Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Individual Mandate - A Good-for-Nothing Tax

Experts in the pundit world are still expressing shock over SCOTUS’ decision to uphold Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act).  In particular, they’re shocked that a judge appointed by a Republican president (George W.) would like with the Liberals against such a shocking misreading of the Constitution.

At issue is the Commerce Clause, which allows the government a pretty free hand in governing businesses between and within states.  SCOTUS read that to mean that Congress in its ability to tax businesses, and their customers, for buying and selling products, may also tax citizens who do not buy a product, in this case, health care insurance.

Obama spent yesterday spiking the socialist football and the Media found plenty of citizens who were happy to be getting yet another free ride on the backs of taxpayers.  Businesses, especially small businesses were not so happy at the prospect of either going bankrupt from paying high premiums for employee coverage or paying a considerable tax to escape that higher cost.  Either way, the businesses lose and Americans lose.

Obama promised a lot of things in selling this health care act.  He promised that the individual mandate wasn’t a tax.  The Supreme Court ruled it was.  Constitutional experts and political pundits can’t agree whether it is actually a tax or a regulatory penalty.  To those who must pay it because they can’t afford the premiums that will ensue in order to get proper coverage, it’s a moot point.  It means more money out of their pockets for nothing.  It’s a good-for-nothing tax.

He touted the fact that Americans would be able to keep their doctors.  Not my doctor.  I won’t be able to keep him because he said he plans to get out of the business if Obamacare is upheld, which it has been.  He’s a good doctor.  He saved our mother’s life from an affliction which kills most people – a triple aneurism.  He’s kind, patient, and has a great sense of humor, a bedside manner that’s a rare quality in doctors.

We’ll lose many good doctors to Obamacare.  Who can blame them?  The regulations in our state are already tremendously burdensome; the Federal government will be much worse.  Obama promises to reduce costs, but that’s because his white coats will deny care to those who need it most – the elderly and seriously ill.  He’s going to save that money to buy more constituents – able-bodied minorities who’ll be only too happy to accept free services for everything from contraception to pain-killers to free subscriptions to the local gym.

Health care is just the tip of the regulatory iceberg with Obamacare.  Obamacare delves into some surprising areas that have nothing to do with health.  One tax, in particular, a 3.8 percent tax on all real estate transactions.  The law includes some 19 new taxes. Here’s a rundown of what we can expect in the coming years.

In Washington State, individuals will pay a yearly penalty of $695, or up to 2.5 percent of their annual income, if they cannot show they have purchased a government-approved health policy.  Families will pay a yearly penalty of $347 per child, up to $2,250 per family, if parents cannot show they have purchased a government- approved policy.  Business owners with more than 50 employees must buy government-acceptable health coverage or pay a yearly penalty of $2,000 per employee if at least one employee receives a tax credit.

Obamacare imposes a 3.8 percent annual tax on investment income of individuals making $200,000 or more and on families making $250,000 or more. The new tax is not indexed to inflation, so more people will fall under it each year.  Seniors on fixed incomes and people with IRAs and 401(k) plans will be hit particularly hard.

But the best part of all this is that in most states, residents will begin paying Obamacare taxes this year, even though most benefits don’t start until 2014.  And an army of IRS agents is standing by to enforce the taxation.  The tax agency has hired 16,500 new auditors, agents and investigators to increase enforcement audits. The IRS can confiscate tax refunds, place liens on property and seek jail time if health-related penalties and taxes are not paid.

Obamacare even contains an added provision that would tax gold coin and bullion transactions. 
The tax comes in an obscure section of the tax code that deals with purchases by self-employed people and small businesses.

Starting Jan. 1, 2012, small businesses and self-employed people had to issue 1099 forms, which are used to track and report the miscellaneous income associated with services rendered by independent contractors or self-employed individuals, for every vendor with whom they do more than $600 business in a calendar year.   The new regulation is designed to gain more tax dollars to finance some of the healthcare bill’s other provisions.

And then, there’s the RFID chip implant.  This new law requires an RFID chip implanted in all of us. This chip will not only contain your personal information with tracking capability but it will also be linked to your bank account.   Page 1004 of the new law (dictating the timing of this chip), reads: “Not later than 36 months after the date of the enactment”.  That means by March 23rd of next year, we will all be required to have an RFID chip underneath our skin which will be linked to our bank accounts as well as  our personal records,  and will have tracking capability built into it.

According to Bankrupting America, “In a much awaited landmark ruling, the Supreme Court announced today the Affordable Care Act (ie. president’s health care bill) is largely constitutional. Of note, the individual mandate was upheld and requiring states to join a massive Medicare expansion was overturned.

Individual Mandate

The decision to uphold the individual mandate was based an understanding that the Affordable Care Act does not require individuals to purchase healthcare, but that the mandate acts as a tax on those who do not, and is thus constitutional.

  • In other words, the federal government cannot require people to purchase insurance, but it can tax them if they do not.
  • Because individuals can choose to pay a tax if they want to abstain from health insurance, the measure is constitutional.
  • It is currently unclear how it will affect the number of new healthcare customers.   Presumably, this may affect the cost of the bill.
Five justices supported upholding individual mandate while four opposed it. Some observers were surprised that the deciding vote in this case was Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined the justices who are traditionally considered to be left-leaning. Here is how the ruling on the individual mandate breaks down:

Constitutional

John Roberts, Chief Justice (G.W. Bush, 2005)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice (Clinton, 1993)
Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice (Clinton, 1994)
Sonia Sotomayor (Obama, 2009)
Elena Kagan (Obama, 2010)

Unconstitutional

Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice (Reagan, 1986)
Anthony Kennedy, Associate Justice (Reagan, 1988)
Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice (H.W. Bush, 1991)
Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr., Associate Justice (G.W. Bush, 2006)5

Medicaid

Of note, the Supreme Court ruled that states have the freedom to choose whether to join the Medicaid expansion (without losing all of the federal funds given to states to help fund Medicaid). According to the SCOTUS Blog:

The court’s decision on the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion is divided and complicated. The bottom line is that:

1. Congress acted constitutionally in offering states funds to expand coverage to millions of new individuals.
2. So states can agree to expand coverage in exchange for those new funds.
3. If the state accepts the expansion funds, it must obey by the new rules and expand coverage
4. But a state can refuse to participate in the expansion without losing all of its Medicaid funds; instead the state will have the option to continue its current, unexpanded plan as is.

What happens next?

Immediately after the ruling, Republicans in the House of Representatives doubled down “on promises to repeal the healthcare reform law in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.” This action, however, is largely political as it has been done previously and there is very little chance the bill would receive a vote in the Senate.

Like always, as details emerge regarding the decision’s impact on the future of health care spending and Medicaid, we will keep you updated.

To think, like the flu or the plague, this all could have been prevented with a press of each of our fingers.

Thank you so, so much to all those Conservative voters who sat out the 2008 and 2010 election because they didn’t like McCain because he was too Moderate (which is true).  Guess you showed everyone, huh?  Our gratitude, too, to the Republican Party for putting up such an unelectable candidate in the first place.  Thanks to all those Moderate voters who helped put Moderate, spendthrift Republicans into office in the beginning of this century, sending our debt into the outer atmosphere and leaving voters with a sense that they must vote Democrat.

Thank you so much to George W., who did some good things and some not so good things in office, for appointing Justice Roberts.  George W. warned us he was a uniter, not a divider.  We didn’t think he meant it.  We were wrong, and now we’re paying the price. 

Genuine thanks to all those hard-working Tea Partiers from Maine to California.  I know you won’t understand this, but I’m very proud of all of you for your hard work.  Thanks to you, we stand some small measure of a chance of overturning this wretched bill.  Thanks to Mark Levin, our resident Constitutional Authority, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and of course, Glenn Beck, as well as all the other commentators for exposing this fraud to the general public.

And thanks to the Tea Party representatives in Congress and in our state legislatures for having the courage to make a stand.

Pundits can’t agree whether Roberts’ ruling was a shrewd political move that may tip the election in Romney’s favor, a blatantly narrow reading of the Constitution that amounts to treason, or just an idiot.  Whatever, the case, we’re saddled with it for the time being and must put all our efforts into overturning the bill and ousting the Congress and President that passed it.

This business of chip implants is just as scary as the thought of being taxed for nothing, for being forced to buy something we either don’t want and/or can’t afford.  Yesterday – well, really, this whole past week – was a blow for America and freedom.  In one week, Obama has made it permissible to lie (The Stolen Valor Act), cheat (amnesty for illegal aliens), and steal (the Individual Mandate).  He’s given the nod to abortions, gay marriage, and criminals with guns (but not citizens).  He’s recognized the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate entity and “boosted” employment by increasing the size of government.

In his campaign, he touted social justice and redistribution of wealth.  So far, he’s kept all of his promises.  It’s hard to imagine why his Democrat cronies disapprove of him.  Hilary wanted, but failed, to get the same universal health care law enacted.  If she’s mad, it’s only because Obama upstaged her.  Be assured - they’re all still on the same page and ticket.

If you don’t think America is not in the end-stage of a vicious disease called Socialism, maybe you’ll change your mind when they stick that implant chip in you.


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