Posts Tagged ‘Senate Healthcare’

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 –

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:

WSJ – Key Numbers –

WSJ Blog – Reactions From Doctors/ Industry –

U.S. Chamber Denounces Passage of Healthcare Bill:

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

Congressman Ed Royce Reacts to Government Takeover of Healthcare:

Senate Advances $873 Billion Healthcare Bill

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Early Monday morning the U.S. Senate agreed to advance their version of Healthcare reform.  The action highlighted the partison divide with 58 Democrats and 2 Independants voting to advance the bill and all 40 Republican Senators voting “nay”.

Despite the purported cost savings, the bill contains 12o references to “tax increases” and the latest version includes a last-minute Harry Reid insertion which bumped the Social Security payroll tax increase from the originally proposed .5% increase to .9%.  This increase is not set to become effective until 2013 – leapfrogging the end of Obama’s initial 4-year term to minimize this being an election-year issue. 

The cumualtive tax increases are estimated to total over $500 billion.

Read more about the payroll tax increases in the attached article:


The House and Senate versions must now be reconciled in Conference Committee and this will be a very contentious process.

Stay tuned for the continuing circus.

$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! 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):


Christian Science Monitor Article:



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:


Associated Press Article:


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Perspective:


Heritage Foundation Perspective, including various underlying cost studies:


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:


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).


Republican proposal provides lower-cost  alternative:


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


Call your representatives NOW to let them know your thoughts.