Obamacare’s HealthCare.gov: Crime Scene, Bureaucratic Disaster and Government Failure — Obamacare: Trick, Treat or Tax — Videos
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Obamacare: trick, treat or tax?
By Raymond Thomas Pronk
If you think Halloween is scary, you should see the HealthCare.gov website. It is frightening.
When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, he made a firm pledge to the American people.
“If you who make less than a quarter of a million dollars per year which includes 98 percent of small business owners, you will not see your taxes increase one single dime under my plan — not your payroll taxes, not your income taxes, not your capital gains taxes, nothing. It is time to give the middle class a break. That is what I will do as president of the United States,” Obama said. This was captured in a YouTube video titled “Not a Dime in Tax Increase for Those Earning Less than $250,000.”
Once he was elected, Obama made another promise to the American people.
Obama said, “No matter how we reform healthcare, we will make this promise to the American people; if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what. My view is that healthcare reform should be guided by a simple principle, fix what is broken and build on what works.” This statement was captured in a YouTube video titled “Obama to AMA keep your doctor and insurance we will build economy.”
On March 23, 2010, Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare. Before Obamacare was enacted into law, Obama was interviewed by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. He asked the president, “You were against the individual mandate during the campaign. Under this mandate the government is forcing people to spend money and fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?”
Obama said, “… For us to say that you have to take responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it is saying is that we are not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you.”
Stephanopoulos responded, “I do not think I am making it up. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, tax, a charge usually of money imposed on persons or property for public purposes.”
Obama replied, “George, the fact you looked it up Merriam’s dictionary, that a definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you are stretching it right now.” The entire exchange was captured in the YouTube video titled “Obamacare : FLASHBACK President Obama said Individual Mandate Is Not a Tax (Sept 20, 2009).”
When Obamacare was enacted, 26 states, along with several individuals and others challenged the constitutionality of Obamacare in the courts. They argued that the law was a violation of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government the power to regulate commerce between the states. The Supreme Court ruled that the law could not be upheld under the Commerce Clause. This was the primary argument of the government in arguing for the constitutionality of the law. Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority said, “The federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance.”
However, the Supreme Court did accept the government’s tax argument that the individual mandate represented a tax on individuals who choose not the buy health insurance. The Court said, “going without insurance” is “just another thing the government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income.”
Americans are not required to buy health insurance under the individual mandate, according to the Supreme Court in its ruling. However, if you elect not to buy one of Obamacare’s individual metal (bronze, silver, gold or platinum) plans through a state or federal health insurance exchange, you may be subject to a tax penalty or fine by the Internal Revenue Service.
For 2014, the fine is the greater of 1 percent of income or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child up to $285 per family. For 2015 the fine is the greater of 2 percent of income or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child up to $975 per family. For 2016 the fine is the greater of 2.5 percent of income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child up to $2,085.
Millions of Americans are now finding out from their insurance companies that as a direct result of the passage of Obamacare, they can no longer keep their existing individual plans or doctors. Instead, they have the choice of either purchasing one of the Obamacare metal health insurance plans with much higher premiums and deductibles or pay the IRS fine.
Thanks to Obama the American people believed their taxes would not rise and they could keep their existing health insurance plans and doctors. Obamacare is not a treat, but a trick or tax.
Not a Dime in Tax Increase for Those Earning Less than $250,000
Obama to AMA keep your doctor and insurance we will build economy
“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” – Barack Obama
Obamacare : FLASHBACK President Obama said Individual Mandate Is Not a Tax (Sept 20, 2009)
Think the Affordable Care Act is good for America? Think again.
Oct 14: This just in :People are figuring out just how much “free” health care costs.
The momentum is on our side.
1) Jackson & Coker Survey: Physician Opinions of the American Medical Association (2011) http://www.jacksoncoker.com/Promos/in…
Forbes “Doctors and AMA split over Contentious Issue of Obamacare” by Sally Pipes (Sept. 2011) http://www.forbes.com/sites/sallypipe…
2) The New York Times “White Coast in the Rose Garden, as Obama Rallies Doctors on Health Overhaul” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg (Oct. 5, 2009) http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.co…
Doctors For America White House Rose Garden Ceremony – Press Release (Oct. 5, 2009) http://www.drsforamerica.org/news-2/p…
3) Congressional Budget Office Report Effects of the Affordable Care Act (March 2010) http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/file…
4) Congressional Budget Office Report Effects of the Affordable Care Act (May 2013) http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/file…
5) House Energy & Commerce Committee Report (May 2013) http://energycommerce.house.gov/sites…
6) Gallup Survey of Small Business Owners (May 2013) http://www.gallup.com/poll/162386/hal…
US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Outlook Study (July 2013) http://uschambersmallbusinessnation.c…
7) Supreme Court Decision on the Affordable Care Act http://hastings.house.gov/uploadedfil…
8) US Dept. of HHS Federal Poverty Guidelines (2013) http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/13poverty…
House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform “IRS: Enforcing Obamacare’s New Rules and Taxes” http://oversight.house.gov/wp-content…
9) Washington Examiner “IRS employee union: We don’t want Obamacare” by Joel Gehrke http://washingtonexaminer.com/irs-emp…
10) Kaiser Family Foundation ACA Subsidy Calculator http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-ca…
11) Office of Personnel and Management – Salaries (April 2013) http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversi…
12) Pew Research Center “Baby Boomers Retire” (Dec. 29, 2010) http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-numb…
13) American Association of Medical Colleges “Physician Shortages to Worsen Without Increases In Residency Training” (2010) https://www.aamc.org/download/153160/…
14) American Association of Medical Colleges “Recent Studies and Reports on Physician Shortages in the US” (Oct. 2012) https://www.aamc.org/download/100598/…
15) National Association of Community Health Centers “Access Denied: A Look At America’s Medically Disenfranchised” (2007) http://www.nachc.com/client/documents…
16) American Association of Medical Colleges State Physician Workforce Data Book (2011) https://www.aamc.org/download/263512/…
17) Merritt Hawkins & Associates Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times (2009) http://www.merritthawkins.com/pdf/mha…
18) Wall Street Journal “The Affordable Care Act’s Rate Setting Won’t Work” by Howard Dean. (July 28, 2013) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001…
19) Forbes “Unpublished CRS Memo: Obama Administration Has Missed Half Of Obamacare’s Legally Imposed Implementation Deadlines” by Avik Roy http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothe..
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Consumer Reports, which publishes reviews of consumer products and services,advised its readers to avoid the federal health-care exchange “for at least another month if you can.” “Hopefully that will be long enough for its software vendors to clean up the mess they’ve made,” the magazine said, having tested the site themselves over the course of the past three weeks.
Noting that only 271,000 of the 9.47 million people who tried signing up in the first week managed to create an account, Consumer Reports then provided a few tips to those attempting to slog through the application process. From attempting successive logins because “error messages . . . may not always match reality” to checking one’s inbox frequently because missing an e-mail a user will be timed out of the site and forced to start from square one, none of the suggestions guaranteed success.
The magazine has also released a string of scathing reviews. On October 1, the day the Obamacare exchanges went online, the magazine told people to be patient: “Don’t worry if you can’t sign up today or even within the next couple of weeks.” A week into enrollment, they urged again to “wait a couple weeks and hope that the site irons out its many problems” because the HealthCare.gov is “barely operational.”
As the editors continued to review the website over the next few days, they only had one positive statement: “On the plus side,” they noted, “consumers coming to HealthCare.gov are no longer stopped cold by an error message or a screen saying they’ve been put in a waiting line.”
Now three weeks into the exchanges, having offered reviews and advice, Consumer Reports said that “if all [these suggestions] are too much to absorb, follow our previous advice: Stay away from Healthcare.gov,” at least for the time being.