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HonestChieffan
06-03-2009, 07:54 AM
Another day, another flip. And the Change looks more like a flop.

Ending the Bush tax cuts (will they call the new tax rates the Obama Tax increases?), Cap and Trade (the biggest tax without callig it a tax ever designed), the possibility of VAT, and now another one slips into the queue of taxes being designed even though it as a campaign issue that he said he opposed....somebody needs to be keeping a list.

Obama said to be open to taxing health benefits


updated 6:39 p.m. CT, Tues., June 2, 2009
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is leaving the door open to taxing health care benefits, something he campaigned hard against while running for president.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., raised the issue with Obama during a private meeting Tuesday with the president and other Democratic senators and later reported the president's response: "It's on the table. It's an option."

The federal government would reap about $250 billion a year if it treated health care benefits given to employees like wages and taxed them.

Baucus and others are eyeing that money as they search for ways to pay for a costly health care overhaul that would extend coverage to 50 million Americans who are now uninsured. That could cost some $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

The president adamantly opposed health benefit taxes during the campaign, arguing they would undermine job-based coverage. But he's now indicating openness to that suggestion from Congress, even if he criticized Republican presidential rival John McCain for proposing a sweeping version of the same basic idea.

Paying for reform
Obama has made some suggestions of his own for paying for a health care overhaul, including cuts to Medicare and limiting tax deductions wealthy people can take, but they've run into opposition from Congress. And, they only add up to about $630 billion over 10 years.

"The president made it clear during the campaign that he has serious concerns about taxing health care benefits," White House spokesman Reid Cherlin said in a statement about Tuesday's meeting.

"He stated again his belief that health reform can't wait another year, and that while all options should be considered, those options should include the revenue proposals that he included in his budget," Cherlin said. "He made it very clear that he prefers the approach he has already outlined."

Some experts think limiting the tax exclusion for health benefits is the only way to get the necessary money to pay for a sweeping health care overhaul. But there's opposition from organized labor and from many Democrats, including House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., who said recently there was "no way" he would support the approach.

Baucus wants to look at limiting — but not entirely eliminating — the tax-free status of employer-provided health benefits. Obama is leaving the details of crafting a health care bill to Congress and used Tuesday's meeting to urge senators to swift action.

"This window between now and the August recess I think is going to be the make-or-break period," Obama said before the meeting was closed to reporters. "This is the time where we've got to get this running."

Sweeping legislation
At the start of a White House meeting with senators, Obama warned that the window for overhaul legislation will close when Congress leaves for its August recess, part of his push to get lawmakers to move on a bill in the next two months. Majority Democrats in the House and the Senate want to bring the legislation to the floor by August.

White House officials argue that overhauling the health care system is key to turning around the economy.

The report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers says that health care costs — now about 18 percent of the gross domestic product — will rise to 34 percent in 30 years if left unchecked, wreaking havoc on the federal deficit, businesses and working Americans.

It says that for a typical family of four, income 10 years from now would be approximately $2,600 higher in 2009 dollars if a health care overhaul is enacted than it would be without it.

"The key contribution of the report is to show that if we do health reform well the benefits to the economy would be enormous," said Christina Romer, chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Critics dismissed the report.

"No report or headline can take the place of a comprehensive plan — and that is what we have yet to see from the White House," said Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

mikey23545
06-03-2009, 07:59 AM
Oh, that crazy "Change you can believe in!"
LMAO

Amnorix
06-03-2009, 08:38 AM
What we really need to do is separate employment from health care to begin with. Ours is a f'ed up system.

Velvet_Jones
06-03-2009, 09:05 AM
What we really need to do is separate employment from health care to begin with. Ours is a f'ed up system.

There is some law saying that health insurance has to be supplied by your employer? You have the opportunity to opt out and buy you own right?

Our problem with the health care is that people have no incentive to use it correctly and not to run to the doctor everytime you get a sniffle. Oh - and lawyers fuck it up too.

petegz28
06-03-2009, 09:07 AM
What we really need to do is separate employment from health care to begin with. Ours is a f'ed up system.

I agree. The bullshit the insurance industry pulls, imo, is just that. This crap that you have to work for a large corporation to get any kind of affordable insurance is crap. It benefits no one but the insurance company.

HonestChieffan
06-03-2009, 09:07 AM
There is a difference between Helath Care and Health Insurance. Employers can and choose to offer Insurance coverage, they don't provide health care.

trndobrd
06-03-2009, 10:30 AM
What we really need to do is separate employment from health care to begin with. Ours is a f'ed up system.

Despite Obama's howls of outrage during the the campaign about the possibility of disconnecting health insurance from employment, you are absolutely correct.

Our modern system of health insurance stems from the wage controls during WWII when employers couldn't raise wages, so they started adding extra benefits, such as health insurance. This became a pre-tax benefit, which helped large businesses attract, and keep, employees during the post war years.

Ultimately this led to our current system where employers are expected to pay for the employee's health insurance. Employees have no incentive to control costs and individuals who work for smaller companies or are self-employed are genuinely screwed because their expenditures for health insurance come from after tax income.

Although it would require a sea change in how people view insurance, and is flying in a strong headwind of the current administration, an individual funded approach to health insurance would resolve many of the problems in the health care industry.

The closest comparison would be the dramatic change from the old defined benefit retirement plans, to the current system of defined contribution. Individuals own their retirement in the form of 401(k), IRA or some other vehicle, while employers contribute to that retirement. Individuals are no longer tied to a specific employer just to keep their retirement, nor do they risk losing their retirement benefits if the employer goes out of business.

Healthcare, with a defined employer contribution similar to retirement, would allow individuals to keep their insurance company and providers when they switch jobs. This would simplify paperwork for consumers and providers, eliminate the possible loss of coverage due to pre-existing conditions, and allow much more mobility in the employment marketplace. Since employees would have visibility on the actual insurance cost, not just their fractional share of the cost, they would have much greater incentive to reduce unnecessary charges.

Medicare/Medicade, direct subsidy, and perhaps a health insurance contribution as part of unemployement compensation, would provide a backstop for those without or in between jobs.

HonestChieffan
06-03-2009, 06:51 PM
Has he considered tax on tax?

SBK
06-03-2009, 06:55 PM
Didn't he blast McCain in the debates for taxing health care benefits?

HonestChieffan
06-03-2009, 06:57 PM
Didn't he blast McCain in the debates for taxing health care benefits?


and your point?

That was then. This is now. Bush made it happen

banyon
06-03-2009, 07:50 PM
So, basically because Obama is open to listening to any options on how to address our problems, you're going to pretend that everything discussed will also be enacted and made law?

SBK
06-03-2009, 08:05 PM
So, basically because Obama is open to listening to any options on how to address our problems, you're going to pretend that everything discussed will also be enacted and made law?

Tell yourself whatever you need to.

banyon
06-03-2009, 08:07 PM
Tell yourself whatever you need to.

You want to lay money on the idea that Obama is going to tax his own base with this program and take away people's health care?

SBK
06-03-2009, 11:36 PM
You want to lay money on the idea that Obama is going to tax his own base with this program and take away people's health care?

I wouldn't put it past the guy to tax us for the boogers we pick out of our nose.

patteeu
06-04-2009, 01:29 AM
What we really need to do is separate employment from health care to begin with. Ours is a f'ed up system.

Yes. This is one "tax increase" that I'm in favor of because it's really the closing of what I'll call a loophole.

PS It sucks when a politician gets away with demagoguing an issue like this and then, after the election, he turns around and adopts it as his own. It will suck worse though when Obama rejects this idea for all the wrong reasons.

wild1
06-04-2009, 01:35 AM
Don't I remember in one debate he was blasting John McCain for his plan supposedly taxing people's health care benefits?

wild1
06-04-2009, 01:37 AM
You want to lay money on the idea that Obama is going to tax his own base with this program and take away people's health care?

from what i have seen from his 'base' he could tax them 50% of their private parts and they'd still want to erect a statue of him in their front yard.

HonestChieffan
06-04-2009, 06:45 AM
Most of his base pays no income tax

patteeu
06-04-2009, 08:09 AM
Don't I remember in one debate he was blasting John McCain for his plan supposedly taxing people's health care benefits?

Yes

Chief Henry
06-04-2009, 08:54 AM
John Murtha loves his 18-19 million dollar airport that he's funded in his district the last 10 years. It averages about 20 passengers per day. Its called the John Murtha airport.

***SPRAYER
06-04-2009, 08:58 AM
Most of his base pays no income tax

This message is not approved by the bringers of Hopey Change™.

banyon
06-04-2009, 04:56 PM
from what i have seen from his 'base' he could tax them 50% of their private parts and they'd still want to erect a statue of him in their front yard.

I wouldn't put it past the guy to tax us for the boogers we pick out of our nose.

So, how much guys? Dates, amounts, odds?

SBK
06-05-2009, 08:19 AM
Jan. 2013 we put the debacle that is hope and change behind us and begin the work to get the US out of a gov't made depression.
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