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Discussion Starter #1
ObamaCare Day One
Companies are already warning about higher health-care costs.

Democrats dragged themselves over the health-care finish line in part by repeating that voters would like the plan once it passed. Let's see what they think when they learn their insurance costs will jump right away.

Even before President Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, Caterpillar said it would cost the company at least $100 million more in the first year alone. Medical device maker Medtronic warned that new taxes on its products could force it to lay off a thousand workers. Now Verizon joins the roll of businesses staring at adverse consequences.

In an email titled "President Obama Signs Health Care Legislation" sent to all employees Tuesday night, the telecom giant warned that "we expect that Verizon's costs will increase in the short term." While executive vice president for human resources Marc Reed wrote that "it is difficult at this point to gauge the precise impact of this legislation," and that ObamaCare does reflect some of the company's policy priorities, the message to workers was clear: Expect changes for the worse to your health benefits as the direct result of this bill, and maybe as soon as this year.

Mr. Reed specifically cited a change in the tax treatment of retiree health benefits. When Congress created the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003, it included a modest tax subsidy to encourage employers to keep drug plans for retirees, rather than dumping them on the government. The Employee Benefit Research Institute says this exclusion—equal to 28% of the cost of a drug plan—will run taxpayers $665 per person next year, while the same Medicare coverage would cost $1,209.

In a $5.4 billion revenue grab, Democrats decided that this $665 fillip should be subject to the ordinary corporate income tax of 35%. Most consulting firms and independent analysts say the higher costs will induce some companies to drop drug coverage, which could affect about five million retirees and 3,500 businesses. Verizon and other large corporations warned about this outcome.

U.S. accounting laws also require businesses to immediately restate their earnings in light of the higher tax burden on their long-term retiree health liabilities. This will have a big effect on their 2010 earnings.

While the drug tax subsidy is for retirees, companies consider their benefit costs as a total package. The new bill might cause some to drop retiree coverage altogether. Others may be bound by labor contracts to retirees, but then they will find other ways to cut costs. This means raising costs or reducing coverage for other employees. So much for Mr. Obama's claim that if you like your coverage, you can keep it—even at Fortune 500 companies.

In its employee note, Verizon also warned about the 40% tax on high-end health plans, though that won't take effect until 2018. "Many of the plans that Verizon offers to employees and retirees are projected to have costs above the threshold in the legislation and will be subject to the 40 percent excise tax." These costs will start to show up soon, and, as we repeatedly argued, the tax is unlikely to drive down costs. The tax burden will simply be spread to all workers—the result of the White House's too-clever decision to tax insurers, rather than individuals.

A Verizon spokesman said the company is merely addressing employee questions about ObamaCare, not making a political statement. But these and many other changes were enabled by the support of the Business Roundtable that counts Verizon as a member. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg's health-reform ideas are 180 degrees from Mr. Obama's, but Verizon's shareholders and 900,000 employees and retirees will still pay the price.

Businesses around the country are making the same calculations as Verizon and no doubt sending out similar messages. It's only a small measure of the destruction that will be churned out by the rewrite of health, tax, labor and welfare laws that is ObamaCare, and only the vanguard of much worse to come.
 

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Depends>>>> You okay paying more for everyday purchases? Because the cost of 'em is going up. US business isn't about to eat the cost of increased healthcare by itself. So it'll get passed onto..... guess who?
 

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The health care overhaul will cost U.S. companies billions and make them more likely to drop prescription drug coverage for retirees because of a change in how the government subsidizes those benefits.
In the first two days after the law was signed, three major companies — Deere & Co., Caterpillar Inc. and Valero Energy — said they expect to take a total hit of $265 million to account for smaller tax deductions in the future.
With more than 3,500 companies now getting the tax break as an incentive to keep providing coverage, others are almost certain to announce similar cost increases in the weeks ahead as they sort out the impact of the change.
Figuring out what it will mean for retirees will take longer, but analysts said as many as 2 million could lose the prescription drug coverage provided by their former employers, leaving them to enroll in Medicare’s program.
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Wasn't our good Prsident focusing on Jobs this month? Oooops He must have not have thought this through.

It's kinda like the ole "Thrill of the hunt" thing. I think Obama got caught up in the drive to pass the bill and create history, rather than the end product. It was about not losing.
 

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I honestly think in the long run this new bill will not be sustainable and will be changed or dropped.

Social Security is in the red.

The U.S. Postal Service is dropping another day of service because they are broke.

The government cannot pay for the services they offer now. This mega trillion dollar healthcare will spiral the US dollar further into nothing.

The government has to STOP printing money that is backed up by nothing.
 

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A friend of mine sent me Maxine's view (she's the crusty cartoon character) and I think she is dead on:

Maxine's View on Healthcare

Let me get this straight......we're trying to pass a health care plan
written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it,
passed
by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, to be
signed by a president that also hasn't read it and who smokes, with
funding
administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, all to be
overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country
that's
broke.

What the heck could possibly go wrong????
 

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A friend of mine sent me Maxine's view (she's the crusty cartoon character) and I think she is dead on:

Maxine's View on Healthcare

Let me get this straight......we're trying to pass a health care plan
written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it,
passed
by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, to be
signed by a president that also hasn't read it and who smokes, with
funding
administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, all to be
overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country
that's
broke.

What the heck could possibly go wrong????
That is one of my favorites! Pretty much sums it up.
 

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That is one of my favorites! Pretty much sums it up.
The sad thing is a lot of folks could see that long before it was passed.
 

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The sad thing is a lot of folks could see that long before it was passed.
Not only alot of folks, but the majority by every poll out there. Not to mention that anytime anyone disagrees with this leftist, socialistic garbage, they are labeled as nut jobs, and un patriotic. Um, excuse me? Where was the outrage on the left when Bush was called every name on the book? Two books were written about his assissination, called every name in the book and when leftist folks protested it was the truest form of patriotism. Rather hypocritical, methinks. Quickly add that there are nut cases on both sides and they should be basically ignored.
 

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Not only alot of folks, but the majority by every poll out there. Not to mention that anytime anyone disagrees with this leftist, socialistic garbage, they are labeled as nut jobs, and un patriotic. Um, excuse me? Where was the outrage on the left when Bush was called every name on the book? Two books were written about his assissination, called every name in the book and when leftist folks protested it was the truest form of patriotism. Rather hypocritical, methinks. Quickly add that there are nut cases on both sides and they should be basically ignored.
Guy, they have got what you call double standards, seems the left is very good at that, the right too at times, but the left a lot more.
 

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Not only alot of folks, but the majority by every poll out there. Not to mention that anytime anyone disagrees with this leftist, socialistic garbage, they are labeled as nut jobs, and un patriotic.
It's kind of a low hanging fruit thing. You can't just say "socialism" over and over again and expect it to eventually be true. I take that back, you could probably get yourself a television show on FOX News at some point. :)

Requiring 30 million new customers (and everyone else) to purchase or continue to purchase something from privately held insurance companies is just not socialism. It's actually very similar to the Mitt Romney (R-MA) health care plan. I wouldn't look at Mr. Romney and think "man, that guy is a socialist".

None of the public option stuff made it in the final bill...and it's certainly light years away from being a single payer health care system. I'm genuinely interested to know, after your thorough reading of the legislation, which aspects of it are socialist in nature?
 

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dweck did not give the source of his quote but it's an op-ed piece in Thursday's Wall Street Journal

ObamaCare's Effects Are Already Showing - WSJ.com

This piece generated hundreds of posted comments, the majority being very similar to those generated by this thread -- like-minded sympathizers.

I scanned through a number of them (click on the tab marked comments) and the only one I saw that opposed the original piece was one by "Morgan Harry" which struck me as making some good points.

Isn't that interesting?

People read, respond to, and praise those statements that agree with their personal biases?

As evidence, read the brilliant, perceptive op-ed article liinked below and also some of the comments made to it.

Op-Ed Columnist - Going to Extreme - NYTimes.com


 

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People read, respond to, and praise those statements that agree with their personal biases?
That's an awful big brush to be painting with, and you missed me with it. You have to learn, not everyone is a follower of the masses. You may be and seem to be, but not everyone is.
 

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People read, respond to, and praise those statements that agree with their personal biases?

You are probably correct there. Although I would have said that people respond to statements that resonate with their core beliefs.

I read both articles. And scanned through comments from both.
The op ed piece that you posted from the NYTimes had some perceptive comments from John in Ohio.

I also read this one:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704100604575146002445136066.html?mod=WSJ_comments_MoreIn_Opinion
which has some points that have some of us worried.
 

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It's kind of a low hanging fruit thing. You can't just say "socialism" over and over again and expect it to eventually be true. I take that back, you could probably get yourself a television show on FOX News at some point. :)

Requiring 30 million new customers (and everyone else) to purchase or continue to purchase something from privately held insurance companies is just not socialism. It's actually very similar to the Mitt Romney (R-MA) health care plan. I wouldn't look at Mr. Romney and think "man, that guy is a socialist".

None of the public option stuff made it in the final bill...and it's certainly light years away from being a single payer health care system. I'm genuinely interested to know, after your thorough reading of the legislation, which aspects of it are socialist in nature?
I know what socialism is and this reeks of it. This is the first time in American history that a law has been passed requiring someone to purchase something they do not want. The auto insurance does not wash. That is 1) at the state level and 2) for the privilige of driving. When you combine this with the auto industry, financial industry, energy (cap and tax), where the government is telling everyone what they need to do. And before you commence that Bush passed the TARP, no, I didn't agree with that either. As for Fox, I am not sure what that has to do with anything. I have no intention of supporting something that no one seems to know what exactly is contained in it. What I have read, however, is a huge tax increase, translated, sharing of the wealth. So we're back to socialism and I didn't even have to rely on Fox to tell me that.

Having lived in Tennessee when TennCare was in effect, I know firsthand what something like this will do. TennCare nearly bankrupted the state.
 

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I believe the majority would agree that something had/has to be done about our medical costs. Many would agree that those that can't get insurance need some kind of help other than the emergency room. There is no doubt that I sit on the right side of center, but try to keep myself as close the the middle as I can. I was open minded regarding Obama. Hoped that his promised of open and bipartisan would prevail. This is where I have so many issues with this legislation and with Obama now. The bil is ridden with special interest features. Only the ones that made the news have been addressed. Oh, the right is not innocent, but Obama pushed this bill through, and made whatever promises he had to make to his own party members to get enough of them to push it through.

We will still pay 4-5 times more for drugs than they do in any other country because the pharma company lobbyists succeeded. That cost has not been addressed and the donut hole bandaid is not going to solve it for seniors, and there is no solution of any kind for younger people.

The tax on the rich is not going to pay for it, there just aren't enough of them.

The tax on companies? What a friggin joke! That is just going to be passed on to anyone that purchases their products. It becomes part of their cost and they will make their profit goals. Hello! Inflation! You just got the door open. The consumer will pay. Interest rates on borrowed money will skyrocket to try to control the inflation. Does anyone feel their wallets getting lighter yet? You will.

For those fortunate enough to have a job with medical coverage. Your take home pay is going to go down. Company cost for your medical coverage is going up, and your portion of it is going to go up right with it. In fact, companies may smply pass 100% of the increased cost directly to the employee and keep their portion constant.

For us older follks. Maybe you have Medicap Supplemental, or Medicare Advantage. Well, Medicare Advantage is going to disappear in a few years. Better start research Medicare Supplemental Plans. Oh! The cost of them is going to go up also, at the out of pocket expenses there are going to increase also.

Why didn't they go after certain Drs. or insurance companies? Has anyone looked at their Explanation of Benefit (EOB) Statements when the had to have something a bit more expensive done.

Here is an example.
DW had Cataract surgery in January. For each eye,
The bill was $2100. If you didn't have insurance, that is what you had to pay. For each eye.
But, the insurance company has a negotiated contract price with the Dr of $950.
Our insurance paid 80% of that $950 or $760, and we paid the remaining $190.

The point here is the difference of $2100 and $950. Why? Why should someone out of work without insurance, have to pay that much more. Why should someone working for a small business without medical available have to pay that much more. Time to get on the Drs about this.

I am sure there are other examples, but this bil did not address this stuff. Costs are going to go up for everyone, coverage is going to go down. And we are one step closer to socialism.
 
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