Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

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"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

29 March 2010

John Goodman on ObamaCare Effects

John Goodman's Health Policy Blog has compiled an impressive list of numbers indicating many of the effects of ObamaCare.  Goodman works with the National Center for Policy Analysis and is the father of the health savings accounts (HSA).  These HSAs are a wonderful invention and should be encouraged so individuals would have some stake in the cost of their medical care.  ObamaCare aims instead to reduce or eliminate their role and to make us as careless and wasteful consumers of health care services as possible.

Goodman points out that there have been 8 versions of ObamaCare and there has not yet been enough time to refine the numbers for the present version, but he thinks these numbers are fairly close:

“If you like the plan you are in you can keep it.”

19 million Number of people predicted to lose their employer plan (Lewin Group)
8 to 9 million Number of people predicted to lose their employer plan (CBO)
$11,543 Employer incentive to drop coverage for a $30,000 a year worker with family [Tax subsidy in the exchange minus tax subsidy at work minus $2,000 fine] (IRET)
8.5 million Number of seniors and disabled people at risk of losing their Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Chief Actuary)
3 million Additional people who will likely lose Medicare Advantage plan benefits (Medicare Chief Actuary)
$816 Average annual benefit loss for 11 million seniors and disabled in Medicare Advantage plans (CBO)
33 million Number of people in traditional Medicare at risk of losing access to care because of $523 billion in cuts in Medicare spending (Medicare Chief Actuary)
20% Fraction of hospitals that would become unprofitable after Medicare spending cuts (Medicare Chief Actuary)

“There will be no tax increases for anyone who earns less than $200,000.”
73 million Number of people who earn less than $200,000 who will see their tax bill rise (Joint Committee on Taxation)
40% Tax rate on “Cadillac” plans (Reconciliation Summary)
2.3% Hidden tax on wheelchairs and other medical supplies (CBO update)
$27 billion Hidden “medicine cabinet” tax on drugs (Reconciliation Summary)
10% Tax on tanning salons (Reconciliation Summary)
$60 billion Hidden health insurance tax (Reconciliation Summary)

“Health insurance reform is…about creating a climate where our entrepreneurs and small businesses can succeed [and] about giving you the chance to prosper and grow.”

$100 million Cost of ObamaCare mandates for Caterpillar, Inc. in the first year alone (Caterpillar, Inc.)
60% Implicit marginal tax rate for workers earning as little as $25,000 (IRET)
65% Implicit marginal tax rate for families earning as little as $50,000 (IRET)
0.9% New payroll tax on the wages of entrepreneurs and small business owners (Reconciliation Summary)
3.8% New tax on the capital income of entrepreneurs and small business owners (Reconciliation Summary)

“The average family will save $2,500 in health care costs by the time I complete my first term as President of the United States.”

111% Premium increase for individual insurance (AHIP)
54% Premium increase for individual insurance (BlueCross BlueShield)
106% Premium increase for individual insurance (Wellpoint)
$2,100 Premium increase for the average family (CBO)
Did you see any numbers there that you liked?  I sure did not.  It is hard to believe that 42% of Americans oppose the repeal of this turkey, according to the latest Rasmussen poll.  The good news is that 54% favor its repeal, though why that number is not higher is somewhat mysterious.  Apparently, few Americans are familiar with the numbers above and few have thought about their consequences.  But even that leaves much of the conundrum for me, since I would think they would rise up as the Minutemen did in 1775 and fight for the principle of their unalienable, sovereign individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Don't they
realize that this is a fight for their very lives and for the ownership of their own bodies?

The National Center for Policy Analysis seems to be doing some good work.  I have just given them a donation.

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