Millions more than expected will pay penalties (taxes) under Obamacare

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From MSN:

So, just how many people are going to be hit with a tax penalty for not getting health insurance when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect? More than first expected. The Congressional Budget Office, which is not affiliated with any party, estimated that 6 million people will end up paying a penalty because they have chosen not to buy health insurance, up from its initial estimate of 4 million when the law first passed. And the majority of those who will end up paying the $1,200 penalty in 2016 would be right in the middle of the middle class, with estimated salaries of about $56,000. The penalties are expected to generate $7 billion in revenue. [Source]

Read more:

Obamacare just made Papa John’s pizza more expensive

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Budget Cuts? The 2011 Budget Still Rises $177 Billion

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Here we have the ole slight of hand trick Steve and I have mentioned so many times before. The budget cut is actually only a degree of the spending increase in the budget. So they haven’t really cut the budget, just cut the increase in the budget.  How many of us if we were going to make a cut in our budget would say well I’m going to spend $100 over my budget, but instead it’s only going to be $95 over my budget, so in effect I’ve cut my  budget by 5%? That’s the game the government plays all the time and it hasn’t changed yet.

Budget Cuts? The 2011 Budget Still Rises $177 Billion

While Republicans and Democrats fight over bragging rights for their agreement to cut $38 billion from FY 2011 spending, Cato budget analyst Tad DeHaven crunches the numbers—and it’s not pretty. Total federal spending still *increases* by $177 billion:

Republican and Democrat leaders have agreed to cut federal funding by $38 billion this year (versus fiscal 2010). What does that mean for the overall spending picture?

Based on estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, total federal outlays will still rise by approximately $177 billion.

Downsizing Government

Obama Budget to Produce $9.5 Trillion Deficit: CBO

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The estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that if Obama’s February budget submission is enacted into law it would produce deficits totaling $9.5 trillion over 10 years — an average of almost $1 trillion a year.

 

Obama’s budget saw deficits totaling $7.2 trillion over the same period.

The difference is chiefly because CBO has a less optimistic estimate of how much the government will collect in tax revenues, partly because the administration has rosier economic projections.

But the agency also rejects the administration’s claims of more than $300 billion of that savings — to pay for preventing a cut in Medicare payments to doctors — because it doesn’t specifying where it would come from. Likewise, CBO fails to credit the White House with an additional $328 billion that would come from unspecified “bipartisan financing” to pay for transportation infrastructure projects such as high speed rail lines and road and bridge construction.

Friday’s report actually predicts the deficit for the current budget year, which ends Sept. 30, won’t be as bad as the $1.6 trillion predicted by the administration. But 10 years from now, CBO sees a $1.2 trillion deficit that’s almost $400 billion above White House projections.

The White House’s goal is to reach a point where the budget is balanced except for interest payments on the $14 trillion national debt.

Entire article @ CNBC .com

Repeal of Obamacare Will Increase the Deficit

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Oh really…..well let’s see about that. And while you read this, let’s not forget the Doc Fix that was done in an entirely separate bill to help make Obamacare look like it reduced the deficit. I believe that was $200 billion by itself. Plus the CBO can only take the figures provided them to come up with their determination. If Congress doesn’t approve the $500 billion in Medicare cuts in the future as projected in the bill, well then the budget reduction projected won’t materialize.

The crucial thing to understand is that the CBO is just a calculator: It only  adds and subtracts the numbers Congress gives it. For example, a bill — to be called ObamaCare — that has $857 billion in expenses over the first ten years; approximately $500 billion in tax increases, in addition to approximately $500 billion in Medicare cuts over the same period, will give you a savings of $143 billion. This is what the CBO tells you. However, the CBO will not be there to make sure that the planned Medicare cuts indeed take place or that the tax increases will be enacted.

Therefore, Democrats are ignorant about the workings of the CBO or are — more likely — blatantly misleading the public when they point to the CBO’ estimates of costs and ‘savings.’ These very Democrats voted multiple times — after ObamaCare passed — to push back until 2012 the 21% cut in pay for Medicare doctors which, according to ObamaCare, should have taken place in early 2010. The initial goal of letting the 21% cut take place was one of  ObamaCare’s money saving moves ($15 billion annually, according to this Reuters report). However, these ‘savings’ (approximately $150 billion over ten years if the cuts never takes place), were dumped off the bus as a step one to go around ObamaCare, yet Democrats still wave the $143 billion in ‘saving’ that the law will bring over the first ten years starting a year ago.

The 21% cut that was pushed back for a total of two years (thus $30 billion in savings is already gone), is just one of many Medicare cuts that ObamaCare will not be able to follow through, certainly not for extended periods of time, as estimated by the Medicare Actuary; you know, the guy who actually does analyze what cuts can or cannot take place in Medicare, and does not just glaze at the numbers as the CBO does as a Texas Instrument device of thirty years ago. For good reason did Medicare, as of now, land up to cost 9 times — or whatever exact amount — more than what the CBO estimated back in the 1960’s. Simple, the CBO is a calculator; not an enforcer.

American Thinker

 

Will Repeal of Obamacare Increase the Deficit?

Rescinding the federal law to overhaul the health-care system, the first objective of House Republicans who ascended to power this week, would ratchet up the federal deficit by about $230 billion over the next decade  … , according to congressional budget analysts.

Does this make any sense? That is, can repeal of a program costing almost a trillion dollars (over ten years) actually improve the deficit?

Well, yes and no.  Here’s the deal.

1. The CBO analysis to which the story refers provides an estimate of the budgetary impact of the entire health care bill, which consists of several new policies.  Some of these create new expenditure, some reduce existing expenditure, and some raise revenue .  Let’s break it down.

2. The new expenditure consists mainly of expanding Medicaid and subsidizing insurance purchased through exchanges: roughly $900 billion.

3. The reduced expenditure consists mainly of cuts in Medicare Advantage and in Medicare payments to doctors and other health care providers: roughly $500 billion.

4. The extra revenue consists mainly new taxes on insurers and manufacturers of health care equipment, along with additional taxes on high-income households: roughly $525 billion.

So, there’s no mystery: the bill creates $900 billion of new expenditure, cuts $500 billion of existing expenditure, and raises $525 billion in new taxes. The net effect is a reduction in the deficit of $125 billion over the first ten years.  This is entirely because the expenditure cuts and tax increases are greater than the new expenditure, not because Obamacare does anything to “bend the cost curve.”

Now, the question is, are the estimates of expenditure and revenue likely to be accurate?

No way: the new expenditure will be far greater than estimated, while the reductions in existing expenditure and the extra revenue collected will be far smaller than estimated (see, for example, here).  And these estimates have further problems I have skipped; see here.

So the claim that Obamacare generates a budgetary benefit is, in a limited, technical sense, correct.  Yet in any meaningful sense it is utter nonsense.

Jeffrey Miron

Waiver-mania! The ever-expanding Obamacare escapee list

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What a joke this Obamacare thing is proving to be and the lies and arm twisting done to get it passed by even the Democrats would be laughable if this wasn’t so serious.

Waiver-mania! The ever-expanding Obamacare escapee list

Let us briefly review the rapidly growing rolls of companies, unions, and states bursting out of the Obamacare escape hatch.

In early September, I noted the push by Obamacare promoter and Democrat Rep. Ron Wyden for a special state waiver from the very federal mandate he advocated for everyone else.

A few weeks later, McDonald’s finagled its own Obamacare waiver after warning federal regulators that it could be forced to drop its affordable health insurance plan for nearly 30,000 restaurant workers unless it got a pass.

In early October, the Obama administration announced it had granted waivers not only to McDonald’s, but also to several other firms and labor unions.

Now comes word that Torquemada HHS Secretay Kathleen Sebelius has approved a whopping 111 waivers for businesses of all sizes, along with more unions and other providers of health insurance. The escapees include employers of many low-wage and part-time workers whose health insurance plans would otherwise be dropped, including Darden Restaurants — the parent company of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster and other chains, which employ some 34,000 people.

Among the waivers recently granted were for employers like Darden Restaurants, which operates the Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants, for 34,000 of its workers. Federal officials have granted 111 waivers to employers, insurers and union plans, who are responsible for covering about 1.2 million people.

Darden said the waiver would allow it to offer employees access to affordable coverage as the health care law is started.

Also on the list: Carlson Restaurants, which owns T.G.I. Friday’s, and hair salon chain Regis Corp:

Without waivers, companies would have to provide a minimum of $750,000 in coverage next year, increasing to $1.25 million in 2012, $2 million in 2013 and unlimited in 2014.

According to HHS, waivers depend on “a series of factors including whether or not a premium increase is large or if a significant number of enrollees would lose access to their current plan because the coverage would not be offered in the absence of a waiver.”

Carlson Restaurants and Regis declined interview requests but e-mailed statements.

“Providing competitive health benefits to our team and their family members is a very important priority for us,” said Anne Varano, senior vice president for human resources and communication at Minnetonka-based Carlson. “The [Health and Human Services] waiver allowed us to continue providing health benefits to our team members at an affordable cost while giving us additional time to develop longer-term approaches. ”

Said a spokesperson at Minneapolis-based Regis Corp.: “Until [health care] reform is further solidified, it is premature to comment.”

Also on the list: Dish Networks and more. At this point, the better question is: Who won’t be on the list after the Obamacare central planners fully acknowledge the destructive consequences of their schemes?

Aetna, based in Hartford, Connecticut, was part of a first round of waivers in September for 209,423 beneficiaries in plans that don’t comply with the new requirement. Oak Brook, Illinois- based McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest restaurant chain, Jack in the Box Inc., based in San Diego, and the United Federation of Teachers also were among the waiver recipients.

About 200,000 people were included in the new round of exemptions, bringing the total to almost 1.2 million people, HHS said on its website. Also on the list for exemptions are Manor Care Inc., a nursing-home company owned by Washington-based private equity firm Carlyle Group, and Universal Forest Products Inc., a lumber company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Spokesmen for Manor and Universal Forest didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

…Dish Network, the Englewood, Colorado-based No. 2 U.S. satellite-television provider, will be given a waiver for 3,597 employees, and Orlando, Florida-based Darden Restaurants, owner of the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, will get a waiver for 34,000 workers, according to the HHS list. Darden spokesman Rich Jeffers didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Dish Network spokesman Marc Lumpkin declined to comment.

The waivers, which last for a year and can then be renewed, let workers keep coverage until new options are available in four years under the law, said Jessica Santillo, a spokeswoman for the agency.

The list of most recently approved refugees is here. Make no mistake: Team Obama isn’t granting the waivers out of bleeding-heart compassion for the affected workers, but out of a panicked urgency to avoid a public relations disaster.

As I’ve boiled it down before:

Old Democrat promise: Everyone gets to keep their health insurance.

New Democrat promise: You can keep your health insurance…if you BEG hard enough for an Obamacare waiver.

Yep: The only way for hundreds of thousands of workers to keep their health insurance is to exempt them from the government-imposed “fix.”

The Soros monkeys are attacking conservative Obamacare critics as “Republican repeal mongers” — even as the Obama administration concedes failure and continues to approve temporary repeals of the federal mandates to company after company after union after union.

Waiver-mania also comes on the heels of Democrats’ own push to repeal the onerous 1099 provisions:

A leading Senate Democrat vowed Friday to introduce legislation killing a part of the new healthcare reform law that imposes new tax-filing requirements on small businesses.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee and a leading architect of the reform law, said a provision requiring businesses to report more purchases to the IRS will impose undue paperwork burdens on companies amid an economic downturn when they can least afford it.

Baucus, who had pushed legislation scaling back the requirement earlier in the year, now wants it repealed in full.

“I have heard small businesses loud and clear and I am responding to their concerns,” Baucus said in a statement. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in my home state of Montana and across the country, and they need to focus their efforts on creating good-paying jobs — not filing paperwork.”

Guess we are all “repeal mongers” now, eh?

Michelle Malkin

Congressional Report: Obamacare Costs America Nearly 800,000 Jobs

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What was it Nancy Pelosi said, “the health care bill will create 400,000 jobs.” Even Obama said it would be a job creator. Well as with other things we are now finding these statements are false.

Congressional Report: Obamacare Costs America Nearly 800,000 Jobs

Today brings us the latest report from Senators Coburn and Barrasso, the two Republican physicians who’ve been doggedly following up on all the things we were promised about Obamacare, particularly the ones that have already turned out to be flat-out lies (”The gall!” shrieks a Democrat Hill staffer).

Much of the report is based on combining the findings of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and news reports following up with people who’ve already felt the law’s impact. Central to this issue: the impact of the legislation on America’s unemployment picture. Remember when Nancy Pelosi promised the health care bill would create four million jobs — “400,000 of them almost immediately?”

In response, Coburn and Barrasso find:

The CBO “estimates that the legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount—roughly half a percent—primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply”, which is more than 788,470 employees.

As Avik Roy points out here, to put that in perspective, that number is 50% more than all the people who work for GM, Ford, and Chrysler combined.

Ironically, a significant portion of this job loss will likely come from the medical industry itself, particularly the innovative smaller companies now facing vast new taxes.

Companies that innovate, create, and develop life-saving, life-improving devices will likely lose jobs too. Manufacturers of medical devices are reeling from a provision of the law that will levy a $20 billion excise tax on their industry. The Boston Globe reported that the 2.3 percent excise tax on companies that supply medical devices like heart defibrillators and surgical tools to hospitals, health centers and ambulance services, “will force industry leaders to lay off workers and curb the research and development of new medical tools.” One CEO said the new tax threatens his business‘ sustainability because it has relegated his company‘s profitability to merely a break-even position.

The basic problem with the tax is one of math. “Many small to midsize medical device companies will owe more to the federal government in taxes than they make in profits,” according to Mark Leahy, head of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association. “We’re talking about a 2.3 percent tax on total sales, irrespective of whether a company is making a profit.”

Under Obamacare, the cost of each employee goes up. So do you pay this cost? No — you hire fewer employees and ask them to work longer hours. This is not hard. It is, as Coburn and Barrasso write, a problem of math.

Sometimes, I wonder if President Obama should just adopt the Costanza approach in his second term. It’s quickly becoming the only path I see toward getting the economy back on the right track.

Red State

Dissecting the Real Cost of ObamaCare

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I love Paul Ryan, he is the best on dissecting the budget there is. It’s about impossible to dispute him.

Dissecting the Real Cost of ObamaCare

The following are remarks made by Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, about the cost of the House and Senate health-care bills at President Obama’s Blair House summit on health care, Feb. 25:

Look, we agree on the problem here. And the problem is health inflation is driving us off of a fiscal cliff.

Since the Congressional Budget Office can’t score your bill, because it doesn’t have sufficient detail, but it tracks very similar to the Senate bill, I want to unpack the Senate score a little bit.

And if you take a look at the CBO analysis—analysis from your chief actuary—I think it’s very revealing. This bill does not control costs. This bill does not reduce deficits. Instead, this bill adds a new health-care entitlement at a time when we have no idea how to pay for the entitlements we already have.

Now let me go through why I say that. The majority leader said the bill scores as reducing the deficit $131 billion over the next 10 years. First, a little bit about CBO. I work with them every single day—very good people, great professionals. They do their jobs well. But their job is to score what is placed in front of them. And what has been placed in front of them is a bill that is full of gimmicks and smoke-and-mirrors.

Now, what do I mean when I say that? Well, first off, the bill has 10 years of tax increases, about half a trillion dollars, with 10 years of Medicare cuts, about half a trillion dollars, to pay for six years of spending.

Now, what’s the true 10-year cost of this bill in 10 years? That’s $2.3 trillion.

(This audio below is from Richard Land Live that airs every Saturday on American Family Radio and many other stations nation wide.)

[The Senate bill] does [a] couple of other things. It takes $52 billion in higher Social Security tax revenues and counts them as offsets. But that’s really reserved for Social Security. So either we’re double-counting them or we don’t intend on paying those Social Security benefits.

It takes $72 billion and claims money from the CLASS Act. That’s the long-term care insurance program. It takes the money from premiums that are designed for that benefit and instead counts them as offsets.

The Senate Budget Committee chairman [Kent Conrad] said that this is a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.

Now, when you take a look at the Medicare cuts, what this bill essentially does [is treat] Medicare like a piggy bank. It raids a half a trillion dollars out of Medicare, not to shore up Medicare solvency, but to spend on this new government program.

. . . [A]ccording to the chief actuary of Medicare . . . as much as 20 percent of Medicare’s providers will either go out of business or will have to stop seeing Medicare beneficiaries. Millions of seniors . . . who have chosen Medicare Advantage will lose the coverage that they now enjoy.

You can’t say that you’re using this money to either extend Medicare solvency and also offset the cost of this new program. That’s double counting.

And so when you take a look at all of this; when you strip out the double-counting and what I would call these gimmicks, the full 10-year cost of the bill has a $460 billion deficit. The second 10-year cost of this bill has a $1.4 trillion deficit.

. . . [P]robably the most cynical gimmick in this bill is something that we all probably agree on. We don’t think we should cut doctors [annual federal reimbursements] 21 percent next year. We’ve stopped those cuts from occurring every year for the last seven years.

We all call this, here in Washington, the doctor  fix. Well, the doctor  fix, according to your numbers, costs $371 billion. It was in the first iteration of all of these bills, but because it was a big price tag and it made the score look bad, made it look like a deficit . . . that provision was taken out, and it’s been going on in stand-alone legislation. But ignoring these costs does not remove them from the backs of taxpayers. Hiding spending does not reduce spending. And so when you take a look at all of this, it just doesn’t add up.

. . . I’ll finish with the cost curve. Are we bending the cost curve down or are we bending the cost curve up?

Well, if you look at your own chief actuary at Medicare, we’re bending it up. He’s claiming that we’re going up $222 billion, adding more to the unsustainable fiscal situation we have.

And so, when you take a look at this, it’s really deeper than the deficits or the budget gimmicks or the actuarial analysis. There really is a difference between us.

Now, we’ve offered lots of ideas all last year, all this year. Because we agree the status quo is unsustainable. It’s got to get fixed.

It’s bankrupting families. It’s bankrupting our government. It’s hurting families with pre-existing conditions. We all want to fix this.

But we don’t think that this is the . . . the solution. And all of the analysis we get proves that point.

Now, I’ll just simply say this. . . . [W]e are all representatives of the American people. We all do town hall meetings. We all talk to our constituents. And I’ve got to tell you, the American people are engaged. And if you think they want a government takeover of health care, I would respectfully submit you’re not listening to them.

So what we simply want to do is start over, work on a clean-sheeted paper, move through these issues, step by step, and fix them, and bring down health-care costs and not raise them. And that’s basically the point.

Wall Street Journal.com


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