ObamaCare Flatlines: ObamaCare Taxes Home Sales – Clobbers Middle-Class Americans

ObamaCare Flatlines: ObamaCare Taxes Home Sales – Clobbers Middle-Class Americans

“I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes,”
President Obama, September 12, 2008

Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income, including the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income.

In February 2010, 5.02 million homes were sold, according to the National Association of Realtors.  On any given day, the sale of a house, townhome, condominium, co-op, or income from a rental property can push middle-income families over the $250,000 threshold and slam them with a new tax they can’t afford.

This new ObamaCare tax is the first time the government will apply a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income.  This new tax on home sales and unearned income and other Medicare taxes raise taxes more than $210 billion to pay for ObamaCare.   The National Association of Realtors called this new Medicare tax on unearned income “destructive” and “ill-advised” and warned it would hurt job creation.

For previous ObamaCare Flatlines, visit click here.

Additional Document: The Costly Consequences of Health Care Reform (Courtesy of the Budget Committee)

White House attempts to quiet revived talk of ‘death panels’

White House attempts to quiet revived talk of ‘death panels’

By Jason Millman – 12/27/10 09:31 AM ET

 

The Obama administration is trying to quiet talk about so-called “death panels” after The New York Times reported Sunday that a new Medicare regulation includes incentives for end-of-life-care planning.

The Medicare policy will pay doctors for holding end-of-life-care discussions with patients, according to the Times. A similar provision was dropped from the new healthcare reform law after Republicans accused the administration of withholding care from the sick, elderly and disabled.

However, an administration spokesman said the regulation, which is less specific than the reform law’s draft language, is actually a continuation of a policy enacted under former President George W. Bush.

“The only thing new here is a regulation allowing the discussions … to happen in the context of the new annual wellness visit created by [healthcare reform],” Obama spokesman Reid Cherlin told The Wall Street Journal.

In 2003, Medicare added a consultation visit for seniors new to the program, according to the Journal. Another 2008 law, enacted under Bush, said the visit can include “end-of-life” planning discussions.

Sarah Palin, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, sparked controversy last summer when she said the reform law’s end-of-life provision would create “death panels,” in which “government bureaucrats” would decide who receives care. President Obama countered the claim by saying his administration didn’t want to “pull the plug on grandma.”

 

The Media’s Health Care Lies

The Media’s Health Care Lies

Posted By Dennis Prager On July 1, 2010 @ 12:00 am In FrontPage | 3 Comments

If you believe that Americans have lousy health care, it is probably not because you have experienced inferior heath care. It is probably because you were told America has lousy health care.

Last week, major news media featured these headlines:

Reuters: “U.S. scores dead last again in healthcare study”

Los Angeles Times: “U.S. is No. 1 in a key area of healthcare. Guess which one …”

NPR: “US Spends The Most On Health Care, Yet Gets Least”

The Week: “US health care system: Worst in the world?”

Now let’s delve into this widely reported headline as written by Reuters.

For those readers who rely on a headline to get news — and we all do that sometimes — the issue is clear: America is rated as having the worst health care “again.”

For those who read the first sentence or two, an even more common practice, the Reuters report begins this way: “Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday. The United States ranked last when compared to six other countries — Britain, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Fund report found.”

For those reading further, the claim of the headline and of the first two sentences is reinforced. The third sentence offers commentary on the study by the head of the group that conducted it: “‘As an American it just bothers me that with all of our know-how, all of our wealth, that we are not assuring that people who need healthcare can get it,’ Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis told reporters …”

Only later in the report does the discerning reader have a clue as to how agenda-driven this report and this study are. The otherwise unidentified Karen Davis, president of the never-identified Commonwealth Fund, is quoted as saying how important it was that America pass President Obama’s health care bill.

Could it be that Ms. Davis and the Commonwealth are leftwing?

They sure are, though Reuters, which is also on the Left, never lets you know.

Here’s how the Commonwealth Fund’s 2009 Report from the president begins: “The Commonwealth Fund marshaled its resources this year to produce timely and rigorous work that helped lay the groundwork for the historic Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama in March 2010.”

As for Davis, she served as deputy assistant secretary for health policy in the Department of Health and Human Services in the Jimmy Carter administration all four years of the Carter presidency. And in 1993, in speaking to new members of Congress, she advocated a single-payer approach to health care.

I could not find any mainstream news report about this story that identified the politics of Karen Davis or the Commonwealth Fund. If they had, the headlines would have looked something like this:

“Liberal think tank, headed by single-payer advocate, ObamaCare activist, and former Carter official, says America has worst health care”

Conversely, imagine if a conservative think tank had released a study showing that, in general, Americans had the best health care in the world.

Two questions: Would the media have reported it? And if they did, would they have neglected to report that the think tank was conservative? The answer is no to both.

In microcosm, we have here four major developments of the last 50 years:

1. The Left dominates the news media in America; and around the world, leftwing media are almost the only news media.

2. The media report most news in the light of their Leftwing values (whether consciously or not).

3. Most people understandably believe what they read, watch or listen to.

4. This is a major reason most people on the Left are on the Left. They have been given a lifetime of leftist perceptions of the world (especially when one includes higher education) and therefore regard what they believe about the world as reality rather than as a leftwing perception of reality.

The same thing happened on a far larger scale in 2000 when the world press reported that the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) ranked America 37th in health care behind such countries as Morocco, Costa Rica, Colombia and Greece.

This WHO assessment was reported throughout the world and regularly cited by leftwing critics of American health care. Yet, to the best of my knowledge, no one other than a few conservatives noted that Cuba was ranked 39th, essentially tied with the United States.

Which means that the WHO report is essentially a fraud. Who in his right mind thinks Americans and Cubans have equivalent levels of health care? For that matter, how many world leaders travel to Greece or Morocco instead of to the United States for health care?

The answer is that WHO doesn’t assess health care quality; it assesses health care equality, exactly the way any organization on the Left assesses it. And since the world’s and America’s news media are on the Left, they report a Leftist bogus assessment of American health care as true.

Imagine this headline around the world: “World Health Organization declares America and Cuba tied in health care.”

Of course, only Leftists would believe that. But since non-Leftists would realize how absurd the claim was, that is not what anyone was told. Instead, the world and American media all announced “America rated 37th in health care by World Health Organization.”

These two reports illustrate why so many people in America and around the world think America’s health care is inferior and why they support movement toward nationalized health care.

But these two reports are only one example of the larger problem — the world thinking is morally confused because it is informed by the morally confused. How else explain, for example, why America, the greatest force for good among nations, is hated, while China, never a force for good, isn’t?

The answer is, unfortunately, simple: Garbage in, garbage out.

Dennis Prager hosts a nationally syndicated radio talk show and is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He is the author of four books, most recently “Happiness Is a Serious Problem” (HarperCollins). His website is http://www.dennisprager.com.

Elderly and Expendable

Elderly and Expendable

Posted By Tait Trussell On June 17, 2010 @ 12:01 am In FrontPage | 6 Comments

The Obama Administration and the President’s pals in Congress have been on a deliberate course to write off America’s senior citizens as a lost cause politically. This decision is based on an internal Democrat study indicating that seniors don’t trust Obama.

The Democrats, in fact, have stiffed the country’s seniors: ranging from multi-billion dollar cuts in Medicare [1] to driving physicians to drop seniors as patients by delaying [2] and cutting federal reimbursements to such medical specialists as cardiologists and oncologists, who treat the biggest killers of seniors–heart disease and cancer.

The disdain toward seniors has included cuts in home health care [3] and payments to hospitals to new taxes on medical devices [4] on which many seniors depend. Add to this: increases in the medicare tax [5] on some working seniors and cancellation of the traditional cost-of-living boost to Social Security checks [6] for 2010 and 2011.

During the stretched-out debate over the new health law, seniors  continually heard that Medicare would be slashed by $500 billion. The final bill’s provisions included $132 billion chopped from Medicare Advantage, [7] the enhanced private version of Medicare in which 25 percent of seniors are enrolled.

Implemented over 10 years, it would chip away at their benefits and worry old folks that lower payments will force health providers to stop taking new Medicare patients.

“From all I have been able to tell so far, it’s going to hurt,” said Dalton, Ga., resident Horton Herrin, 72. The retired Georgia state employee has a private Medicare Advantage plan that is targeted for cuts under the health reform package.

Even though Obama’s 2008 election was historic in many ways his performance among seniors [8] (age 65 and over) provided one of the few low points. Exit pools showed that Obama lost to John McCain among seniors 45 to 53 percent.

According to an important 2009 analysis by Democracy Corps, founded by Democrat strategists [9] Stan Greenberg and James Carville, “The central reason that white seniors did not support Obama is that they feared the type of change he would bring. They remained skeptical about whose side Obama was on, distrusted him generally, and specifically were concerned about this level of experience. These feelings that hold white seniors back from Obama were particularly true among white senior men and seniors without a college degree….”

A recent Rasmussen Poll [10] found that 59 percent of voting seniors favor repeal of the ObamaCare law. Well aware of this skepticism of the President’s policies, Obama is certainly not depending on seniors as part of his political support base.

The latest move irking the aging was when the Senate went on Memorial Day vacation without fixing the cut in payments to doctors for Medicare patients. Seniors didn’t know if their doctor bills would be paid. As American Medical Association (AMA) President [11] James Rohack said: “The U.S. Senate turned its back on our nation’s seniors and physicians who care for them by going on vacation…without making a fix in the federal reimbursement rate for doctors who care for Medicare recipients.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) sent letters to doctors informing them that the agency had told Medicare contractors to delay processing Medicare claims for 10 business days. This was to give Congress time to fix the reimbursement legislation. But it left Medicare patients wondering if and when Medicare would pay for a visit to their doctor.

So, some seniors worried from Memorial Day until June 14 when CMS contractors were allowed to begin claims processing [12] since the threatened 21 percent cut to Medicare physicians’ payment rates had been set in the House, but still not determined in the Senate. The American College of Cardiology [13] CEO Jack Lewin branded the Senate’s failure to act “the worst-case scenario for patients and physicians.”

The Administration is further causing seniors to fret in naming a new administrator for Medicare and Medicaid [14] who believes fervently in rationing care. Dr. Donald Berwick, President Obama’s choice to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), is president of the Institute of Healthcare Improvement and professor at Harvard Medical School. “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open,” he has said.

Dr. Berwick made that statement when discussing duties of the Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER). That body was part of the original $787 billion stimulus law. CER was created to evaluate the cost of medical treatments and their outcome.  Dr. Berwick is enamored with the British system of health care, particularly the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), which is, as TIME magazine described it: “a rationing panel for British patients.” Dr. Berwick also has been quoted as saying: “I am a romantic about the (British) National Health Service. [15] I love it.”

He also has been quoted as saying “If I could wave a magic want…health care (would be) a common good—single payer (system) a nonnegotiable starting place.” Britain’s CER model “calculates a treatment by quality-adjusted life years, refusing to pay for a treatment…” costing a certain amount that doesn’t “extend a patient’s life by at least one year.”

Of course, Obama hasn’t given up completely on any possible voters in the next presidential race. His Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius sent out a slick four-color folder in May to all Medicare recipients [16] in the U.S. saying the new health law “will provide you and your family greater savings and increased quality care…so that you, and your family, and doctor—not insurance companies—have greater control over your care.”

Republican Senate leaders called it propaganda and inaccurate. They demanded that Sebelius tell who commissioned the message and approved the money to mail it. A request to CMS for the cost of the folder and it mailing is still pending.

Was Obamacare designed for ‘distribution of wealth’?

Was Obamacare designed for ‘distribution of wealth’?

June 15th, 2010

World Net Daily

Obama Planned to use Healthcare to distribute wealth?

A convicted felon and political consultant with close ties to the Obama administration helped provide a blueprint for the president’s health-care legislation, a recently released book exposes.

The book reveals Robert Creamer, husband of Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., who was one of Capitol Hill’s most visible cheerleaders for Obama’s health-care bill, later wrote his health-care platform and declared strategies are not about “policies” – “they are about the distribution of wealth and power.”

Creamer also recommended the president “create” a national consensus that the country’s health-care system is in a state of crisis in order to push a radical new health-care plan…

Read More

All-Time High 63% Favor Health Care Reform Repeal

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