Friday, March 30, 2012

ObamaCare: Unraveling

All Of Obama's Spinners Couldn't Put ObamaCare Back Together Again


"President Obama On Thursday Signed Into Law A Bill Repealing The Health Care Reform Law's 1099 Tax Reporting Requirement, The First Provision Of The Democrats' Law To Get The Ax." (Julian Pecquet, "Obama Lifts 1099 Tax Reporting Burden," The Hill's " Health Watch," 4/14/11)

1099 Would Have Overwhelmed Small Businesses

Had The Provision Not Been Repealed, ObamaCare Would "Swamp U.S. Businesses With A Flood Of New Tax Paperwork" By "Radically Alter[ing] The Nature Of 1099s." "An all-but-overlooked provision of the health reform law is threatening to swamp U.S. businesses with a flood of new tax paperwork. … The stealth change radically alters the nature of 1099s and means businesses will have to issue millions of new tax documents each year." (Neil deMause, "Health Care Law's Massive, Hidden Tax Change," CNNMoney, 5/5/10)

Had It Not Been Repealed, Companies Today Would Have To Send 1099s To Contract Workers, Individuals, And Corporations If They "Buy More Than $600 In Goods Or Services [From Them] In A Tax Year." "Section 9006 of the health care bill -- just a few lines buried in the 2,409-page document -- mandates that beginning in 2012 all companies will have to issue 1099 tax forms not just to contract workers but to any individual or corporation from which they buy more than $600 in goods or services in a tax year. … But under the new rules, if a freelance designer buys a new iMac from the Apple Store, they'll have to send Apple a 1099. A laundromat that buys soap each week from a local distributor will have to send the supplier a 1099 at the end of the year tallying up their purchases." (Neil deMause, "Health Care Law's Massive, Hidden Tax Change," CNNMoney, 5/5/10)

The Tax Reporting Requirements In ObamaCare Affects Ten Times More Small Businesses Than The Tax Credit. "BIG NUMBER - 40 million. That's the number of small businesses that will be subject to the new health reform requirement to file 1099 forms to any vendor where they spend more than $600 in a given year. To put that in perspective, the IRS expects new tax filing requirement to effect 10 times more small businesses than the small business tax credit (earlier IRS estimates placed that number around 4 million)." (Jennifer Haberkorn and Sarah Kliff, "Politico Pulse," Politico, 7/8/10)

1099 Provision Will Substantially Cut Into Small Business Owners' Profits. "Felder, who employees 25 workers, said she'll have to hire one more just to keep track of receipts. At $30,000, the extra salary will eat into about 6 percent of her profit. 'You plow every penny you can right back into the business," she said. 'When I think of everything else I could use that money for, it's huge.'" (N.C. Aizenman, "Health-Care Funding Provision Could Face Repeal," The Washington Post, 8/29/10)

The Wall Street Journal: The IRS Taxpayer Advocate Says That The ObamaCare Reporting Requirements Will Do More Harm Than Good. "But this 'tax gap' of unreported business income is largely a Beltway myth, and no less than the Treasury Department's National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson says the costs will be 'disproportionate as compared with any resulting improvements in tax compliance.'" (Editorial, "The 1099 Insurrection," The Wall Street Journal, 9/15/10)

" An IRS Ombudsman Estimated That 40 Million Businesses, Including 26 Million Sole Proprietors, Will Be Affected." "Chris Walters of the National Federation of Independent Business pointed to owners such as Pat Felder of Baton Rouge, who estimates that her auto parts supply business will have to start filing 1099s on several hundred vendors - including office supply stores, gas stations, even the grocery where she gets meat for company barbecues." (N.C. Aizenman, "Health-Care Funding Provision Could Face Repeal," The Washington Post, 8/29/10)
1099 Provision Will Substantially Cut Into Small Business Owners' Profits. "Felder, who employees 25 workers, said she'll have to hire one more just to keep track of receipts. At $30,000, the extra salary will eat into about 6 percent of her profit. 'You plow every penny you can right back into the business,' she said. 'When I think of everything else I could use that money for, it's huge.'" (N.C. Aizenman, "Health-Care Funding Provision Could Face Repeal,"
The Washington Post, 8/29/10)


The Obama Administration Pulled The Plug On The Community Living Assistance Services And Supports (CLASS) Program. "The Obama administration says it is unable to go forward with a major program in the president's signature health care overhaul law - a new long-term care insurance plan. Officials said Friday the long-term care program has critical design flaws that can't be fixed to make it financially self-sustaining." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Obama Pulls Plug On Part Of Health Overhaul Law," The Associated Press, 10/14/11)

CLASS Was Not Fiscally Viable

The Administration Was Unable To Conceive A Plan To Make CLASS Fiscally Efficacious. "An actuarial review that Health and Human Services has just released confirms those fears: The administration could not design a long-term care program that would both hew to the health reform law -- which requires that CLASS beneficiaries receive a minimum of $50 in benefits per day -- and make the program actuarially sound." (Sarah Kliff, "White House Kills CLASS," The Washington Post, 10/14/11)

HHS Admits That CLASS Was "Unsustainable" And That The Administration Would Not Enact The CLASS Program. "The U.S. won't start a long-term care plan created by the 2010 health overhaul, the largest piece of the law so far to be stopped by Congress, the courts or President Barack Obama's administration. The Health and Human Services Department said it would indefinitely suspend the program, known as the Class Act, calling it financially unsustainable. In doing so, officials said that deficit savings from the health law would be cut by $86 billion over a decade, from $210 billion. 'I do not see a viable path forward for Class implementation at this time,' HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said yesterday in a letter to congressional leaders." (Alex Wayne & Drew Armstrong, "Obama Ends Kennedy-Backed Long-Term Care Program As Too Costly To Sustain," Bloomberg, 10/15/11)

CLASS Was "Simply Unworkable." "The Obama administration cut a major planned benefit from the 2010 health-care law on Friday, announcing that a program to offer Americans insurance for long-term care was simply unworkable." (N.C. Aizeman, "White House Eliminates Insurance Program For Long-Term Care," The Washington Post , 10/14/11)

C ongressional Budget Office : CLASS Act Would "Eventually Lead To Net Outlays When Benefits Exceed P remiums." "As noted earlier, the CLASS program included in the bill would generate net receipts for the government in the initial years when total premiums would exceed total benefit payments, but it would eventually lead to net outlays when benefits exceed premiums. ... In the decade following 2029, the CLASS program would begin to increase budget deficits." (Douglas Elmendorf, CBO Director, Letter To Rep. Rangel, P.13, 10/29/09)

CLASS Was A "Gimmick" To Hide ObamaCare's Costs

CLASS "Was Amongst The Worst Accounting Gimmicks Used To Make It Seem As If National Health Care Would Reduce The Deficit." "Known by the acronym CLASS, the government-backstopped insurance for nursing homes, home health aides and the like was among the worst accounting gimmicks used to make it seem as if national health care would reduce the deficit." (Joseph Rago, "GOP Vets An ObamaCare Program," The Wall Street Journal , 9/19/11)

The Washington Post : "…[A] new gimmick has been designed to pretend that health reform is fully paid for. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions adopted a measure, endorsed by the Obama administration, to have the government provide long-term care insurance in which workers would be automatically enrolled unless they opt out." (Editorial, "How Not To Fix Health Care,"
The Washington Post, 7/10/09)

CLASS Was To Account For 40 Percent Of The Savings In ObamaCare. "By scrapping the CLASS Act, HHS is losing about 40 percent of the savings healthcare reform was supposed to generate. The Congressional Budget Office's most recent estimates projected $210 billion in total deficit reduction from the healthcare law, $86 billion of which would have come from CLASS." (Sam Baker, "Obama's HHS Ends Controversial Program In Health Reform Law," The Hill's "Health Watch," 10/14/11)

$86 Billion Reduction In Revenue From Halting The CLASS Act . "What's most damaging about the decision are the larger implications for the health reform law. The pullout is expected to reduce the projected budget savings of the Affordable Care Act -- when the Office of Budget Management issues the president's 2013 budget -- by approximately $86 billion. The health reform law will still generate $127 billion in revenue, administration officials say, but that's a big notch down from the original estimates." (Sarah Kliff, "White House Kills CLASS," The Washington Post, 10/14/11)


"President Barack Obama On Wednesday Signed Into Law The Agreement Passed By Congress Last Week To Extend The Payroll Tax Cut And Unemployment Benefits While Preventing A Cut In Payments To Medicare Doctors." (Tom Cohen, "Obama Signs Payroll Tax Agreement Into Law," CNN, 2/22/12)

The Hill : "Payroll Tax Deal Would Take First Real Bite From Obama's Health Law." "The payroll tax cut package under discussion in Congress would take the first real bite out of President Obama's healthcare reform law, according to congressional aides and lobbyists. A tentative deal struck late Tuesday between House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) would cut federal health care spending by $21.1 billion." (Julian Pecquet, "Payroll Tax Deal Would Take First Real Bite From Obama's Health Law," The Hill's " Health Watch ," 2/15/12)

Included In Deal That Obama Signed, "A $5 Billion Cut To The Health Law's $15 Billion Prevention Trust Fund;" (Julian Pecquet, "Payroll Tax Deal Would Take First Real Bite From Obama's Health Law," The Hill's " Health Watch ," 2/15/12)

Obama Has Wanted To Cut The Program's Funding Numerous Times

Obama's FY2013 Budget Would Roll Back Funding Of The Prevention Fund By Over $4 Billion. "Obama's fiscal 2013 budget would scale back the Prevention and Public Health Fund, established as part of the health law, by over $4 billion by fiscal 2022 - leaving that much less money for public-health prevention programs meant to thwart outbreaks or cut down on rates of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions that account for 75% of U.S. health-care costs." (Betsy McKay, "What Obama's Budget Proposal Means For Disease Prevention," The Wall Street Journal, 2/14/12)

In Fall 2011, Obama Proposed Cutting $3.5 Billion From ObamaCare's Prevention Fund. "Aspects of the plan are likely to frustrate Democrats on Capitol Hill, whether it's the $3.5 billion in cuts to the health reform law's Prevention and Public Health fund, the introduction of a new form of blended rates for Medicaid, or additional costs for seniors who enroll in Medicare after 2017, according to White House fact sheets." (Jennifer Haberkorn, "Obama Links Entitlements To Taxes," Politico , 9/19/11)


"Congress Voted This Year To Fix A 'Glitch' In The Health Care Law That Made Many Middle Income People Eligible For Medicaid. Those People Will Now Be Eligible For Exchange Subsidies." (Sam Baker, "Republican Probes $11 Billion Jump In Cost Of Health Care Law," The Hill's " Health Watch ," 3/2/12)

The Glitch Would Have Cost Americans Hundreds Of Billions Of Dollars

It Was "Discovered Only After The Complex Bill Was Signed" That ObamaCare Will Allow Millions Of Middle Class People To Receive Free Medicaid. "President Barack Obama's health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Medicaid For The Middle Class?" The Associated Press, 6/21/11)

Up To Three Million Middle-Class Americans Could Qualify For Medicaid Entitlement Intended Only For Those Below The Poverty Line . "Up to 3 million people could qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the anomaly. That's because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility."(Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Medicaid For The Middle Class?" The Associated Press, 6/21/11)

The "Glitch" Could Cost $450 Billion. "If we do a back-of-the-envelope calculation, in which the average annual Medicaid expenditure per early retiree is $15,000 per year, the ten-year cost of this glitch could be as high as $450 billion." (Avik Roy, "The 450 Billion Glitch: 3 Million Extra Middle-Class Americans Eligible For Medicaid Benefits," Forbes , 6/21/11)

Even Medicare's Chief Actuary Says The Policy "Just Doesn't Make Sense." "Medicare chief actuary Richard Foster says the situation keeps him up at night. 'I don't generally comment on the pros or cons of policy, but that just doesn't make sense,' Foster said during a question-and-answer session at a recent professional society meeting."(Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Medicaid For The Middle Class?" The Associated Press, 6/21/11)


In January 2012, HHS Put "To Rest A Recurring Political Firestorm" On Waivers. "Friday marks the last time HHS will have to update the total number of waivers, putting to rest a recurring political firestorm. The department had been updating its waiver totals every month, prompting monthly attacks from the GOP." (Sam Baker, "HHS Finalizes Over 1,200 Waivers Under Health Care Reform Law," The Hill's " Health Watch," 1/6/12)

Waivers Were Granted So Americans Wouldn't Lose Their Health Care Coverage

The White House: Waivers Had To Be Granted To Keep Employers From Dropping Health Care Coverage. "To ensure that we protect the coverage that these workers have today until better options are available for them in 2014, the law allows HHS, in extreme cases, to issue temporary waivers from the phase out of annual limits." (Stephanie Cutter, "The Truth About Health Care Waivers," The White House's "Blog," 12/10/10)

The Department Of Health And Human Services Granted 1,722 Waivers From The New Requirement Covering Over 4 Million Individuals. ("Annual Limits Policy: Protecting Consumers, Maintaining Options, And Building A Bridge To 2014," HHS, Accessed 3/20/12)

Over 4 Million Americans Were Covered Under The Waivers. "The waivers cover slightly less than 4 million people, or about 3 percent of the population, HHS said." (Sam Baker, "HHS Finalizes Oer 1,200 Waivers Under Health Care Reform Law," The Hill's " Health Watch ," 1/6/12)

Unions Were An Overwhelming Recipient Of Waivers

2,255,307 Union Workers Have Plans That Received Waivers From ObamaCare. ("Annual Limits Policy: Protecting Consumers, Maintaining Options, And Building A Bridge To 2014," HHS, Accessed 3/20/12)

451 Waivers Were Granted To Labor Unions. ("Annual Limits Policy: Protecting Consumers, Maintaining Options, And Building A Bridge To 2014," HHS, Accessed 3/20/12)

Unions Say They Need Relief From ObamaCare So That Employees Can Keep Their Health Coverage. "Some of its chapters have obtained waivers, the union concedes, but notes the waivers were anticipated by Democrats who passed the law. 'The waiver process is a key part of healthcare reform because it helps ensure that workers won't lose their employer-provided health coverage,' SEIU states on its website." (Alexander Bolton, "SEIU Fights Healthcare Repeal After Obtaining Waivers From Law," The Hill, 2/2/11)


"The House O n Thursday Afternoon A pproved Legislation That Would Repeal A Government Board Tasked With Finding Medicare Savings, And Institute Medical Tort Reform Across The C ountry. " (Pete Kasperowicz, "House Approves The Repeal Of Cost-Cutting Health Care Board," The Hill's " Floor Action," 3/22/12)

Who Can Forget IPAB?

The Wall Street Journal : IPAB's "End Game" Will Limit Patient Care." "The only alternative, and the IPAB's true end game, is harsher and more arbitrary price controls and eventually limits on the care patients are allowed to receive. The New England Journalists (of Medicine) deny this reality because ObamaCare has a clause that prohibits 'rationing,' even as the law leaves that term undefined. But reducing treatment options will be inevitable as government costs explode." (Editorial, "Independent Payment Advisory Revolt," The Wall Street Journal , 3/9/12)

The Wall Street Journal : IPAB Will Allow Bureaucrats To "Throw Granny Over The Cliff." "One place to start is by attacking the Democratic plan to cut Medicare via political rationing. Mr. Ryan's budget had the virtue of embarrassing President Obama's spend-more initial budget, and the White House responded by proposing to increase the power of the new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to decide what, and how much, Medicare will pay for. The ObamaCare bill goes to great lengths to shelter this 15-member, unelected board from Congressional review, with the goal of letting these bureaucrats throw granny over the cliff if Medicare isn't reformed. Yet few Americans know anything about IPAB or its rationing intentions." (Editorial, "The GOP's New York Spanking," The Wall Street Journal , 5/26/11)

Obama's HHS Secretary Admits That IPAB Threatens Seniors Access To Certain Procedures.

"'If Congress accepted the recommendations and made the decision that cuts in dialysis were appropriate,' Sebelius replied, 'I assume there could be some providers who would decide that would not be a service they would any longer deliver...'" (Kathleen Sebelius, "IPAB: The Controversial Consequences For Medicare And Seniors," House Energy And Commerce Committee's Health Subcommittee, 7/13/11)

Witnesses Testified At A Recent Congressional Hearing That IPAB Would Reduce Access To Medical Care. "The Independent Payment Advisory Board, created under the health care law to help control Medicare costs, lacks flexibility to do much more than cut provider payments that would lead to a reduction in access to care, witnesses told a House Ways and Means panel March 6." (Ralph Lindeman, "IPAB Would Reduce Access to Care, Witnesses Tell Ways and Means Panel," Bloomberg, 3/7/12)

Obama's Own Legal Services Corporation Nominee, Julie Reiskin Wrote That IPAB Will "Ration Care" And "Increase Consumer Cost Sharing." "While IPAB's authority is restricted, it can reduce Medicare's reimbursement rates for medical service providers. This is sure to ration care or increase consumer cost sharing, since if the item cannot be paid for under Medicare consumers will have no choice but to purchase it or go without." (Julie Reiskin, Op-Ed, "The Wrong Way to Fix Medicare Spending," Denver Post, 5/5/11)

Nearly Every Segment Of The Health Care Industry Opposes IPAB. "An independent panel authorized by President Barack Obama's health care law to control excessive Medicare costs increases is drawing heavy fire from Republicans. Nearly every health industry lobbying group is pushing for its repeal, as are some consumer advocates. GOP lawmakers call it a rationing panel, and at least one has suggested seniors will die from its decisions." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Accusations Fly Over Obscure Medicare Board," The Associated Press, 7/18/11)

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