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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk rocknblues81's Avatar
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    Default The Proposed Republican Replacement For ObamaCare Is A Big Tax Hike

    The Proposed Republican Replacement For ObamaCare Is A Big Tax Hike

    Yesterday, three Republican Senators — Tom Coburn (Okla.), Richard Burr (N.C.), and Orrin Hatch (Utah) – put forward a plan to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. They call it the Patient CARE Act, and my colleague Avik Roy says it is “the most credible plan yet” offered by the GOP.


    Senate Republicans Develop The Most Credible Plan Yet To 'Repeal And Replace' Obamacare
    Avik RoyAvik Roy
    Forbes Staff

    ObamaCare Raises Health Insurance Premiums, Especially For The Young
    Matthew HerperMatthew Herper
    Forbes Staff

    The Chart That Could Sink Obamacare
    Chris ConoverChris Conover
    Contributor
    Except the Coburn-Burr-Hatch plan (read it here) amounts, among other things, to a big tax increase. The main way that it remains budget neutral is by making employer-provided health insurance plans, which are currently not taxed, partially taxable as income. In fact, this income replaces income that, under ObamaCare, comes from taxing companies, including the tax on medical device companies paid by firms like Medtronic MDT +0.23% and Stryker SYK +1.47%.

    This fact has not escaped the notice of some prominent health reform allies. “It is a huge tax increase on workers without any confidence that they will be able to afford health insurance in the future,” says Bob Kocher, a partner at venture capital firm Venrock who previously worked in the Obama administration.

    It is “essentially a very large Republican tax increase,” says Ezekiel Emanuel, the Diane V.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and another former Obama advisor. “It’s quite clear the plan is to put a bigger burden on middle class Americans.”

    Here’s what the Senators propose: right now, health insurance is not taxed as income. This is arguably the original sin of the U.S. healthcare system, which has insulated consumers from health costs and allowed prices to skyrocket. During World War II, wages were frozen but pensions and benefits were exempted; in 1943 the Internal Revenue Service ruled that these benefits weren’t taxable, either.

    Many health economists believe this is a bad thing, because it shields people from paying their own premiums, and Coburn, Burr, and Hatch deserve credit for tackling this head on. But that doesn’t make this any more politically workable – or appealing to those of us who get health insurance through our employers.

    They write:

    Therefore, our proposal caps the tax exclusion for employee’s health coverage at 65 percent of an average plan’s costs. The value of employer-sponsored health insurance would be capped and indexed to grow at an annual rate of CPI +1.

    Taxing 35% of the average plan – and more than that for plans that are above-average, as half are, could amount to a substantial tax. Tying the growth of the tax-exempt portion of the plan to the Consumer Price Index would also limit the cost of plans, pushing cost-saving measures.

    How big a tax might this be for an average American family? Ezekiel has some numbers. The average employer health plan for a family of four costs $16,351, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the employer covers 72% of that, or $11,772. Thirty-five percent of $11,772 is $4,120.35. The employee’s share of the Social Security and Medicare payroll tax is 7.65%, or $315.21. Assuming this family of four is in the 25% marginal income tax bracket, that would add another $1,030.09, for a total tax increase of $1,345.

    Up to 300% of the poverty line, there would be subsidies to help people buy insurance. It’s not immediately clear how these compare to the subsidies offered by Obamacare; they don’t look greater.

    Removing a bunch of corporate taxes so that the middle class can pay more seems like a political non-starter, even given the public backlash against Obamacare. This plan would likely mean that more people would lose insurance, or be forced to go to smaller networks of doctors. Those are the same criticisms levied against the Affordable Care Act.

    Another notable thing about the proposal is how much of the ACA it keeps: it gets rid of state healthcare exchanges, but it keeps the basic structure of trying to keep people in the insurance system (in this case by making pre-existing conditions something that insurers can’t use against you until you fail to sign up for coverage – and then you get slammed) and of paying subsidies to help poor people get insurance. Allowing less comprehensive benefits and allowing insurers to charge five times as much for their sickest and oldest customers as for their youngest and healthiest, compared to three times under Obamacare, could lower the cost of insurance for young people and get more of them in the system.

    “The plan makes specific proposals worthy of serious consideration- although I doubt it receives it at this moment,” says Ronald Williams, the former chairman of Aetna. “Perhaps in the future it could be the foundation of serious conversations which could lead to bipartisan evolution of the current bill.”
    What the plan does emphasize is the degree to which any plan to reform the insurance system can seem like a zero-sum game – the money has to come from somewhere. For insurers involved in the ObamaCare exchanges, like Humana, Molina Healthcare, and Centene, the legislative roller-coaster ride may be far from over.

    Senator Hatch’s office did not return a request for comment.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewh...rtner=yahootix
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    That's rich, Ezekiel Emanuel who is the architect of the healthcare bill which is loaded with taxes that screw over the working man, is now concerned about taxes. LMFAO
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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    Let's see what we can accomplish with common sense measures that don't involve tax increase and subsidies, shall we?

    I don't think a plan that is marginally less shitty is the answer here.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk
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    I don't get it, I really don't!

    Why don't you guys just look to all the European nations and introduce something akin to their / our healthcare system? Yes, it would mean paying more in direct taxation - but you're basically paying that now anyway, with those excessive monthly insurance premiums (which are unaffordable to a great many people).

    The systems being proposed here (and by Obama) are so, unnecessarily complicated, it seems to me - AND they look to be more expensive - and, all the while they're putting money in the pockets of greedy insurance executives! It makes no sense!
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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 04:47 AM
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    That's how we do it in America.

    Overly complicated and unnecessarily overpriced.

    It's the secret to our demise.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    A-haaaaaa...I SEE...
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

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  8. #8
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    That's how we do it in America.

    Overly complicated and unnecessarily overpriced.

    It's the secret to our demise.
    this is just the typical story of special interest groups (in this case insurance companies) hijacking the nation, right?

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dibblekins View Post
    I don't get it, I really don't!

    Why don't you guys just look to all the European nations and introduce something akin to their / our healthcare system? Yes, it would mean paying more in direct taxation - but you're basically paying that now anyway, with those excessive monthly insurance premiums (which are unaffordable to a great many people).

    The systems being proposed here (and by Obama) are so, unnecessarily complicated, it seems to me - AND they look to be more expensive - and, all the while they're putting money in the pockets of greedy insurance executives! It makes no sense!
    Because the best examples we have of partial or complete subsidized medical care through taxation (Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA system) all suck donkey balls. Our government can't even create a damn website with 3 years lead time. The absolulte last thing anyone in this country should desire is more government involvement.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsbll4 View Post
    Because the best examples we have of partial or complete subsidized medical care through taxation (Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA system) all suck donkey balls. Our government can't even create a damn website with 3 years lead time. The absolulte last thing anyone in this country should desire is more government involvement.
    But those aren't the best examples, are they? They're just the best the American Gov't could come up with - which is bizarre, as they could've looked further afield for some pointers!

    (And, btw, the previous system DIDN'T WORK - I know this from my American friends who couldn't afford insurance and are now up sh*t creek. The gov't are going to be involved, no matter what. The reason you have this new shambles of a situation is because it's a half-hearted, chimera of a thing. You can't hope to have something better, if you go at it all half-cocked - and that applies to MANY a situation!).

    Sighhh, it all just seems bonkers to me...
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  11. #11
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dibblekins View Post
    But those aren't the best examples, are they? They're just the best the American Gov't could come up with - which is bizarre, as they could've looked further afield for some pointers!

    (And, btw, the previous system DIDN'T WORK - I know this from my American friends who couldn't afford insurance and are now up sh*t creek. The gov't are going to be involved, no matter what. The reason you have this new shambles of a situation is because it's a half-hearted, chimera of a thing. You can't hope to have something better, if you go at it all half-cocked - and that applies to MANY a situation!).

    Sighhh, it all just seems bonkers to me...
    but it's the american govt who'll be running this one as well. If you had a friend who was an electrician and every time you had him do work on your house it ended in an electrical fire then you'd probably stop thinking that he was capable of doing good work like other electricians you heard of.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by It's Mike View Post
    but it's the american govt who'll be running this one as well. If you had a friend who was an electrician and every time you had him do work on your house it ended in an electrical fire then you'd probably stop thinking that he was capable of doing good work like other electricians you heard of.
    I get that...But, the last system was crap (the privately run one) because it denied so many people healthcare, and the current one is crap because it had no option BUT to be crap.

    Crappity, crappity, crap.

    To continue the metaphor, though. If I had a crappy electrician, as the one you describe, I would either get another electrician, or I would stop asking the first one to complete the job using a plumber's tools. Either way, I would still want my electrical work done - because, presumably, my house really NEEDS it doing..!
    Last edited by dibblekins; 01.29.14 at 07:34 AM.
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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dibblekins View Post
    (And, btw, the previous system DIDN'T WORK - I know this from my American friends who couldn't afford insurance and are now up sh*t creek. The gov't are going to be involved, no matter what. The reason you have this new shambles of a situation is because it's a half-hearted, chimera of a thing. You can't hope to have something better, if you go at it all half-cocked - and that applies to MANY a situation!).

    Sighhh, it all just seems bonkers to me...
    Instead of tackling the problems with the previous system and fixing them, our leaders from the left side of the aisle saw an opportunity to instead force their ideology down our throats. Pretty simple.
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  14. #14
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynboy68 View Post
    Instead of tackling the problems with the previous system and fixing them, our leaders from the left side of the aisle saw an opportunity to instead force their ideology down our throats. Pretty simple.
    I fail to see how else you COULD fix the previous system, other than abolish it and the insurance companies' involvement, and start again...Which was probably the intention, until the plan was foiled, and you ended up with the current shambles!

    (Incidentally, ALL political parties represent ideologies which they try to force down people's throats. It is their raison d'etre, my dear!)
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  15. #15
    Hot For Teacher Kula's Avatar
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    I really don't know why I'm even bothering...buuuuuuut...

    Anyone who thinks insurance companies are making all the $ is insane. Premiums are driven by relaying reduced and negotiated prices with doctors and hospitals. Prices that without insurance would not get negotiated so low. Insurance companies relay those expenses to the insureds. More of a middle man... Doctors / hospitals charge so much because they need 85 gazillion dollars in malpractice insurance and whatnot because our wonderful gov't allows such frivilous (sp?) lawsuits and awards millions if not billions of dollars to someone who signed up for an experimental drug or procedure and had adverse affects. Shocking... I know this is just one example, but making insurance companies out to be the ONLY problem is completly ignorant. Not to mention as of NOW, insurance companies have a cap. MLR is in place and if insurance companies make "too much" money, they have to pay back part of insured's premiums. Sounds pretty cool, huh? What happens to that same insurance company when they don't make any $ and actually lose it in covering their insureds? They sure won't get any extra $$$, but that's ok, right? Government control never fixes anything. At least not THIS government. Will we ever learn?

 

 

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