Taxes permissible under the Constitution are excise taxes, direct taxes, and income taxes. This “new tax” for the privilege of living in the U.S. falls in neither category. It will be collected by the IRS and given to insurance companies. Is that constitutional? Are we taxing “moral hazard?”
Keynesian economists view insurance, including health insurance, as a protection against risk, a useful commodity like shoes or furniture. Insurance “encourages the very risks against which it provides protection.” If a person owns a valuable item which is insured against theft or destruction, that person has little incentive to protect it and store it in a safe place. “This problem – the tendency of insurance to encourage the source of risk – is called moral hazard.” (William J. Baumol and Alan S. Blinder, Principles and Policy, 2007, p. 322)
If a person is insured medically and puts little effort into making sure that the risk of getting sick is minimal and runs to the emergency room for minor issues, we should expect an overwhelming of the health care system unless more doctors, nurses, and hospitals are provided. In any case, because millions more Americans and illegal aliens will be added to the insurance rolls, expect huge shortages of drugs, patient care, lab work, x-rays, long waiting lines, extended wait time for tests and surgical procedures, and rationing of care based on age and usefulness to society via complicated formulas. Rationing and death will occur by emergency care not being provided on time, in addition to the deliberate denial of treatment by a 15-member bureaucratic death panel.
The Obamacare case has been presented to the Supreme Court and argued by the administration based on the Commerce Clause - the government has the right to force Americans to buy insurance, to buy something they do not want. That is how it was expected to be judged.
People were shocked when the Obamacare bill was rewritten by the Supreme Court in order to save it. It was the most glaring, extensive, and expensive example of liberal judicial activism from the bench. Five of the Supremes have redefined purchasing health insurance as a tax although the administration and Congress have gone to great lengths to assure the public that it was not a tax. Yet now, health insurance is no longer a premium for health insurance provision but a tax.
Health care has never been a right; it has always been a service like any other that we have purchased from a health care provider. It is now an unconstitutional tax that we are forced to pay before a service is even provided to us.
Here is an abbreviated list of taxes on families and businesses introduced by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), known as Obamacare, totalling more than $500 billion over the next ten years as prepared by the Americans for Tax Reform:
- Excise taxes on charitable hospitals ($50,000 per hospital if they do not meet HHS criteria of “community health assessment needs,” billing and collection,” and “financial assistance” (PPACA, 2010, pp. 1,961-1,971)
- Codify “economic substance doctrine” (IRS will not allow any legal deductions or tax-minimizing plans because it lacks “substance” and is intended to reduce taxes owed); this is a tax increase of $4.5 billion (Bill Reconciliation Act, 2010, pp. 108-113)
- “Black liquor” tax on a special bio-fuel (Bill Reconciliation Act, 2010, p. 105)
- Tax on innovating drug companies (PPACA, 2010, p. 1,971-1,980)
- Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Increase (PPACA, 2010, p. 2,004)
- Ten percent tax on indoor tanning (PPACA, 2010, pp. 2,397-2,399)
- Medicine cabinet tax disallows Americans to use health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, or health reimbursement pre-tax money to buy over the counter medicines except insulin (PPACA, 2011, pp. 1,957-1,959
- HSA Withdrawal tax hike from 10 to 20 percent (PPACA, 2011, p. 1,959
- Employer reporting of insurance on W-2 forms, taxing health benefits on individual tax returns (PPACA, 2012, p. 1,957)
- Surtax on investment income for families that make at least $250,000 or $200,00 single (Bill Reconciliation Act, 2013, pp. 87-93)
- Medicare payroll tax increase (PPACA, Reconciliation Act, 2013, pp. 2,000-2,003, pp. 87-93)
- A 2.3 percent excise tax on medical device manufacturers (PPACA, 2013, pp. 1,980-1,986)
- Medical expenses can be itemized if they exceed 10 percent, no longer the previous 7.5 percent, resulting in fewer people being able to itemize (PPACA, 2013, pp. 1,994-1,995
- Flexible spending account cap of $2,500 which is now unlimited (PPACA, 2013, pp. 2,388-2,389)
- Eliminate tax deductions for employer-provided retirement prescription drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D (PPACA, 2013, p. 1,994)
- Limit of $500,000 annual executive compensation for health insurance executives (PPACA, 2013, pp. 1,995-2,000)
- Individual mandate excise tax starting in 2014 if a person does not buy a “qualifying” health insurance, 1 percent in 2014, 2 percent in 2015, 2.5 percent in 2016; exempted are hardship cases as determined by HHS, religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes (PPACA, 2014, pp. 317-337)
- Employer mandated tax, non-deductible of $2,000 per employee if the employer does not offer health coverage and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit; if an employee receives coverage through the government exchange, the employer penalty for that employee increases to $3,000 (PPACA, 2014, pp. 345-346)
- Tax on health insurers based on premiums collected per year (PPACA, 2014, pp. 1,986-1,993 (this all but forces employers to stop offering insurance, forcing their employees onto the government exchanges)
- 40 percent excise tax on comprehensive health insurance plans or “Cadillac plans” (PPACA, 2018, pp. 1,941-1,956)
The White House has threatened to veto the Defense Appropriation Bill if it did not include increases in Tricare insurance premiums and increased medical fees for the military as part of the $500 million reduction in spending.
The Obama administration would like to persuade the military to switch over to the government health care exchanges by offering cheaper rates than Tricare. Exchange fees will be cheaper temporarily - they will go up once everybody is enrolled. Our president wants every American dependent on the government for their existence.
Washington Post published an article, “High Court Speculation: Did Roberts Switch his vote?,” echoing Dr. Michael Savage’s accurate prediction of the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare, after he had heard the Supreme Court’s decision on the Arizona Immigration Law, read by Justice Roberts. The question was raised whether Roberts was competent in his decision or was persuaded to change his vote. (Washington Post, June 30, 2012)
Obamacare was passed in the dead of night by bribing Senators and Representatives with sweet deals for their states, government posts for relatives, by using strange vote manipulations such as “deemed passed,” and the bill was not read by legislators. We had to pass the bill in order to find out what was in it. Misrepresentations and lies every step of the way ended in a gloating victory march outside of Capitol of Nancy Pelosi with her oversized gavel and her cohorts. Her deranged smile reminded me of what this bill will do to people’s health care in the future, long after she is gone and forgotten.
Here we are at the crossroads, America is going down the path of socialism of a third world nation, and Americans are going willingly. Those who wanted Obamacare are jubilant today about the decision: Democrats, 48 percent of welfare recipients, and illegal aliens. The rest of the country who works and pays the taxes from which welfare is given, is unhappy but has no other recourse. All three forms of government have now bought into socialism, into President Obama’s radical transformation of America, and we cannot appeal to any other power. The three branches of government are on the same page, working in concert to destroy this country. There is no other option.
The sting of the Obamacare will not be felt immediately, it will be a gradual transformation. By the time people will realize down the road, it will have degraded our health care system. Rationing will occur, long lines, lack of drugs, lack of doctors who are trained to perform difficult surgeries, there will be a levelling point for doctors who cannot be as good at what they do as others, all doctors will be paid the same, and will work eight-hour days. There will be no malpractice accountability since everyone will work for the government. The value of life will be cheap.
Nobody flies to Cuba or third world nations to have surgery, they come to the United States for state of the art, first class care. That option will be gone because our medical care will be just as terrible as anybody else’s.
We have passed a turning point. Americans have not realized what they have done to themselves and to their once great nation. Those who are jubilant today and celebrate free medical care do not realize that no good comes from anything that is free if there is nobody to deliver it. Additionally, free contraception, Viagra, and abortion do not constitute medical care.
The epidemic of socialism is spreading like a metastasizing cancer everywhere. Life is not fair - you cannot make it just by government order, decree, laws, dictates, executive orders, or proclamations. Life is what it is, the luck of the draw.
Doctors will be unionized, the quality of doctors will decline incrementally. We will have to accept and embrace socialism because we have no other choice, the country is almost entirely socialist. Obama, once re-elected, will do away with term limits, and will automatically become president for life. As a young man, he will be able to complete the fundamental transformation of America into Marxism. We will be uniform, equal, paid the same, poor, no more creativity, individualism, only the elites in power at the top will still have a capitalist lifestyle but the rest of us will have to live by the tenets of Marxism.
American voters have short memory. They have forgotten what little American history they knew. They will turn out by busloads in November to re-elect their hero who gave them free socialist medical care, the final nail in the coffin of their demised liberty.