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Walmart Bails On Obamacare-Sticks Taxpayers With Employee Healthcare Costs
forbes ^ | december 9, 2012 | rick ungar

Posted on 12/10/2012 3:03:18 AM PST by lowbridge

After making a big deal of publicly supporting the Affordable Care Act, Walmart—the nation’s largest private sector employer—is joining the ranks of companies seeking to avoid their obligation to provide employees with health insurance as required by Obamacare.

It was not all that many years ago that Walmart announced, in response to harsh criticism over the low pay provided to Walmart ‘associates’, that the company would provide a healthcare benefit to its part-time, low earning employees. The uncharacteristically generous nod to worker needs was short lived as the company partially pulled back on the commitment in 2011, citing premium rate increases that Walmart deemed beyond their capacity to pay.

Now, Huffington Post is reporting that the party is over for many more existing Walmart employees, along with all employees hired after February 1, 2012 that the company can classify as “part-time.”

According to the 2013 Walmart “Associate’s Benefit Book”—the manual for low-level Walmart employees—part-time workers who got their jobs during or after 2011 will now be subject to an “Annual Benefits Eligibility Check” each August.

Employees hired after Feb. 1, 2012, who fail to average the magic 30-hours per week requiring a company to provide a healthcare benefit, will lose their healthcare benefits on the following January. Part-time workers hired after Jan. 15, 2011, but before Feb. 1, 2012, will be able to hang onto their Walmart health care benefit if they work at least 24 hours a week.

Anyone hired before 2011 will not be cut off from the company provided health insurance.

(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bhohealthcare; healthcare; obamacare; retail; socializedmedicine; walmart; workplace
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1 posted on 12/10/2012 3:03:31 AM PST by lowbridge
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To: lowbridge

Can you tell this article was written by a leftie? Pretty obvious. To the idiot author of this article, Bozo is the reason for this sh**, not Walmart.


2 posted on 12/10/2012 3:10:02 AM PST by calex59
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To: lowbridge

They get what they voted for.


3 posted on 12/10/2012 3:13:03 AM PST by Samurai_Jack (ride out and confront the evil!)
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To: calex59

Yep, Democrats Stick Taxpayers With Obamacare Costs


4 posted on 12/10/2012 3:13:39 AM PST by Son House (Romney Plan: Cap Spending At 20 Percent Of GDP.)
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To: Samurai_Jack

Only an observation...but what exactly do you have by the end of 2014? A bunch of folks who had 40-hour a week jobs...now on 28-hour a week jobs, and hustling up some secondary job to fill another 10-15 hours a week. The second job only crowds out the teenage workers or lesser-capable folks. You fix one problem....to create four new problems. No one is happy with this solution, and everyone whines about 30-hour strategy (unfair is a commonly used word by early 2015).


5 posted on 12/10/2012 3:33:43 AM PST by pepsionice
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To: lowbridge

So what is new at Walmart?


6 posted on 12/10/2012 3:36:27 AM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: pepsionice

You have spotted Obozo’s plans, I see...


7 posted on 12/10/2012 3:37:44 AM PST by WVKayaker ("Hang in there, America. Fight for what is right." - Sarah Palin 11/7/12)
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To: pepsionice
“No one is happy with this solution”

What do you mean? There are hundreds of thousands just waiting for Obama’s inauguration when their health insurance will be paid by him. (Or does the free insurance kick in on April 1st?)

8 posted on 12/10/2012 3:39:35 AM PST by 21twelve (So I [God] gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices. Psalm 81:12)
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To: lowbridge

John Roberts says Obamacare is a tax.

And it is a truism that if you tax something you get less of it.

In this case what you will inevitably get less of is health care and full time jobs that pay a living wage.


9 posted on 12/10/2012 3:45:23 AM PST by EternalVigilance (Yes, America, life outside the socialist cell door is risky, but liberty is worth it, believe me.)
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To: lowbridge

The cost of a product, say, a shirt, is the expense of the shirt, plus overhead times profit. If the shirt costs $2.00 and the apportioned cost of the overhead (lights, rent) is $2.00 and the profit is 10% then the shirt costs $2.00+$2.00=$4.00. Multiply the total by profit $4.00*1.1= $4.40.

My former employer spent $6,500 per employee per year on medical. I spent another $3,500 for individual coverage. $10,000/year per employee. (BTW, the HR guy told me that the plan was to dump everybody; 30,000 employees, onto the Obamacare and just pay the fine come 2014.)

Back to Wal-Mart. Let’s say the average employee makes $12.50/hr and works 2,080 hours per year. He’s making $12.50 * 2,080 or $26,000. Adding $10,000 on top of that is a $10,000/$26,000 or a 38% raise. Wal-Mart employs 2.1 million people. Assuming they all make $26,000 that’s 2,100,000 * 26,000 or $54,600,000,000/year. Multiply that by 1.38 and you get $75,348,000,000. And, remember, we only used take-home pay. If you add in Wal-Mart’s social security, etc. then the cost to Wal-Mart is even more significant.

Now, back to the shirt. Because the cost of medical care was increasing exponentially when private companies did the work imagine how inefficient the government will be at controlling costs. (Every plane, tank and dam the government bought went wildly over budget.) The shirt could go from $4.40 to $8.80 in no time. Since the nation’s poorest people shop at Wal-Mart (The average Wal-Mart shopper’s income is $25,000; compared to Target’s average shopper income of $75,000.) Wal-Mart covering medical care would be a TAX on the poorest Americans. Whereas if Wal-Mart “dumps” their employees on the taxpayers then the medical costs will be picked up by those evil (/s) rich people.


10 posted on 12/10/2012 3:48:49 AM PST by Gen.Blather
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To: freekitty

What is new with WalMart?

That they are still paying entry level and unskilled workers higher wages and benefits than thousands of other employers; trying to instill Sam Walton’s ethics of a sense of pride in the workplace and being part of a team, and unlike Darden restaurants chains and thousands of other employers of first resort- they are keeping health benefits for 24 hr a week part timers

If you disagree with WalMart’s business plan, don’t shop there. If enough people follow you and the union agitators, Walmarts business willl drop and there will be that many less seniors, single parents, students, and other unskilled people hired who need flexible and part time work, at 30% above minimum wage, to start.


11 posted on 12/10/2012 3:53:43 AM PST by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: lowbridge

New tagline ...


12 posted on 12/10/2012 3:59:15 AM PST by EternalVigilance (Obamacare is the socialist cancer of the New Deal metastasized.)
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To: lowbridge
Another example of the "Law of Unintended Consequences".

WalMart and other LARGE employers are just the tip of the iceberg. The sector that this is likely to become a near-universal practice is in the restaurant industry. The Federal minimum wage for tipped employees is still $2.13 per hour (plus tips, of course). But anyone who stayed awake during grade school arithmetic class can tell that an employer can't possibly afford to provide free health insurance in addition to $2.13/hour wages.

The more obvious results; 1.) restaurant employees will see their hours cut by more than one-quarter AND 2.) The employees will be on the hook for paying for their own overpriced Obamacare insurance. Or be fined. Or "taxed" as the SC decided. It's regressive taxation, but that's not news since so far most of the pain of Obamanomics has been directed at the core Obama voter constituencies.

I've considered the possibility that this was deliberate -- except for Nancy Pelosi's famous quote "But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy." NOBODY knew what was in the bill. So no, it's not a nefarious plot, IMO. It's that liberals are idiots. Which is not news.

13 posted on 12/10/2012 4:01:50 AM PST by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: EternalVigilance

Brilliant!


14 posted on 12/10/2012 4:03:36 AM PST by Buddy Sorrell ("I'm dead sober, Andy, but I expect I'll get over it." - Otis Campbell)
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To: lowbridge

The American people are going to get the government they want, good and hard.


15 posted on 12/10/2012 4:04:38 AM PST by Haiku Guy (If you have a right / To the service I provide / I must be your slave)
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To: pepsionice

There is a point of diminishing returns. Any business/investment person knows this. When that point is “hit” it is ususally better to either stop contributing to whatever it is or cut contributions as it is counterproductive to generating increased revenues.

When paying taxes decreases a business’s ability to hire new FULL TIME workers and grow the business, that tipping point has been breached. When investors realize a diminishing return that point has been reached.

It is not about the “perception of fair,” it is about what creates work and jobs. The sooner Americans get back to that concept, the sooner we get our country out of this mess.


16 posted on 12/10/2012 4:04:45 AM PST by EBH (0bama is guilty of willful neglect of duty.)
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To: lowbridge

Sounds like a sound business decision for Walmart.

their fine will be less than if they supplied insurance, plus it will cut down on their HR involvement and other management involvement.

and for zer0bummer? it is what the turd actually wants.

all around it is Marxism...no getting around it.


17 posted on 12/10/2012 4:06:10 AM PST by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: lowbridge
Walmart - A company that works at legally keeping prices low for consumers and turns a profit.

That's known as a failure in the gov't and lefties eyes. The question is can Walmart make it work with the FAILURE Obamacare is going to be?

18 posted on 12/10/2012 4:07:04 AM PST by sirchtruth (Freedom is not free.)
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To: EternalVigilance
You are correct! This is a tax and corporations (and individuals) pursue tax-minimizing strategies. No one should be shocked about that.
19 posted on 12/10/2012 4:07:25 AM PST by Buddy Sorrell ("I'm dead sober, Andy, but I expect I'll get over it." - Otis Campbell)
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To: lowbridge

God bless Wal-Mart


20 posted on 12/10/2012 4:31:05 AM PST by stockpirate (Democrrats stole the election via fraud, we will never have a free election again.)
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To: lowbridge

That’s a relief. I know the Walton family is working hard to stretch their dollars. Times are tough.


21 posted on 12/10/2012 4:38:52 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: lowbridge

Well, “we have to pass the bill so you can see what is in it” worked out just fine, didn’t it?

This just looks like Walmart found out “what is in it” and didn’t like it.

Gee, never saw THAT coming. *sarcasm*


22 posted on 12/10/2012 4:58:58 AM PST by Peet (Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst zwei hat. (Monroe in "Grimm"))
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To: Gen.Blather

So then, it would be cheaper for WalMart to just pay the fine.

Seeing you break it down that way makes sense.

My question now is maybe this is the kind of thing Justice Roberts had in mind by declaring ACA to be a “tax”?

In other words, let the free market forces play out and become the very thing that kills Obamacare.

What say you ?


23 posted on 12/10/2012 5:02:13 AM PST by TheRobb7 ("Patriots don't negotiate the terms of our enslavement"--JimRob)
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To: lowbridge

“Walmart Bails On Obamacare-Sticks Taxpayers With Employee Healthcare Costs”

We were told by many advocates of ObamaCare (tm) that should an employer not be willing to pay for the employees health insurance premium that the employee could fall back on government. This was a cynical observation because the plan all along was to squeeze both private employers and health insurers into a government-run single-payer system. So, I take it as a pejorative that this headline uses the worlds “bails” and “sticks”.

In truth, when an employer pays all or part of an employees health insurance premium, it is just another form of wage. It is just that the employee doesn’t receive it directly. The employee ALWAYS paid for his own premiums, he just never was allowed to decide where it was spent for him. Now his premium will be socialized and made part of the tax base.

Employees will think they are getting it paid by government, but they are now trading their priceless liberty for “free” health care. And because of how it distorts the economics of health care even more, it will quickly not be free in terms of money. Government never improves the efficiency of a privately run system. Should that ever happen, it is an unnatural act for government, and it is unsustainable.


24 posted on 12/10/2012 5:03:55 AM PST by theBuckwheat
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To: calex59

They will have to figure out how to work a second part time job to make up for those lost original wal-mart work hours and and earn enough to pay their Federal Obama IRS fine for not having enough $ to pay thier own health insurance. A nice vicious circle, isn’t it? Mmmmmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmmm.


25 posted on 12/10/2012 5:04:24 AM PST by Lockbar (Quality factory loaded ammunition ---- The New Gold)
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To: lowbridge

What will employees of Walmart do in States that have “ refused to set up exchanges”? Or does this matter? I still haven’t “found out what’s in it”.


26 posted on 12/10/2012 5:11:46 AM PST by H.Akston (It's all about property rights.)
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To: lowbridge

What will employees of Walmart do in States that have “ refused to set up exchanges”? Or does this matter? I still haven’t “found out what’s in it”.


27 posted on 12/10/2012 5:11:46 AM PST by H.Akston (It's all about property rights.)
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To: TheRobb7

“In other words, let the free market forces play out and become the very thing that kills Obamacare. What say you ?”

Like many I was disappointed by the Roberts’ decision. But he had a lot of things to balance. If he had ruled the other way then the massive weight of the MSM would have portrayed the court as hopelessly right-wing and an “enemy of the people.” Also, a contrary decision might have actually strengthened Obama’s political position. Roberts gambled that his favorable decision would energize the electorate to defeat Obama and thus Obamacare and that deciding it was a tax could bring it down under other constitutional considerations. Taxes must be started in the House and this bill was started in the Senate; so it’s a do-over. (But since the Constitution is a “living document” its rules mean less and less.)

We haven’t seen how Roberts’ gamble will play out. But the longer Obamacare goes on the more entrenched it gets. Once it starts actually paying out and develops its own constituency (people who use it) in 2014 then the odds of getting rid of it drop. Also, conservatism (Constitutionalism) appears to be on the decline. Romney, for example, would have been a Democrat in any other decade but this one.


28 posted on 12/10/2012 5:12:14 AM PST by Gen.Blather
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To: lowbridge

Who knows all the details of the Obamacare fiasco, but I believe at some point the lower wage earners whose employers don’t furnish medical insurance will qualify for Medicaid.

Lots of chain reactions will be set in motion as Obamacare is implemented, and many will be surprised.


29 posted on 12/10/2012 5:15:38 AM PST by Will88
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To: Sooth2222

They knew, make no mistake about that. They crafted the bloody thing. The Dems also crafted the bloody regulations of healthcare to purposely drive costs through the roof to create the argument that private healthcare is impossible to sustain.


30 posted on 12/10/2012 5:15:38 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Wolfie

Can’t blame the Waltons, they are only,responding in a rationale manner. It’s the government that has driven the costs of having an employee through the roof, and not just on healthcare.


31 posted on 12/10/2012 5:19:19 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: pepsionice

When you have millions of people looking for a second gig, good luck with that. There are going to be millions of people whose only job will be the 28 hour/week job.


32 posted on 12/10/2012 5:21:14 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: silverleaf

Thank you for your reply. When all of these other companies do this, we applaud them for sticking it to “the man.” But when Walmart does this, evil Walmart. BS. Too many FReepers are media puppets.


33 posted on 12/10/2012 5:26:33 AM PST by ican'tbelieveit (School is prison for children who have commited the crime of being born. (attr: St_Thomas_Aquinas))
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To: lowbridge

Many Walmart employees qualify for and get FOOD STAMPS.

In other words, the government is subsidizing Walmart.


34 posted on 12/10/2012 5:26:47 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: lowbridge

Watch for the next steps:

1. Regime blames businesses for reducing employee work week to avoid ‘providing’ ObamaCare.

2. MSM writes articles calling capitalism a ‘failure’.

3. Regime calls for new law requiring companies to provide ObamaCare. Calls companies ‘greedy’. Calls for new tax.


35 posted on 12/10/2012 5:31:08 AM PST by Flick Lives (We're going to be just like the old Soviet Union, but with free cell phones!)
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To: P.O.E.

Walmart is not the problem there; foodstamps are. The federal gov’t should collect taxes only to support the “common” good. National defense, border security, interstate commerce are a few examples that come to mind. Charity for individuals does not serve the common good of the entire nation. Why should someone in North Dakota have to buy food for someone in Detroit? Why should workers in North Carolina send checks to people in Iowa who don’t work?
Childless couples in New Mexico should not be forced to provide school lunches for kids in Georgia.


36 posted on 12/10/2012 5:39:23 AM PST by csmusaret (I will give Obama credit for one thing- he is living proof that familiarity breeds contempt.)
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To: lowbridge

The headline alone is enough to make a man puke. Employees stuck with paying for their own healthcare, how awful think the lefties. Imagine someone being responsible for their own health. Communists are all insane.


37 posted on 12/10/2012 5:40:42 AM PST by calex59
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To: H.Akston
What will employees of Walmart do in States that have “ refused to set up exchanges”? Or does this matter? I still haven’t “found out what’s in it”.

The feds will run an exchange for people who live in states that don't. But here's the kicker -- the ACA provides a subsidy to state-run exchanges to keep costs down, but prohibits a subsidy to any federal exchange.

38 posted on 12/10/2012 5:46:06 AM PST by kevkrom (If a wise man has an argument with a foolish man, the fool only rages or laughs...)
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To: csmusaret

That’s the trick of government. You think they’re “giving” you something over here, but you’re paying for all the stuff they’re “giving” over there.

It would be a lot cheaper for everyone just to pay for their own stuff, for two reasons:

1) Government makes it cost more (overhead, fraud, cronyism, inefficiency etc.)

2) Money gets spent that would not necessarily be spent. If you think you’re going to get a new school (e.g.), but don’t really need one, you’ll take it anyway. What you don’t see are the unneeded schools being built all over the place, that everyone thinks they’re “getting”.


39 posted on 12/10/2012 5:47:23 AM PST by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: TheRobb7

People who make excuses for Roberts give me a pain. Why wouldn’t it have been easier and faster just to follow the constitution and declare Bozocare unconstitutional, which it is, regardless of what Roberts said at the time.


40 posted on 12/10/2012 5:49:50 AM PST by calex59
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To: P.O.E.

We’ll get single payer nationalized healthcare when Corporate America demands it. Walmart’s move is just the first step in that direction.


41 posted on 12/10/2012 5:49:58 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Sooth2222

You forget that lower income people (defined in the law as anyone making less than $88,000,i think) will receive subsidies through the exchanges. For a waitress, I’m sure that subsidy will be more than the cost of her insurance plan.

She won’t necessarily look at this as a bad thing. She won’t be beholden to any one employer anymore for her health coverage, and she may end up with higher take home pay, since the evil rich will be paying the bills. Win-win (for her).


42 posted on 12/10/2012 5:50:05 AM PST by RightFighter (It was all for nothing.)
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To: P.O.E.

Also, by paying your own fare, you’re going to seek ways to minimize your costs, leading to lower costs for all.


43 posted on 12/10/2012 5:52:41 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: P.O.E.

“Many Walmart employees qualify for and get FOOD STAMPS.
In other words, the government is subsidizing Walmart.”

Not this BS again. Walmart pays a legal wage and are under no obligation ot pay more than minimum wage to any employee. If the workers dont like it they can find another job.


44 posted on 12/10/2012 5:56:15 AM PST by Brooklyn Attitude (Obama being re-elected is the political equivalent of OJ being found not guilty.)
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To: TheRobb7

You have hit on the exact issue with O’care I have been talking about for quite sometime since the SCOTUS debacle.

Because Robert’s deemed this a “TAX” once the first corp. or individual pays this “TAX” then O’care can be challenged in court.
Legally “TAXES” can only be levied through the House Of Representatives and declared a tax, which can then be added to the tax code. O’care was written as an “Individual Mandate”
not a tax!


45 posted on 12/10/2012 6:12:09 AM PST by Fully Awake DAV (Navy Vet when homosexuality was not tolerated)
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To: Jonty30

Exactly! What happens next.. Well, the tax revenue into the IRS will drop significantly! How is the subsidy for all those new “insured” going to be subsidized through the “Healthcare Exchanges”? This is a system that will fail! If folks think the U.S. is bankrupt now... wait till 2015!


46 posted on 12/10/2012 6:17:50 AM PST by Fully Awake DAV (Navy Vet when homosexuality was not tolerated)
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To: EternalVigilance

Excellent tagline, so why did you help reelect Obama?


47 posted on 12/10/2012 6:19:15 AM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: lowbridge

Obama’s Communist Method: ‘Free’ Communal Control of the Medical Profession for everyone.


48 posted on 12/10/2012 6:22:19 AM PST by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: calex59

I didn’t like the Roberts ruling either.

I just can’t help wondering if perhaps he saw something that we didn’t.

History will decide if he was right or wrong. Either way its gonna be a bumpy ride.


49 posted on 12/10/2012 6:23:51 AM PST by TheRobb7 ("Patriots don't negotiate the terms of our enslavement"--JimRob)
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To: lowbridge
Yeah, because there's such a HUGE difference between passing it on to the taxpayer, and passing it on to consumers (which is where ALL cost increases are put for ALL companies).

(In fact, the Lefty morons should celebrate this, instead of lament it. Their beloved "poor" are hurt worse by price increases than they are hurt by tax increases, since they pay far less of the taxes than those eeeeevil rich do!)

50 posted on 12/10/2012 6:30:49 AM PST by Teacher317 ('Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.)
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