Wednesday, June 24, 2009

No new taxes for those making under 250K and the health plan

Remember during the presidential campaign the slogan, "no taxes for people making under 250K?"

With the new health plans being discussed in Congress, there is talk of taxing YOU on your private insurance plan provided by your employer. Previously, health benefits are non-taxable, however with the new plan it would be subject to your tax bracket.

For instance, we contribute $164.58 every two weeks to our health plan, and my husband's employer contributes $352.56. Combine those for a total of 517.14 EVERY TWO WEEKS. If it were taxed at a lower tax rate of 15%, that would be $77.57 LESS takehome pay every two weeks for a total of 2016.58 cents less takehome pay every year for our family.

No new taxes? This is a tax for us. But those only buying the new insurance, or Health Insurance Exchange, would not be subject to the same taxes, as it is written.

The good news?
Far more than half of all Americans would be eligible for subsidies, but we have not yet been told who would pay the bill.

Why is this a problem? Those who previously paid for their own private insurance will see how buying the federal option with the subsidies is less expensive and switch, even though it's not necessary. This will put an even larger burden on the federal government. Who will pay for it?

I find it ironic that the federal government does not want to support a voucher system because it would weaken the public school system, but cannot possibly see how the new healthcare bill will destroy the current insurance and health arena. People, competition is GOOD.

No new tax? Let's wake up and realize that ALL insurance premiums WILL go up. There's no way around it. So the subsidies provided will not be enough to balance out the increase. What will happen to the private sector? It will be so over-regulated that the premiums will become too high and people will have to opt for the federal program to survive.

I've also read the argument that "why shouldn't the federal government refuse to treat people who are engaging in risky behaviours causing their medical condition?" and yet in the bill outline, an insurance company cannot charge a higher premium for those engaging in risky behaviours. So those who need to use the system more often will be supported by everyone else's premiums.

"Guaranteed issue and renewal combined with modified community rating would dramatically increase premiums for the overwhelming majority of those Americans who now have private health insurance. New Jersey is the best example of health insurance mandates gone wild. In the name of protecting their citizens, premiums are extremely high to cover the cross-subsidization of those who are uninsurable."

Group health plans with 250 or fewer members would be prohibited from self-insuring. ERISA would only be for big businesses.

Depending upon which bill is ratified, we would either only allow legal individuals to receive the healthcare benefits, or anyone. The house bill has no specific requirements.


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