Diary

Associated Press to Obama: "It's a tax," and a List of Other Obama Promises He's Broken

The Associated Press has sided with the rest of the health care and budget world to inform Obama that his Senate health care bill has a tax increase on the middle class.

Obama denied that the bill had any tax increase, on all the Sunday shows (Obama did five) and once again told a Whopper that no one believed.

So, the Associated Press wrote an article that began with:

WASHINGTON – Memo to President Barack Obama: It’s a tax. Obama insisted this weekend on national television that requiring people to carry health insurance — and fining them if they don’t — isn’t the same thing as a tax increase. But the language of Democratic bills to revamp the nation’s health care system doesn’t quibble. Both the House bill and the Senate Finance Committee proposal clearly state that the fines would be a tax.

And the reason the fines are in the legislation is to enforce the coverage requirement.

“If you put something in the Internal Revenue Code, and you tell the IRS to collect it, I think that’s a tax,” said Clint Stretch, head of the tax policy group for Deloitte, a major accounting firm. “If you don’t pay, the person who’s going to come and get it is going to be from the IRS.”

Even the New York Times agrees there are taxes in the bill, since it is reporting that:

Mr. Baucus said he would make changes to reduce the impact of a proposed tax on high-end health insurance policies.

Even the Liberals Think Obama has Broken his Health Care Promises

CBS News has a piece that identified five promises that Obama made that he will not keep (here is their list):

Promise: 1. No Individual Mandate

Reality: The president now fully supports an individual mandate. “The only way this plan works is if everybody fulfills their responsibility,” he said at a rally Thursday.

Promise: 2. Complete Transparency: Obama told Democratic primary voters:

“That’s what I will do in bringing all parties together, not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are,” Mr. Obama said during his Jan. 31, 2008 debate with Clinton. “Because part of what we have to do is enlist the American people in this process. And overcoming the special interests and the lobbyists who — Senator Clinton is right. They will resist anything that we try to do.”

Reality: But he, obviously has not. Not only has Obama broken his transparency promise, he has been secretive:

“We spent virtually an entire year with most of the Finance Committee being excluded,” Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) reportedly said after Baucus released his health care bill. “You don’t run a committee that way.”

Promise: 3. Enable the Government to Directly Negotiate Drug Prices Again, from CBS:

In the Jan. 31, 2008 debate, Mr. Obama said, “If a drug company — if the drug companies or a member of Congress who’s carrying water for the drug companies wants to argue that we should not negotiate for the cheapest available price on drugs, then I want them to make that argument in front of the American people.”

“We’ll negotiate with the drug companies for the cheapest available price on drugs,” Mr. Obama said again in an Oct. 15, 2008 debate with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Reality: from CBS:

It turns out, however, Mr. Obama reneged on this promise in a secretive way….”The White House had tracked the negotiations throughout, assenting to decisions to move away from ideas like the government negotiation of prices or the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada,” the New York Times reported.”

Promise: 4. Allow Drug Importation From CBS:

“During the campaign, Mr. Obama said his plan (PDF) would “Allow consumers to import safe drugs from other countries” because “some companies are exploiting Americans by dramatically overcharging U.S. consumers.”

Reality, from CBS:

As noted above, the Obama administration secretly conceded to forgo the importation of cheaper drugs in its deal with the pharmaceutical industry.

Promise: 5. Lower Premiums by $2,500 for a Family of Four from CBS:

“If you’ve got health insurance through your employer, you can keep your health insurance, keep your choice of doctor, keep your plan,” Mr. Obama said in his Oct. 15, 2008 debate against McCain. “The only thing we’re going to try to do is lower costs so that those cost savings are passed onto you. And we estimate we can cut the average family’s premium by about $2,500 per year.”

Reality: from CBS:

“the health care legislation coming out of the Senate Finance Committee could even actually result in higher premiums for customers — the insurance industry is threatening that the $6 billion industry-wide fee and other taxes Sen. Baucus has proposed will be passed on to consumers. What this all means is that it may be years or decades before any overall savings from Mr. Obama’s plans materialize — if they do at all.”

In fact, the prices of premiums in Massachusetts have doubled — and the belief that ObamaCare would lower costs for families is naive and dangerous.

Seniors Move Enbloc Against Democrats

From the Washington Times:

“Almost every poll we do when we break it down by age, President Obama is least popular with seniors. That is definitely the age group that he is having the most problem with,” Mr. Jensen said. “If not for those senior citizens, Democrats would have the lead on a generic ballot. But overall, American voters say 45 to 41 that they will vote Republican next year and it’s the seniors who are making that happen.

“What makes it even a bigger implication for the midterm elections is because seniors cast a much larger percentage of votes in midterms than they do in presidential years,” he said. “Not only are they leaning more Republican these days but they are also likely to be a much bigger slice of the electorate in 2010 than they were in 2009.”

Given this political reality, how likely is it that the Democrats will cut half a trillion from Medicare to fund ObamaCare?


More Union Opposition to the Tax on Health Care Premiums

The New York Times is reporting that “A Tax on Cadillac Health Plans May Also Hit the Chevys,” and it is causing significant budget stress on the Senate health reform bill, since this tax was the tax that raised the most revenue. By lowering the tax, the Senate must find revenue from somewhere else. It also breaks another Obama promise of not taxing the middle class:

As it turns out, though, many smaller fish would get caught in Mr. Baucus’s tax net. The supposedly Cadillac insurance policies include ones that cover many of the nation’s firefighters and coal miners, older employees at small businesses — a whole gamut that runs from union shops to Main Street entrepreneurs.

Under the Baucus plan, insurers selling a plan costing more than $8,000 for an individual and $21,000 for a family would have to pay a 35 percent excise tax on the excess amount.

Although the national average premium is currently $13,375 for a family policy, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, many are much higher than that — particularly in high-cost parts of the country.

Nationwide, about one in 10 family insurance plans would be subject to the new excise tax, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning policy and research group.

The tax would be levied on insurers — or on employers that act as their own insurers. Either way, the tax would very likely be passed along to workers in even higher premiums than they pay now. But if insurance premiums continue to rise faster than inflation, as they have for years, many more people’s policies could end up setting off the luxury tax in coming years.

“It puts a bigger tax on middle-income Americans who are already paying enough,” said Harold A. Schaitberger, the general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters. The union says some of its members around the country are in plans that would be subject to the tax.

The Pro-Lifers say ObamaCare will Increase Abortions by 35%

The reason it matters what the pro-life community thinks of ObamaCare is because there are up to 40 Democratic pro-life votes on the House floor. And, because the pro-life community thinks Obama has broken his promise of an explicit ban on abortion being in the health reform bill — despite the fact that the explicit ban promise breaks a pro-abortion promise he made to Planned Parenthood prior to being elected.

From LifeNews:

Smith predicted that abortions could rise by as much as one-third because of the massive abortion subsidies and mandates found in HR 3200 and the Kennedy and Baucus bills.

Unfortunately, he said, President Barack Obama and White House personnel are hiding that fact.

“Never have I been more concerned about the promotion of abortion coming out of the White House,” Smith said. “The unborn child and his or her mother are more at risk now than ever, since Roe v. Wade itself.”

He added that Obama and his administration have been “demonstrably false and extraordinarily misleading” in talking about abortion and the health care bills.

British Health Care System gets it Wrong in 1 of 6 Patients

With obvious implications for the U.S. health care debate, the Telegraph in England reports:

As many as one in six patients treated in NHS [government run, National Health Service] hospitals and GPs’ [General Practitioner’s] surgeries is being misdiagnosed, experts have warned.