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Obamacare and EXTRA taxes

I was reading this opinion piece at the NYTimes about how un-PC it is to complain about being shackled with Obamacare.  The Obama PR campaign has been very effective about laying on the guilt.  Apparently, if you complain about the sticker shock and skinny networks and canceled plans, it’s the equivalent of protesting the Iraq war in 2003.  You’re un-American.  You hate sick people.  And besides, aren’t the lucky Americans who have employer sponsored health care paying taxes for the poor unfortunates, you ungrateful wretch?

Which makes me wonder, don’t we underemployed, or contract workers, or temps or, the blessed entrepreneurs ALSO pay taxes??  Some of us are paying both sides of the social security tax.  We pay taxes out the wazoo.  And we’re still getting the shaft on these skinny network plans, cancellations and the subsidy crunch.  If we make even one dollar more than we should, we could get socked with a monumental bill.

Talk about killing innovation.  I can’t think of a better way to avoid success and innovation than to take people who are forced into entrepreneurship in this economy to scale back so as to not hit the limit on the subsidies.  I can’t think of a better way to encourage getting paid off the books and depriving the treasury of tax dollars than to make a zero-tolerance, not-one-dollar-more boundary for people to qualify for subsidies.

Let me remind some of the Congresspeople who didn’t bother to read this bill before they signed off on it that in 2009, Pfizer laid off every scientist in the company Wyeth that they had acquired in a merger.  Yep, every one of them.  A few found jobs in Pfizer but the vast majority of them, that would be thousands and thousands of BS, MS and PhDs, were just told to go their own way.  Innovate!  Become your own boss!  Which is very odd because if a multibillion dollar international company can’t get drugs through the FDA approval process, what makes anyone think  that a bunch of poor, under equipped scientists are going to be able to do it in their garages working with shoestring and bubblegum?  THAT is a Wall Street MBA’s secret wet dream but hardly reality.

Now multiply Pfizer’s strategy by all of the other drug companies and you get an idea of how many newly minted entrepreneurs are out there, struggling to make a living at companies that don’t pay benefits.  Or think of the Chemical Engineer who works by the project and doesn’t have coverage who is now paying all of his taxes AND is getting a rate hike.

Why should these people be required to foot more of the bill from their income than the people who are sitting comfortably (for now) behind their employer sponsored health plans?  We all feel compassion for the poor who can’t afford insurance or the people with pre-existing conditions.  Not only that but we might even BE some of those people through no fault of our own.

But why should be made to feel guilty about not caring MORE for them?  Why do we need to sacrifice more of our money than anyone else when we are already expected to carry a full load?  Shouldn’t the burden for this fall more evenly?  Or here’s a better question: if we are expected to make this sacrifice, shouldn’t we be getting top notch plans and treatment and be treated with more dignity?

By the way, the lucky who are covered by their employer should think about this long and hard because one day, through no fault of their own, their companies might require them to sacrifice their own jobs in the name of shareholder value and then, they’ll have to suck it up and shut up about how much these crappy plans cost.

It could happen to anyone.

8 Responses

  1. If the object of PPACA was to start some kind of class warfare then Obama, Pelosi, and Reid have succeeded.

    The candidates that gets my votes in 2014 and 2016 are the ones that promise to dismantle Obama-care and institute a Single Payer System. This means no vote for Hillary, probably.

    • One or two or none of the candidates will make such a promise or even such a suggestion. The only candidates who would even try to achieve the first step would be Tea Party candidates. A cold turkey repeal of Obamacare would at least create such a wreckage-filled vacuum that a Single Payer movement might be able to fill it. But that could only happen with veto proof tea majorities in the House and Senate. Then the Insurance Obama Complex would bring suits and cases and if they could get them to the Supreme Court, Roberts would find a way to strike down such laws the same way he found a way to uphold Obamacare. So it would be a long hard struggle.

  2. I can only guess which editorial you read (the one where the author’s FB friends were nasty to them?) but I think the problem is that some people don’t know how to argue their point. You have to make people stop in their tracks. Give them an argument that stuns them. And plenty of arguments exist in this case to do that.

    Based on his polls, I honestly don’t think Obama’s PR campaign is working at all except with the 30% “true believers”. It’s heartening to see that people on main street understand that millions of people didn’t exactly buy their insurance plans from a matchbook cover etc. Obama’s despicable tactic of treating us like a political campaign pretty much backfired. We’re his second Syria. And like Syria, I suspect that someone else is going to have to come in and save the day because Obama is policy incompetent (not the least bit surprising). Obama needs to resign and go on to a life of Axel-Rove-like crime. He is compassion-less. People in need are not just politics, much as he’d like to believe so.

    Frankly I don’t know what in the short term will fix this system that they broke (not talking about the web site) so that people with ongoing issues like cancer, HIV, etc can get their treatment without interruption next year.

    The “if you like your plan you can keep it” law is ridiculous. The insurance companies will simply say, sorry, we can’t go back. The politicians will then say, see, we tried, but we can’t control those evil insurance companies (you know, the ones that we’re mandating your indentured servitude to, wink). Now, love us again. The media will start their “see they tried, see they tried, see they tried” refrain. Polls may even refrain the “see they tried” mantra. And we’ll stay stuck in this quagmire.

    Politicians are also saying, “well, we won’t get anything accomplished because Christmas”. And I think WTF, you screwed up everyone’s insurance (and yes, Repubs are also parcel to this by their evil ‘sit by and watch it implode’ plan) and you think you get Christmas this year? That cancer patient who is losing their doctors won’t get a Christmas. That person who can’t afford your now mandated premium increases has already told their family there will be no Christmas from now on.

    I could go on, but I’ve spammed enough, sigh. Thanks for yet another great post.

  3. PR only goes so far. At some point, facts on the ground refute the spin doctoring. The Obama administration consistently prefers spin to policy substance, but repeated lying can’t hide bad policy.

    I agree with the point that eventually, companies will do away with group health benefits. The entire reason we got ACA was because big employers no longer want to cover their employees’ health benefits. Too expensive. Better to offload that cost elsewhere. Soon enough, all of us will have to deal with Obamacare. Then its flaws will become painfully apparent.

  4. Good post, I agree. I get a lot of comments from “liberals” that my negative view of Obama’s extreme right wing policies/program is FOX brainwashering…or racism. None so blind as those who refuse to see.

    Here’s another con Obomber is running on the American Citizenry; our first look at an international government by the people who brought us Milton Friedman…

    http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/nov/13/wikileaks-trans-pacific-partnership-chapter-secret

    • Naked Capitalism has run quite a few posts on TPP and TAPP, especially TPP. If enough people were to start calling Obamatrade, it might suffer from taint by association.

  5. As someone in a field that is affected by section 1706 of the so-called Tax Reform Act of 1986, you have my sympathy. There’s nothing like being explicitly singled out by your government to ruin your whole day.

  6. Ian Welsh on the subject, with his usual razor clarity – http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-obamacare-fiasco/

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