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Considered: Taxing Your Health Benefits

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Bloviating Zeppelin: Considered: Taxing Your Health Benefits

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Considered: Taxing Your Health Benefits

Demorats consider this is one way to fund ObamaKare:

The idea of taxing employee health-care benefits to raise money for an overhaul of the health system is gaining strength in Congress, although it drew criticism from Barack Obama when he was campaigning for president.

Experts lined up Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee and said it is one of the best ways to pay for a health-care overhaul. Many top Democrats support the concept.

But here is the reality:

Americans will say to themselves silently or publicly:

"Screw this. If you tax me then I'm going to ensure I get my money's worth."

Which means:

Health care visits for their own sake -- going up.

And with more persons entered into the system to make a point or otherwise: unable to handle.

You want federal Health Care? You want ObamaKare?

Then you'll get the courtesty, consideration, rationality, proportion, logic, efficiency and provision of your local DMV. Or your local VA hospital.

Just ask a couple of soldiers awaiting consultation.



Blogger Carlisleboy said...

So The people who actually work are going to have to pay even more than we already do to support those scum on Welfare, illegal immigrants, gang members who shoot up each other, drug addicts who cause their own health issues, and of course Congress.
Pitchforks and Torches time my Friends.

Wed May 13, 11:24:00 PM PDT  
Blogger cary said...

Screw that. We already pay too much for insurance - if they are going to TAX benefits WE ALREADY PAID FOR then bag the whole idea.

Whatta buncha putzi on the Hill. None of them are in touch with the common man anymore.

Thu May 14, 08:42:00 AM PDT  
Blogger a red voice said...

This extra tax is another step to eliminate private insurance. I have had friends and family who have lived in countries where socialized medicine is practiced, & have heard horror stories of the health care there. Sadly the people who think ObamaKare will work are thinking of a "free ride" - but nothing is free - we all pay for it one way or another.

Thu May 14, 12:50:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous WMD_Maker said...

This is just part of his plan to control more of the US economy.

Cant afford or dont want to afford the tax on insurance?
well simple drop your insurance.

more people uninsured than ever

Well we will just have to tax everyone more to provide govt healthcare. Problem solved.

Thu May 14, 01:53:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

And to help decide your fate will be a 'health ethicist', a bureaucrat, a certified government look-up table for any ailment you have and they may even, if you are lucky, ask your doctor's opinion on how you should be treated.


You expect to have a say in things?

When you give your essential liberty to government you lose the right to have a say in your fate. Even worse is that you get the NASA project dilemma with government run health care.

You can have it:
1) Readily Available,
2) High Quality,
3) Low Cost.

Choose two out of three... if you are lucky... one out of three if you aren't... zero out of three if things work out normally.

Thu May 14, 04:24:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

CB: in one word: yes.

Cary: that's a given.

ARV: hey, thanks for visiting and, moreover, thanks for taking the time to comment, and please come back! You are MOST correct: "free" care will be the most expensive thing we've yet encountered. If you're in your 40s or older, you can COUNT on being placed on damned near permanent "Ignore Mode" with ObamaKare. Guaranteed. And you young bucks? You'd best not EVER get sick.

WMD: and if you wish to supplement your ObamaKare with other insurance or if you wish to pay full bang for any aspect of your care, just wait: you WON'T BE ABLE TO. It will be either ObamaKare or NOTHING.

AJ: sir, 0 for 3 is more like it, as you state!


Thu May 14, 05:55:00 PM PDT  
Blogger shoprat said...

They are taxing everything else they can think of. I expect any day to see someone going into peoples' gardens to estimate the value of the harvest for income tax purposes.

Thu May 14, 06:53:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous WMD_Maker said...

They will probably tax the dog shit too!!!!

Thu May 14, 08:27:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

WMD: after all, dogshit is natural and biodegradable. Tax it whilst ye may!


Thu May 14, 10:07:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Rivka said...

I think they will find a way to tax you for dog doo. After all, even though it is o.k. after they lay it, aren't there traces of CO2 emissions as the dog is dooing? I have seen steamy poo on the ground in the winter. ;0)

Fri May 15, 04:41:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Rivka said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Fri May 15, 04:45:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Rivka said...

Didn't we hear straight from a donkey's mouth that they WANT private insurance to go under and socialized health care to rule? I forgot the demorat's name but it was on You Tube.

Then we hear these leftist dingbats saying we are nuts and we should just get out of the way and give socialized medicine a whirl. It should be really FUN! Let's just try it, what the heck!

Fri May 15, 04:46:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous WMD_Maker said...

"they WANT private insurance to go under"
That actually may be what saves the healthcare industry. The biggest problem is the cost so if you arent paying the bill (the insurance company is) you dont care as much how high the costs are. If you were paying the cost directly you would certainly complain more about $10 aspirin and $25 ace bandages. If you complain enough they actually will cut those down to just astonomical from the Obama-like rediculous.

Fri May 15, 06:29:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Health care visits for their own sake -- going up.Just as with the HMO's.

As of April, I have a private policy, which is catastrophic coverage, really. Costs me some $200 per month at the age of 57. But as I get older, the rates climb like hell until I'm old enough for Medicare.

In the past few years, there has been a proliferation of excellent general practitioners who accept no insurance payments whatsoever. Guess what? The care provided is excellent and reasonably priced - with house calls possible, no less.

Perhaps the health insurance industry should go down in flames. Much of their coverage is nothing less than gouging. Disclaimer: this paragraphs is not to be interpreted as advocating national health care.

One more thought....Eliminate the possiblity of medical bankruptcy (already in place for the paupers and the illegals), and we'll see some real competition amongst the various health-insurance companies.

Fri May 15, 03:46:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Just John said...

Once they socialize that crap, good luck actually finding a qualified doctor. Will anyone actually aspire to become an underpaid doctor? How many people make it their life-long goal to work at the DMV?

Fri May 15, 05:49:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

The problem with health care is the middleman: be it government or private insurers.

These attempts to hand out health care via insurance are subsidized via the tax code. By the breaks you get, businesses get and the great 'good' this does, we get a system that then has insurers calling the tune. That doesn't matter if it is government or a private plan - the only difference is that the private insurers are more efficient.

The lesson from subsidies is simple: overuse of subsidized goods and services at uneconomical rates until they break the system. Once you substract out the cost of insurance, the cost of multiple tests to determine simple conditions (that is enough, on its own, to get more people 'insured') and the cost of malpractice insurance you wind up with very little of your money going to paying for actual health care.

Consider that insurance is the bet by the insurer that nothing will happen to you and by you that something will. Health care doesn't work that way, especially if it is 'universal' insurance, as those purchasing it are not just 'hedging their bets' or taking a rational view of their health: they expect that anything they do that injures them or makes them ill will be covered. That changes the risk parameters for those being insured as they are more willing to take up activities that are harmful to their health on the expectation of 'cheap' medical care. As the system gets used more, there is also fraud involved as the number of payouts go up - thus insurers require multiple tests for condition diagnosis when one or two would typically serve. That is over-riding the good judgment of the doctor YOU chose and adding a cost burden to the system above and beyond paperwork.

Paperwork, itself, has caused many physicians to hire staff just to handle insurance paperwork. I have been at solo practices with one nurse and one person to handle the paperwork. Before the insurance got so prevalent I remember solo practitioners that had a nurse that also did the minimal paperwork. Staff size goes up, cost goes up to cover staff and that is passed on either to you via higher costs. System cost goes up even before you get to the amount the middleman has to take to run the system.

These are primary burden layers:
1) Increased numbers of tests to help curb fraud (it still happens),

2) Increased staff to handle paperwork increase for physicians,

3) Middleman overhead in the way of monthly payments to get to higher system burden costs.

The middleman also uses lawyers to go after those claims they think are fraudulent. Doctors take out malpractice insurance against patients expecting perfection, which is passed into the system. High payouts on legal settlements increase the cost to the middleman insurer that is passed on to you, the user.

Government has the signal and salutory problem of doing all of that at a slower pace, with less efficiency and higher overhead cost than private insurers... which are subsidized via your 'tax breaks' and those given to businesses. Somehow the cost of the system is rising faster than the 'tax breaks' and are causing over-use of the entire system. Which increases cost on its own.

These are structural problems with medical insurance that get worse under a 'single payer system' as the German government has found out. If 'single payer' kept costs down then the German government would not be looking to off-load its share of the burden back TO private insurance groups. Nor would individuals be wanting to move FROM the government 'single payer system'. That is the BEST government at work on this and it is failing due to increased cost and overutilization of healthcare, plus shrinking population size requiring the importation of foreign doctors because they are cheaper...

When the system is made universal you get the 'tragedy of the commons' effect in that NO ONE sees ANY cost in using the system for any problem, and the over-use previously seen with subsidies goes up... and the availability goes down as people don't want to become doctors under government stipend.

As was pointed out, more doctors are leaving this system and having patients sign non-litigation contracts. The result? Cheaper visits with more time for the doctor to spend with you, the patient, as they don't have that much paperwork to sign off on as the head of the practice.

Medication and treatment also fall into this, with regulatory overhead for some medications making them extremely expensive, while others that should be extremely cheap have hit a 'floor' due to minimum price-payouts from insurance companies now setting the minimum price for medications. Thus at the low end the costs go up and at the high end the costs go way up.

Who pays?

You do.

Want an efficient system?

Take out the subsidies, give breaks to giving to charitable hospitals and health care providers (who typically do a better job than their unsubsidized counterparts, but who suffer due to subsidies), remove regulatory overhead for legal medications and stop interfering with the market via insurance price floors... plus get in some torte reform so you can't sue for 'pain and suffering' but only actual damages and costs to 'make good' on bad practice. Tossing out a medical license should get the bad actors out very quickly... right now they get to go through 'mediation' and stay active months and years past when they should have been forced to leave the profession.

And I speak as someone who is not well at all: the system is trying to kill me with its oversight, overhead and managing a set of conditions that are damned near unique to me. Get rid of the 'experts' as I have to know the interactions with my conditions better than any doctor I have met up with INCLUDING the specialists at NIH.

Sat May 16, 06:09:00 AM PDT  

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