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7 Prickly Questions for ObamaCare
CNBC ^ | March 26, 2010 | Dennis Kneale, CNBC Media & Technology Editor

Posted on 03/26/2010 9:54:10 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

OK, so it passed. President Obama just rammed through his trillion-dollar gut renovation of U.S. health care. He takes a giddy leap toward government nationalization and one of the biggest redistributions of wealth in U.S. history.

All without one single vote of bipartisanship—what a Change!

Now what? The financial toll already has begun to pile up, and the social and psychological implications will begin to unfold soon. Here are six provocative questions on what we have wrought. The wrong answers could crush our recovery and add hundreds of billions to the cost of this medical Moby Dick.

Question 1: Will ObamaCare end up covering 50 percent more uninsured?

We used to hear, constantly, about 45 million uninsured people. ObamaCare will insure 32 million of ’em. Those left uncovered are, for the most part, illegal aliens, and the President wants to grant them the status of legal residents. Would that qualify them for ObamaCare and swell the ranks by half—and thereby increase costs by another half a trillion dollars?

So far, the White House hasn’t provided a clear answer on this point.

Question 2: Does ObamaCare’s price tag include corporate writedowns?

We’re told this medical miracle will cost us $938 billion over 10 years. I doubt that sum includes the toll taken this week. AT&T today said it will take a $1 billion charge related to ObamaCare.

Earlier this week, Caterpillar drew first blood (its own), taking a $100 million writedown. The heavy-metal giant provides generous drug benefits to retirees, enticed by tax-free subsidies from the feds; that program now will be taxed. Deere says it will take a $150 million hit, and AK Steel $31 million.

Betchya other big companies take hits, too. That hurts their shareholders (including pension funds for workers that ObamaCare seeks to help). It may prompt companies to cut back on drug benefits for retirees, all due to a new law with the opposite aim.

Question 3: Will ObamaCare not cover medical treatments for moral reasons?

ObamaCare passed the House by only seven votes, of 431 votes cast. To buy the votes of eight anti-abortion Democrats, the Dems ditched any pretense of being the “pro-choice” party and blocked all funding for abortion in ObamaCare.

Now that we’re rationing care on moral grounds, no need to stop at abortion. Let’s ban liver transplants for alcoholics (they made their bed). And refuse to cover stomach-stapling surgery for the massively and morbidly obese (where’s their will power?). And welch on paying for any treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. Oh, and when a drunk driver is maimed horribly in a car accident, let him (or her) pay out of pocket.

Question 4: Will the millionaire tax really have no bad impact at all?

One study says ObamaCare will cost, from the get-go, an extra $46,000 in taxes for a person who earns $1 million a year. No big deal, right? Wrong! That one million bucks is actually $500,000 after-tax; $46k is almost a 10% surcharge. And that means that million-dollar guy or gal will spend $46,000 less on other items that lead to more jobs: cars, private planes, fat-cat pleasure boats, jet skis, vacations, home renovations.

Question 5: Why does ObamaCare subsidize families earning $88,000 a year?

One main aim of this paternalistic program is to insure the poorest Americans. Ninety large ain’t poor. One explanation is that some middle-class Americans’ insurance costs will go up, at first, under ObamaCare, so we need subsidies to offset that pain. Um ... sorry to be picky here, but I thought this facelift was supposed to bring costs down.

Question 6: Will millions drop their insurance coverage because of ObamaCare?

We could be looking at a surge in creative ways to game this loopy new system. Say you’re a freelancer who pays $10,000, out of pocket, for insurance. Now that no insurer can turn you down for a “pre-existing condition,” you can drop your own policy and go bare. Pay the feds’ new penalty fee of, what, $695 a year? Then, after you are diagnosed with lung cancer or after you get hit by a city bus, go ahead and buy insurance again. If you never get sick, you reap a going-bare windfall of $9,000-plus a year.

Now say you’re an employer who insures your workers, at a cost of $10,000 a year per minion. Why not just cut ’em loose to buy insurance on their own? (Or they can go bare and surf the pre-existing-condition wave, see preceding paragraph. Pay the new federal penalty of $3,000 a year, per person. Voila! A $7,000-a-year savings, per head.

Question 7: Will ObamaCare infantilize freeloaders pushing age 30?

This plan forces insurers to let “children” up to age 26 stay under the umbrella of their parents’ plan (sorry for metaphor, Travelers). Hey kids, like, why move out at all? Like, ever?

President Obama is especially magnanimous when it comes to filching money from “the rich” to fund entitlements for those who pay almost nothing at all. It will be alternately fascinating and painful to watch the side-effects spill over our country in coming months, only to learn that we couldn’t afford it, after all.

So that ends my column, guys. Your comments welcome, post them below. And to obviate the first few posts, let’s just go ahead and stipulate for the record: I look like Beaker, I’m a shill for Wall Street, I’m incredibly stupid, my forehead is the size of a billboard and CNBC should have fired me long ago. There! Feel better?

Now weigh in with your wisdom rather than your vitriol ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: congress; democrats; economy; healthcare; obama; obamacare; socialisthealthcare; taxes
Ouch!
1 posted on 03/26/2010 9:54:10 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

To question #3; They intend to use what they term the “Whole Life Curve”. This term pretty much means anyone under the age of two won’t receive much care and beginning at the age of 40 the treatments you will be allowed begin to decline. By the age of 60 or so you will be lucky to qualify for a pain pill or an antibiotic. Remember Oblablah’s resoponse to the woman’s question about her 100 year old grandmother that had recieved heart surgery? He pretty much said she should have just gotten a pill. He didn’t say those exact words but doesn’t take much to figure out exactly what he was saying.


2 posted on 03/26/2010 10:03:10 PM PDT by southernsunshine
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Question 2: Does ObamaCare’s price tag include corporate writedowns?

The Obamacare taxing starts now and CBO assumed 10 years of taxing. The benefits are costed out for only 6 years because they start in 4 years. Corporations need to have "write offs" once they realize they have an obligation. Part of what we are seeing from Caterpillar, John Deere, AT&T, and other large companies is the write off because they owe more taxes. That is, much of the corporate write offs are tax revenue that transfer from the corporations into the US Treasury.

I am wondering what impact this will have on overall 1Q2010 earnings and the price of stocks.

What the CBO estimate does not include is the additional cost of having a not-for-profit government administer health care instead of a for-profit free market. We currently pay about 16% of our GDP in health care. Socialist countries, like Sweden, Germany and Switzerland, pay about 20% of their GDP. If we follow that path, then that $940B price issued by the CBO really becomes about $1.15T, and probably much, much higher.

3 posted on 03/26/2010 10:06:36 PM PDT by mlocher (USA is a sovereign nation)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
This is why the USSC will employ the doctrine of "Original Jurisdiction" to hear the State cases before the November elections.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2480913/posts?page=10

4 posted on 03/26/2010 10:08:14 PM PDT by Mariner
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To: mlocher

Most of the newly insured under Obamacare will be added to the Medicaid rolls—about 15 million of them. What is not included in the CBO costs are the costs the states incur for Medicaid. They pay about half of the costs for Medicaid.


5 posted on 03/26/2010 10:12:17 PM PDT by kabar
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Funny, there was no such analysis before the vote. Not by anybody, including that right wing FOX network. Still, Americans can only blame themselves. Turns out elections do have consequences.


6 posted on 03/26/2010 10:15:00 PM PDT by JoSixChip (It's time to embrace the madness! The sooner we default the sooner we can reorganize.)
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To: kabar

Thanks. You have articulated the “unfunded mandate” problem that the states will be facing.


7 posted on 03/26/2010 10:15:27 PM PDT by mlocher (USA is a sovereign nation)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Dental insurance:

1. Does ObamaCare, once it is fully in place, include Dental Insurance?

2. Example: If I suddenly have a toothache, will ObamaCare allow me to immediately go to any dentist I choose, or will I have to pay for the dentist visit out of my own pocket?

3. If ObamaCare includes dental insurance, when will it go into effect: In six months or much later, like not until 2014?

4. If ObamaCare includes dental insurance, will it pay for yearly routine visits for the entire family and pay for such things as tooth removal and tooth fillings?

8 posted on 03/26/2010 10:16:23 PM PDT by john mirse
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Why does ObamaCare subsidize families earning $88,000 a year?

Because the average family of four making $88k isn't going to be able to afford $15k in premiums when his company drops his coverage.

9 posted on 03/26/2010 10:37:01 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: john mirse

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!


10 posted on 03/26/2010 10:46:39 PM PDT by matthew fuller (obama- rapist of the USA- "Bend over bitches, I won the election".)
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To: john mirse

According to my dentist, dental is not under attack by this bill.


11 posted on 03/26/2010 10:51:59 PM PDT by Darth Reardon (Im running for the US Senate for a simple reason, I want to win a Nobel Peace Prize - Rubio)
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To: matthew fuller

This is incorrect “Pay the feds’ new penalty fee of, what, $695 a year? “ It is $695 or 2% of your salary whichever is greater and so if you make 100K your penalty is $2,000.00 and if you are arried and file jointly the penalty goes for your spouse too so now your penalty is $4,000.00. The CBO says the premiums will be 12K single and 15K for a family of 4. So you might not even be able to afford the insurance if you wanted it. Just like Obama said about HIllary’s mandate -that Mass. mandated insurance and people had to pay the fee because they could not afford the premiums.
It is all a sham


12 posted on 03/26/2010 11:02:10 PM PDT by funfan
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To: USNBandit

My family wont be able to afford it either and we are not much above the 88K heck I dont think we will even be able to pay the penalty. Unlike some folks we are actually apying our mortgage,car insurance,taxes and proerty tax not much money left after that


13 posted on 03/26/2010 11:05:11 PM PDT by funfan
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To: Darth Reardon
According to my dentist, dental is not under attack by this bill.

*****

Hypothetical situation: A low income parent has a child who suddenly has a toothache. What does the parent do who is covered by ObamaCare?

Must the parent pay for the dentist visit out of his own pocket, or will ObamaCare pay for the emergency visit to the dentist? Thanks.

14 posted on 03/26/2010 11:14:47 PM PDT by john mirse
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To: Darth Reardon

Last time I checked, there was some infant dental, nothing for adults. Of course, that was before the latest version(s).


15 posted on 03/26/2010 11:17:38 PM PDT by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: funfan

I think that you meant to reply to USNBandit.


16 posted on 03/26/2010 11:18:10 PM PDT by matthew fuller (obama- rapist of the USA- "Bend over bitches, I won the election".)
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To: john mirse

Low income remains covered by MedicAid, which has dental coverage for kids.


17 posted on 03/26/2010 11:19:56 PM PDT by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: matthew fuller

Just venting sorry :)


18 posted on 03/26/2010 11:20:27 PM PDT by funfan
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To: JoSixChip

Talk radio and Drudge for the most part did talk about it at length.
I get so angry when I think about the trick that has been played by the media-they must have a carve out somewhere


19 posted on 03/26/2010 11:23:45 PM PDT by funfan
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To: Darth Reardon

The Dental protion will be stuffed into the Amnesty bill.


20 posted on 03/26/2010 11:25:37 PM PDT by funfan
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To: mlocher

The Obamacare taxing starts now..........

And when comes time to expend the monies collected in the near term, the monies will mysteriously have disappeared, so taxes will be raised to make up the shortfall.

Lend me a nickle for hamburger today


21 posted on 03/26/2010 11:29:18 PM PDT by Nailbiter
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Question 4: Will the millionaire tax really have no bad impact at all?

One study says ObamaCare will cost, from the get-go, an extra $46,000 in taxes for a person who earns $1 million a year. No big deal, right? Wrong! That one million bucks is actually $500,000 after-tax; $46k is almost a 10% surcharge. And that means that million-dollar guy or gal will spend $46,000 less on other items that lead to more jobs: cars, private planes, fat-cat pleasure boats, jet skis, vacations, home renovations.

Those are great points, but the effects are even worse.

Most "millionaires" are proprietors of small businesses. Increasing the marginal tax rate on their business income is a direct tax on jobs.

The truly rich, a very small number of people, do not spend most of their income. They invest it in corporate stock and bonds or government bonds. This means, again, that this is a tax on capital and the jobs it creates, or, in the case of Treasury bonds, a direct increase in the deficit.

22 posted on 03/27/2010 12:05:16 AM PDT by SupplySider
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To: john mirse

Medicaid does cover dental bills for children - both routine visits and emergency care. So, one could assume that those who qualify for subsidized care and who are added to a state’s Medicaid roles, will have dental coverage for their children.


23 posted on 03/27/2010 2:14:08 AM PDT by REPANDPROUDOFIT (General, sir, it's ok to call me "ma'am"!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If you have a certain amount of money each month that you have earmarked for bills, that’s totally going out the window. You now have to use money that was designated for something else to pay for Obama’s CommieCare.


24 posted on 03/27/2010 11:01:38 AM PDT by my_pointy_head_is_sharp
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To: funfan
My family wont be able to afford it either and we are not much above the 88K heck I dont think we will even be able to pay the penalty.

Yep, and that's before the federal sales tax of about 15% - 20%, coming soon to "help the deficit."

25 posted on 03/27/2010 11:15:31 AM PDT by CharacterCounts (November 4, 2008 - the day America drank the Kool-Aid)
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To: my_pointy_head_is_sharp

Not if you’re Muslim or Amish.


26 posted on 03/27/2010 1:41:31 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (If we're an Empire, why are Cuba, Iraq, the Philippines, Japan & Germany independent?)
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