Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012

Survey: 83% of Doctors Considered Quitting Over Obamacare
by Todd Beamon
July 9, 2012

Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving the profession over President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law – and 63 percent have called for repealing all or part of it, according to survey by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.

The results from the non-partisan association of doctors and patients, founded last fall and headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is based on a national survey of 699 physicians, the Daily Caller reports.

The Affordable Care Act was upheld last month by the U.S. Supreme Court.

By 2020, the U.S. is expected to face a shortage of at least 90,000 doctors. Because the new healthcare law expands insurance coverage, it will increase physician demand.

“Hands-down, doctors blame government involvement for the current problems in medicine, and are not shy to say they want it out,” the association says in a report on the survey findings.

“The reasons cited range from the deluge of regulatory compliance that siphons time away from patient care, to de facto rationing achieved through complex payment schemes, to cushy relationships that favor corporations and special interests in medicine.”

The DPMA found that many doctors just don't believe the legislation will give more Americans quality care, co-founder of the DPMA Kathryn Serkes said.

“Doctors clearly understand what Washington does not — that a piece of paper that says you are ‘covered’ by insurance or ‘enrolled’ in Medicare or Medicaid does not translate to actual medical care when doctors can’t afford to see patients at the lowball payments, and patients have to jump through government and insurance company bureaucratic hoops,” she said

Read more: Survey: 83% of Doctors Considered Quitting Over Obamacare 

Obama's Commitment to Hike Taxes
by Stephen F. Hayes
July 9, 2012

When did President Obama change his mind on the wisdom of raising taxes in an economic downturn? And, perhaps more important, if the U.S. economy slipped back into recession, would the president abandon his proposals to raise taxes on the wealthy?

In the summer of 2009, Obama said in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd that raising taxes in a recession “would just suck up—take more demand out of the economy and put business further in a hole.” Raising taxes in such a downturn, the president said, is “the last thing you want to do.”

A study last year by the Federal Reserve found that two consecutive quarters of GDP growth below 2 percent results in a recession 48 percent of the time. In the first quarter of 2012, the U.S. economy grew at 1.9 percent. And it’s slowing. 

With the president’s announcement this morning that he is recommitting himself to raising taxes on the wealthy, an obvious question arises: Why is raising taxes during a recession the last thing you’d want to do, but raising taxes in an economy moving towards negative growth such smart policy that it merits its own East Room announcement?

The Tax You Need Not Pay
by Jon N. Hall
July 10, 2012

Except for the decision on the expansion of Medicaid, ObamaCare largely survived the scrutiny of the Supreme Court. However, the individual mandate is gone; the Constitution does not allow Congress to command Americans to own health insurance. ObamaCare survived because Chief Justice John Roberts magically transmuted the penalty (for noncompliance with the now-defunct individual mandate) into a tax. But on page 39 of thedecision, we read:

It does not apply to individuals who do not pay federal income taxes because their household income is less than the filing threshold in the Internal Revenue Code. §5000A(e)(2). For taxpayers who do owe the payment, its amount is determined by such familiar factors as taxable income, number of dependents, and joint filing status.

So not only does ObamaCare tax the individual, but that tax is a part of the Individual Income Tax. But when judging the characteristics of a tax, one must ask: what does the tax assess?

John Roberts' new "ObamaCare tax" assesses ownership of health insurance. It's some strange type of property tax. But it's triggered only if one doesn't own said property. The ObamaCare tax is an amalgam of property tax and income tax. If so, this new tax seems unique.

Under the ObamaCare tax, taxpayers who don't own health insurance will be taxed at different rates depending on their income, but some won't have to pay the tax at all because they aren't required to file a 1040. So the ObamaCare tax is going to be a bit unfair for those folks right at the "filing threshold." If you don't own health insurance and you're one cent over the threshold, the IRS expects you to tack on an extra $695 to your tax bill.

Under the original ObamaCare, Congress commanded us to own insurance. But under the new ObamaCare, Congress taxes us for not owning what Congress cannot command us to own. (My CPU is still collating, Dave. I need more data.) In any event, one thing most Americans know is that you don't mess with the IRS. So if the penalty in ObamaCare is now a tax, what is the penalty for not paying that new tax? Well, on page 170 of the actual law, we read:

any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed
by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any
criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.

shall not-

(i) file notice of lien with respect to any property
of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty
imposed by this section, or

(ii) levy on any such property with respect to such failure.

Is ObamaCare great or what?  With all the taxes I'm familiar with, if you don't pay them, you're in big trouble.  But with ObamaCare, there's no enforcement -- it's a toothless tax.  And the lack of enforceability was known about before the bill was signed. 

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