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Gerry Clinchy
02-24-2010, 06:09 AM
from Politico.com


it delays an unpopular tax on “Cadillac” insurance plans until 2018 for all Americans


Obama’s proposal also includes a legal requirement for all Americans to own insurance but lowers the penalty on individuals who don’t, to just $325 in the first year.

Doesn't mention anything about penalty amounts for future years.


After months of losing the messaging war on health care, the White House put a new frame on the subsidies for lower-income Americans to purchase health insurance, describing them as the “largest middle-class tax cut for health care in history.” At the same time, the plan would raise the Medicare payroll tax on couples earning more than $250,000 a year.

Never really understood why Medicare payroll tax "stopped" at a certain level (maybe that has also changed recently?). While SS beneit may be capped at the high end, it is unlikely that anyone who reaches age 65 won't take more out of Medicare than they put in. Perhaps this also means that an individual will pay a higher Medicare tax above $250K income? It's not clear here.

It would also seem logical that if lower incomes will be subsidized for health insurance, somebody will have to make up that deficiency. Logic seems to indicate that subsidy will come from the young & healthy (unless their income is in the range subsidized); or from the higher income insureds. With the low penalty mentioned, until that penalty gets high enough to provide suficient incentive to be insured, the hoped-for universality of coverage won't be there to balance the actuarial cost of the pre-existing conditions coverage or the subsidized coverages.

I'm still not sure what minimum coverage would be "required" to avoid penalty (either for individuals or employers). Perhaps I've missed something? Without knowing the minimum coverage parameters, it would be hard to guess what the cost of such coverage would be?

I'm sure we are all sick of hearing about this whole thing. Maybe that's part of the strategy ... attrition.

Gerry Clinchy
02-24-2010, 06:19 AM
Oops, forgot this

The White House plan also proposes a 2.9% Medicare payroll tax on capital income ... Interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, and rent which is not otherwise “passive.”

M&K's Retrievers
02-24-2010, 08:12 AM
Why don't they just friggin take it all. This is bullshit!

ducknwork
02-24-2010, 08:14 AM
Why don't they just friggin take it all. This is bullshit!

SHHHHH! If you don't hush, you'll give away their top secret plan...

david gibson
02-24-2010, 08:23 AM
plus it contains a provision where it can never be rescinded. what? what if it becomes a total failure, we are stuck with it? i think B Hussein O is being a bit narcissistic here. we have had SDI and the supercollider rescinded, but noooo, not his "little pressious"

Gerry Clinchy
02-24-2010, 09:08 AM
plus it contains a provision where it can never be rescinded. what? what if it becomes a total failure, we are stuck with it?

No expert, but that sounds unconstitutional. Even the Constitution can be amended, and there could be a law which did not allow recission? That simply doesn't make sense. [Not saying you're incorrect, Dave. Just saying it doesn't make sense to me.]

YardleyLabs
02-24-2010, 09:12 AM
plus it contains a provision where it can never be rescinded. what? what if it becomes a total failure, we are stuck with it? i think B Hussein O is being a bit narcissistic here. we have had SDI and the supercollider rescinded, but noooo, not his "little pressious"
Where did you see anything that would prevent a future repeal? Neither the Congress nor the President is capable of passing a law that restricts future legislation. Obviously, however, if Congress passes a law that turns out to be as popular as, say, Medicare, it is unlikely that anyone will ever succeed in repealing the program unless it is replaced by something better.

M&K's Retrievers
02-24-2010, 06:07 PM
Where did you see anything that would prevent a future repeal? Neither the Congress nor the President is capable of passing a law that restricts future legislation. Obviously, however, if Congress passes a law that turns out to be as popular as, say, Medicare, it is unlikely that anyone will ever succeed in repealing the program unless it is replaced by something better.

I heard that BS as well but don't believe they can do that.

Gerry Clinchy
02-25-2010, 02:16 PM
From NY Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/health/policy/25health.html?th&emc=th

About the increase in the Blue Cross rates in CA:

Ms. Braly said health care providers were charging more to the private sector, “including our members,” because payments from Medicare (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/medicare/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) and Medicaid (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/medicaid/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) did not fully cover providers’ costs.

Families with commercial insurance pay almost $1,800 a year more for coverage as a result of this cost shift, Ms. Braly said.

A patient (of Anthem BC) asked:

“The City of West Hollywood, where I live, regulates how much landlords can raise the rent each year to keep rents stabilized. Why can’t the federal government regulate how much health insurance companies can raise their rates per year, in order to stabilize premiums?”

An investor cannot purchase a rental property unless the rent can break even or yield a profit. If rent is controlled by a govt authority, at an unrealistic level for the market, the owner of that property will not be able to sell it to a new investor. I don't know anything about NYC rent control, but figure it would HAVE to allow for increases in costs like property taxes or maintenance costs.

So, let us say that any regulation of health insurance would be limited to increases in costs. According to the article hospital costs in CA rose 10% in CA; and drug costs 13%. So, that would mean that the insuror could raise the premiums by possibly around 11%.

However, due to the unemployment situation, their actuarial balance has been changed since the loss of younger, healthier workers as a result of job loss. One would have to know the actuarial formula in order to determine how much of a premium increase that would require to cover the older, less-healthy insureds that remain.

If the proposed health care bill would only offer payments equal to M&M, then the policies would fall subject to the same problem ... making up M&M losses by charging other patients more.

If private insurors tried to pay only what M&M pays, would the providers accept that? If the providers accepted those payments, how many could survive. I think Dave has already commented that the M&M payments are bare bones. If the providers would not accept the reduced payment from privates, where does that leave the whole scheme of health insurance?