Category Archives: Health Law

Obamacare rules tax investment and capital far more than Clinton era levels

So the only way to get a break, is to get favors legislated for you into the tax code. Or have the means to use lawyers and tax accountants to game the system as most possible, which isn’t an option for smaller players. Once again Democrats rig the game to favor the super rich and mega-corps but harm domestic small and medium sized investors, retirement funds and businesses.

Democrats say this is about deficit reduction, but these kinds of taxes harm long term economic growth by making disincentives to invest and risk. Democrats also wish to add in new spending far more than anything they could bring in with new taxes.

Reuters:

The Internal Revenue Service has released new rules for investment income taxes on capital gains and dividends earned by high-income individuals that passed Congress as part of the 2010 healthcare reform law.

The 3.8 percent surtax on investment income, meant to help pay for healthcare, goes into effect in 2013. It is the first surtax to be applied to capital gains and dividend income.

The tax affects only individuals with more than $200,000 in modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), and married couples filing jointly with more than $250,000 of MAGI.

The tax applies to a broad range of investment securities ranging from stocks and bonds to commodity securities and specialized derivatives.

The 159 pages of rules spell out when the tax applies to trusts and annuities, as well as to individual securities traders.

Released late on Friday, the new regulations include a 0.9 percent healthcare tax on wages for high-income individuals.

Both sets of rules will be published on Wednesday in the Federal Register.

The proposed rules are effective starting January 1. Before making the rules final, the IRS will take public comments and hold hearings in April.

Together, the two taxes are estimated to raise $317.7 billion over 10 years, according to a Joint Committee on Taxation analysis released in June.

To illustrate when the tax applies, the IRS offered an example of a taxpayer filing as a single individual who makes $180,000 in wage income plus $90,000 from investment income. The individual’s modified adjusted gross income is $270,000.

The 3.8 percent tax applies to the $70,000, and the individual would pay $2,660 in surtaxes, the IRS said.

The IRS plans to release a new form for taxpayers to fill out for this tax when filing 2013 returns.

The new rules leave some questions unanswered, tax experts said. It was unclear how rental income will be treated under the new rules, said Michael Grace, managing director at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP law firm in Washington.

“The proposed regulations surely will increase tax compliance burdens for individuals,” said Grace, a former IRS official. “There’s clearly some drafting left to be done.”

Dr. Marcy Zwelling: Obamacare dismantles the very foundation of healthcare (video)

In the video you will see Democrats complaining that the Republican Party hasn’t offered a health care alternative bill, they are lying. Republicans in the House have offered and passed several bills but Democrats in the Senate refused to even debate them.

Government spends $100,000 to teach young girls “condom negotiation”

We are printing up money and borrowing it from China for this? Can anyone say that Obama and the Democrat leadership is at all serious about getting the spending under control? There is no attempt at fiscal discipline. They literally say one thing and do another.

All of the talk about deficit control is just that, the tax they want to raise targets small domestic businesses to make it hard to compete against the mega-corps that fund the Democratic Party and assuming such a tax increase passes it will only raise enough money to run the government for a few days. Yet Democrats have the audacity to call their tax hike proposals “Deficit Reduction”.

The Democrat Leadership knows the spending and printing and borrowing will blow up the currency and make it collapse, and yet they are doing everything that can to bring it about.  The only question left to ask is why.

Washington Examiner:

The [Obama] administration is funding a $100,000 study of pregnant and “at-risk” 14-17-year-old girls on probation in Houston, Texas, to determine ways to help them choose safer lifestyles and avoid pregnancy, including better “condom negotiation” tactics.

The National Institutes of Health, part of the Health and Human Services Department, is providing a University of Houston researcher the money because of the lack of study of female teen juveniles in trouble with the law.

The school said the study, “Choices – Teen: A Bundled Risk Reduction Intervention for Juvenile Justice Females,” will include 30 at-risk girls, ages 14-17, on intensive probation with the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department.

The goal, said the school, is to determine if intervention programs will help the kids make better life decisions.

According to Danielle Parish, the assistant professor at the school’s Graduate College of Social Work who is conducting the NIH-funded effort, one of the big problems young girls need to learn is how to talk their boyfriends into using condoms.

According to the school’s release, “Parrish notes one of the big issues for this population of adolescent girls is condom negotiation. They may have a boyfriend who says it isn’t ‘cool’ to use a condom. To prepare the girls for these types of situations, the counselors and pediatricians will teach them how to negotiate condom use with their partner. The intervention also helps empower and motivate girls to make healthier choices regarding their alcohol use, smoking and prevention of unplanned pregnancy.”

Majority Polled Now Against Gov’t Healthcare Guarantee

With Canada, Sweden and other countries making steady progress moving away from Government run health care it seems that at least some people are starting to get the fact that e do not want the same people who run the BMV, Embassy Security, the Post Office, and DC Metro Escalators running our health care.

The rationing is already begun and the Obama administration is targeting women’s cancer health screenings as the first target, but unless Republicans move to keep educating people, Obama, his corporate backers, and his allies in the media will launch a propaganda campaign to swing the opinion back the other way. Obama has no mandate for more government control of healthcare.

Rasmussen Reports:

Views of healthcare system overall more positive in some respects

by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ — For the first time in Gallup trends since 2000, a majority of Americans say it is not the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage. Prior to 2009, a majority always felt the government should ensure healthcare coverage for all, though Americans’ views have become more divided in recent years.

Government responsible for healthcare of all Americans?.gif

The current results are based on Gallup’s annual Health and Healthcare poll, conducted Nov. 15-18 this year.

The shift away from the view that the government should ensure healthcare coverage for all began shortly after President Barack Obama’s election and has continued the past several years during the discussions and ultimate passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010. Americans are divided on that legislation today — 48% approve and 45% disapprove — as they have been over the last several years.

Republicans, including Republican-leaning independents, are mostly responsible for the drop since 2007 in Americans’ support for government ensuring universal health coverage. In 2007, 38% of Republicans thought the government should do so; now, 12% do. Among Democrats and Democratic leaners there has been a much smaller drop, from 81% saying the government should make sure all Americans are covered in 2007 to 71% now.

One thing that has not changed is that Americans still widely prefer a system based on private insurance to one run by the government. Currently, 57% prefer a private system and 36% a government-run system, essentially the same as in 2010 and 2011. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the percentage of Americans in favor of a government-run system ranged from 32% to 41%.

Poll shows most people blame GOP for the “Fiscal Cliff” when much of it is due to Obamacare taxes

Where is the establishment GOP? Where is anyone in the GOP to make the case?

Where is the GOP telling people that Taxmageddon, also known as the Fiscal Cliff, is largely do to 13 new Obamacare taxes, and the Democrats desire to raise taxes not on the rich, but on the productive middle class and small business S-Corps?

Where is the GOP to lambaste all of the wasteful spending and corrupt crony green energy boondoggles?

No one in the GOP is even defending themselves much less making a fight of it (please correct us if I we are wrong).

Robert Davi
Robert Davi

Famed actor Robert Davi said recently that he believes that elements in the establishment GOP and the Democratic Leadership are in a conspiracy to bring the country down. It is nonsense like this that make him correct.

It is nonsense like this that will finally push those who care about good policy to form a new party to replace the Republican Party because its brand is damaged and it’s establishment doesn’t seem to even really believe what it preaches.

I bet many in the GOP wishes they had Newt Gingrich right about now to make the case.

Via Breitbart News:

new poll from CNN/ORC shows that President Obama remains Teflon despite the fact that he designed the upcoming fiscal cliff to speculation. Even though Obama insisted on massive defense cuts and huge tax increases as the two alternative parts of the fiscal cliff, the American public will apparently blame Republicans if the fiscal cliff isn’t stopped. A full 45% of respondents said they would blame Congressional Republicans – even though the Democrats control the Senate – while just 34% would blame President Obama.

The public, by and large, sees Republicans as obstructionist. That’s due to a combination of messaging failure on the part of the GOP — nothing new, in that they seem incapable of explaining the simple fact that low tax rates, particularly on job creators, spur economic growth and thereby raise tax revenues — and a media concerned only with saving its flailing president. The Republicans’ mixed messaging on the fiscal cliff has been astounding to watch. They signed off on the sequester, which put a fiscal gun to their heads, forcing them to choose between raising taxes partially or watching tax rates skyrocket and defense get slashed. Then they turned around and complained about the gun being put to their heads. Now, they’re standing for the principle that we need more tax revenue, but it can’t be raised by raising rates. No wonder the public is confused.

Poll numbers like this could be the reason that Republicans are looking to cave on tax increases, or ending tax deductions. 25% of the country says that the nation would undergo a crisis if we hit the fiscal cliff; 44% expect major problems. 25% say that it would cause minor problems. A full 77% of the public believes the fiscal cliff would hurt them personally.

Republicans have done such a poor job of informing the public about why taxes shouldn’t be increased that even Republicans, by a margin of 52%-44%, say they want both spending cuts and tax increases. An unbelievable 56% of Americans say they want high taxes on higher income earners, despite the fact that higher income earners pay a vastly disproportionate share of all tax revenue.

Smaller insurance companies going away thanks to Obamacare

As we have said several times before and even when yours truly wrote for his old college blog, consolidation is a goal of the progressive secular left.

What is consolidation? It is when smaller players are driven out of the market by slanted government regulations, enforcement, and taxes in favor of the biggest players who tend to be campaign contributors. It also makes controlling the economy easier as a few players are easy to monitor and control. You cannot control the economy without first controlling people, so the less people to control the better. [Smaller companies tend to contribute to Republicans – Editor.]

Forbes: Obamacare Consolidation Continues: Aetna Buys Coventry For $7.3B

Consolidation in the healthcare sector was an obvious consequence of the latest Supreme Court ruling that upheld Obamacare. On Monday, Aetna announced it reached an agreement to buy Coventry Health for a transaction value of $7.3 billion including debt in over to increase its exposure to government business such as Medicare and Medicaid.

On the market side of that issue, major companies are already in consolidation stage. Aetna’s acquisition of Coventry, for which it will pay $5.7 billion in cash and stock, is a direct consequence of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the individual mandate. As I wrote in the aftermath of the ruling, “in the face of it, this should be negative for major health insurance companies, as it will drive more customers at lower margins, and positive for Medicaid companies.”

Aetna was very clear in the press release, the transaction will increase its “share of revenues from government business to over 30% from 23% currently.” Coventry will add over 5 million members to Aetna’s plans, including about 4 million medical members and 1.5 million Medicare part D members. The deal also “substantially increase[s] Aetna’s Medicaid footprint, creating more opportunity to participate in the expansion of Medicaid and to pursue high acuity positions as they move into managed care.”

The Supreme Court ruling already fueled WellPoint’s acquisition of Amerigroup for about $5 billion, while last year Cigna bought HealthSpring for $3.8 billion in a push to gain exposure to Medicare patients. Markets appear to approve of consolidation in the industry, as stock prices showed on Monday.

Supreme Court to reexamine Obamacare

Fox News:

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a federal appeals court to reconsider Liberty University’s legal argument that President Obama’s health care law violates the school’s religious freedom.

The case will be returned to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.

“Today’s ruling breathes new life into our challenge to ObamaCare,” Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which filed the suit on behalf of the school, said Monday. “Our fight against ObamaCare is far from over.”

A federal judge in 2010 rejected Liberty’s claim, and the appeals court later ruled the lawsuit was premature and failed to address the substance of the school’s arguments.

The Supreme Court upheld the health care law in June 2012.

In the high court’s 5-4 decision, the justices used lawsuits filed by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business to uphold the health care law, then rejected all other pending appeals, including Liberty’s.

The school is challenging the constitutionality of the part of the law that mandates employers provide insurance and whether forcing insurers to pay for birth control is unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion clause.

The appeals court ruled last year the Anti-Injunction Act barred it from addressing the merits in the case. The act blocks any challenge to a “tax” before a taxpayer pays it — in this case referring to the penalties associated with failing to obtain health insurance.

However, the Supreme Court’s ruling stated the act did not serve as a barrier to lawsuits challenging the health care law. On that basis, Liberty University immediately petitioned the court to allow it to renew its original case.

Colleges start cutting professors work hours because of Obamacare

Elections have consequences. In a future post we will list the job layoffs that have resulted from Obama’s re-election and the slew of tax increases businesses and individuals will be paying as of January 1st. The number of layoffs are staggering and keep growing.

Companies that have employees work more than 28 hours a week are now considered full time by the law and employers must buy federally approved health insurance, which Obamacare has caused premiums to rise by $2,500 per year because of it’s mindless one sized fist all coverage and new taxes on insurance and health care. If employers do not provide the insurance they will have to pay a tax penalty….unless employees get less than 28 hours a week.

Welcome to mass layoffs and hiring of part timers only.

The first ones hit were not just the evil capitalists, this counts for most everyone, including university professors who are now feeling the heat. Radicalized academia actively supported and campaigned for Obama. Enjoy.

I am running into all sorts of people who voted for Obama again that had no idea about “Taxmageddon“. Most are shocked when they learn the truth, some just go into denial and even deny that anyone is getting laid off. Some even believe that we will have free health care and “gubmint” will just pay for it.

Breitbart News:

Pennsylvania’s Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) is slashing the hours of 400 adjunct instructors, support staff, and part-time instructors to dodge paying for Obamacare.

“It’s kind of a double whammy for us because we are facing a legal requirement [under the new law] to get health care and if the college is reducing our hours, we don’t have the money to pay for it,” said adjunct biology professor Adam Davis.

On Tuesday, CCAC employees were notified that Obamacare defines full-time employees as those working 30 hours or more per week and that on Dec. 31 temporary part-time employees will be cut back to 25 hours. The move will save an estimated $6 million.

“While it is of course the college’s preference to provide coverage to these positions, there simply are not funds available to do so,” said CCAC spokesperson David Hoovler. “Several years of cuts or largely flat funding from our government supporters have led to significant cost reductions by CCAC, leaving little room to trim the college’s budget further.”

The solution, says United Steelworkers representative Jeff Cech, is that adjunct professors should unionize in an attempt to thwart schools seeking similar cost-savings efforts from avoiding Obamacare.

“They may be complying with the letter of the law, but the letter of law and the spirit of the law are two different things,” said Mr. Cech. “If they are doing it at CCAC, it can’t be long before they do it other places.”

Under the new CCAC policy, adjunct professors will only be allowed to teach 10 credit hours a semester. Adjuncts are paid $730 per credit hour.

That is $14,600 dollars a year. You have a Masters or a PhD and you are just a tick above the poverty level. Good luck paying your student loans. How can you attract the best teachers when you can make more money working at Walmart?

Senator Mike Lee on the Obamacare SCOTUS Decision (video)

This is most informational.

Address by Senator Mike Lee 11-16-12

Senator Mike Lee of Utah addressed attendees of the Federalist Society’s 2012 National Lawyers Convention on Friday, November 16, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Senator Lee was introduced by Mr. Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society.

Why the Obamacare insurance mandate WON’T help those with pre-existing conditions (video)

The way the Obamacare health insurance mandate is structured is unsustainable. It creates what is called an “adverse selection spiral” (death spiral); meaning that if people act for their own best interests within the Obamacare structure, the more it weakens the system. Insurance companies are already getting out of health insurance because of this and countless employers are already dropping health insurance coverage for employees. Health insurance premiums have already gone up by $2,500 dollars a year, I was just notified that my premium went up to $267.00 a month.

This system will crash and it won’t take long. What will people who need insurance do then? What will those with preexisting conditions do then?

We need a new solution to the preexisting condition problem. Obamacare makes the problem worse, not better.

Obamacare to Increase Individual Insurance Premiums by 55-85% in Ohio

I am in Indiana and my premiums just went up by a factor of 12 – Editor

Forbes:

Individual-market premiums to increase by as much as 85 percent

In August of 2011, the Ohio Department of Insurance retained Milliman, the prestigious actuarial consulting firm, to estimate the impact of Obamacare on the private insurance market. Milliman’s 159-page report makes clear that Obamacare’s blizzard of insurance mandates and regulations will dramatically increase the cost of individually-purchased insurance.

By 2017, write the Milliman researchers, “individual health insurance market premiums are estimated to increase by 55% to 85% above current market average rates (excluding the impact of medical inflation).” Because Obamacare forces insurers to cover a buffet of benefits that they don’t have to today, the cost of insurance will go up. Another driver of higher premiums is the fact that insurers will have to cover everyone, regardless of previous health status, a change that will attract sicker enrollees at the expense of healthier ones.

Some Obamacare defenders try to argue that these cost increases don’t matter, because a slice of the low-income population will benefit from the law’s subsidies. But if you’re not eligible for subsidies, or only partially eligible, you will be exposed to the law’s dramatic increases in the cost of insurance. And remember that Obamacare has an individual mandate, which will force most Americans to absorb these higher costs.

Obamacare to cut Medicare by $10,763 per Ohio retiree

Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion between 2013 and 2022 in order to pay for part of the law’s $1.9 trillion in new health-care spending for younger people over the same time frame. My co-blogger Robert Book and Michael Ramlet have published a paper for the University of Minnesota showing that Ohio’s share of those Medicare cuts is $21.2 billion dollars. This year, Ohio has 1,971,260 Medicare enrollees, which means that these cuts amount to $10,763 for every senior in Ohio.

Robert Book published another paper, this time with former White House budget official James Capretta, detailing Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare Advantage on a state-by-state basis. Robert and Jim found that, in 2017, Obamacare will cut $3,390 in Medicare Advantage services for every Ohioan enrolled in the program: a 26 percent cut. And 36 percent of Ohioan seniors—709,313—are enrolled in Medicare Advantage.

Survey: 24 percent of Ohio doctors will stop accepting Medicare patients

Last month, the Physicians Foundation published one of the largest physician surveys ever conducted in the United States, with 13,575 respondents. They asked physicians a broad range of questions, including several about their views on Obamacare. 62 percent of Ohio physicians said that the Affordable Care Act made them “less positive about the direction and future of healthcare in America.” Only 16 percent said it made them feel more positive.

If Medicare fees decrease by ten percent or more—as the Affordable Care Act will require—30 percent of Ohio doctors say that they will place “new or additional limits” on accepting Medicare patients. 24 percent say they’ll stop accepting Medicare patients altogether.

The survey also has bad news for Ohioans on other forms of insurance. 22 percent of Ohio physicians say that they’ll place new or additional limits on Medicaid patients as a result of the Medicare cuts; 22 percent also say they plan to raise fees on those with private insurance in order to compensate for the cuts.

Obamacare’s tax increases

Finally, it’s worth touching on Obamacare’s tax increases. From 2013-2022, Obamacare increases taxes by $1.2 trillion, which amounts to $15,796 for the average family of four. Ohio’s share of those taxes is approximately $46 billion.

Obamacare’s defenders will claim that many of Obamacare’s taxes fall on corporations and upper-income individuals. But these taxes will get passed down to every American. For example, the law applies an excise tax to health insurance premiums, which insurers will be forced to pass down to individuals in the form of higher premiums. Analysts estimate that this tax could increase premiums by as much as 3 percent,  amounting to around $500 for the average Ohio family in 2014.

Other state-specific analyses of Obamacare

This is the first in a series of posts I have published on the effect of Obamacare on individual states. The complete series includes Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, New Hampshire, Nevada, Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Patrick Paule, an insurance broker in Ohio, says that the huge spike in costs for young people will force many employers to drop coverage or pass on premiums for those making more than $21,000:

Avik, As a broker in Ohio who has read the entire 159 page Milliman report I would add that the bigger issue is in the small employer (2-50 employees) group market where premiums are expected to increase by 150% for younger and healthier groups yet could also have a decrease of 40% for older and unhealthy groups. It is important to note group policy premiums will have significant variability for adjusted community rating.

Smaller employers will observe the greatest impacts since they are more likely to be at one extreme or the other of the total current premium range because of health status tier, age band, and gender.

Why is this most important? Because in Northwest Ohio the average small employer pays 80% of the premiums for single coverage and 65% for family coverage. According the the Kaiser Family Foundation Health Reform Subsidy Calculator, for a single person to get 80% of his/her premiums covered by a subsidy under Obamacare, one’s income would have to be less than $21,000 per year. Our average wages are above that figure.

Simply put, if costs rise for an employer they will do one of two things. Either increase the employees share of premiums or drop their plan. Simple conclusion, if you are employed and making over $21,000 per year plan on seeing your insurance costs increase.

Canadian health care rationing ‘a crisis for Quebec women’

Montreal Gazette:

Ovarian Cancer Canada
Surgery wait times for deadly ovarian, cervical and breast cancers in Quebec are three times longer than government benchmarks, leading some desperate patients to shop around for an operating room.

MONTREAL — Surgery wait times for deadly ovarian, cervical and breast cancers in Quebec are three times longer than government benchmarks, leading some desperate patients to shop around for an operating room.

But that’s a waste of time, doctors say, since the problem is spread across Quebec hospitals. And doctors are refusing to accept new patients quickly because they can’t treat them, health advocates say.

A leading Montreal gynecologist said that these days, she cannot look her patients in the eye because the wait times are so shocking. Lack of resources, including nursing staff and budget compressions, are driving a backlog of surgeries while operating rooms stand empty. The latest figures from the provincial government show that over a span of nearly 11 months, 7,780 patients in the Montreal area waited six months or longer for day surgeries, while another 2,957 waited for six months or longer for operations that required hospitalization.

The worst cases are gynecological cancers, experts say, because usually such a cancer has already spread by the time it is detected. Instead of four weeks from diagnosis to surgery, patients are waiting as long as three months to have cancerous growths removed.

“It’s a crisis for Quebec women,” said Lucy Gilbert, director of gynecological oncology and the gynecologic cancer multi-disciplinary team at the McGill University Health Centre. Her team has had access to operating rooms only two days a week for the past year, with dozens of patients having surgeries postponed week after week.

Patients are prioritized according to need, Gilbert said, but surgical delays are still too long.

Gilbert says there are days she can’t face going into work at the Royal Victoria Hospital, a renowned cancer centre in gynecology, and dealing with crying patients. “Put yourself in their place. … I have difficulty making eye contact with patients. I am ashamed to be in such a situation.

“People are suffering. People are waiting too long,” Gilbert said. “This should not happen. No matter how good your surgery is, no matter how good your chemotherapy is, if you delay the surgery there could be a problem. The cancer grows. The cancer spreads.”

One worried patient, a mother of five children who waited three months for surgery for invasive breast cancer, said she is worried about the effects of such a long wait. After surgery, she paid $800 for a bone scan in a private clinic rather than wait five months for a scan at the Jewish General Hospital.

“They needed the scan to see what kind of treatment to give me,” said the woman, 40, who asked that her name not be published because she is starting chemotherapy this week. “The doctors are amazing but health system is not working.”

New Tax Hikes Motivating Small Businesses to Sell

Going Galt.

Wall Street Journal:

A looming increase in the capital-gains tax rate next year is fueling sales of some privately-held businesses.

Many business owners—mostly founders who could gain a lot from a sale—are looking to close deals before next year, when the maximum tax on investment income is scheduled to rise from 15% currently to at least 23.8% on most capital gains, at least for higher-income households. Many sellers intend to convert their equity into retirement funds or just start anew.

“It just made more sense for me to take my chips off the table and go do something else,” said Bert Wolf, 60 years old, who has an agreement to sell his compressed-gas business, Acetylene Oxygen Co. of Harlingen, Tex., before year-end.

Mr. Wolf added that if he waited until after the tax increase to sell, he would have to expand the business at the current rate “for at least 3 or 4 more years to achieve the same after-tax sales dollar.” He is profiting on the sale of his business to PraxairInc., a public company.

“There’s a kind of a panic on to get things done,” said Beatrice Mitchell, co-founder of Sperry, Mitchell & Co. Inc., a New York investment bank that is advising Mr. Wolf on the sale.

The top tax rate will go up at year-end by at least 3.8 percentage points because of a provision in President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul law. But that will be added onto a top rate that will depend on negotiations between Mr. Obama and Congress after the November election, when they are expected to seek a deal on numerous tax and spending measures.

Mr. Obama and Congress agreed in late 2010 to extend the current 15% capital-gains tax rate through this year. Absent further action, the top capital gains tax rate will rise to 20% on Jan. 1. After adding the extra charge from the health-care law for higher-income households, the maximum tax on investment income would be 23.8%. When combined with the scheduled expiration of some other tax breaks for high earners, the maximum tax on investment income would be as high as 25%.

Many Republican lawmakers want to extend the 15% rate. If they prevail, the maximum tax likely would rise to at least 18.8% because of the health-care charge.

Mr. Obama proposes to let the top capital gains tax rate rise to 20% on income above $250,000 for couples, but hold it to 15% on income below that threshold.

But here is the rub, most “couples” that make 250k aren’t the one’s who pay these taxes, small businesses and investors do. It directly chases jobs and investment out of the country.

Editor: Obamacare has caused my insurance premium to go up by 12 times

Political Arena Editor Chuck Norton:

I was just notified that if I want to keep my current health insurance with Blue Cross/Blue Shield my premiums will go up by a factor of 12.27. So much for being able to keep my current insurance.

I have a special needs child. If any readers have wondered why this web site has been so outspoken about Obamacare it is because everything that we have warned about it has the virtue of being true.

Repeal ObamaCare.

ObamaCare redefines full time job as 30 hours a week!

That will fix that pesky unemployment number!

This is pathetic.

CNS News:

A little-known section in the Obamacare health reform law defines “full-time” work as averaging only 30 hours per week, a definition that will affect some employers who utilize part-time workers to trim the cost of complying with the Obamacare rule that says businesses with 50 or more workers must provide health insurance or pay a fine.

“The term ‘full-time employee’ means, with respect to any month, an employee who is employed on average at least 30 hours of service per week,” section 1513 of the law reads.  (Scroll down to section 4, paragraph A.)

That section, known as the employer mandate, requires any business with 50 or more full-time employees to provide at least the minimum level of government-defined health coverage to those employees.

In other words, a business must provide insurance if it has 50 or more employees working an average of just 30 hours per week, which is 10 hours per week fewer than the traditional 40-hour work week.

If an employer has 50 or more “full-time employees” and does not offer health insurance, it must pay a penalty per employee for each month it does not offer coverage.

The obscure provision recently reemerged in regulations issued by the IRS for how employers must account for which workers are full-time and which ones are not.

Under these standards, published in September, employers can choose a “look-back” period of between 3 and 12 months to measure if an employee has worked an average of 30 hours per week.

If an employee has worked 30 hours per week during this time, the person would count as a full-time employee for at least the next six months, regardless of how much they work, thus preventing employers from cutting hours to avoid the mandate.

In other words, an employer calculates the hours an employee works during at least a three-month period, determining if they employee has worked 30 hours or more per week on average.

If the employee meets the 30-hour threshold, they are counted as full-time for at least six months. If the employer has at least 50 such employees, he must provide them with health insurance or pay a fine.

The IRS regulations do not apply to seasonal or temporary workers, only to regular employees.

Editor – So many lies and misrepresentations in the debate we couldn’t keep up with them…

UPDATE – Romney was right and Candy Crawley and Obama were both wrong, Obama did NOT call it a terror attack in his Rose Garden statement. Obama’s full statement is in the first comment below. Here is CNN almost sorda kinda apologizing:

Romney got the better of Obama performance wise for about the first hour, but Obama made a comeback in the last 30 minutes or so. Obama was playing a nasty class warfare card that just wasn’t sincere and didn’t fly.

Romney reversed his position on Comprehensive Immigration Reform (remember how he demagogued and misrepresented Rick Perry on this issue?) which I predicted he would do long ago and his answer on Syria was almost a joke.

Obama engaged in a systematic, Alinsky inspired and very deliberate misrepresentation of the facts, especially when it comes to energy policy, healthcare and taxes. Of course Romney was correct on the general idea on Libya but fell into a trap on semantics instead of focusing on how the administration lied about this issue for two weeks and was as caught as caught could be. Obama’s campaign already admitted on national television that the $5 billion dollar tax cut talking point Obama used in the debate really isn’t accurate, but again they used it tonight.

The lies (and misrepresentations with a tiny kernel of truth) were so voluminous that it would take this writer all night long to catalog them and I have to be out the door in seven hours….so no point by point fact check will be posted tonight. If any reader has a specific question I will be happy to answer it. The documentation to demonstrate President Obama’s flamboyant dishonesty is cataloged on this very web site.

Obama debate approved drilling permits
Hey President Obama – What was that you said about how you approved more drilling permits than Bush?

 

Obama Pays Women Less –  via yours truly in my old college blog in 2008:

http://iusbvision.wordpress.com/2008/07/02/profiles-in-hypocrisy-obama-speeches-say-he-supports-equal-pay-for-women-and-mccain-doesnt-but-obama-pays-women-in-his-campaign-less-mccain-pays-women-more/

and

http://iusbvision.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/obama-ad-says-mccain-opposes-equal-pay-for-women-but-guess-who-paid-women-less-than-men/

and just now in The Daily Caller:

http://dailycaller.com/2012/10/16/obama-touts-fair-pay-for-women-despite-records-showing-women-paid-less-in-his-own-white-house/

The most powerful moment in the debate was Romney going large in his description of the last four years:

Below is my live blog:

Chuck Norton – I have to say that Romney’s college job answer is a total home run. He looks in charge, calm, confident and ready.

Chuck Norton – Obama looks good, he sounds assertive, but wow the misrepresentation starts already. The fact checkers have dinged Obama on his “Mitt Wants Detroit to go bankrupt” line before.

Chuck Norton –  Taxing the wealthy doesn’t give anyone a job, it chases wealth away when they try to avoid the tax.

Chuck Norton – Romney, including those who dropped out of the workforce the U3 would be 10.7%. Romney explains bankruptcy reorganization.

Chuck Norton – Jobs are created and lost all the time, but adding 5 million jobs when 10 million are what is needed to break even with people losing jobs and coming into the workforce puts the number into perspective.

Chuck Norton – They doubled fuel standards on cars… and now we see these tiny FIAT’s on the road and the emissions devices have raised car prices to out of the world. Chevy Volts cost over $100,000 more than GM is selling them for.

Chuck Norton – Romney explains the difference between private land energy production and production on federal land which Obama has been trying to bring to a screeching halt.

Chuck Norton – Wow, who looks presidential folks. I expected Obama to come back hard but this is so one sided it is unbelievable. (But Obama made a comeback in this area near the end).

Chuck Norton – We are drilling more now because of oil permits approved under Bush that are now coming online that Obama couldn’t stop…. but look at what Obama did stop.

Oil imports are down because the economy has slowed overall demand.

Chuck Norton – The oil leases were yanked because when they looked at what it would take to get through the EPA to actually drill and concluded it would not be profitable so they paid for the lease and concluded with today’s EPA it would be a money loser or too much of a risk to actually try and drill.

Chuck Norton – Wow, if the fact checkers are honest Obama is going to get hammered.

Chuck Norton – Food prices up, gas prices up, insurance prices up family income down $4,000

Chuck Norton – Romney, NO TAX on your savings. Wow that is smart, that is very smart and it encourages middle and low income people to get involved in saving and investing which would be great to help recapitalize the country.

Chuck Norton – Obama want to continue the Bush tax cuts for small businesses??? Since when?

Chuck Norton – Obama’s 97% of small businesses number includes small businesses on paper and ones that do not have more than 1 employee. The vast majority of small businesses that actually employ ten or more people are going to get whacked by the $200k number.

Chuck Norton Wow, Obama’s campaign already admitted that the $5 trillion dollar number he just spouted wasn’t true. Folks this is surreal.

Chuck Norton – Fact checkers are going to cream Obama’s earlier coal and oil production claims. Coal workers are blasting Obama already – Miners Fight Back Against Obama TV Ad: “Absolute Lies”

Chuck Norton – Of course the numbers adds up – Romney

Chuck Norton – Well Obama, first of all your campaign pays women less and so do Democrats in congress when it comes to their staffs….. big opportunity here for Romney.

Chuck Norton – Romney is getting upset and needs to calm don a bit.

Chuck Norton – Obama says that it is ROMNEY who wants people in Washington deciding women’s health decisions.. WHAT –
ObamaCare Panel Targeting Women’s Health Screenings…Again – LINK

Chuck Norton – Great answer on how Romney differentiates himself from GW Bush.

Chuck Norton – Romney pounds on the broken promises….

Chuck Norton – I have to admit, the BS Obama is putting out sounds good…. …. wow I really hope the fact checkers pay close attention.

Chuck Norton – Romney just reversed himself on “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” that he blasted Rick Perry on in the primary.

Chuck Norton – Libya question – Obama pivots to general national security and the specific question asked to him was not answered.

Chuck Norton – Romney hits Obama for skipping the intelligence briefing the next day and going to a Las Vegas fund raiser.

Chuck Norton – Second Amendment question – Who will tackle it and who will dance.

Chuck Norton – Romney hits Obama on Fast & Furious – about time.

Chuck Norton – Romney was not bold enough on the second amendment follow up

Chuck Norton – Romney: Canada tax rate 15% America 35% where would you rather start a business. Regulations up four times.

Chuck Norton-  Obama’s advanced manufacturing answer was a good one. He doesn’t mean any of this because his regulatory war on business is a huge job killer.

Chuck Norton-  Wow it was surreal; the misrepresentation of facts has been stunning. While both sides had factual deficits Obama was so dishonest it was amazing.

How AARP Made $2.8 Billion By Supporting Obama’s Cuts to Medicare

We have reported on this before.

Forbes:

As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, Obamacare cuts $716 billion from Medicare in order to pay for its $1.9 trillion expansion of coverage to low-income Americans. It’s one of the reasons why seniors are more opposed to the new health law than any other age group. So why is it that the group that purports to speak for seniors, the American Association of Retired Persons, so strongly supports a law that most seniors oppose? According to an explosive new report from Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), it’s because those very same Medicare cuts will give the AARP a windfall of $1 billion in insurance profits, and preserve another $1.8 billion that AARP already generates from its business interests.

Here’s how it works. AARP isn’t your every-day citizens’ advocacy group. The AARP is also one of the largest private health insurers in America. In 2011, the AARP generated $458 million in royalty fees from so-called “Medigap” plans, nearly twice the $266 million the lobby receives in membership dues.

Medigap plans are private insurance plans that seniors buy to cover the things that traditional, government-run Medicare doesn’t, like catastrophic coverage. Medigap plans also help seniors eliminate the co-pays and deductibles that are designed to restrain wasteful Medicare spending.

AARP blocked Medigap reforms, saving the group $1.8 billion

Adding catastrophic coverage to Medicare, while restraining the ability of Medigap plans to waste money, is a key to Medicare reform, one that has been a big part of bipartisan plans in the past. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Medigap reforms that AARP blocked would have saved the average senior as much as $415 in premiums per year.

But the AARP aggressively, and successfully, lobbied to keep Medigap reforms out of Obamacare, because AARP receives a 4.95 percent royalty on every dollar that seniors spend on its Medigap plans. Reform, DeMint estimates, would have cost AARP $1.8 billion over ten years.

Cuts to Medicare Advantage could earn AARP over $1 billion

Not only did AARP succeed in getting Democrats to balk at Medigap reform. Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare Advantage will drive many seniors out of that program, and into traditional government-run Medicare, which will increase the number of people who need Medigap insurance.

That means more royalty profits for the AARP. Reps. Wally Herger (R., Calif.) and Dave Reichert (R., Wash.) estimated that the change “could result in a windfall for AARP that exceeds over $1 billion during the next ten years.”

AARP Medigap plans exempted from Obamacare’s insurance mandates

It gets worse. AARP Medigap plans are exempted from most of Obamacare’s best-known insurance mandates. AARP Medigap plans are exempted from the ban that requires insurers to take all comers, regardless of pre-existing conditions. The plans are exempted from the $500,000 cap on insurance industry executive compensation; top AARP executives currently make more than $1 million. AARP plans are exempt from the premium tax levied on other private insurers. IPAB, Medicare’s rationing board, is explicitly barred from altering Medicare’s cost-sharing provisions, provisions that govern the existence of Medigap plans.

And AARP Medigap plans are allowed to have twice the administrative costs that other private insurers are allowed under Obamacare’s medical loss ratio regulations. This last point is key, because AARP’s 4.95 percent royalty is a significant administrative cost.

Democrats routinely excoriate private insurers for supposedly putting profits above people. “No American should ever spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies,” President Obama told the AARP yesterday. But the typical private insurer gets by on a profit margin of about 5 to 6 percent. AARP’s 4.95 percent royalty, on the other hand, doesn’t do anything to make a health plan operate more smoothly: it’s just pure profit for AARP.

CEO Steve Wynn: Obamacare and Other Policies Killing Jobs (video)

“That can probably explain to you why I’ve become so concerned about what’s happening in Washington, because it’s affecting the living standards of my employees,” he said. “They’re all filled with anxieties these days.”

“They’re noticing in their homes…that their paychecks are shrinking in real time because of government irresponsibility and the management of this deficit,” Wynn added. “It’s killing the living standard of my employees, and that immediately affects their attitude at work.”

The policies from Washington are “Outrageously bad government by any standard, it doesn’t make any sense.”

EPA Sued for Gassing Human Test Subjects

Just when you think that government stupidity could not get anymore…well stupid.

American Thinker:

By Mark Musser

It has been recently revealed that the EPA has far surpassed the dark humor of blowing up kids and people on film that global warming scare-mongers promoted a few years back.  In real life, the EPA has been conducting human experiments on people by piping diesel fumes from a running truck mixed with air into their lungs at a North Carolina university.  The agency has ginned up yet another green crusade — the lethal dangers of diesel fumes.  They even had a gas chamber set up to accommodate the environmental research project that shockingly recalls the death camps in Poland.

Not surprisingly, the EPA is now in the process of being sued for conducting dangerous experiments on human guinea pigs.  The courts will decide whether or not serious laws and practices were violated, including the international Nuremberg Code that was set up after sixteen Nazi doctors were executed for medical terrorism.  After the barbaric fallout of Nazi Germany, where many people were treated like experimental animals, the Nuremberg Code was designed to be an international governing set of principles to regulate the practice of human experimentation.  The whiff of the Jewish holocaust is therefore unmistakable.

When the Nazis found out how difficult it was in practice to shoot so many Jews on the Eastern Front at the outset of the war, they switched to gassing them en masse at death camps with engine fumes.  Such gassing methods became notorious at Treblinka, where almost one million Jews were killed.

In the early part of the war, the infamous commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Hoess, visited Treblinka.  Hoess testified at Nuremberg that the Treblinka motor room used tank and truck engines to pipe diesel fumes into the gas chambers.  According to Hoess, it usually took about half an hour before the gas chambers fell silent.  Another half-hour passed before the doors were opened.

Hoess commented that the engine fumes at Treblinka were not always entirely effective in killing the Jews.  While all the victims fell unconscious, many of them were still alive and had to be shot afterwards.  Adolf Eichmann told Hoess that they were experiencing the same problems in other death camps at the time.  Auschwitz used Zyklon B, which was far more effective.

The Nazis killed so many people that they were forced to industrialize the process by making crematoriums that turned countless cadavers into ashes.  All of the ghastly work connected to this assembly line of death was performed by Jewish victims, called Special Detachment Jews, whom the Nazis specifically kept alive for this very purpose.  When the war effort started to go badly for Germany, the Special Detachment Jews were required to unearth old bodies that had been buried and burn them up, too.

When Hoess was forced to oversee such a grisly operation at Auschwitz, he would recover from such horrifying scenes by finding solace in nature: “If I was deeply affected by some incident, I found it impossible to go back to my home and my family.  I would mount my horse and ride, until I had chased the terrible picture away.  Often at night, I would walk through the stables and seek relief among my beloved animals.”

Hoess’s nature-loving tendencies are far more revealing than most scholars would care to admit.  While Jews were treated like experimental animals and were burned up in sacrificial smoke, Hoess said his family lived a free and untrammeled life: “My wife’s garden was a paradise of flowers.”  Hoess was far more concerned about untreated stormwater discharging directly from the camp into the nearby Sola River than he was about the incredible slaughterhouse plans that the Nazi leaders were foisting upon him.  The cunning of nature was indeed an escape route from moral responsibility.

When Rudolf Hoess stood trial at Nuremberg, he concluded his testimony by saying he was not a sadistic man and that he had never sanctioned the extermination of the Jews.  He was even proud of how much more humane the gassing process was at Auschwitz compared to Treblinka.

Rudolf Hoess was SS.  The SS was the greenest faction of the Nazi Party.  It was run by Heinrich Himmler, who was an animal lover, vegetarian, and organic farming enthusiast.  Himmler detested hunting.  In an instructional letter sent to Dachau Concentration Camp and Ester-wegen, Himmler stated, “I wish the SS and the police also will be exemplary in the love of nature.  Within the course of a few years the property of the SS and the police must become paradises for animals and Nature.”  In many ways, the SS was Hitler’s “green” praetorian guard.

Both Hoess and Himmler belonged to a proto-Nazi wandervogel youth group called the Artamanens.  The wandervogels of the early 20th century in Germany were nature-loving youth groups that promoted many green ideas and practices.   Artaman basically means “country man,” with certain racial-indigenous connotations.

The SS promoted an ideology called “blood and soil,” where evolutionary biological racism, peasant agrarianism, and environmentalism were all fused together into a fascist whole.  Many leading SS men actually believed that German racial biology was being destroyed by the cosmopolitan life of the cities, that Germans were being uprooted from their homeland and enslaved to the artificial materialistic values of what they considered to be international Jewish capitalism and communism.  The Jews were vilified for their city ways.  They were also considered unnatural and outside the evolutionary laws of biological racism.  Many Nazis believed that such a violation of the “scientific” laws of Nature had to be remedied.

This flammable cocktail between German biology and environmentalism was at the heart of the holocaust at death camps like Treblinka.  When Jews were crammed into cattle cars on the way to Treblinka, the SS broke strict animal transport laws the Nazis themselves established.  While the SS side of Treblinka was a virtual garden camp, the Jewish side was a hell on earth.  While the SS were all involved in rehabilitating fox populations on their side of the camp, Jews were being exterminated on such a massive scale that the gravestones that still stand today at the Treblinka monument do not have individual names on them, only entire cities.  While the SS had beautiful picnic grounds that showcased a little zoo, the last sight that the Jews were given before they entered the gas chambers was the most exquisite flower garden in the entire camp.  After Treblinka was closed down, the Nazis planted lupine on top of what was left of the Jewish graves.  Lupines are wolf flowers.  Hitler used to call the SS his pack of wolves.

While no one died in the EPA’s gas chambers, the agency is increasingly acting like proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.   Under the guise of acting on behalf of everyone’s health, the EPA has crossed a pathological line where people have been potentially treated like experimental animals under questionable methods that conjure up the horrors of the holocaust.  More telling is the EPA subjected human beings to a concoction of diesel fumes that it already said was lethal.  If the EPA were truly concerned about human health, they would not have performed such experiments on more than forty people in the first place.

Romney vs. Obama First Debate Editor’s Live Blog

Editor’s Live Blog:

Wow, so much BS in this debate there is not enough time to hope to respond to it all in a timely manner.

Obama’s tax cuts for small businesses aren’t tax cuts at all, they are tax credits meaning that if you jump through government hoop A & B – and then meet stipulation circumstance A, B, C and D – you get a tax credit. Well that doesn’t work because people aren’t doing when is best for their business or the economy, they are doing what government wants. These “tax cuts” are so targeted only a few get them. This is no different from government picking winners and losers. Economic growth happens when people have money AND freedom.

Actually Mitt lowering the rates and cleaning up the deductions has been done before, Reagan did it and it worked. Remember Kemp/Roth in 1981 followed up with TEFRA in 1986? Romney needed to hit the mortgage collapse out of the park and he just didn’t. He needs me on his communications team to show him how. This is not difficult.

Romney – I will eliminate any program I have to borrow money from China to keep going that are not working and important. I hope and wish.

Obama talked about going after some wasteful over duplicated education programs – he went after education programs alright, like the working and very successful DC voucher program…. all to make the teachers union happy (and screwed the kids).

I liked Romney’s “I have five boys” comment – nicest way to call out a lie I have ever heard 😉

Well the stock in those who make small planes will now drop due to that comment Obama. That will cost jobs just in the coming weeks. Mark me.

Obama says Social Security is structurally sound. Like heck it is. Social Security does not even try to grow a pot of money to prefund people’s retirement.

Romney’s point on Medicare is right on. OK Romney now boot that voucher talking point out of the park – you had better….and he didn’t. It is Medicare part D expanded because Part D came in 40% under budget, gives more choice and works. It is not just a voucher system.

Obama talks about being at the mercy of insurance companies – What you DONT want to be is at the mercy of ObamaCares IPAB – Case in point –http://politicalarena.org/2012/10/03/obamacare-panel-targeting-womens-health-screenings-again/

Romney hits Obama on his unelected board making decisions about your care in Obamacare – FINALLY! Survey’s of Small Businesses show that ObamaCare is scrapping hiring plans – WHAM – Go MITT!

Romney – government as well as private studies show that millions of people will lose their employer based insurance as a result of ObamaCare – that is true. Obama is pretending like that problem doesn’t exist.

Obama is a broken record “Romney just wants to help the rich”…

Veteran Communications Strategist Lisa Marie Cashman – They are both trying to be too civil.

ME – They are both trying to remember their talking points and get them out, it is better to use such minutia for rebuttals and comebacks. Dear Mitt, please go watch Reagan’s debate with Carter. Thanks.

Cashman –  They are both reaching to meet the middle. The independent and enrolled votes are equally important; however Obamacare restricts growth. I wish Romney would hit the tack on the medical devices tax and the real estate tax.

Obama – The IPAB (ObamaCare panel) by law cannot tell doctors what to do – But the ObamaCare board can do is say what they will pay for. And they can say that doctors have to jump through every hoop they wish or they will not get paid on any of their patients…and if they are not paid for the care will not be given. Nice try Barack.

‎Romney – $90 billion for failed green jobs programs would have hired 2 million teachers – ZAP!!

Mitt – Education funds should follow the child. (Obama – they should follow the teachers’s UNIONS).

The problems with “federal support” in education Obama is that such support comes with thousands of strings attached that pick winners and losers and that make for political agendas and make everything more expensive overall. Race to the Top has been a bureaucratic nightmare.

Mitt, meeting with Democrat leaders in Congress will not be like meeting legislators in your state. The likes of Pelosi and Reid are far more partisan and radical than anyone you face in state government. So either the current Dem Leadership will have to be swept away or you will have to defeat them.

Our friend CSteven Tucker of the Insurance Tips & Advice Blog says – NOT ONE REPUBLICAN VOTED FOR OBAMACARE & The Senate has BLOCKED more than 30 GOP proposals. He wouldn’t know working together if it slapped him…

So true Steven. The Republicans were locked out of the room and we didn’t get many of the details of what was in ObamaCare until after it was passed.

Final thoughts – Well “hope and change” vs Romney won’t work. It sold when he faced a non existent Bush domestic policy in his second term vs McCain. But now Obama has a record to defend. Obama has used one office to run for the next and/or used tricks to get his serious opponents tossed off the ballot in Illinois. So he is not used to having to have a record to defend and tonight it showed.

Both sides had a lot of emotional investment in this debate and now that investment is being vented. All in all this debate was not a game changer. Both sides got facts wrong, but Obama was in the larger truth deficit. In the area of “non-verbals” Romney was the clear winner. He was more energized and assertive and as a result he looked more presidential because he came into the debate with a better posture.

Pretty much sums it up for me – LINK

ObamaCare Panel Targeting Women’s Health Screenings…Again

 

When a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) panel associated with the ObamaCare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) [ Also at times referred to as the death panel  – Editor] targeted breast cancer screenings for women over age 40 talk radio and the alternative media was able to make such a stink that even some of the Obama favoring elite media couldn’t help but report on it. As a result it was reversed.

Why is it that women’s and minority health are the first to be targeted for cuts as ObamaCare takes over? It is because those groups vote Democrat in such large numbers, that the Democrat leadership can do whatever it wants and likely keep that group secured as a voting block. With the elite media covering for them most of the time they can get away with it. Do you ever wonder why inner city minorities get the worst teachers, worst schools, worst city services and worst police protection in cities and areas ran by Democrats? It is for the same reason. No matter what the Democrats do they believe they will always get 85% or better of the black vote, so they put resources in swing districts to win swing voters.

If you doubt it just keep reading…..

Remember this from 2009?

Breast Exam Guidelines Test Obama Cost-Cutting

Nov. 20, 2009 (Bloomberg) — A medical debate over breast-cancer screening that has turned political may set the tone for a battle over President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul that will resonate for years.

The furor over a federal panel’s recommendation against mammograms for most women in their 40’s shows the obstacles the U.S. may face trimming costs in a $2.5 trillion health system, even when research suggests the cuts may be appropriate, said Uwe Reinhardt, a Princeton University economist.

With a health-care overhaul nearing a Senate vote, Republicans said the recommendations by the panel, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, for fewer mammograms proved Obama’s agenda will lead to rationed care. Democrats, fearful of antagonizing a key voting group in women, said the U.S. won’t change federal reimbursements to support guidelines that most women shouldn’t get regular mammograms until age 50.

The panel’s suggestions provided “the perfect place to throw a bomb into the health-care debate,” said Representative Lynn Woolsey, a Democrat of California and co-leader of the 82- member Congressional Progressive Caucus, in an interview. “We’re not going to ration anything. We’re going to give people choices based on science.”

‘Worst-Case Scenario’

The new guidelines would reduce annual mammograms by more than half under a “worst-case scenario,” said Junaid Husain, a Boston-based analyst at Soleil Securities, in a note to investors Nov. 17. Senator Sam Brownback, a Republican of Kansas, said the task force’s recommendations represent the start of an Obama administration plan to ration health care to pay for its overhaul.

“There are other ways to reduce costs,” Brownback said in an interview. Data show that 17 percent of breast-cancer deaths occur in women from ages 40 to 50, he said. Those statistics mean the panel “is effectively saying 17 percent wasn’t high enough to warrant spending the money to save lives.”

Democrats active in supporting the health-care overhaul legislation sought to distance themselves from the panel’s advice. Woolsey said resources will have to be used more efficiently, “but we’re not going to start with women.”

Medical economists said the U.S. will have to prepare itself for these kinds of decisions if it wants to cut health- care costs. Health-care legislation calls for comparative effectiveness research, as a way to determine whether treatments and procedures aren’t being overused.

Oh they are basing those decisions on science alright – political science; and politics is exactly why they reversed it. After all if it was based on “real science” and decisions are based on that basis only then why reverse it? Almost one if five breast cancer deaths are women aged 40-50. So to Obama’s appointees one in five breast cancer deaths is a safe gamble to ensure that services aren’t overused. They are not going to start with women? Oh really?

And so here we go again…

Our friend Steven Tucker who runs the Health Insurance Tips and Advice Blog put up on his Facebook page:

My wife had her routine physical today and she was asked to sign the new “voluntary” HHS data mining form for the BarryCare IPAB rationing panel. She said I’m not comfortable signing this. And, they told her, well we can’t bill Blue Cross if you don’t sign it. Oh, so it’s not really voluntary then? THEN her doctor informed her of the new “guidelines” on pap smears. Kathleen Supercillious has decided that pap smears are only needed every 5 years now. Folks, Ameritopia is already upon us. ” Forward” …. to Cervical cancer.

So I started doing some digging and look at this, not only are these “voluntary” ObamaCare becoming mandated over time, but the IPAB is targeting women’s pap tests for cuts [the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is a part of HHS/IPAB]. What happened to not letting the government get between you and your doctor? Here is the positive spin from NBC News:

Pap smear every five years? Panel says it’s safe.

Most women can go as long as five years between cervical cancer screenings as long as they make sure to get both a Pap smear and an HPV test when they do get examined, a government panel said Wednesday.

The interval between cervical cancer screenings can safely be extended for women between the ages of 30 and 65, according to the new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Women ages 21 to 30 should still get a Pap smear every three years, the interval currently recommended. But those younger than 21 and older than 65 can skip the screen altogether, the experts concluded.

The panel is urging a extended intervals in screenings in an attempt to cut back on the number of women who end up being treated for lesions that might resolve on their own.

The downside could be a very small potential increase in the number of women who might die of cervical cancer, experts said.

“It’s a trade-off,” said Dr. Michael LeFevre, co-vice chair of the task force and a professor of family and community medicine at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Some expert who is also a far left professor that helped come up with this guideline says it’s safe so it must be so right NBC? Let is by clear, like the 17% of breast cancer deaths above, this isn’t science, it is gambling. It is gambling with women’s lives and if they get away with this minorities will be next. These recommendations will be phased into being mandatory over time.

There is a reason why insurance companies have set their guidelines for pap screenings to every three years, they did it because it was better for customers, saved lives, and it increased profits as fighting cancer is the early stages is much cheaper than fighting it at a late stage…BUT that is not the case when you factor in these same patients when they retire and go on Medicare. Fending off and fighting cancer in those over 65 with a history of it is very expensive, so the IPAB is content with letting such citizens die off, but all that death panel talk was just fear mongering…

Related:

Obama’s Own Cousin Dr. Milton Wolf – ObamaCare does harm, rations care – LINK

British National Health Service: late cancer diagnosis kills 10,000 a year – LINK

Indiana Senate Candidate Votes Against His Own State’s Major Employers

Joe Donnelly medical device manufacturers

 

Joe Donnelly is a member of the House of Representatives in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District (South Bend) and is running for Senate in Indiana against Republican Dick Mourdock.

In the interests of full disclosure, Joe is my Congressman and I have talked with him a few times.

Joe Donnelly is one of “those” swing district politicians. What do I mean by that? Donnelly plays a very dishonest balancing act of keeping his right foot in Indiana and his far left foot in DC. Joe Donnelly is a reliable vote for the far left on any close vote, but on some big votes where the party leadership knows it has enough to pass what they like, Donnelly will vote ‘No’ so he can come home and tell the South Bend Tribune what an independent conservative Democrat he is; all while ensuring that Pelosi and the Democrat leadership get what they want.  The most famous player of this game in Indiana politics is former Congressman Tim Roemer, who of course is also from South Bend.

One of the most famous examples of Roemer’s play of this style of politics was on the 1993 Clinton tax increase and budget. Roemer voted to preserve Clinton’s new taxes and spending increases in the new budget 44 times in votes as the Bill was being amended and debated, but on the final vote, knowing it had enough voted to pass the House, he voted ‘No’ so he could come home and tell the people that the Clinton Budget spent and taxed too much.

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell once said that we need ‘Blue Dogs’ like Donnelly because they help cover what the real socialists are doing.

Indiana has a great deal of medical device manufacturing, Bayer, Miles Labs, and countless others have a long history here. While the 2.3% tax that Donnelly voted for on medical devices might not seem like a lot if you are talking about a device such as a personal blood sugar meter from Bayer, which is made in Donnelly’s home district, on a top of the line MRI Machine that tax translates into a $11,500 tax on every machine. In order to stay competitive with overseas competition cuts will have to be made and often that means outsourcing. While not every medical device costs as much as an MRI, X-Ray machines and defibrillator’s etc still cost tens of thousands of dollars so the 2.3% tax makes the difference between being competitive and non-competitive. While Democrats are still struggling to explain how ObamaCare will make health care cheaper by slapping over 20 new taxes on it, the medical device tax is already costing Indiana much needed jobs:

An Indiana company’s decision to scrap expansion plans due to a looming tax on medical devices has renewed pressure on the Senate to consider a House-passed bill repealing the tax.

House Speaker John Boehner, in a written statement, urged the Senate to take up the bill “as soon as possible.”

Companies in the medical device industry for months have been calling on Congress to strip the provision. Amid the complaints, though, several firms have already taken steps to cut back U.S. investment out of concern for the tax’s impact.

Cook Medical, an Indiana-based medical equipment manufacturer, last week said it’s nixing plans to open five new plants in the next five years — claiming the tax will cost between $15 million and $30 million a year, cutting into money that would otherwise go toward expanding into new facilities in the Midwest.

“Unfortunately, we have had to shelve these expansion plans and look overseas for that,” Allison Giles, vice president for federal affairs with the company, told FoxNews.com. “It’s a huge amount for us.”

 

 

Obama spokesman admits that secretive bureaucrats will make your “medical decisions” under ObamaCare (video)

This writer said this from the beginning (see my old college blog), so did Sarah Palin, so did Newt Gingrich, and as I recall do did the Legal Insurrection blog.

News Anchor Chris Wallace: “That is the argument that the Obama campaign makes – that the $716 billion is all in cuts to providers and insurance companies and it will have no effect on benefits or services to the beneficiaries. Let me ask my question. Medicare’s own actuary, own actuary of Medicare – not of the Romney campaign – says that is impossible. That you can’t have the same services for $716 billion less. And let’s put up some of what the Medicare actuary says. They say that 15 percent of Medicare providers will be unprofitable by 2019. 25 percent of Medicare providers will be unprofitable by 2030. And the Medicare actuary concludes – this is his quote – in practice Medicare providers could not sustain continued negative margins and, absent legislative changes, would have to withdraw – withdraw – from providing services to Medicare beneficiaries, merge with other provider groups or shift substantial portions of the Medicare costs it to their non-Medicare non-Medicaid providers. In other words, according to the actuary, Medicare patients, millions of them will lose access to Medicare benefits.”

Former Obama Press Sec. Robert Gibbs: “If Medicare companies that are involved in the program continue doing what they are doing, which is inefficient.”

Wallace: “Wait a minute. The actuary says, in practice, Medicare providers could not sustain continuing negative margins.”

Gibbs: “If Medicare providers continue to do what we are doing. Right now, under the old program, Chris, if a senior got readmitted over and over and over to the hospital for the same illness, they got paid every single time the senior got admitted into the hospital. Why not strengthen the benefit by adding preventive health care to it and trying to ensure that the patient gets accountable care and treated before they get that disease.”

Wallace: “If the providers don’t do it, then what happens is, under your plan, this unelected board, 15 bureaucrats come in and they decide what, well, you are laughing at it but that is it. The IPAB.”

Gibbs: “I guess I am laughing at your characterization of it.”

Wallace: “Are they an elected board?”

Gibbs: “They are medical professionals, they are people we trust to make medical decisions.”

Wallace: “Are they elected by anybody? They are an unaccountable unelected board that comes in and will make decisions on what the providers and what hospitals have to do and Congress either has to vote it all up or all down.”