Posts Tagged ‘Obama Healthcare Proposals’

Obama Updates His Healthcare Plan – Third Time’s The Charm?

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

$950 billion over 10 years, imposition of excise tax on “Cadillac” medical plans (excluding dental and optical), and expanded Social Security taxes on wages, rent and interest income (yes you heard right) for taxpayer making more than $200,000 (single) or $250,000 (joint).

Read the Heritage Foundation’s summary of the major tax provision:

http://blog.heritage.org/2010/02/23/obama%E2%80%99s-health-plan-has-dangerous-new-taxes/

In preparation for the bi-partisan healthcare conference later this week, President Obama released his revised healthcare proposal, which incorporates portions of both the Senate and House versions passed late last year.

With the recent pick up of a key seat in the Senate (Scott Brown- – MA) by the GOP, the Democrats are scrambling to either win over some Republican votes – or resort to the nuclear option of Reconciliation.

The following link from WSJ summarizes the key points of the latest $950 billion proposal:

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/WHhealth20100222.pdf

The Democrats are threatening the use of the ”Reconciliation” procedure to avoid additional House and Senate debate and votes.  Read about the history and the Reconciliation procedures: 

http://www.rules.house.gov/archives/bud_rec_proc.htm

As reflected in the attached articles, there are a number of hurdles to overcome for the two parties to get beyond the current impasse and President Obama’s legacy and the mid-term elections hang in the balance.

Obama’s weekend healthcare video laying out Thurday Summit’s objectives:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9NMc3gOBr8

Feb. 22, 2010 Washington Post (Blog) – Obama is the Real Obstructionist:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/02/obama_is_the_real_obstructioni.html

 

From the U.K. side of the Pond – President Obama Doubles Down on Healthcare:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/586131b2-1fdf-11df-8deb-00144feab49a.html?ftcamp=rss

Senate Delivers a Sack of Coal (Plus More Taxes) For Christmas

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Just in time for the Holidays, the Senate passed their version of healthcare reform.

Don’t spend that cash and those gift cards you receive for the Holidays — you may need them for living expenses, your shrinking paycheck  or increased insurance premiums very soon.

Now the real work will begin for the Conference Committee to hammer out a reconciliation of the House and Senate versions and come up with a final bill that can pass both houses.

$398 Billion in New Taxes: You may need to spend some time studying this information to figure out how these bills are purportedly going to save taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.   If you make more than $200,000 annually, use medical devices, require presription drugs, pay medical premiums, or own a business (that should cover the vast majority of you) you might be subject to one or more of the following:

 - 5.4% surtax on your taxable income above $500,000,

- 2.5% excise tax on medical devices,

-40% excise tax on “High Cost” insurance plans, 

- 62% increase (from 1.45% to 2.35%) in the hospital portion of payroll taxes for taxpayers making more than $500,000,

- penalties ranging from $750 per individual to 8% of payroll on companies and individuals for not having health coverage,

- numerous proposed fees on medicines, drugs and procedures,

- 10% tax on indoor tanning salons (no tax proposed on beachs YET).

Tort reform and healthy living incentives seem to be in short supply in both bills.

And all of these taxes will be collected a few years before the revised healthcare coverage goes into effect – so even though the government has never been able to save more than they spend – it is much easier when they sock away your money (vs. theirs).

Don’t be too upset with Congress though, your state representatives will be looking for new ways to tax you to cover the billions of dollars the feds will be shifting to the state level via Medicaid revisions.

The family gatherings over the next few days will be a great opportunity to educate your family members about what is really in these two pieces of legislation and encourage everyone to reach out to their representatives to ensure that their voices are heard.

Following is a link to a nice Reuters article which summarizes the House and Senate versions:

FACTBOX – Major Differences in the Seanate and House Bills – http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2317087220091224

Here are some other links to inform you of the impact on business and individuals and to highlight some of the issues which your congressional representatives may not be sharing with you:

Wall Street Journal – Businesses Brace For Health Bill’s Costs:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126153353820802365.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

WSJ – Key Numbers – http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/12/24/the-senate-health-care-bill-six-key-numbers/

WSJ Blog – Reactions From Doctors/ Industry – http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2009/12/24/senate-bill-reactions-from-doctors-insurers-business-etc/

U.S. Chamber Denounces Passage of Healthcare Bill:

http://www.uschamber.com/press/releases/2009/december/091224_healthsenate.htm

Financial Times (UK) – The Honest Case For a Bungled Healthcare Reform:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/1db42944-ed8e-11de-ba12-00144feab49a.html

Congressman Ed Royce Reacts to Government Takeover of Healthcare:

http://royce.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=164511

Rebuilding Global Prosperity – Wall Street Journal CEO Council Recommendations

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

We all seem to enjoy second-guessing other people’s decisions – particularly if it involves any decision by Congress or Presidents Bush or Obama in the last few years.

Well now a group of CEOs, representing millions of workers and over $2 trillion of combined market capitalization, had that opportunity to make their opinions known to the business community, as well as the Obama Administration and Congress (assuming they are still open to input from us pesky voters).

Last week the Wall Street Journal gathered 100 CEO’s from a cross-section of large cap companies.  The purpose of this CEO Council was to develop a consensus on how the Obama Administration should prioritize their national and global agendas for the good of the economy and the good of the country.

According to WSJ.com: “The CEOs divided into four task forces and debated priorities in the areas of health care, energy and the environment, finance and the U.S. economy, and education. Using an electronic ranking system devised by the Journal, they chose five top priorities in each subject area.”

The summarized priorities are accessible at the link below:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704204304574543633148686184.html

 

The full CEO Council reports and a list of CEO Council participant can be accessed at:

http://online.wsj.com/public/page/ceo-council-112309.html

$1.2/ $.849 Trillion Healthcare Reform Bills – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Wednesday, October 18th

Senate Version of Healthcare Bill Drops to $849 Billion  – what a deal!

Politico.com Executive Summary – .5% increase in lockbox Medicare Hospital Insurance Tax payroll tax for taxpayers making more than $200,000 (for single taxpayers) and $250,000 (for married couples):

http://www.politico.com/livepulse/1109/Senate_bill_summary.html

 

Christian Science Monitor Article:

http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2009/11/18/senate-democrats-introduce-849-billion-healthcare-reform-bill/

 

 

Sunday, October 8th, 11.30 p.m. PST Updates

 

Chinese Less Than Thrilled With House Healthcare Package

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday exhorted the U.S. to keep its deficit in control to stabilize the U.S. dollar exchange-rate, according to media reports.

 

“I hope that as the largest economy in the world and an issuing country of a major reserve currency the United States will effectively discharge its responsibilities,” Wen said at a news conference in Egypt, according to wire reports.

 

China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasurys.

 

Earlier this year, Chinese officials expressed concern about the continued value of those holdings as the U.S. pumps trillions of dollars into the financial system to pull the economy out of a severe recession. The U.S. Treasury has been issuing record amounts of debt to close the country’s budget gap.

 

“Most importantly, we hope the U.S. will keep its deficit at an appropriate size so that there will be basic stability in the exchange rate and that is conducive to the stability and recovery of the world economy,” he said.

 

Bloomberg House-Senate Summary:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aJU5kC3UDPaw&pos=8

 

Associated Press Article:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/House-Senate-health-care-apf-3314142498.html?x=0&.v=4

 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Perspective:

http://www.uschamber.com/issues/index/health/default

http://www.truthout.org/1005091

 

Heritage Foundation Perspective, including various underlying cost studies:

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Healthcare/wm2114.cfm

 

Update Saturday, November 7th  8:30 p.m.

 Earlier this hour, the House passed H.R. 3962  – House version of the nearly 2,000 page/ $1.2 Billion healthcare reform package by a very  slim 220 – 215 margin – with only a single Republican from Louisiana (Cao) supporting the package – and that vote was curiously only cast after the 218 vote threshold for passage was met. 

The Conference Committee and Senate debate will shine a brighter light on the specific provisions which have been shoehorned into this bloated monstrosity.

This morning  President Obama encouraged the Representatives to stand firm and effectively ignore their constituents back home.   The coming weeks will be very telling as to how home district voters will take being ignored by their representatives.

Click on the Huffington Post link below for the evolving details of this historic bill:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/07/health-care-vote-latest-u_n_349454.html

 

Earlier Post:

As Congress pushes forward with their $1.2 TRILLION (that’s 1,200 BILLION Dollars for you non-mathematician) healthcare package, it is important to understand how the House and Senate versions will impact businesses, doctors, patients and taxpayers.

The attached side-by-side comparison will provide you with a helpful overview of the projected impact of both versions of the current bills (which are changing hourly). 

 http://www.kff.org/healthreform/sidebyside.cfm

 

Republican proposal provides lower-cost  alternative:

http://www.gop.gov/solutions/healthcare

 

Read about the 5.4% surtax payable by higher income taxpayers:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/

 

Call your representatives NOW to let them know your thoughts.