Thursday, November 19, 2009

Senate Health Care Bill: Fan-TAX-Tic!

What's the best way to bring a health care bill in under a trillion dollars (for the first ten years, mind you, in which three are spent collecting taxes but not providing services)? Well, in Harry Reid's case, it's easy: Just tax the living sh*t out of everybody until you get down to your desired figure!

1. 40% excise tax on health coverage in excess of $8,500 (individuals) / $23,000 (families). Amounts are indexed for inflation by CPI-U + 1% – begins in 2013 – $149 B tax increase

2. Additional 0.5% Medicare (Hospital Insurance) tax on wages in excess of $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers) – begins in 2013 – $54 B tax increase

3. Impose annual fee on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs – begins in 2010 – $22 B tax increases

4. Impose annual fee on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices – begins in 2010 – $19 B tax increase

5. Cut in half (to $500K) the amount of an executive’s compensation that a health plan can deduct from its corporate income taxes – begins in 2013 – $600 million tax increase

6. Impose 5% excise tax on cosmetic surgery and similar procedures – begins for surgery in 2010 – $6 B tax increase!

In total the bill would raise taxes by $370 B over ten years

This, too, is telling:

Reid has decided to raise the Medicare payroll tax on individuals making more than $106,800...

What does that do? Depresses hiring. For every penny you see taken out of your paycheck under the payroll tax, your employer pays an equal amount. How can we get companies hiring again when the government is now charging them - in the middle of a crippling recession - more than ever to add jobs?

What will be the result of this bill? Everyone who has worked their whole lives to get good work-related health benefits will see a tremendous hike in their premiums to pay for those who do not work. Innovation in both breakthrough drugs and diagnostic equipment will falter, as their cost becomes prohibitive. Lines at doctor's offices and emergency rules will become massive as 40 million patients are given insurance privileges without one single medical professional being added.

Once-vital tests will be now deemed "unnecessary" (oh, sorry, that's already happening in anticipation of the passage of health care reform - and why do women vote Democratic, anyway?), killing some Americans due to late diagnosis; others will die as they sit on waiting lists to get desperately needed surgery.

And the whole American standard of living will collapse under the weight of a system that cannot even support itself without three extra years of taxation with no service in the first decade. Reid's tax on folks making over $106K is not accidental; it essentially eliminates the middle to upper-middle class entirely, leaving us with a split economic strata: The extremely wealthy, and everyone else, smushed down in a low, lower-middle class, where taxation rates and lack of upward economic mobility in a permanently depressed economy finally eliminates hope - and the American dream, so loathed by beneficiaries like the Obamas - forever.

Why, we'll be just like Cuba. Or Venezuela. Or Europe (check out England, where $35K is now "middle class").

What a surprise.

It's not a slippery slope, it's a rocket ship to the bottom, and the pilots can't wait to get there...

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