Poor State of Health
In writing about the Affordable Care Act the New Yorker says, “The law’s actual manifestation, however is rather anodyne: as of October 1st, healthcare.gov is scheduled to open for business. A website where people who don’t have health coverage through an employer or government can find a range of health plans available to them, it resembles nothing more sinister than an e-bay for insurance. Because it’s a market place, prices keep falling lower than the Congressional Budget Office predicted, by more than 16 percent on average.”
Hold that thought. Obamacarefacts.com says that the new law will have a massive impact on health care costs. It is estimated to be $1.36 trillion by 2023 and cost most of us between 3 percent and 9.5 percent of our income after cost assistance.
It is difficult to see how the New Yorker came up with their numbers. Most people are unable to enroll since they cannot get on line.
Mr. Mark Bertolini, CEO of AETNA, was interviewed and made some startling comments. He said AETNA helped the government prioritize what was needed to start by October 1. However, the company became “pretty nervous when they missed deadlines.” He said the government never went through the proper steps in launching the site like making sure it was integrated, had scalability, having functionality and user tests. The big question today is will enough people sign up?
Americans for tax reform put together other information about Obamacare quoting the president, “We did raise taxes on some things.”
If you forgot, there is the new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales of medical device manufacturers. This tax is imposed even if the company does not make a profit.
The current 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) deduction for high medical bills now goes to 10 percent of AGI. Obamacare also caps at $2,500 what 30-35 million Americans who use pre-tax flexible spending accounts (FSA) can set aside. Before Obamacare, the accounts under law were unlimited. The policy was sensible and gave people peace of mind. There is also a new 3.8-percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 or $200,000 for a single filer.
Starting in 2014, anyone not buying qualifying health insurance must pay an income surtax to the IRS.
The Obamacare employer-mandate tax was delayed a year, but already favored corporations such as Wal-mart and McDonalds each received an exemption.
There is also a new tax on health insurers relative to health insurance premiums collected. Any company with $50 million in profits is subject to the new tax.
Unfortunately, in the New Yorker story all the new taxes and poor planning on the part of Kathleen Sebelius does not hold a candle to what they see as obstructionism. This comes in three forms, first are the states that refused to expand Medicaid. The federal government would cover the first three years and then look to the states to start sharing the burden, which is simply another unfunded mandate. The second obstruction is refusal to operated a state health exchange and make Washington do the work. The third area in the New Yorker’s mind is “outright sabotage” of the system by scaring young people off from buying health insurance.
What scares young people is not having a job or only being able to work 29 hours a week and having to pay back outrageous student loans. What frightens minorities is having to have a valid ID, allowing the IRS to sift through their income records and sharing the information with law enforcement. Obamacare hurts all Americans.