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Feb 16

If It Ain’t Broke, Fix It and Create Obamacare

If It Ain't Broke, Fix It!

This is exactly what our government is doing with healthcare via Obamacare. Instead of some and changes and reforms, they are destroying the world's best health care system that will in the end cost far more, provide significantly inferior care, that is, if will even be able to obtain it, and have limited choices.

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Feb 8

Candidate Barack Obama Opposed the Individual Mandate for Health Insurance

Like John Kerry, who famously flip-flopped on his support of the Iraq war, Barack Obama was against the individual mandate for health insurance before he was for it. In this brief video clip from his appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show during the 2008 Democratic primary, then candidate Obama is clear in his opposition to forcing people to buy health insurance. He lamely uses the analogy that "forcing everyone to buy health insurance won't solve the problem of (31 million) uninsured Americans any more than forcing everyone to buy a house will solve homelessness".

Lucky for him there weren't any serious journalists around to call him on his inane analogy. Then again, they never called him out on any of his myriad and outrageous flubs including the “57” states one – his referring to “57” states comprising the United States.

At a time when America and the world need a strong leader, we are stuck with an insincere, arrogant, contemptuous, inept and feckless President who does not know himself where he stands on the important issues of the day unless they are in the socialist manifesto.

One thing that you can count on with him is not counting on the veracity of his words, statements and promises.

Obama to DeGeneres on Why He Opposed Individual Mandate: Forcing Uninsured to Buy Insurance Is Like Forcing Homeless to Buy Homes

Eric Scheiner  February 01, 2011

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden react to cheers as they arrive in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 23, 2010, for the signing ceremony for the health care bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - Long before his administration went into federal court to fight 27 states that are now challenging the constitutionality of the federal government forcing people to buy health insurance, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama told Ellen DeGeneres that—unlike his opponent Hillary Clinton—he opposed forcing the uninsured to buy health insurance, saying that it would be like forcing the homeless to buy homes.

“Both of us want to provide health care to all Americans. There’s a slight difference, and her plan is a good one. But, she mandates that everybody buy health care. She’d have the government force every individual to buy insurance and I don’t have such a mandate because I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want health insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it,” Obama said in a Feb. 28, 2008 appearance on Ellen DeGeneres' television show. “So, I focus more on lowering costs. This is a modest difference. But, it’s one that she’s tried to elevate, arguing that because I don’t force people to buy health care that I’m not insuring everybody. Well, if things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t."

In a ruling issued yesterday holding that the insurance mandate in Obamacare is unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson pointed to a similar statement that Obama had made in a Feb. 4, 2008 interview with CNN. “Indeed,” wrote Vinson, “I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that ‘if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.’”

Judge Vinson was the second federal judge to rule that the federal government does not have the constitutional power to force individuals to buy health insurance. Last month, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson also ruled that the mandate was unconstitutional. Vinson was ruling in a suit brought against the federal government by Florida and 25 other states. Hudson was ruling in a suit brought against the federal government by the state of Virginia.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/federal-judge-cites-quotes-president-rul

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Jan 21

Massachusetts Healthcare Model, A Microcosm of Obamacare, Is An Exorbitant and Abject Failure

The Massachusetts health care model, which was touted by politicians and other “experts” to be the panacea for health care coverage, costs and care, has been an abysmal and exorbitantly costly failure. Used and cited ad nauseum as a paradigm for health care reform by Obama and Congressional Democrats, it is now placing that state in significant financial straits. Costs are skyrocketing, the number of Medicaid patients has expanded by 25% since 2006 and insurance premiums have risen significantly.

The glowing promises and predictions by the state’s politicians about their health care overhaul plan have been proven to be wild fantasies. Opponents of this government fiasco knew these would be the consequences and the program was doomed to fail long before it was implemented.

So as expected even with this knowledge, in the infinite wisdom of government, Obama and many Congressional Democrats continue to staunchly support and defend their massively larger bankrupting fiasco in the making – Obamacare.

Has Massachusetts Experience Put ObamaCare On A Path To Repeal?
Sally C. Pipes 1/12/2011

The new GOP majority plans to introduce a bill to repeal ObamaCare soon. What the Republicans are trying to prevent is what is already happening in Massachusetts, where a similar health care bill was enacted in April 2006. It is already imploding.

Unless ObamaCare is repealed, we're on a path to Massachusetts' future.

Eager politicians from former Gov. Mitt Romney to current Gov. Deval Patrick marketed Massachusetts' health care plan, like Obama's, with a series of distortions:
• The uninsured — especially young invincibles — were costing hospitals money that could be redirected to insurance premiums.
• They promised government efficiency.
• They focused on the assertion that primary care would replace emergency room use.
• They claimed both in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., that we could build all this government health care bureaucracy and hand out these new benefits without new taxes while actually reducing long-term costs.

"Every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance, and the cost of health care will be reduced," then-Republican Gov. Romney wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2006. "And we need no new taxes, no employer mandate and no government takeover to make this happen."

Proponents of the Massachusetts plan now pretend that it never sought cost control. "The goal of the law was covering people," says MIT economist and Massachusetts plan architect Jonathan Gruber, who also consulted on ObamaCare.

"It couldn't have gone better," he told the Washington Post. And the Post's lead health-reform cheerleader, Ezra Klein, wrote, as if it's fact, that the Massachusetts law "was not designed to control costs."

The only measure by which Massachusetts can be judged a success is the number of people enrolled in Medicaid and other government-subsidized insurance plans. Of the 410,000 newly insured in Massachusetts, three in four are either paying nothing or very little for their insurance. They've also been successful in continuing to pull down massive subsidies from Washington to support the overhaul.

Spending has exploded. Medicaid, a problem in every state, is destroying Massachusetts. The health overhaul was really Medicaid expansion, and with the rolls up nearly 25% since 2006, Massachusetts is struggling to pay the bills.

The other promises turned out to be bogus as well. Despite the near-universal insurance, the state still spends $414 million on uncompensated care, an expense that Romney and his architects promised would disappear. Emergency-room use has not dropped as predicted. From 2006 to 2008, emergency room use under Mass Care increased by 9%. And private employer insurance costs, far from dropping, have continued to increase.

A 2010 study published in the Forum for Health Economics & Policy found that health insurance premiums in Massachusetts, prior to its overhaul, increased at a rate 3.7% slower than the national average. Post-overhaul, they are increasing 5.8% faster.

The individual mandate, as onerous as it is, is set at a level to encourage gaming the system. A family with an income of $55,000 in 2014 will face the choice of paying $4,428 a year for health insurance or a $550 fine. Given that insurance will be available on demand, it's rational to pay the fine until a serious illness strikes.

Indeed, there is no strong demand for insurance among the uninsured. The individual market has existed for years and is lightly subscribed. The new high-risk pools created by ObamaCare are very undersubscribed. Bureaucrats projected that 375,000 would sign up by now. The actual number is 8,000.

The lie that Massachusetts never promised to control costs is amplified by the belief that Obama's plan would do so. Other than price controls, commissions recommending best practices and a stealth HMO program for Medicare renamed Accountable Care Organizations, there's little to control costs in the near term.

This brings us back to the Bay State, where politicians, bureaucrats and health policy sages have embarked on what they bill as phase two of the health care overhaul. Now that nearly everyone is insured, the effort is to replace the decentralized reimbursement system with a global budget.

In other words, give hospitals and doctors a pool of money and tell them to make do. Change the incentive from providing the best possible care to the best care the bureaucrats can possibly afford.

"Clearly we are going to have less resources," Gary Gottlieb, CEO of Partners Health Care in Massachusetts, recently told a medical conference. "The most extraordinary ICU and the most extraordinary technology, without necessarily the evidence that it extends life ... is not going to be accessible to us."

A government-run HMO. Welcome to your future.

• Pipes is president, CEO and Taube fellow in health care studies at the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book is "The Truth About

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/559597/201101121838/Has-Massachusetts-Experience-Put-ObamaCare-On-A-Path-To-Repeal-.aspx

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Jan 15

A Comprehensive List of Tax Hikes in Obamacare

The group Americans for Tax Reform compiled a list of the two dozen new taxes and tax increases that were imposed to obtain further funding for Obamacare. This amounts to the largest tax increase in our country’s history, an outrageous statistic that gets lost in the general discussion and opposition to the government’s destruction of the best healthcare system in the world.

We need to continue writing our Representatives, expressing our strong and resolute opposition to Obamacare and the need to have it fully repealed.

Read: Comprehensive List of Tax Hikes in Obamacare

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Nov 30

Obama and the Wikileaks: Incompetent, Dismissive and Advancing His Agenda

The dismissive attitude with which the Obama Administration has “handled” the Wikileaks has been nothing short of stupefying. They had the best legal and technological resources available to them that might have prevented further embarrassing, damaging and top secret leaks after the initial releases back in July yet apparently did little.

The consequences of their inaction and insouciance are incalculably catastrophic and far-reaching and will have lasting effects and influences on both our allies and enemies. This newest set of leaks has been called the 9/11 of diplomacy and foreign policy.

Myriad questions need to be asked and answered on both sides of this equation including how one 22 year old Private was able to obtain access to all this information including some that were labeled top secret ones.

Is Obama so incompetent that he didn’t have the common sense or intelligence to aggressively pursue an expeditious solution?

Or is this part of his strategy to countenance the destruction of this country in every way possible and this was a perfect strategy? The ideological statements which he has made in this past support the validity of this.

Was he just too bored, detached or distracted to give this disaster its due attention?

We suspect all of these figured into the equation.

Which leads to our now almost daily call to have Obama removed from office ASAP!

There is another immensely important issue obliquely related to this saga of the inability of the government to protect and defend its deepest diplomatic and foreign policy secrets. This involves Obamacare and the mandated government’s handling of our medical records and information.

Virtually more important than anything else relating to government controlled healthcare is the protection of the confidentially of our health information. We knew before the wikileaks that maintaining our medical privacy would be next to impossible particularly given that potentially 100,000 individuals might be able to access our records due to the bureaucratic arrangement.

Well, now make that absolutely impossible!

We cannot trust the government with our medical information. Period!

The magnitude of the risk of the inadvertent release and posting, theft and even blackmail of our health care records is incomprehensibly higher compared to the stolen “top secret” government files.

This should be the number one “deal breaker” that vaporizes Obamacare.

Serious Questions about the Obama Administration's Incompetence in the Wikileaks Fiasco
Sarah Palin  November 29, 2010

We all applaud the successful thwarting of the Christmas-Tree Bomber and hope our government continues to do all it can to keep us safe. However, the latest round of publications of leaked classified U.S. documents through the shady organization called Wikileaks raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of this whole fiasco.

First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop Wikileaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months? Assange is not a “journalist,” any more than the “editor” of al Qaeda’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a “journalist.” He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?

What if any diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on NATO, EU, and other allies to disrupt Wikileaks’ technical infrastructure? Did we use all the cyber tools at our disposal to permanently dismantle Wikileaks? Were individuals working for Wikileaks on these document leaks investigated? Shouldn’t they at least have had their financial assets frozen just as we do to individuals who provide material support for terrorist organizations?

Most importantly, serious questions must also be asked of the U.S. intelligence system. How was it possible that a 22-year-old Private First Class could get unrestricted access to so much highly sensitive information? And how was it possible that he could copy and distribute these files without anyone noticing that security was compromised?

The White House has now issued orders to federal departments and agencies asking them to take immediate steps to ensure that no more leaks like this happen again. It’s of course important that we do all we can to prevent similar massive document leaks in the future. But why did the White House not publish these orders after the first leak back in July? What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part?

We are at war. American soldiers are in Afghanistan fighting to protect our freedoms. They are serious about keeping America safe. It would be great if they could count on their government being equally serious about that vital task.

http://www.facebook.com/notes/sarah-palin/serious-questions-about-the-obama-administrations-incompetence-in-the-wikileaks-/465212788434

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Oct 31

The Beginning of the Repeal of Obamacare Can Start With Election Day Votes: Against Democrats

Obamacare was rammed through Congress by the Democrats and signed by “president” Obama against the vociferous opposition of the majority of Americans. They knew what its passage and implementation meant such as extremely high costs, oppressive increases in fees and taxes, rationing, loss of decision making in their own care and even withholding of care and options. In fact, we are already experiencing this even as Obamacare is just beginning.

We must remember this when voting on Tuesday November 2nd. Throw all the Democrats out of office. Then, the country can move on. As for Obamacare, it MUST be repealed in its entirety. Anything less than that is a failure.

We can then examine other options for further improvements of our present healthcare system.

A government takeover is not one of them.

50 Laboratories For Health Reform
Investor’s Business Daily     10/27/2010

Mandates: The constant complaint is that health care costs too much. But a federal takeover of the system wasn't needed to trim expenses. Reasonable policy changes at the state level would cut costs significantly.

Americans will spend $2.65 trillion on health care this year, or about 17% of the entire economy and roughly $8,000 per person. Health care is also growing as a share of GDP, crowding out other sectors of the economy in a trend that many would say isn't, well, healthy.

The reasons for this are varied. Government has established and nurtured a system in which most patients are distantly connected to payment for services. This encourages them to spend without regard to expense. A lack of self-rationing increases demand, which drives up costs.

Changes in this arrangement would help cut costs, but Americans tend to like this setup, so don't expect lawmakers to do much here.

The aging of our population is another factor, as is chronic illness in a country where life spans are lengthening. Costs are also pushed up by advanced treatments, the best doctors in the world and innovative diagnostic equipment.

Few would suggest cutting expenses by pulling back in these areas. Real progress, however, can be made in states where lawmakers have heaped costly mandates on health insurance policies.

In three states, mandates require such policies to include benefits for Oriental medicine. Another 10 require plans to cover hair prostheses. All but four mandate that insurance cover alcoholism treatment while 34 require the same for drug abuse. A benefit for smoking cessation is mandated in six states while port-wine stain elimination is required in two.

In 12 states, insurance policies must include access to acupuncturists. Three states say plans must provide for athletic trainers, and dozens make insurance pay for a variety of marriage, occupational and massage therapists, pastoral counselors and social workers. Four states even require that insurers provide for naturopaths.

In all, there are 2,156 mandates at the state level, according to the Council for Affordable Health Insurance (CAHI), 23 more than last year. Most of the mandates cover common benefits or providers, but as the foregoing list shows, some are highly suspect.

Few of these are costly by themselves; most increase the price of premiums by less than 1%. But when added together in a plan, insurance coverage becomes considerably higher. CAHI believes the mandates increase the cost of basic health coverage nearly 20%.

That's actually a starting point. CAHI says it could "be much higher, depending on the number of mandates, the benefit design and the cost of the initial premium." In some states, mandates increase the cost of health care plans by more than 50%.

With the average premium for a family insurance policy purchased through an employer costing about $13,000 a year — which is much higher than the $8,000-per-person cost of health care — a cut of 20% or more would not be trivial.

It's obviously a better way to hold down costs than ObamaCare, which we learn at every turn is going to cost far more than its backers projected and has its own expensive mandate requiring coverage for every American.

The mandates are an insult to common sense. A single man does not need an insurance package that covers in vitro fertilization, maternity leave, a midwife, breast reduction or mammograms. Neither is it necessary for a childless, unmarried woman to have a plan that includes care for a newborn and screening for prostate cancer.

And a teetotaler should have the option of choosing a plan that doesn't have benefits for alcohol and substance abuse.

In many cases, however, they have to pay for such coverage, either through individual policies or employer-provided plans. State legislators could restore good sense to the law and provide a genuine measure of reform by backing off the mandates and letting people buy from an a la carte menu of benefits and providers.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/551888/201010271922/50-Laboratories-For-Health-Reform.htm

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Jul 5

Massachusetts Failed Healthcare Reform Plan Is A Microcosm of What to Expect With Obamacare

For those who continue to support Obamacare and believe the fallacious claims regarding its benefits including substantial cost saving, maintenance of quality, easy availability of care with no rationing, we have a reality check for you: examine the Massachusetts “experiment” in healthcare. It is an unmitigated failure on the premier and expected fronts – cost, quality and availability.

The Massachusetts healthcare system should portend what America can expect when such a plan is implemented nationally. Well, actually worse as it would be run by the Federal Government.

Costs Soaring After Bay State Health Change
Sally C. Pipes  06/30/2010

Anyone wanting a preview of Obama-Care need just focus on Massachusetts, the state that provided the blueprint for Obama's plan. It makes a great case for making haste in repealing ObamaCare.

In Massachusetts, health care prices are out of control, emergency rooms are overcrowded, the government is at war with itself and private insurers are running in the red, refusing to enter critical markets on the government's unrealistic terms.

The party line now is that the Bay State's reform was not about cost control but rather expanding access to care. The program's backers claim that the price spiral they find themselves in was expected, anticipated, even if they didn't actually have a plan for it.

That's a revisionist's tale. In early 2006, the plan's backers — led by then Republican Gov. Mitt Romney — adamantly asserted that his plan would in fact control costs, provide universal coverage and improve the quality of care. (If this sounds familiar, it's because Obama's team borrowed the marketing scripts.)

Disinterested outsiders predicted that both prices and total costs would most likely increase under the government-dominated system, since massive new demand, reimbursed at the lowest prices, would be forced on a fixed supply. They were shouted down by insiders vested in getting the reform passed.

Guess who was right?

Two data points are harbingers of collapse. First, an academic study "The Effect of Massachusetts' Health Reform on Employer-Sponsored Insurance Premiums" by professors John F. Cogan, R. Glenn Hubbard and Daniel Kessler, confirmed the prediction.

Massachusetts' reform not only did not decrease prices and spending, as promised, but prices are increasing at rates greater than national trend lines and greater than rates in the Bay State prior to reform.

Three years prior to reform, insurance premiums for employers were increasing 3.7% more slowly in Massachusetts than in the rest of the country.  Today, the opposite is true.  Prices in Massachusetts are increasing 5.7% more than in other states. In Boston, prices for employer-provided family plans are increasing 8.2% faster than in other large metropolitan areas.

"Because the plan's main components are the same as those of the new health reform law," the study's authors note, "the effects of the plan provide a window onto the country's future."

Post-reform, prices are up, more people have insurance, and more people are headed to the emergency room.  If this sounds odd, it should. Among former Gov. Romney's favorite arguments for reform was that it would shift dollars from inefficient emergency room care to the more efficient venue of the primary care doctor.

The Obama administration passed its reform on the backs of health insurers — couching the reform as health insurance reform rather than the actual remaking of health care delivery.

In this election year, Gov. Deval Patrick's administration has torn this page from Obama's playbook. He demanded the right to approve insurance prices in February and then had his bureaucrats deny necessary increases in April. Prior to reform, rates had to be actuarially sound. Post-reform, it's more important that they be politically sound.

Those in his own bureaucracy charged with making sure that insurers can pay their bills called this a "train wreck" and put three insurers under solvency watch. The Patrick administration stood resolute in its election-year pandering. "It's unacceptable for consumers to be treated this way and it will not be tolerated," thundered Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Patrick Murphy, in April.

Last week, the administration's own hearing officers sided with the first insurance company whose case made it through the process. The increased rates, it determined, were fair and necessary.

The Patrick administration's political folks, like Romney's before, will not be swayed by inconvenient facts. Insurance commissioner Murphy "strongly disagrees" with his own hearing officers' ruling.

Is it any wonder then that the state's bureaucracy responsible for managing its health care cannot entice any of the state's major insurance carriers to offer plans to small businesses?  Carriers representing 90% of the state's insurance market share are refusing to offer plans to small business through the state's Connector.

"Given the rate cap that the administration has imposed on the health plans, none of them is in a position to enter into any new endeavors with the state at this time," explains Eric Linzer, a spokesperson for the industry association.  State officials have responded by sending letters to insurance carriers threatening legal action.

Get ready to wait, America — unless ObamaCare is repealed and reversed.

• Pipes is president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute. Her next book, "The Truth About ObamaCare" (Regnery Publishing), will be released in August.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/539035/201006301859/Costs-Soaring-After-Bay-State-Health-Change.aspx

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Jun 13

Obamacare May Cause 1.1 Million People to Lose Their Insurance Later This Year

Here we have Exhibit #25899907564A which once again reaffirms the maxim that government intervention creates unintended consequences. In this situation described below, it is the exact opposite of what the purported intentions of Obamacare were. That is, to “provide” health insurance coverage for more people.

According to the report, over 1 million people may lose coverage later this year due to the inherent rules of the Obamacare legislation.

And the lies and deceptions continue to be exposed…

Health law could ban low-cost plans
Jennifer Haberkorn   June 8, 2010

Part of the health care overhaul due to kick in this September could strip more than 1 million people of their insurance coverage, violating a key goal of President Barack Obama’s reforms.

Under the provision, insurance companies will no longer be able to apply broad annual caps on the amount of money they pay out on health policies. Employer groups say the ban could essentially wipe out a niche insurance market that many part-time workers and retail and restaurant employees have come to rely on.

This market’s limited-benefit plans, also called mini-med plans, are priced low because they can, among other things, restrict the number of covered doctor visits or impose a maximum on insurance payouts in a year. The plans are commonly offered by retail or restaurant companies to low-wage workers who cannot afford more expensive, comprehensive coverage.

Depending on how strictly the administration implements the provision, the ban could in effect outlaw the plans or make them so restrictive that insurance companies would raise rates to the point they become unaffordable.

A cadre of employers and trade associations, including 7-Eleven, Lowe’s, the National Restaurant Association, the National Retail Federation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have asked the administration to allow the plans — at least through 2014, when the insurance exchanges are set up and tax credits become available for low-wage workers.

The struggle over the provision highlights the importance of the new law’s implementation timetable and the way its parts interlock with one another. The legislation was front-loaded with consumer-friendly reforms, such as the ban on most annual limits, in hopes the law would become more popular. Polls show the legislation is supported by about half the public.

But many of the more comprehensive features of the overhaul, such as the insurance exchanges and tax credits that would help cover those who use limited-benefit plans, don’t come into play until 2014.

That means, for nearly three years, the effect of the ban on annual limits could be costly for the low-wage, seasonal or temporary workers who most often use limited-benefit plans. The full effect won’t be known until the administration releases regulations that detail how the provision will be implemented.

The ban on annual caps is designed to improve the quality of all health coverage. It will prevent patients from “maxing out” of their health coverage if they are diagnosed with catastrophic illnesses or sustain costly injuries.

If the ban is strictly implemented, “this population would likely be left with no coverage until 2014,” employer groups wrote last week in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
“While it surely was not the intent of Congress or the administration to increase the number of uninsured, this provision will likely produce exactly this result for some of the most vulnerable of our population, e.g., lower-wage, part-time, seasonal and temporary workers who can only obtain and afford limited-benefit medical insurance coverage.”

The letter was signed by nearly three dozen organizations, including many trade groups that did not support the Democrats’ legislation. Industry groups estimate that about 1.4 million people use these plans.

HHS spokeswoman Jessica Santillo said that the department was considering input from “all stakeholders” as it develops the rules surrounding the ban on annual caps and that everyone will see improvements in quality from provisions of the overhaul implemented this year.

“Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of small businesses and their employees will see a significant decrease in the cost of health insurance and will have access to higher-quality-coverage options. In the short term, employers will benefit from administrative simplification and greater insurer accountability on their overhead and rate increases,” Santillo said. “And starting this year, an estimated 4 million small businesses who offer health coverage for employees will see immediate relief through a small-business tax credit.”

Once the exchanges open and the tax credits become available in 2014, many of the low- and middle-income people who use limited-benefit plans are likely to qualify for the credits. But that’s after three years of limbo.

Employers admit the plans aren’t comprehensive but say they offer them because their employees can afford them.

“It’s not top-notch coverage by any stretch, but it is better than no coverage,” said Neil Trautwein, a health care lobbyist at the National Retail Federation. “There’s slight irony, given the president’s repeated assertion that if you enjoy your coverage you can keep it, that this would take the coverage away from part-time employees until 2014.”

Rules to implement the provision could be written to allow the limited-benefit plans until just 2014 or, with some flexibility, longer.

“If the limits are too restrictive, these products are not going to be able to be in the marketplace because that’s what makes them affordable,” said Jessica Waltman, senior vice president of government affairs at the National Association of Health Underwriters, which represents insurance agents and brokers.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38219.html

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May 5

Obamacare Legislation Mandates 1099′s For Every And All Business Transactions In Excess of $600!!

We have relentlessly been stating that Obamacare was not truly about improving the quality, cost or availability of health care but instead about government control and power. The following discovery exposes yet another example of this and adds to the litany of egregious mandates contained within this corrupt, dishonest, destructive and freedom and rights abrogating legislation.

A New ObamaCare Horror Story
Rick Manning 4/29/2010

America is discovering in horror just what Nancy Pelosi meant when she famously stated during the health care debate that, “we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.”

The past couple of days the news has been filled by reports that the Obama Administration’s own actuary for the Center for Medicare Services estimates that costs of the law are anything but revenue neutral and that they far exceed the ‘estimate’ provided to the public by the Administration. While many are chasing the question of if Obama knew about the higher estimates, when he knew, and if he suppressed them until the vote occurred, there is another massive problem discovered within the law.

Businesses will have to file 1099 forms with both the IRS and send them to the company that provided the services or sold the product for every expenditure that exceeds $600. If you react to this sentence the way my wife, who has run a small business did, you are saying, “that can’t be right, 1099s are only for contract employees.”

Well forget everything you thought you knew about 1099 forms, because Obama’s health care law has changed it.

In practical terms, here is what the new law means. Joe’s Plumbing prints up 100 color presentations at FedEx Kinko’s for a trade show in New Orleans, where they are staying at a Holiday Inn for six days.

At a minimum, Joe’s Plumbing will have to contact FedEx Kinko’s, the airline, Holiday Inn, the rental car company, and the organization sponsoring the trade show and get taxpayer identification numbers from them so they can comply with this tax law. The company will then have to send out 1099 forms to each of these vendors and dozens, hundreds or thousands more vendors, depending upon the size of the company, thus adding significant compliance costs to every business in America. Everyone from a company’s accountant, to building supplier, to carpet cleaner to janitorial service will be trading 1099 forms.

Yes, that’s right, trading 1099 forms, because at the same time, Joe’s Plumbing will also be receiving 1099 forms from every one of their business customers who spent more than $600 with them over the course of the year, which they will be required to keep and reconcile against their books.

Do you have any wonder why Joe’s Plumbing might be more than a tad bit irritated? The new Obama health care takeover just took a guy with a pipe wrench, pvc pipe and a plunger and forced him into Dante’s eighth circle of hell – tracking and filing IRS paperwork.

So, what kind of IRS rules will be put into place to set the framework for how all these tax forms must be filed and stored?

Actually, bombshell number two is that the IRS will not be setting these rules. Instead, those noted tax experts at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be writing and overseeing these tax regulations. Why? Who knows? It is the Alice in Wonderland world of the Obama health care bill.

U.S. Representative Dan Lungren (R-CA) has taken the first steps in alleviating this paperwork chokehold on America’s small business by introducing legislation to repeal this new burden.

Let’s hope that America’s businesses tell their Members of Congress to repeal what Lungren calls the “rat” tax, but what many observers believe should rightfully be called the preparation for the liberal Shangri-la of the VAT tax.

After all, once businesses are tracking every transaction over $600 and filing IRS paperwork on it, how much harder will it be for Congress to just say, add 10% to each bill and send it our way, extending taxation to every level of business unseen to unwary consumers who suddenly just see retail prices rise without knowing the increase is a new, hidden tax.

The requirement goes into effect January 2012. Better get a CPA on retainer. And stock up on toner and paper.

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government, and the former Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor.

http://www.netrightnation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1252650:a-new-obamacare-horror-story-&catid=1:nrn-blog&Itemid=7

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May 1

Some Important Conclusions Reported By The Medicare Chief Actuary On The Expected Effects Of Obamacare

With every week that passes, we learn more about ObamaCare and it just gets worse.  The recent report on the practical effects of ObamaCare from the Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is devastating.

Here are the salient findings of this report:

•  Health care costs will go up, not down. National health expenditures will increase from 17 percent of GDP now to 21 percent under the new law and will be higher than without the legislation. Net federal spending on health care will also increase.

•  Health care shortages are "plausible and even probable." Because of the increased demand for health care, "supply constraints might initially interfere with providing the services desired by the additional 34 million insured persons."

•  14 million employees will lose their employer coverage. Employees of small firms are especially at risk (despite small employer tax credit subsidies).

•  2 million employees who lose coverage will have to enroll in Medicaid.

•  A Medicaid insurance card is not a guarantee of care. An estimated 18 million people will be added to Medicaid. However, because there is no corresponding increase in the supply of caregivers, "it is reasonable to expect that a significant portion of the increased demand for Medicaid would be difficult to meet, particularly over the first few years."

•  One in ten insured workers will see their health benefits taxed. By 2019, more than 10% of insured workers will "be in employer plans with benefit values in excess of the thresholds (before changes to reduce benefits) and this percentage would increase rapidly thereafter."

•  Higher taxes will lead to higher premiums. The new taxes on medical devices, prescription drugs, and insurance plans "would generally be passed on through to health consumers in the form of higher drug and device prices and higher insurance premiums."

•  There are more than one-half trillion in Medicare cuts. The new health law cuts "$575 billion" from Medicare.

•  Medicare cuts would threaten almost one in every seven hospitals. About "15 percent of Part A providers would become unprofitable within the 10-year projection period."

•  Overall access to care for seniors would go down. Because of the law's payment reductions, "providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable and, absent legislative intervention, might end their participation in the program.

•  7.4 million people will lose access to Medicare Advantage plans. Enrollment in MA plans will be cut in half (from its projected level of 14.8 million under the current law to 7.4 million under the new law).

•  False advertising: The new "Medicare Tax" doesn't go to Medicare. "Despite the title of this tax, this provision is unrelated to Medicare; in particular, the revenues generated by the tax on unearned income are not allocated to the Medicare trust funds."

•  False advertising: Budgetary double-counting does not improve Medicare's solvency. Medicare cuts "cannot be simultaneously used to finance other federal outlays (such as the coverage expansions) and to extend the [life of the Medicare] trust fund, despite the appearance of this result from the respective accounting conventions."

•  The new long-term care insurance plan (CLASS Act) is unsound. The program faces "a significant risk of failure" because the high costs will attract sicker people and lead to low participation.

•  The promise to those with pre-existing conditions is unfunded. "By 2011 and 2012 the initial $5 billion in Federal funding for [high risk pools] would be exhausted, resulting in substantial premium increases to sustain the program."

•  The law does almost nothing to limit actual fraud and abuse. The fraud provisions in the law will save only about two percent of $47 billion in suspect claims.

http://stickerpatch.blogspot.com/

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