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Paying the Health Care Tax
#11
“Reform” Means You Pay More for Health Care
Posted October 12th, 2009 at 10.04am in Health Care.

A major new report confirms the worst fears of many: Health care reform will raise the costs for most Americans—by about 18% on average. That is on top of existing inflation of health coverage.

Once the plan is fully phased-in (by 2019), a typical family of four would pay an extra $4,000 each year.

When combined with existing inflation, costs would rise from today’s $12,300 annual average to $25,900
. Of that 111% increase, $9,600 is due to existing factors uncorrected by the legislation, and $4,000 due to additional costs created by the legislation.

For single persons, the differential is projected at $1,500 a year. Premiums would rise from today’s $4,600 a year to $9,600 overall.

Prepared by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), the new analysis was requested by AHIP—America’s Health Insurance Plans. It focuses on the leading plan pending in Congress, sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D, MT), which is scheduled for a Senate Finance Committee vote on Tuesday. The PWC report can be read here.

The PWC projections track what The Heritage Foundation and many others have said about the legislation: It does not save money. It simply taxes those who have health coverage and uses the money to give care to others.

The White House is said to be livid. After all, President Obama’s claims that he makes care more affordable are exposed as a myth by the new study. Lawmakers claim the bill would “save” money, but that’s not true for those who have insurance. The only “savings” would be to those who receive government-paid health care and subsidies at the cost of higher prices for everyone else. (Even if the legislation “reduced the deficit”, it would do so by making citizens pay more, not by controlling government spending.)

Despite the enormous costs, estimates say 25-million people would remain uninsured under the Baucus bill. The new study also criticizes the Baucus plan for not placing tougher mandates and penalties on those who do not buy health insurance, which would help spread the costs (and create new customers for insurers). PWC reports higher costs would occur due to these parts of the bill:

- Requirements to cover pre-existing conditions with guaranteed-issue insurance
- The new tax created on so-called “high cost” health care plans
- The new taxes on medical devices and other segments of health care
- Reduction in Medicare payments, which care providers would offset by raising rates on their other patients.


http://blog.heritage.org/2009/10/12/%E2%...alth-care/
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#12
Ahh, I report commissioned by the Health Insurance industry and reported on by the Heritage Foundation! Gee, you can't get more non-partisan than that can you? Rolleyes

The Washington Post has a different take -

The Insurance Industry's Deceptive Report

In the hallowed tradition of the tobacco and energy industries, the health insurance industry has commissioned a report (pdf) projecting doom and despair for those who seek to reform its business practices. The report was farmed out to the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has something of a history with this sort of thing: In the early-’90s, the tobacco industry commissioned PWC to estimate the economic devastation that would result from a tax on tobacco. The report was later analyzed by the Arthur Andersen Economic Consulting group, which concluded that “the cumulative effect of PW’s methods … is to produce patently unreliable results.” It’s perhaps no surprise that the patently unreliable results were all in the tobacco industry’s favor. He who pays the piper names the tune, and all that.

As does an MIT expert in health economics, reported in the New York Times -

MIT Economist Finds Flaws in Insurance Industry Report

Mr. Gruber, who helped Massachusetts with its effort to provide universal health insurance coverage, said that the industry report failed to take into account administrative overhead costs that he said will “fall enormously” once insurance polices are sold through new government-regulated marketplaces, or exchanges.

And Mr. Gruber said that the PricewaterhouseCoopers report had failed to take into account government subsidies that would be provided to help moderate-income Americans purchase insurance. PricewaterhouseCoopers acknowledged in its report that it did not factor in the effect of those subsidies.

As a result, Mr. Gruber reached the opposite conclusion of the insurance industry.


The examinar points out, in An analysis of America's Health Insurance Plans' report on health care reform that -

The report contradicts a report done by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which stated that the Baucus bill would actually lower the deficit by billions over a the next decade.

Nowhere does the report address any potential savings from the Baucus plan while it does assume the worst of cost increases would occur

the report assumes that taxes will be passed on the customers through higher premiums rather than simply reducing health insurance company profits.

Conclusion: The AHIP delivers what can be expected from a study commissioned and paid for the by the health care insurance lobby. It delivers conclusions and arguments against reform which may harm the health care insurance industry by assuming the worst case-scenarios about the Baucus bill while ignoring any positive elements of the bill.

There's analysts ripping the report apart all over the place MichMan, you may want to read them.
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#13
Sigh - this is the biggest mud-wrestling event I can remember....

Part of the problem is that one side (and it's a pretty big group) doesn't want their health care to change. Heck - I wouldn't either if I had free or minimal-out-of-pocket costs on what I call "Luxury Coverage" (medical with co-pays, prescription, dental,vision, etc). Who has this?? Almost every full time teacher, government worker, union member...or anyone who works for a Fortune 500 Company... that's a HUGE group of opposition - and they make political donations and they VOTE.

Another group has no insurance and is already covered by Medicaid. They have their health care taken care of quite nicely right now - I can see where they don't want change.

Neither of those groups has a grasp on what the small business owner (and this probably applies to American IBOs, too?) is paying for limited health care. It feels like being caught in floodwaters - you just hope that you land somewhere safe before you drown.
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#14
I remember some years back reading an (ostensibly) non-partisan analysis of different voter groups and who they voted for comparing to the party policies and how they effected them, One of the interesting things was that small business owners heavily voted republican, but overall are helped most by Democrat policies. Same went with poor whites, the voted Republican even though they were best aided by Democrat policies. The wealthy (mostly white collar and large business if I recall) voted republican and were helped best by republican policies, so they were the most consistent. The superwealthy interestingly tended to vote Democrat while Republican polices were best for them.
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#15
There is a lot of misrepresenting going on with this report. The report as I saw it stated clearly "As a worst case scenario" other factors being limited or not put into the report. So the right is using it as a tool to push their opposition. While the left is trying to pick up the pieces and fill the gaps with their own opinions. It truly is a mess and a hard problem to solve, especially with the partisan actions going on by both parties.

I honestly think if we could put the top people from both parties in a room, lock and key, until they produce something viable that achieve a significant objective, with no pork or added junk, it could happen pretty quick.

What I don't like about the current bill is this crazy call that we are not taking into account the "savings" we would receive. I look at it like people are spending money they don't yet have. If our government could really operate their budgets like individuals are required to operate theirs, we would all be better off. More importantly, our children would be much better off.

**Something of interest I just found. For the price of what the U.S.A. spends on consumption of ice cream per year we could provide the necessary supplies for basic coverage for the planet. (Supplies only..not taking into account man power and such--but would be a good step forward, if we could eliminate the red tape) Not likely to happen though.
It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things. --Roosevelt
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#16
Earlier in this thread or another I asked something like "unless you believe the US government is far more inefficient than other governments" ... to be honest I think there may actually be some truth to that. I think your system of getting bills passed, particularly with the whole earmarking pork barrel rubbish, together with the extreme power of lobbyists and voting system really does create inefficiencies ... it seems, ironically, this may be especially the case when the Democrats are in power, as they almost instinctively try to go for compromises, including with Republicans, rather than stick to their ground, and stick together, and push through what they actually believe. While both sides end up with all the pork, Republicans at least get a bill that has a chance of doing what it was initiated for. Democrat stuff that does get passed can often be so watered down as to not do the job it was wanted for in the first place.
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#17
ibofightback Wrote:Earlier in this thread or another I asked something like "unless you believe the US government is far more inefficient than other governments" ... to be honest I think there may actually be some truth to that. I think your system of getting bills passed, particularly with the whole earmarking pork barrel rubbish, together with the extreme power of lobbyists and voting system really does create inefficiencies ... it seems, ironically, this may be especially the case when the Democrats are in power, as they almost instinctively try to go for compromises, including with Republicans, rather than stick to their ground, and stick together, and push through what they actually believe. While both sides end up with all the pork, Republicans at least get a bill that has a chance of doing what it was initiated for. Democrat stuff that does get passed can often be so watered down as to not do the job it was wanted for in the first place.



I'll bet it really looks like a 3-ring circus to folks outside of the USA?? Blush How embarrassing - but it's the sad truth. My husband says what we need right now is a good Dictator :banghead:
 Reply
#18
Deb Wrote:I'll bet it really looks like a 3-ring circus to folks outside of the USA?? Blush How embarrassing - but it's the sad truth.


Well, all governments have their weaknesses and problems.

Quote:My husband says what we need right now is a good Dictator :banghead:

Smart man! Smile I read years ago that the ideal of form of government is a true Benevolent Dictatorship
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#19
ibofightback Wrote:Smart man! Smile I read years ago that the ideal of form of government is a true Benevolent Dictatorship


Ideal for the dictator and his friends...
Probably not ideal for those he doesn't consider his friends...
I guess it is all in whose perspective you are looking at it.
 Reply
#20
Here is how a Benevolent Dictatorship works:

This is from Robert Reich, Cabinet Secretary to President Clinton and health care advisor to President Obama:




What and Honest President Should Say About Healthcare:

"Thank you so much for coming this afternoon. I'm so glad to see you and I would like to be president. Let me tell you a few things on health care. Look, we have the only health care system in the world that is designed to avoid sick people. And that's true and what I'm going to do is that I am going try to reorganize it to be more amenable to treating sick people but that means you, particularly you young people, particularly you young healthy people...you're going to have to pay more....

"And by the way, we're going to have to, if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too expensive...so we're going to let you die." .....

"Also I'm going to use the bargaining leverage of the federal government in terms of Medicare, Medicaid---we already have a lot of bargaining leverage---to force drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers to reduce their costs. What that means, less innovation and that means less new products and less new drugs on the market which means you are probably not going to live much longer than your parents."


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT7Y0TOBuG4[/youtube]
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