ObamaCare hurts Health Savings Accounts 4


By Tom Quiner

I am self-employed, the owner of a small business.  In order to control health insurance costs, my wife and I purchased a policy with a high deductible supplemented by a Health Savings Account (HSA).

The high-deductible policy reduced my premiums substantially.

The HSA allows me to save up to $5000 of tax deductible dollars to be used toward medical expenses, including dental, eyeglasses, and over-the-counter medications.

Because I pay many doctor bills directly until my deductible is reached, I have incentive to shop for the best price on prescriptions and some medical tests.  In other words, I am a conscientious consumer of medical products and services.

It makes sense.

Beginning January 1st, ObamaCare will cap my annual contribution at $2500 and will no longer allow me to purchase over-the-counter medications using my HSA (Section 9003).  ObamaCare reduces my benefits and raises my costs.  It creates a perverse incentive to purchase higher priced prescription medications which are deductible.

This is but one way ObamaCare will raise healthcare costs for middle America.

Two reasons Obamanomics isn’t creating jobs 2


By Tom Quiner

This is how ObamaCare works.

As many of you know, jobs are hard to come by.  The unemployment rate continues to hover near ten percent despite stimulus spending by the Federal Government which will surpass the cost of the Iraq War (see previous post).

Nothing the Democrats have done is working.  In fact, the case can be made that it has made things worse.

Why?

It boils down to two big concerns with business owners:  cost and uncertainty.  They go hand-in-hand.  Obamanomics is increasing the cost of hiring new employees, but business owners aren’t sure by how much.

Consider ObamaCare.  It has created 159 new government bureaucracies in 2700 pages of legislation which wasn’t read by the people voting for it.  Unelected bureaucrats will figure out how the whole thing works.  Just look at the chart above which takes a stab at diagraming the intricacies of this mammoth piece of legislation.

ObamaCare will hike taxes by $569 billion dollars.

ObamaCare creates 17 new insurance mandates.

ObamaCare adds 16 million people to tax payer-funded Medicaid.

President Obama has never run a business.  He doesn’t understand the impact that uncertainly has on hiring decisions.

Now let us turn to the new 2,300 page Dodd-Frank finance regulatory act.  The Wall Street Journal reports there will be “no fewer than 243 new formal rule-makings by 11 different agencies.

What will these new rules be?

How much will they cost?

Business owners have other concerns.  Will Congress allow the Bush tax cuts to expire? (Why don’t tax increases ever expire!?)  Will Congress increase the payroll tax?

The only thing that is certain is that it is going to cost businesses more to hire new employees, and that is bad for unemployment in this country.  Democrats have written 5000 pages of new legislation in these two bills alone and America is paying the price.

What would be the best stimulus for our economy?  Elect a Republican Congress this November.

Let us reconsider ObamaCare 2


Last March 18th, Richard Foster, chief actuary for the Center Medicare and Medicaid Services, presented with Congress’ 2700 page health care bill. His job was to assess the impact ObamaCare would have on America. Unfortunately, Congress wasn’t interested in waiting for his analysis.

…We’ve been sold a bill of goods. ObamaCare tries to cheat the laws of supply of demand instead of letting supply and demand control costs and increase access to healthcare.

According to Medicare’s actuary, according to the Congressional Budget Office, according to health care benefit professionals, America will be poorer and unhealthier under ObamaCare.
More…

Does Obamacare require you to pay for abortions? Reply


Yes.

Despite the furious debate between President Obama and a few conscientious Democrats, like Bart Stupak, you and I are required by force of law to pay taxes that will abort babies.

Despite an Executive Order to the contrary, the long anticipated dream of the Democratic Party has been realized.  Tax-payer funded abortions are here.

I will point out how the Executive Order is circumvented in a moment.  First, let us review the three philosophies affected by the new abortion entitlement.

Group One

The first was clearly articulated in a letter to the editor in yesterday’s Des Moines Register (in response to my column the week before).  I quote:  “A fetus is a growth like a tumor – not a person, and has no human rights whatsoever.”

In other words, a fetus is an inhuman blob, a tumor, perhaps much like a gall bladder gone bad.  It is not a person.  To Americans with this philosophy, there is nothing objectionable to tax-payer funded abortions.  To this group, there is much to be said of ridding the world of unwanted babies, much as there is much to be said of ridding the world of gall bladders gone bad.

This group sees no moral issue with abortion.

Group Two

Group Two consists of President Obama and most of the Democratic Party.  They believe abortion should be rare, but safe.  This group gives tacit acknowledgement to the humanity of the fetus.  Why else should abortions be rare?  You wouldn’t say that if you viewed the fetus as being equivalent to a tumor, as Group One does.  However, despite its humanity, group two is unwilling to grant the fetus human rights and allows its destruction for any reason.

Group Two typically mouths the platitude:  “while I’m personally against abortion, I can’t impose my view on others.”

Group Three

Group Three views the fetus as a baby, as a human being, as a person with full human rights.

Notwithstanding the platitudes mentioned above, Group Two in fact joined with Group One in pushing for taxpayer funded abortions in the healthcare debate.

Even more, they agitate to remove conscience safeguards for pro life healthcare providers.  In fact, they very much wish to foist their view on others.

Group Three, of which I am a member, recoils in horror and shame at the thought that our tax dollars are used to destroy innocent human life in the womb.

At this point, you may want to know why Group Three is so worked up.  After all, the President issued an Executive Order to keep abortion out of the health care bill.  Right?

Unfortunately, there are loopholes.  The United States Catholic Bishops issued a summary of these loopholes:

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• Federal funds in the Act can be used for elective abortions. For example, the Act authorizes and appropriates $7 billion over five years (increased to $9.5 billion by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) for services at Community Health Centers.  These funds are not covered by the Hyde amendment (as they are not appropriated through the Labor/HHS appropriations bill governed by that amendment), or by the Act’s own abortion limitation in Sec. 1303 (as that provision relates only to tax credits or cost-sharing reductions for qualified health plans, and does not govern all funds in the bill).  So the funds can be used directly for elective abortions.

• The Act uses federal funds to subsidize health plans that cover abortions. Sec. 1303 limits only the direct use of a federal tax credit specifically to fund abortion coverage; it tries to segregate funds within health plans, to keep federal funds distinct from funds directly used for abortions.  But the credits are still used to pay overall premiums for health plans covering elective abortions.  This violates the policy of current federal laws on abortion funding, including the Hyde amendment, which forbid use of federal funds for any part of a health benefits package that covers elective abortions.  By subsidizing plans that cover abortion, the federal government will expand abortion coverage and make abortions more accessible.

· The Act uses federal power to force Americans to pay for other people’s abortions even if they are morally opposed.

The Act mandates that insurance companies deciding to cover elective abortions in a health plan “shall… collect from each enrollee in the plan (without regard to the enrollee’s age, sex, or family status) a separate payment” for such abortions.  While the Act says that one plan in each exchange will not cover elective abortions, every other plan may cover them  — and everyone purchasing those plans, because they best meet his or her family’s needs, will be required by federal law to fund abortions.  No accommodation is permitted for people morally opposed to abortion.  This creates a more overt threat to conscience than insurers engage in now, because in many plans receiving federal subsidies everyone will have to make separate payments solely and specifically for other people’s abortions.  Saying that this payment is not a “tax dollar” is no help if it is required by government.

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What gives the Catholic Bishop’s such credibility is that if the Stupak language was kept in the bill, the Bishops found much to commend in the rest of the bill.  (I humbly demur, but that is a post for another day.)

Does Obamacare require you to pay for abortions?  Yes.