Once the jubilation over the Supreme Court decision to uphold “Obamacare” dies down it will be time to fully enact the Affordable Care Act – including the provisions to pay for it.
Part of the money will come from cuts to the current health care costs incurred by the government, but the bulk of the $1 trillion that will be spent over the next ten years will come from taxes. Americans will pay an additional 9/10 of one percent on income over $200k to help finance the system. Those with investment income may be subject to a new 3.8% tax on some of their capital gains and dividends.
Businesses that offer what are considered “excellent” or “Cadillac” health care plans will also pay more: plans that cost over $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage will be subject to new excise taxes. Many business analysts claim businesses will try to avoid this tax by reducing their plan offerings or even cutting health care plans altogether. The theory is this will translate to higher wages or higher profits, and thus higher tax revenues – so either way the government is covered.
There is also a new tax deductible cap on “flexible spending plans”, and new regulations that limit what such plans can pay for, plus a 20% penalty for non-qualified expenses.
The limit for deductions for medical expenses will rise from 7.5% of income to 10% – although that provision will not kick-in until 2016 for those over 65 years-of-age.
Those who enjoy indoor tanning salons have been paying a 10% excise tax since 2010, supposedly because of the health care costs associated with irradiating your skin with UV light.
And finally there is the controversial “individual mandate”, that requires those who can afford health insurance but who choose not to get it to pay a penalty. This will be phased-in in a graduated plan between the years 2014 to 2016, starting at $285 per family or 1% of income (whichever is greater), and growing to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of income (whichever is greater). Initially Obama resisted this provision but bowed to pressure from insurers who claim without it people will take advantage of the law’s lack of “preexisting condition” exclusions by waiting to buy insurance after they get sick. The insurers thus need the mandate to turn a profit and stay in business. Under the original proposed law these people would have been served via a “public option” offered directly through the government, but this was gutted from the law by Republicans who considered it to be “socialism” (unlike taking money from the insurance lobby, which is “capitalism”).
Because of the easy availability of so-called “potency” drugs like Viagra and Cialis, emergency rooms all over the world are being clogged with old people who should not have been having sex. Sure the number of heart attacks and strokes has gone up, but the number one cause of senior emergency room visits is now wrinkle-lock: two old people becoming essentially Velcroed together due to the intersection of their wobbly epidermis.
This is placing an unsustainable burden on our health care system, and it’s time for governments to act: senior sex must be banned – not only is it wasting precious health care resources, it’s just icky to even think about.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced he will return to Cuba to undergo chemotherapy treatment.
“I have faith in God, in medical science … in the people who have taken care of me and finally in myself,” he said during a message broadcast on state TV.
But Chavez apparently has no faith in Venezuelan health care, which must be pretty bad if he’s going to Cuba for treatment. Cuban authorities announced they have a 1958 Ford Edsel ambulance standing-by at the airport to take Chavez to the hospital when he arrives.
Upset that Republicans had enough votes to block special health care for responders to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, New York Rep. Angry Weiner took to the House floor and raged at Republican representatives. He became so upset he leaked mustard.
This Fox News story asks the question: Did Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens do the nasty? Our question would be: And did they take pictures? And why did we survive and Neanderthals die-out? Was it because they had inadequate health care?
Does Neanderthal/Homo Sapiens inter-breeding explain political conservatism? There are so many questions that only continued research can answer.
Various conservative organizations have been saying TWO MILLION people marched on Washington D.C. and filled the Capitol Mall. Via Newsbusters.org, here is a link to a time-lapse video (which is itself via The Rhetorician).
The numbers don’t add up! The National Mall covers 309.2 acres. There are 43,560 square feet to an acre. So, there are 13,468,753 square feet. Stuff like buildings, monuments, and the reflecting pool coveraApproximately 2/3 of the mall. So now there are 4,489,584 square feet of open space.
If you figure it takes 5 square feet for a person to stand, breathe, and wave a stupid sign over their head (and the U.S. Park Service does), that means 897,916.8 people can cover the open space in the National Mall (the 0.8 person is probably Newt Gingrich). The Park Service itself says 1.17 million, probably because they figure about 25% of an American crowd will have a topless woman sitting on their shoulders.
Now, according to this chart you probably didn’t download, 2.1 million people can fit on the Mall if each takes-up no more than 2.5 square feet and none of them move – like at all. Also none of them could possibly be fat-assed obese Americans, or wave stupid signs that compare Obama to Hitler, or have the word “COMMIE NEGRO” scrawled on them in crayon.
So where did this incredibly inflated number come from? According to Fox News (people who know a thing or two about pumping air into statistics), it came from the Democrats! To quote the story:
“It looks like Saturday’s event is going to be a huge gathering, estimates ranging from hundreds of thousands to 2 million people,” Doug Thornell, an aide to Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., wrote in a memo obtained by FOXNews.com.
But conservatives believe the memo is ploy* to inflate expectations for the turnout anticipating that it will fall short.
“It’s an old political tactic to get out in front and make wild projections and when they’re not met, claim their opponents don’t have the juice,” said Pete Sepp, a spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union, one of the organizers of the rally.
(*Yes, is ploy by Moose and Squirrel)
Even Fox News won’t support these numbers, saying only “tens of thousands” attended the “Tea Party”. Which seems more likely, seeing as tea makes you want to piss, and if two million people all pissed at once in Washington D.C., you would think Congress was debating health care reform or something.
It takes real guts to heckle the President of the United States, particularly if you are a member of Congress, and especially if the President is addressing Congress at the time. Fortunately for the proud people of South Carolina, Representative Joe Wilson has the guts. Lots of ’em, hanging-out all over his belt buckle, and probably seething with the kind of stomach acid even grits won’t soak up.
Wilson shouted “You lying negro commie socialist wetback lover!” (or words to that effect) at one point during President Barack Obama’s speech Wednesday night, when Obama assured the Congress and the nation that his new Health Care plan would not cover illegal aliens. Later in the speech, Obama called for civility in the health care debate, at which point Wilson vomited down the front of his shirt.
Undeterred, Obama went on to summon the ghost of the late Ted Kennedy. Kennedy duly appeared, floating in the air above the audience and, giggling, peed on Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel. Several in the audience said the tubby spectre seemed to be intoxicated.
After the speech, Wilson called the White House to apologize, saying “I’m sorry you’re a lying negro commie socialist wetback lover – really, I am.” There was no report on if the apology was accepted.
On Sunday Senator Joe Lieberman called President Obama’s ambitious goal of covering all or nearly all of the millions of uninsured in the country “the tough one.” “That’s where you spend most of the trillion dollars . . . that this health care plan will cost. And I’m afraid we’ve got to think about putting a lot of that off until the economy is out of recession. There’s no reason we have to do it all now – I mean, if we wait, then obviously there will be many fewer sick people without insurance because of, err, attrition, and that will bring the overall cost down.”