THe following guest editorial was published on Juluy 11, 2012 in the Great Falls Tribune, Missoulian and Belgrade News.
Now that the Supremes have decreed Obamacare legal, Nancy Pelosi’s words are never more relevant – “Pass the [2,900-page] bill so you can find out what’s in it.” So, what IS in it?
1. The largest tax increase in history – 21 separate tax increases and new taxes, 75 percent of which hit the middle class. $500 billion in total tax hikes. Examples: Individual Mandate Tax (2.5 percent times gross income). Employer Mandate Tax ($3,000 per employee). Investment Income Surtax (3.8 percent times interest, dividends, rents, capital gains, royalties, etc.) Medicare Payroll Tax hike. Special Needs Kids Tax. Medical Device Sales Tax. Tax increases due to reduced medical itemized deductions and reduced HSA deductibility. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax hike. Tax on high-end health plans. Tax on Innovator Drug companies. Insurance Premiums Tax. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retiree drug coverage. Etc.
These tax increases, when the private sector already is struggling, are reason enough for Americans to reject Obamacare. But the tax hikes are only one class of multiple problems with Obamacare.
2. Reduced choices in the variety of insurance coverage available. Left-wing, politically-correct mandated coverages based on what Washington, D.C., bureaucrats feel must be included in YOUR insurance. Another bureaucrat panel tells doctors what types of care won’t be allowable.
3. Higher cost because of all the new coverages mandated into every policy. Slanted news coverage mentions only trivial objectionable mandates like birth control, but some estimates indicate all mandates combined could double insurance costs. How is this controlling health care costs?
4. Complete loss of economic freedom by forcing you to participate in this snake oil scam – you MUST buy this pork-laden insurance at a pork-laden price.
5. To pay for Obamacare, $500 billion stolen from a Medicare system that’s already broken. Many seniors will see Medicare premiums increase substantially to keep Medicare solvent.
6. A whole new class of serfs – co-dependents on the government dole; receiving government subsidies to help pay these monstrous insurance bills. With the phased-in cutoff at 400 percent of the poverty level ($92,200), most Montanans now are on the government dole. Government won’t pay all the cost of your health insurance – just enough to make you subservient … and quiet … and compliant.
7. One of the biggest government spending programs in history, $1.2 trillion-plus when we’re already on the verge of bankrupting our children’s future. Including all unfunded liabilities, total federal debt is now $135 trillion … that’s $1.2 million per taxpayer in the entire country.
8. History proves that command-and-control government-run economies are less productive than free enterprise.
As government-run, economically socialized countries continue to collapse and face financial crisis worldwide; D.C. geniuses have just converted 1/6 of the U.S. economy from the free market system (which produced the greatest medical advances in human history), over to government command-and-control.
This will punishes productive, healthy people to subsidize those who produce less and consume more on the government dole. Result: less productivity. America will be 1/6 less productive than it was, and our children and grandchildren will be 1/6 poorer for our stupidity.
Winston Churchill pointed out that “capitalism may well be the unequal distribution of wealth, but socialism is certainly the equal distribution of poverty.” In our quest for socialized health equality, we are now 1/6 the way down the road to economic poverty, and poorer over all health care as well.
How did we get here? Insurance companies made a deal with the D.C. devil. They got government to guarantee them customers, irrespective of insurance quality or cost, through compulsory insurance laws; and they traded off your freedom of choice in variety of health insurance. You paid for all sides of this insurance company/big government windfall – less choices in the types of coverage and care, higher cost because the new required coverages will drive up the price, slower economy and wage growth, and loss of your freedom to abstain from participating in this scam … and 21 higher taxes to boot. Your politicians and new government health care provider have just committed political med malpractice on a catastrophic scale.
Joe Balyeat is a CPA tax specialist who serves as the Montana state director of Americans for Prosperity. As a former state senator, he chaired the Senate Business, Labor & Economic Affairs Committee.