed that (1) he values my opinion so little and (2) he believes he comes from "one of the most right wing, Republican districts in the country." If that was true, he wouldn't have been elected. The truth is that he comes from a moderate Republican district, and that he hates that about the district. What kind of person aspires to represent a district (and the people that comprise that district) that he hates? Three votes, and he was one of them. Shame on Randy Kuhl for being such a poor Republican candidate. Shame on the Republican party for putting forth such a poor Republican candidate. Your indifference/arrogance has cost 300 million Americans their medical freedom.
I have a question for you, Mark. What is it about the Democrats' bill that is so much better than the Republicans' as to be worth the price difference between the two?
I'm mad as hell, and I've gotta say one more thing...
Too many people think that this is just a game. They think that after eight years of Bush, it's only to be expected that the Democrats get to run things for a little while. I got news for you, folks: This is not a game of pong on your f***ing Atari. This is A.D. 1877, and we're the f***ing Lakota. Our way of life is about to be destroyed unless we do something a little more desperate than send John Boehner to the podium to voice his respectful dissent.
As I understand it, the HR passed Saturday night will mandate that HC insurance policy be purchased, or a 2.5% income penalty be paid, or jail time.
(That would be the Bill of Attainder part).
Now I also understand that these requirements would be waived or exempted for "low income" individuals, who presumably would still receive government HC benefits at the expense of those obeying the mandate.
That would be the "Unjust Enrichment" part.
However, the tax side of this gives them wiggle room.
After all, normally admitting to a felony would be protected under the 5th Amendment... Except for taxes, where you're asked specifically for your taxable income from crime - and that's considered (per court decisions) legal. (As is prosecuting you for failing to declare it.)
Similarly, here, you'll be required to admit to a felony (failing to pay into the system) on your 1040.
Not until I get my pound of flesh.
Whose it will be is up for debate.
Sorry, not letting that stupid fucktard communist win this one, and nasty, skanky cunt who leads his minions 'round the halls of the Capitol.
It would be very sad if all the people who voted for this bill got shot. If it happened before the Senate voted, they might even vote differently to save their own worthless skins.
I'd hate that.
Bilgerman, I understand the concept of unjust enrichment. I don't think it would apply if a person received something the law stated he should receive, and that's why it wasn't obvious to me what you meant. Note that this has nothing to do with whether such is right or wrong, but the law is often like that.
I love Marxist-delphia's insistance that Britt come up with quotes supporting any higher taxes in teh health care bill.
Uh, Markie? There's roughly a half-billion dollars in NEW taxes in the bill, in order to cover the stated expected expenditures.
That's how they got CBo to score it favorably.
Of course, if Congress tells CBO that one of teh assumptions is that every American will suddenly start shitting gold bricks, which will be used to pay for teh bill, the BY LAW, the CBO scores it with that assumption.
Rick, that's a half-trillion dollars in new taxes over the next ten years.
A billion here, a billion there, and soon you are spending some real money!
*Psssst!!* Nobody tell Obama & Co. what comes after a TRILLION!
And again I ask...
In your own words Mark, your own opinion, what features of the Democrats' healthcare reform bill make it so superior to the Republicans' bill as to make it worth the difference in cost?
Bilgeman, I don't think you have the proper use of Bill of Attainder in that context.
"Bilgeman, I don't think you have the proper use of Bill of Attainder in that context."
Could very well be. IANAL. But aspects of the prohibition against bills of attainder, (or pains and penalties, if you will), certainly seemed to fit.
The assessing of a fine for not following the mandate to enter into a contract with a health insurance company, and even the impairment of contractual rights which constitutes such a mandate looked like what the founders were talking about.
In any event, I can foresee entire generations of attorneys eating lunch from this turkey and on billable hours, no less.
In that sense, I'd certainly have to hand it to the House...
My bad. A billion, a trillion. . .
At this rate it's all Monopoly money anyway.
$1,000,000/hour minimum wage.
I'll have to remember that one, next time a liberal makes a remark about the gap between rich and poor:
"If you object to it so much, why not move to Zimbabwe? I hear everyone has a lot of money there."
During debate on the bill in the House, GOP Congressman Peter Roskam spoke briefly. The money quote:
"We've heard from the best and the brightest all afternoon, and not a one of them have answered why it is you have to criminalize people to coax them into a plan that's fabulous."
What are the penalties he's talking about, you ask? Read about it here. The money quote:
"The Joint Tax Committee informs us that under the terms of the Pelosi health-care bill, "Americans who do not maintain acceptable health insurance coverage and who choose not to pay the bill's new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income), are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.""
So, just what is the "individual mandate tax", you ask? It's "an unprecedented form of federal action". The money quote:
"The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States."
What do you s'pose the gubmint's response will be when the prisons are full?
A cleared stretch of desert and some razor wire, DJ.
What do you s'pose the voters' response will be when the prisons are full?
I know what I hope it is, but some things it don't pay to advertise. ;)
Won't matter. Because the prisons will be full of "teabaggers" who are now felons, who now can't vote anymore in almost all states!
DJ write "What do you s'pose the voters' response will be when the prisons are full?"
What prisons? You mean the reeducation camps for the double plus ungood unpeople?
"What do you s'pose the gubmint's response will be when the prisons are full?"
A tax hike.
Bilgerman's been paying attention!
Ah, yes, back to the PelosiCare tax increases ...
Begin here, which links to here, which links to here.
The list of new taxes is (from the second link above):
"Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages. Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent ([under] $500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000).
"Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium. MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.
"Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 324)
"Cap on FSAs (Page 325)
"Increased Additional Tax on Non-Qualified HSA Distributions (Page 326)
"Denial of Tax Deduction for Employer Health Plans Coordinating with Medicare Part D (Page 327)
"Surtax on Individuals and Small Businesses (Page 336)
"Excise Tax on Medical Devices (Page 339)
"Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Page 344)
"Delay in Worldwide Allocation of Interest (Page 345)
"Limitation on Tax Treaty Benefits for Certain Payments (Page 346)
"Codification of the “Economic Substance Doctrine” (Page 349)
"Application of “More Likely Than Not” Rule (Page 357)"
Note the second item, the "Individual Mandate Surtax". If you don't pay for medical insurance, you will be penalized an amount at least equal to what the premium for said insurance would be.
Note the third item, the "Medicine Cabinet Tax". What the hell is that? It is (per the third link):
"Non-prescription medications would no longer be able to be purchased from health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs), or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). Insulin excepted."
Okay, ladies and gents. Are we making book on the mid-term elections yet?