Health Care Reform – More lunacy brought to you by the Baucus Bill

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics, Government, Health Care | Posted on 14-10-2009

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Yesterday, the Senate finance committee passed the Baucus bill, well wasn’t a bill, but a set of ideas. One only need to look at the new $507 billion in new taxes to see why government should leave the reform to the private sector. This bill will not only drive up demand, thus driving up costs, but it will also drive down supply and stunt job creation. Obviously, if supply is driven down, cost also go up, and without job creation people can’t afford health insurance anyways. Ok, so let’s take a look at these new taxes and see how they will affect the market. Below is a list of new taxes from CNSNews.com.

(CNSNews.com) – The health-care bill that the Senate Finance Committee will vote on today will cost a total of $829 billion over 10 years, with $507 billion of that cost being covered by new federal taxes and fees, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

These new taxes and fees include:

– $201 billion in new taxes on high-premium health care plans.

– $83 billion in new taxes paid by workers who will receive less employer-sponsored coverage or lose that coverage altogether but will be compensated with higher wages or monetary benefits, which are taxable.

– $23 billion in penalty fees paid by employers who do not comply with the federal insurance mandate.

– $4 billion in penalty fees paid by individuals who don’t have health insurance.

– $16 billion in new income and Medicare payroll tax revenue due to changes in Medicare.

– $180 billion in other tax revenues items calculated by the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).

According to the JCT, this $180 billion in new taxes would include: A new tax on prescription drug makers that would account for $22.2 billion over 10 years; a new tax on medical device manufacturers that would bring in $38.6 billion; and a new annual tax on insurance companies would net the government $60.4 billion.

Also, a provision that raises the threshold at which medical expenses become tax deductible, from 7.5 percent of income to 10 percent of income, would reportedly yield the government $15.2 billion in new revenue from sick and disabled Americans with high out-of-pocket medical costs.

via CNSNews.com – Finance Committee Health Bill Includes $507 Billion in New Taxes and Fees.

Now let’s take each one of these taxes and see the law of unintended (let’s hope they are unintended) consequences in action.

The first tax is $201 billion on high-premium health care plans. These are the Cadillac plans that many union guys get. You know, the blue collar guys that supposedly the Democrats love to help. So, one must ask why would you tax these plans and what is the effect of the tax. One only needs to look at the cigarette tax to see the purpose. You tax cigarettes because you want to make it more expensive to smoke and thus drive down the number of people that smoke. Similarly, taxing these high-premium plans will increase the over all cost of them and dissuade companies that offer them from continuing to do so. This is the first example of the socialist principle that if we can’t all have a candy bar, none of us will have one. Because we can’t all have Cadillac health care plans, none of us will. Who does this help? This surely doesn’t help the average Joe. Hmmm, wonder if this applies to Congress’s Cadillac plan?

The second tax listed is $83 billion paid by workers who will receive less coverage from employers or lose coverage, but in turn will get paid more because the employer doesn’t have the insurance cost. Here we go again, with liberals looking out for the common man. The plan drives up the cost of insurance, which is likely to cause many companies, especially small businesses, to drop or reduce the health insurance plans for their employees. “No problem,” says the Baucus bill, “We’ll just tax you the worker.” These taxes are what they believe will be higher wages. The government is showing its hand here. It knows that all costs of an employee lowers the employees wages. Keep this in mind next time the government wants to tax the corporation more. Ok, back to this tax. So, when your employer drops your insurance, the government is betting you get a raise. You better hope they are right, because you’ll be mandated to buy your own insurance or pay a fine.

The third tax is $23 billion in fines paid by employers who don’t comply with the almighty state. OK, so now the government is back to raising the cost of your job to the employer. If you are the employer, is this going to increase your likely hood of hiring or decrease? Also, if you are an employer, you are going to compare the cost of the penalty compared to your current insurance costs. If the penalty is less, you are going to go with the penalty. The difference between fines and insurance costs is insurance costs grow ridiculous amounts every year, and fines will be a fixed cost. From a business planning stand point, that is a plus for going with the fines. So now, not only do you not have health insurance, but money that could be going to paying your more is being sent to the government with no benefit to you.

The fourth tax is $4 billion paid by YOU! That’s right, buy health insurance or pay the government. Isn’t freedom great? So, let’s wrap our heads around where we are right now. If you have awesome health insurance through your employer, the government is going to make it more expensive by taxing it. When you employer drops that, they are going to pay a penalty. Then you  have to hope you get a raise of which you’ll pay taxes on. If you deem you can’t afford to buy health insurance yourself, guess what, you will now pay a fine as well. There sure is a lot of spending going on here, with the end result being you still don’t have health insurance. If you are younger, you may still be better off paying these fines though and holding off on health insurance, because you can just wait till you are sick to buy into health insurance. What the heck, the government is preventing insurance companies from turning down anyone for any reason. Hey, they are just looking out for the common man. Thank your lucky stars!

How many more taxes do we have to go through. I’m starting to throw up a little in my mouth. OK, push through it! The next tax is $16 billion in new Medicare payroll tax due to changes in Medicare. I’ve tried to determine what the hell this means, but have been unable to find exactly what’s proposed here. It sounds like they would raise the payroll tax. If it’s raised on the portion you pay, you just got a tax increase. If it’s raised on the employer’s side, companies just got another reason not to hire or to pay you less.

The last part is a whopping $180 billion in other taxes. So what are these taxes? This is where you get some of the most ridiculous parts of the bill that will do the exact opposite of the the bill claims to do. So, $22.2 billion will be a new tax on drug makers, $38.6 billion on medical device manufactures, and $60.4 billion on insurance companies. So, let me guess, these companies are just going to swallow the crap the government just got shoved in their mouth. This is why politicians should stick to speeches and leave the market to the private sector. Companies don’t pay costs. Consumers pay costs. All of these taxes, drive up the cost of drugs, medical devices, and insurance. This is completely contradictory to what politicians say their goal is. Then again, maybe we just have their goals wrong. I’m guessing they know this, and in a few years they’ll come back and say, “See, the free market isn’t working. We now have to step in and take more control to bring these costs down.” If these taxes can’t be passed on to the consumer by some other legislation, the companies will not be able to meet their profit goals. If they cannot reach their profit goals, they will not make the products. Without the product, supply diminishes even more and drives up costs. So, you either have costs driven up by government induced cost burdens on the medical companies or you have costs driven up by a shrinkage in supply. Pick your poison!

The last one is just perfect. The government loves us so much that they want to make it more expensive if you have very high medical bills. If you have very high medical bills, chances are you are disabled or have a child that has a disability. Don’t worry the government is so compassionate, that is going to make you spend 10% of your income instead of 7.5% before you can get a tax deduction on it. Aww, they are so caring.

Hopefully, if you made it through this blog without vomiting, you see the that government is not trying to help people. They are setting up taxes and other penalties so later all the government zombies come back begging the government for more help. Of course, the government will gladly help out again until they get a nationalized health care system.

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Comments (1)

you nailed it… Democrats and Obama realize they can’t achieve a nationalized heathcare system in 1 shot. They saw that over the August recess that people were absolutely freaking out over a gov’t takeover.

However, if they break up that big change into a bunch of little changes, people won’t freak out as much.

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