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Obamacare - Is it a tax or not?

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** Private **
02/16/2012 09:05 AM

Obamacare - Is it a tax or not?  I guess it depends on the audience. So, Representative Scott Garrett recently asked President Obama's acting OMB director Jeffery Zients if President's Obama's budget imposes any new taxes on citizens making less than 200k per year.  Zients did everything in his power to avoid answering, but eventually said "no".  That is, he admitted that the fine for not carrying insurance is not a tax.  You can see this part of the hearing in the youtube clip. Interesting since it is a complete contradiction of the following: Obama Administration Files Brief Defending Health Care Law Individual Mandate With Supreme Court: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/06/obama-health-care-individual-mandate_n_1190262.html After this dissemination of truth, Jeffery probably lost any chance to remove "acting" from his title. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=u5KuTNQIDQ8 J - If you make less than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you will not see a single dime of your taxes go up. If you make $200,000 a year or less, your taxes will go down. - Barack Obama ?I?ve pledged that I will not sign health insurance reform ? as badly as I think it?s necessary, I won?t sign it if that reform adds even one dime to our deficit.? - Barrack Obama 08-11-2009: I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter, because, frankly, we historically have had a employer-based system in this country, with private insurers, and for us to transition to a system like that, I believe would be too disruptive. 06-30-2003: A single-payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. That's what I?d like to see. - Barack Obama 03-24-2007: My commitment is to make sure that we've got universal healthcare for all Americans by the end of my first term as president. I would hope that we could set up a system that allows those who can't go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort. But I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out, or 15 years out, or 20 years out. - Barack

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Author:
** Private **
02/16/2012 09:14 AM

On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 6:05 AM, Jerry Barnes <criticalj@gmail.com> wrote: > > Obamacare - Is it a tax or not? There is a simple comparison that answers this.  Do you consider the fine for not carrying auto insurance to be a tax?  If so then the fine for not carrying healthcare insurance would also be considered a tax. If not, then no. Why is that so hard for people to grasp?  It's the exactly what the insurance companies wanted - for everyone to be required to pay them money, and for the government to pick up the tab for those who can't afford to pay for it.  The money is going to be paid out anyway - either directly to the healthcare industry in the form of subsidized medical care, or through the insurance companies with a huge profit skimmed off the top.  Either way, the consumer gets screwed.

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** Private **
02/16/2012 10:07 AM

You don't pay a fine if you don't drive. Also, many states do not require auto insurance. . On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM, Maureen <mamamaureen@gmail.com> wrote: > > There is a simple comparison that answers this.  Do you consider the > fine for not carrying auto insurance to be a tax?  If so then the fine > for not carrying healthcare insurance would also be considered a tax. > If not, then no.

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Author:
** Private **
02/16/2012 10:22 AM

> You don't pay a fine if you don't drive. Also, many states > do not require auto insurance. You can choose not to drive.  You can't choose not to get sick. -Justin

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** Private **
02/16/2012 10:45 AM

I choose not to get sick but that's a different thread. On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM, Justin Scott <leviathan@darktech.org> wrote: > >> You don't pay a fine if you don't drive. Also, many states >> do not require auto insurance. > > You can choose not to drive.  You can't choose not to get sick.

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** Private **
02/16/2012 10:47 AM

What states do not require auto insurance?  The federal government back int he 90's forced that on everyone just like they did with the 55 MPH speed limit by threatening to take away highway funds if they didn't comply... Eric On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 9:45 AM, Sam <sammycode@gmail.com> wrote: ----- Excess quoted text cut - see Original Post for more -----

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** Private **
02/16/2012 10:52 AM

New Hampshire and Wisconsin. Used to be Kentucky but I guess they changed the law. . On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM, Eric Roberts <owner@threeravensconsulting.com> wrote: > > What states do not require auto insurance?  The federal government back int > he 90's forced that on everyone just like they did with the 55 MPH speed > limit by threatening to take away highway funds if they didn't comply... > > Eric

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** Private **
02/16/2012 10:55 AM

I thought they bullied every state into that... On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 9:52 AM, Sam <sammycode@gmail.com> wrote: ----- Excess quoted text cut - see Original Post for more -----

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** Private **
02/16/2012 10:58 AM

It's is a nightmare if you get hit by someone without insurance. You're totally screwed. . On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM, Eric Roberts <owner@threeravensconsulting.com> wrote: > > I thought they bullied every state into that...

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Author:
** Private **
02/16/2012 11:34 AM

That is why i think there should be something in place to cover people who cannot afford it.  There is a serious disconnect between the legal theory of driving is a privledge and the reality of driving being a necessity for the majority of people in this country.  if we had a good public trans system that everyone had reasonable access to, then this would hold water...but outside of major cities, like Chicago for instance...get 20 miles outside of the city limits and public trans is limited to metra...which is good for getting to the city or to places right off the rail line and Pace bus...which has really irregular and unreliable schedules.  When i live in Aurora, IL...which has a lot of lower income people that would definitely use a well run and organized public trans system, there was a bus that went from 2 houses down from me to the Aurora transportation center, where I can get the train into the city (a lot of my jobs are in the city). I could take it int he morning to get to the train, but the problem was that the bus service stopped running at 3pm.  So i had no way of getting home from the train station if I wanted to use that and not have to drive. Eric On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 9:58 AM, Sam <sammycode@gmail.com> wrote: ----- Excess quoted text cut - see Original Post for more -----

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Author:
** Private **
02/16/2012 12:58 PM

I believe everyone in SC is required to have at least liability coverage.  I am unsure of the specifics or what happens if you don't have it, but there is also some kind of state insurance pool that property taxes go towards to cover uninsured drivers. On 2/16/2012 11:34 AM, Eric Roberts wrote: > > That is why i think there should be something in place to cover people who > cannot afford it.  There is a serious disconnect between the legal theory > of driving is a privledge and the reality of driving being a necessity for > the majority of people in this country.

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** Private **
02/29/2012 02:28 PM

The continueing saga of whether the individual mandate is a tax or not.  A nice little 1 minute clip gives you Secretary Sebellus opinion. *Secretary Sebelius: Individual Mandate is Not a Tax* "It operates the same way a tax would, but it is not, per se, a tax." http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=y9cHPQqhmEM Not per se huh? J - ?For us to say that you?ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,? - Barack Obama When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government?s ?power to lay and collect taxes.? - Robert Pear, New York Times "[President Obama] has not been honest with the American people about the nature of this bill, This bill is a tax. ? - Jack M Balkin, American Constitution So

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Author:
** Private **
02/16/2012 10:41 PM

It's also a nightmare if you are out for work and can barely pay your bills and put food on the table let a lone afford car insurance...yet you still need to be able to get to the store, look for a job, etc... It's is a nightmare if you get hit by someone without insurance. You're totally screwed. . On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM, Eric Roberts <owner@threeravensconsulting.com> wrote: > > I thought they bullied every state into that...

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Author:
** Private **
02/16/2012 11:06 AM

http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/vehicles/ins-req.htm Required. http://www.nh.gov/insurance/consumers/documents/nh_auto_guide.pdf "New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Laws do not require you to carry Auto Insurance, but you must be able to demonstrate that you  are able to provide sufficient funds to meet New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Requirements in the event of an ?at-fault? accident. If you are unable to meet these requirements your driving privileges in New Hampshire may be suspended. For more information on financial responsibility requirements you can refer to New Hampshire Statute RSA 264 or contact the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles at 603-271-3101 or www.nh.gov/safety/dmv." That's just shy of "required", and is required for persons with certain moving violations or an accumulation of points on their license. On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 9:52 AM, Sam <sammycode@gmail.com> wrote: ----- Excess quoted text cut - see Original Post for more -----

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Author:
** Private **
02/16/2012 10:55 AM

I would also disagree with not being forced to drive.  Unless you live in a big city, chances are you do not have access to public transportation.  Our culture has made driving a necessity.  We no longer live in the same neighborhood where we work and the big box stores have driven neighborhood grocery, hardware, and other stores out of business so we have to drive to get what we need.  I think where the healthcare bill went int he right direction...if you can't afford to pay for the mandatory health insurance, the government will subsidze it.  If i am unemployed for a long period of time...I can't afford to buy car insurance.  I am already at 20% of my normal wages with unemployment and they expect me to pay 100% of my car insurance?  I think that is dumb.  Just because i am broke doesn't mean I don't need to drive.  I need to be able to get food (whether that is by going to the store or getting to a local food pantry)...i still need to go to the doctor.  I need to be able to go on interviews.  If the government is going to mandate...they also need to take into account people that cannot afford it whether is it because of income level or because they are unemployed.  To add insult to injury, do you realize that most (not all) car insurance companies base your rate more on your credit score than on your actual driving record?  Apparently there was a study somewhere that said that people with bad credit are also bad drivers.  So if you have bad credit you are going to pay a higher insurance rate even if you have a spotless driving record.  There are some that don't.  The company I work for doesn't. Eric On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 9:47 AM, Eric Roberts < owner@threeravensconsulting.com> wrote: ----- Excess quoted text cut - see Original Post for more -----

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Author:
** Private **
02/16/2012 12:20 PM

> I choose not to get sick but that's a different thread. You really are delusional if you believe that you can simply choose not to come down with, say, cancer, or MS, or any number of other problems that you quite simply have no control over.  If that were the case, the whole debate around health care would be a moot point because nobody that I am aware of chooses to get sick. -Justin

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** Private **
02/16/2012 12:33 PM

There are some things out of my control but for the most part I rarely even catch a cold. Take good care of yourself and eat right will prevent most health care issues. But you can read that as I choose not to get cancer or hit by a car if you want. Black and white thingy and all. . On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 12:20 PM, Justin Scott <leviathan@darktech.org> wrote: ----- Excess quoted text cut - see Original Post for more -----

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Author:
** Private **
02/16/2012 12:45 PM

> There are some things out of my control but for the most part I > rarely even catch a cold. Take good care of yourself and eat > right will prevent most health care issues. ... We can agree there and I am in the same boat (healthy and it's rare for me to get so much as a headache much less anything else).  I have known people who were perfectly healthy, exercised regularly, ate well, etc. and were "struck down" by sudden illnesses, some serious (MS in one case; the person went from running miles a day to bedridden in a matter of a couple of weeks).  They lived well and didn't choose to get sick, but it happened anyway.  You and I may be healthy today, but anything can happen at any time, which of course is the whole point of insurance in the first place.  It's a complex topic to be sure. :) -Justin

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** Private **
02/16/2012 11:00 AM

That wasn't the question.  The question is "is the fine on not having auto insurance a tax?".  Whether some people don't have to have the insurance is a different issue. On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 7:07 AM, Sam <sammycode@gmail.com> wrote: ----- Excess quoted text cut - see Original Post for more -----

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** Private **
02/16/2012 11:18 AM

My point is auto insurance is opt in, not mandated. Carry on with your point. . On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 11:00 AM, Maureen <mamamaureen@gmail.com> wrote: > > That wasn't the question.  The question is "is the fine on not having > auto insurance a tax?".  Whether some people don't have to have the > insurance is a different issue.

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** Private **
02/16/2012 11:48 AM

"Do you consider the fine for not carrying auto insurance to be a tax? " Do they call it a fine? If one could pay all expenses out of pocket for a car accident and its consequences, then he or she should not be required to have car insurance. If someone cannot afford this and does not carry insurance, then there is a court system to hold them accountable for their actions. Likewise, if a person can afford out of pocket health care, great.  If not, they should buy insurance, find a job that has insurance as a benefit, work with the hospitals to arrange payment plans, rely on the charity of friends and family.  You know, the things everyone did for the first 200 years of our country. "Why is that so hard for people to grasp?  It's the exactly what the insurance companies wanted - for everyone to be required to pay them money, and for the government to pick up the tab for those who can't afford to pay for it." It's hard to grasp that Obama and his progressive statist cronies sold out the people for big business?  Hardly. Maureen, I do believe that the leader ship of the parties (I'll call them Democrats and Republicans for simplicity even though it is completely unfair to the actual voters in these parties) form the front lines of corporate warfare.  The are the colonels serving under their corporate generals. J - The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson. - FDR

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** Private **
02/16/2012 10:13 AM

The consumer is getting screwed because healthcare delivery is a "prisoners dilemma". i.e. EVERYONE (insurance, care teams, hospitals, clinics, DME, etc) would benefit from reforming the *delivery system* since the existing one is not affordable whether the government pays or not. The problem is that the government is doing a poor to mediocre job of driving reform (I.e., ACOs, CMMI, etc). Those are all great programs but it's not enough fast enough. Insurance chat is such a red herring; it assumes that if we make someone else pay - I.e. the taxpayer - then quality healthcare is affordable.  It isn't. And the argument that if the government controlled healthcare payments it could just mandate lower costs is laughable.  (see Soviet Union) So the point is, the government should stop worrying about financing mechanisms and use its power of threats to drive reform via more programs like ACOs, beacon communities, etc The solution to healthcare lies with startups, the elimination of the fee-for-service provider payment, getting employers out of the middle, and transparency in pricing. On Feb 16, 2012, at 6:14 AM, Maureen <mamamaureen@gmail.com> wrote: ----- Excess quoted text cut - see Original Post for more -----

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Author:
** Private **
02/16/2012 12:49 PM

On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM, Maureen <mamamaureen@gmail.com> wrote: > There is a simple comparison that answers this.  Do you consider the > fine for not carrying auto insurance to be a tax?  If so then the fine > for not carrying healthcare insurance would also be considered a tax. > If not, then no. This analogy is only valid if mandatory auto insurance covered maintenance on your car, no matter how you treated it. -Cameron ...

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** Private **
02/16/2012 10:35 PM

The other thing that I think that is incomprehensibly stupid is the focus on it being a tax.  What is the difference if you are paying 200 a month to your insrance company for your premiums or 200 a month to the government for your premium?  You are still paying a premium... and this premium allows others that cannot afford coverage to get coverage. On Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 6:05 AM, Jerry Barnes <criticalj@gmail.com> wrote: > > Obamacare - Is it a tax or not? There is a simple comparison that answers this.  Do you consider the fine for not carrying auto insurance to be a tax?  If so then the fine for not carrying healthcare insurance would also be considered a tax. If not, then no. Why is that so hard for people to grasp?  It's the exactly what the insurance companies wanted - for everyone to be required to pay them money, and for the government to pick up the tab for those who can't afford to pay for it.  The money is going to be paid out anyway - either directly to the healthcare industry in the form of subsidized medical care, or through the insurance companies with a huge profit skimmed off the top.  Either way, the consumer gets screwed.

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Author:
** Private **
02/16/2012 12:49 PM

There is no such thing as Obamacare, so no, it can't be a tax. Perhaps you are thinking provisions of the Affordable Care Act? Judah


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